Thursday, January 31, 2013

I Shaved My Legs This Morning

I just shaved my legs (keep it down, yeah yeah, everyone's a critic) and I realized what a drag it is to be white. Especially this time of year. Especially in a cold climate. I am SO white that I'm almost translucent. Do people of colours other than pasty go through this?

Doctors are always saying it's no good to get a tan anymore so that means a lifetime of see-through skin. At least I don't have to worry about X-rays.

"Remarkable how the Caucasian-ness of this patient saves money on expensive procedures. Look, there's her gallstones. And her colon – mother of all that is holy, does she ever eat a lot of fibre! And, oh wow, she's pregnant! And it's TWINS! Oh, sorry. False alarm. It's just her mammary glands hanging at navel level. Can someone hook this poor woman up with Bob in plastic surgery?"

And here's the thing about leg hair. There's enough of it to look really gross but not enough to disguise varicose veins.

God hates me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Oscar indecision and I-love-Jennifer-Lawrence

I can't decide! I can't, I can't, I really, really can't.

Is it Silver Linings Playbook with Bradley Cooper in his open-at-the-throat tailored white shirt, cleaned up like a new jar of Javex and dancing like a Man, gawd help me, but you know what I mean, girls? Oh and Jennifer Lawrence, who deserves Best Actress just because of her eyes. Her eyes! So much goes on with a simple look, and you wanna be like her and you wanna be with her, but not like that, but maybe ... maybe when she talks about the girls in her office ... sorry, I digressed, but she was so fecking GOOD. I laughed and I cried and I laughed so more, then cried when Robert DeNiro was crying and his voice was all squirrelly, so high-tuned and pitchy that I thought Simon Cowell was gonna call him out. Lately De Niro has been nothing more than a caricature of his own De Niro-ness, but he pulls something gut wrenching and real out of his ... well, his gut, but who cares, because it's all about Lawrence and Cooper, but mostly Lawrence, who I think I am in love with. (Sorry, Dave, I'm just weird that way.)

Dave and I pledged to see every movie nominated for Best Picture at this year's Oscars. So far this has been the best movie-move we've ever made. For the last month or so we've seen nothing but GREAT movies and it's been awesome. No stupid comedies with Adam Sandler or Will Fecking Ferrell. No quirkless unimaginative odysseys, or actionless action movies where the best thing about 'em was the popcorn. Not that I don't like those movies sometimes, but sweet, geezly glory it's been simply FINE watching quality moving-pictures all in a row like that!

Trouble is, I cannot decide which one I like best! I just CAIN'T.

Saw Silver Linings tonight. Just got home (popcorn and Diet Coke still rancid on my breath). So right now, right at this moment, I think it's gawd's gift to Rom-Com-Droms.

However, last week we saw Zero Dark Thirty. Wasn't prepared to like that one at all but damned if I didn't fall in love with it long before the Twizzlers were gone. But I have no fecking idea what the title is supposed to mean. (Do you?) Jessica Chastain was some kinda wunnerful, she was. Fell in love at first sight when she played Lil Mizz Kooky in The Help but she was a cucumber kind of customer in the Zero Dark thing, completely different, and what the hell did she do to her boobs? Like Elvis they just left the building!

Now don't you worry, I'm not launching into a big ol review of all the movies we've seen. I just want to say I loved ALL of 'em, for all different reasons.

Life of Pi  *swoons* was the most beautiful movie I think I've ever seen. See it in 3D. Worth it. Suraj Sharma was robbed. He should have been nominated for Best Actor.

Argo? Phenomenal. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Ben Affleck, who I had written off a long time ago, was a big old jar of awesome sauce.

Lincoln was merely OK, probably because I was all hyped up to see it and when you're all hyped up, disappointment is sure to follow. I wanted it to be better, you know? But it wasn't. I actually had a much better time watching Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Well, maybe that's not true. (Yes it is.) Lincoln is worth seeing, for sure – it was just my least favourite of all the movies I've seen so far. But that's just me, being all Honest Abe about it.

Ladies, you want a new stud muffin to admire? Ya gotta see Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained. I know, I know, you're thinking WHO? Hey, I was never a great fan of Monsieur Foxx until Quentin Tarantino got a hold of him but now he's my favourite action hero of all time. Yep, even more than Jason Statham, Matt Damon and Bruce Willis combined. He ROCKED this movie. Sexy, strong, violent – whooo-weeeeeeee, when he rode that horse bareback at the end I was feeling those equine muscles ripple under my tender thighs! This is one mighty fine movie. It's hilarious, it's bloody (I love how bullets explode with freshets of blood!), it's Pulp Fiction meets The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Christoph Waltz, the bad Nazi dude in Inglorious Basterds, was awesome in Django. Just as good as Foxx, but for different reasons. (The tooth on top of the wagon slayed me.)

I haven't seen Les Misérables, Amour or Beasts of the Southern Wild and, because we live in a small town without fancy-pants obscure theatre outlets, chances are slim to none that we'll get a chance. Still, we are having a BLAST seeing all these phenomenal flicks leading up to the big night.

I just wish I could DECIDE!

So tell me, what movie do you think should win?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Allow me to Re-introduce myself ...

Hi! My name is Cathy Olliffe-Webster and I have two last names because I'm a Libra and couldn't make a decision. I'm a fat, middle-aged, screwed up woman who has big dreams but is mired in mediocrity and laziness. I have very little hair on my head but my legs look like they belong on a goat. Despite this I am a sex goddess who managed to snag a hunka burning lust who is eight years younger than me as Husband #2, after Husband #1 disgarded me in favour of a skinny-assed cashier who knew enough to have hair in the politically correct portions of one's anatomy. My youngest son still loves me but I am worried that since he is teetering on the abyss of teenagehood that he will soon abandon me, as his older brother has already done, in favour of hormonally induced necking, pizza-sized hickeys and pierced ear holes big enough for Volkswagens to drive through. I am good at my job, although I used to be great – time and technology are starting to pass me by and I am now one of those office dinosaurs: too young to retire but too old and useless to compete with fecking 12-year-olds who invaded the building like fecking tech-savvy roaches when I wasn't looking. I USED TO BE ONE OF THOSE ROACHES... now I'm the old fart. How the feck did that happen????? Oh, and I say feck a lot.

That's me! Who the feck are you?

If you'd like to reintroduce yourself to the world you can sign up for today's Re-Introduce Myself Blogfest, hosted by Stephen Tremp and his cohorts. Sign up, make the rounds, and make sure you pick up one of those name tags to stick on your boob. (Not that boob, the one on your chest. Geez...)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Fart

While my family may fart with abandon at home, my office is a dignified place where no farting (at least no audible farting) goes on.

So you can imagine my chagrin this morning when I coughed extra hard and blew a substantial toot out my hind end, the kind of toot a tuba player might be proud of.

Oh feck, I thought, hoping against hope that the hack-hack noise of my cough camouflaged the barrumph noise emanating from the vicinity of my chair.

I looked around to see if anyone noticed. All heads were bowed to their computers, noses to the grindstone.

Whew. Looked like the old cough/fart combo fooled 'em once again.

Then I smelled what I had dealt.

Oh feck, feck, feck. I started to laugh, couldn't help it. People lifted their faces to see what I was laughing about but I pretended I wasn't laughing, "don't mind me, just having a seizure," so they went back to work.

Vastly relieved, I decided to pre-empt further embarrassment. I took a cold-and-cough pill and practiced squeezing my butt cheeks together. Squeeze, release, squeeze release, three more, two more.

My sister used to have a horse that farted every time he coughed. She had him put down.

Note to self: don't fart around sister.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The hottest guy on the planet

Wanna know who makes my heart beat faster? Who the hottest guy in the world is (next to my own Dave, of course).

Well he's no boy, I'll tell ya that. No girly boy. No fresh-out-his-diddies with washboard abs. No Zac Efron, Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson, nuh-uh. Not even some of the slightly older beefcakes like Hugh Jackman, Brad Pitt, or Jason Statham. (Ok, so I do have a slight thing for Jason Statham, but it's just a little thing.)

I guess it's just because I'm getting older but it's the real men of the world who stop my clock.

And you wanna know who's stopping that clock right now?

Ready ladies? I'm not kidding, here. This guy knows who he is. He's got more swagger than any George Clooney. He makes my mouth water and my temperature rise.

See if he doesn't do the same for you.

Start running a cold shower because you just might need it ...

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grumpy and Ontario Bloggers Day


I could tear you a new butt hole in the wink of a stinking eye, I could. Without one regret! I would laugh as I was doing it - HAHA - HAHA - HAHA!

I used to like everyone. Now I don't like ANYONE. Especially YOU, so don't even THINK you're special. What's worse, I can't hide my grumpiness anymore. It spews out of me like yesterday's meatloaf. Just for the record, I don't MEAN to be mean. Lately though I just can't help it!

I read on the internet, because the internet is now The Final Word, that perimenopause makes happy women grumpy. Hormones or something.

So I Googled how to get through this grumpiness and found this:

Tips to Control Menopausal Moodiness:

1. Keep our big mouths shut. Take deep breaths and choose how to respond in a rational manner. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh sorry, I find that absolutely hysterical for some reason. My mouth operates like a mousetrap sprung with peanut butter and every obnoxious thing that somebody does is like a mouse deking in for a taste and my open maw slams on them with TEETH of DEATH. *cue evil laugh* Like seriously? If I could control my mouth, I would. I'm thinking duct tape might be my saviour.

2. Choose not to lash out. It is counter-productive and it can be hurtful. YES BUT IT FEELS SO FREAKING GOOD!!!!!!!!

3. Indulge in relaxation modes of choice. Good idea, but they frown on smoking dope in the office.

4. Follow a menopause diet. Oh yeah, like giving up cheesecake will make me less grumpy.

5. Take herbal supplements like chasteberry, vitex and maca. Don't ask me what they are – I have no idea. But I'm thinking, whatever they are, they probably won't work as well as heroin.

6. Kill whoever is pissing you off. Now we're talking!

7. Kill them with energy, efficiency and enthusiasm.

8. Bludgeon them if possible for maximum bloodletting.

9. Dance nekkid over their dead body.

10. Take Vitamin B6, chasteberry and maca to give you lots of energy. Killing people really takes it out of a person!

Oh you know I'm kidding, right? I would never actually do that. Never in a million years. I'm just goofing around! I have morals. I know the difference between right and wrong and some things are just WRONG. 

There's no WAY I would ever dance nekkid!


Map of Ontario - Bracebridge is NOT on this stooopid map because obviously the map was drawn
on a Friday at quitting time, but if you look close, Bracebridge is just south of Huntsville and north of Orillia.
If you look really, really close, (no, close) you might see me waving.

It's Ontario Bloggers Day! Bet you didn't know that, right? Bet you don't have your decorations out or a menu planned or nothing! That's OK - it's a new celebration and I don't think Hallmark has a way to say it best yet.

Ontario Bloggers Day is the brainchild of one of my good blogging buddies, Cindy over at Just North of Wiarton and South of the Checkerboard. She's one of the most enthusiastic bloggers I know, faithfully documenting her busy days with her Crabby Cabbie husband and her Aussie dogs in photos and words. She's met lots of bloggers along the way, including many in Ontario, Canada, and just for fun she thought she'd link us all up. I've had a great time checking out the blogs on Cindy's list so I wanted to share them here – plus, I'd like to add some of my own favourite Ontario blogs. Feel like meeting some great new people? Check 'em out! And tell them Checkerboard Cindy sent ya!

Cindy's Links:

Virna, Aimee, Irma & Bebsy ~ The Craftmates

Kevin ~ Closet Cooking

Carla ~ My 1/2 Dozen Daily

Gill ~ That British Woman

Karen ~ Living In My Valley


Chris ~ Chris Knits in Niagara

Paula ~ At Home With Us

Janet ~ Homemade Simply

1) Heritage Farmgirl ~ the farmgirl files
2) Farm Girl ~ one simple farm girl 2  
(1 & 2: The same Farm Girl with 2 different great blogs).

Eboo ~ My Life Journey 


Connie ~ A Simple Frugal Life in Retirement

Deb ~ Just Cats

Elaine ~ Our Country Cove Crew

Buttons ~ Buttons Thoughts

My Links (in absolutely no particular order and I'm sorry if I missed someone):

Lori at Buzz 27

Ed at Muskoka Blog

Delores at My Feathered Nest

Mike at Silverpixel

Kristine at Maple Lake 365

Sharon Ledwith at I Came. I Saw. I Wrote.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Singing Cat

It's bedtime. Dave's sinking into a comfortable snore and I'm just about asleep when I hear Ben The Cat begin his evening performance.

"Reowwww," he says, tuning up. Bass note 'owww' a little tremulous as his cat larnyx warms to the occasion.

Dave's snore is interrupted for a nano-second, then resumes smoothly.

Ben does this almost every night. As soon as we're in bed and the house is quiet, he sings. Usually just a few mournful wails because he knows better. When we first rescued Ben-Ben from the animal shelter six years ago he used to sing and sing and sing, until Dave got mad and chased him around in his underwear, Dave, not the cat, squirt bottle in hand, cussing and shrieking, not happy until the cat was soaking wet from squirt and Dave was soaking wet with sweat and there wasn't a hell's bells chance that anyone was going to get to bed that night.

It took years of midnight-underwear-squirt training but eventually Ben figured out that we didn't want him reowwwing while we were trying to sleep. For years he didn't make a peep. In the last few months, though, Ben-Ben has rediscovered his voice and has been entertaining us with cataphonic operetta most evenings. Luckily for him – and us – he usually only sings a few bars then closes the curtain, knowing that the squirt-bottle-equipped audience has a short attention span for feline divas.

But sometimes he can't help it. Sometimes the show must go on.

"Reeeeeeoooooooooowwwwwww," he says, gaining momentum.

Dave's snores stop.

Uh-oh, I think.

"Reeeooowwww," says Ben.

I open my eyes to the darkness, listening hard to Dave's breathing, wondering if he has woken up. There's a little hitchy sound, then his deep breathing returns. In a few moments he begins to snore.


Shit. Dave's bound to hear this and he's gonna be cheesed if he has to run around the house with a squirt gun. He's had a long week and he's tired. Still, I imagine Ben-Ben sitting out in the living room, tuxedo on, top hat stuck on his pointy head, singing away to the empty room, and I can't help it, I start to smile.

"Reeeeeeeeooooowwwwww," he sings. "Reeeeooow. Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeoooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww."

The smile has amped up and now I'm pressing back on a giggle, the kind of giggle that wants to be free, and the more I try to suppress the giggle, the funnier everything seems to be.

Dave makes a snorty sound, tosses around a bit, and slings a sleepy arm across my face with a thounk.

Omigawd, I'm practically sitting on my giggle now, it's everything I can do not to laugh, then Ben-Ben lets loose with a high end soprano so pure that, if sang in an opera house, would bring the house down.

And that's it, folks! Here comes the giggles! Big sassy from-the-bowels-of-my-bowels giggles! Ben-Ben hears me and closes the show, knowing conscious humans means squirt guns. I hear him running for cover, little kitty feet skittering across the floor and under the couch. Dave wakes up and wants to know what the feck is going on. He has only heard me laughing, not Ben singing, which makes me laugh harder. "Geez," he says, "can't a guy get any sleep around here?" Grumpy, he goes to the bathroom. My giggling eventually stops and apparently I'm sound asleep by the time Dave gets back to bed. In the morning he tells me he laid awake for an hour afterwards, staring at the ceiling while I snored contentedly.

"I don't know what got into you," he said, "but at least that damn cat was quiet."

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You were pretty, you were

It's like Joni Mitchell once said, "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." True for parking lots and Mother Nature, also true for the vagaries of the human face, so plumped up with youthful dew in the flower of adolescence, yet so unappreciated.

Had a ball over on Facebook the other day. Old friends had posted equally old photos of our younger selves doing ridiculous things and we had a good time kibbitzing back and forth about how silly we were and, more than anything else, how good we looked.

And we did. Look good, that is. Which is funny because I grew up with the absolute conviction that I was plain-bordering-on-ugly. Now I look at photos of my younger self and I could cry at how pretty that teenager was, and how on earth she couldn't know that.

In truth, I remember my teenaged angst. My high school had more than 2,000 students and amidst that crowd were many stand-outs, I mean raving beauties with Farrah Fawcett hair and faces like movie queens. When you walked the lockered halls with stunning young women like that, you knew your place as intrinsically as a 70% average on the math class bell curve.

Thirty-seven years later and the teenaged angst has been replaced by middle-aged angst and the high school beauty queens are battling their own demons, and all that remains are these photographs of a pretty young woman with a really great smile.

I wish I could tell her she didn't have to try so hard.

In the top photo, me and my friend Nicky on a night on the
town, sometime in the mid-1970s. All these photos were taken
by my friend Mark Champion who got a new Polaroid camera for
Christmas. (Thanks Mark!) In this photo, me and my sister Liz in the
living room of our Markham home. That couch was high fashion
at the time!

My Dad, Liz and me in the rec room of our Markham home.
Dad had such great hair! He had refinished the basement
himself, using real tongue-and-groove pine. 

Goofing around on Yonge St. in Toronto with my "date,"
Andrew Megarry. I often wonder what happened to Andrew.
He was a really sweet young man.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Oh feck, I cut all my hair off.

I've been trying to find a sprightly, cheery way to say that but, feck, it's gone, it's all gone. For the good, I suppose but still ...

I was trying to come up with a not-worst photo to show you and inadvertently I came across a photo taken last winter. I was so cute a year ago. My hair was so bouncy! So dark and shiny and fluffy. I cry looking at it, thinking, "I was so adorable and now I'm HIDEOUS."

I look like a cross between a leather-wearing butch lesbian in a biker bar and a polyster-sheathed middle-aged matron in the Bingo Barn's doughnut department. I'm not joking.

Yesterday one of the salesmen at my work came up to my desk, leaned in really close and said, "WHAT did you DO to your HAIR?"

Other people have said, "Oh, you got your hair cut!" And I've said, "yeah," and they've walked away because their mamas always told them "if you can't say anything nice, clamp your big mouth shut and RUN."

But I had to cut it. I was at "that" point – that place in life where I just couldn't colour my hair one more time.

My hair is naturally dark brown; at least it was until a hairdresser discovered grey hairs on my head when I was only 18. By the time I was 35 I was colouring my hair all the time to keep the greys at bay. For a brief period in my early 40s I let the grey grow out but with my long hair I looked like a witch, so I coloured it again and have been colouring it ever since.

With my hair so dark and the grey so light, it seemed like I was getting skunk-head within days of getting the colour done. There was a photo of me and the gang on a fishing trip. I was looking at it and asked Dave who the person with the big bald spot on the back of her head was. "You," he said, "but it's not a bald spot, it's just your roots."

"GEEZ LOUISE," I said, mortified. "You mean I was walking around looking like that?" He nodded. "Dude, I love you, but you have to TELL me when I got a skunk sitting on my head!"

Another problem with dying your hair brown is the dark pigment accumulates in your hair until it's as black as the inside of a bowling ball and, I swear this is true, you look like an Italian grandmother. It's not a flattering look. Even on Italian grandmothers. That's why they cook so good, so nobody will talk about their godawful hair.

I decided to try dying it blonde a while back, thinking it would blend in with the grey hair better, but I still had more dark hair than grey, so a minute after the bleach job, I got dark roots. SO STUPID. I was getting dark roots with blonde hair and white roots with brown hair! It was driving me CRAZY!

Then I remembered Diary of a Square-Toothed Girl, a blogger buddy named Lisa, who was also prematurely grey, but a lot braver than me. At the tender age of 32 she went to a salon and asked them to chop it all off.

She wrote, "The hair I had been fighting against for so long was gone. I had never felt so liberated from my body. Usually, it was something I fought against. Frizzy hair begging to be flat-ironed, tiny crow's feet needing moisturizer, nails and toes that need polish--the list could go on and on...there is just a lot of upkeep. And one huge item on the list was gone."

I didn't want to deal with roots growing out so I did what Lisa did. I went to the hairdresser's and had them cut it all off, about a half an inch long all over my head.

Eventually Lisa's hair grew out and now she's got this sassy, beautiful hair, complete with grey streaks. That's what I want to have happen, too. 

A year from now I'm hoping I won't look like a matronly biker dyke anymore. Just skunk-headless Cathy with a few grey streaks.

In the meantime, I'm hideous. Thought you should know. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

It was a dark and stormy night...

See, I startle easy.

Yesterday I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and Dave walked by and said something to me, something inane like, "how's it going, eh?" and I shrieked. Scared him. Scared myself. Both of us crapped our drawers, and for what? Nothing. Other than I startle easy. I guess that's why I don't like balloons. I mean, they look so innocent, all colourful and happy, but then, BAM, they BURST in an EXPLOSION of BRRAAPPP, and I'm crapping my drawers again.

I don't mind those heavy duty helium-filled Happy Birthday balloons you get at the dollar store because they're made of military-grade tarp material and don't burst so much as just fizzle away. In fact I bought three of them for Dave's birthday back on December 1. Balloon 1 was killed off my by our son Sam on December 2 who sucked all the helium out of it and talked like Donald Duck for a hilarious couple of minutes. He wanted to do the same thing to Balloon 2 and Balloon 3 but I wouldn't let him, giving him a lecture on not ruining things right away and the evils of helium-inhalation.

A week later I sucked the helium out of Balloon 2. (Classic case of do what I say, not what I do.)

Balloon 3 has been floating around the house ever since, bobbing near the Christmas tree for a while, hanging in various bedrooms, blocking the TV and stuff. I think I dusted it on Christmas Eve. A month had gone by and it had pretty much become part of the scenery and we forgot about it.

Last night we were in bed and Dave said, "What the hell's that?"

His tone was that of someone about to be eaten in a horror flick.

"What?" I shrieked. "Where?"

"There!" He pointed to the end of the bed.

I looked. Something was moving at the level of the bed. Something dark, something round and oogery, bumping across the bed, something monstrous, something ...

"AAAAACCCK!" I screamed, crapping my drawers.

"For feck's sake," Dave said, "it's that stupid balloon!"

Most of the helium had finally dissipated and instead of clinging to the ceiling, it was now hovering around the house at bed level.

"Kill it!" I ordered.

Dave got out of bed and bravely wrestled the balloon to the ground, popping and tearing it and tossing it in the laundry basket where it wouldn't be able to hurt anybody, anymore. My hero.