I find it offensive

. . . offensive, that instagram has such a low opinion of me. 

The new instagram ads are currently the bane of my existence. The below is a sampling of the total garbage Instagram has targeted me with. 

1: Crocs - are you effing kidding me (see croc-a-doodle-eww)
2: Yellow Tail - sangria no less - finally suspicions about the dregs from leftover bottles being compiled into one vile vintage are confirmed.
3: shed-defender - i'm a cat person. fuck off.
4: weetabix - I'm gluten free. Kidding, but wheat makes me ultra gassy. Also: we da cyclists we da wtf? 

Instagram I loved you. every time i posted a pic of my little creations, then got a 'like' was akin to opening a wee pressie. Joy! Now - nightmares. Croc-wearing, yellow tail vomiting, dog hair gagging, convulsive farting nightmares. Sort out your algorithms for pete's sake. I WILL report the crap out of you. 

 

 

Happy New Year or whatever . . . .

. . . . . now back to me.

I have a milestone creeping up.

birthday-party-79.jpg

Friends have been checking in with husband and myself wondering what I'm doing for my birthday. 
The answer is: nothing (god willing).

Pay attention:
I want to be left alone but want to get lots of presents. Good ones. Not garbage. However it's been drawn to my attention, unless there's some sort of gathering the present thing may not happen. So what's more important? Some damn peace and quiet or 'things'? Good Question.

I've recommended a tasteful dinner for two at a restaurant I'm about 10 years late in visiting (not for lack of annually hinting and/or suggesting). We'll see what happens. 

The real test is: if I get what I want, people actually read my blog. It's a win win.

 

 

Nosebleeds 101

As middle age looms menacingly in front of me, at least I can take comfort in one thing. My most successful life hack.

Nosebleeds: Saddled with this burden since early childhood, I've had to staunch my fair share of bloody noses. From 4 hour gushers via both nostrils to 1 minute teasers, I've tackled them all. I've had them in the comfort of my home, at my desk at work and once in a Notting Hill alleyway when a snogging session turned horrifying in the sniff of a nose. Nosebleeds are the worst. And by worst, I mean the a c t u a l WORST. They can be scary, are always uncomfortable and are messy to boot.

A nasty nosebleed can make easy work of a box of Kleenex. Damp cool rags, tilting your head back, tilting your head forward, pinching the bridge of your nose. Garbage. All of it. I wish my Mom had thought of this when I was 7, life would have been a lot easier. 

One word: Tampons. This should be a no-brainer - but in my experience it is not. So fellow nosebleed-ers this is what you do.

  1. Get yourself a tampon with applicator (I find these work better). 
  2. Discard the applicator
  3. Cut the tampon into 3 equal pieces (conveniently nostril sized)
  4. Voila.

I ALWAYS have a few chopped up tampons on hand - as nosebleeds are unpredictable. At the ripe old age of 39, I have figured out how to handle this particular nuisance. Tampax has been as convenient for my nostrils as my other parts. So next time you have a gusher, instead of swapping out blood soaked tissues every few seconds and having to put your life on hold for however long - shove a little blob of cotton into your nostril (be gentle) and you can continue, making dinner or finishing that Excel spreadsheet. Plus, with less activity going on around your delicate nose, I wager the gushing will cease sooner. You're welcome.

 

Who wants diarrhea!

A word of caution dear readers: These are the worst.

Don't get me wrong, they're delicious but they are trying to kill you. At reasonable doses you'll get explosive bubbles for 24+ hours. At high levels (the whole bag) there's a chance you could die.

After some over-sharing and subsequent sleuthing my bff & I determined our mutual discomfort was due to Philippine Brand dried mangoes. Naturally delicious my ass - literally. These suckers contain a delightful preservative called sodium metabisulfite

Now you're probably thinking. It's just the mango causing awful gas and queasiness. True, dried fruit IS a total diarrhetic. But in the small quantity bff and I ate - not so much. 

Masquerading as "Healthy" and "Naturally Delicious" I would advise avoiding these at all cost - And that cost is $14.00 at Cost Co. 

 

 

 

Total Bull.

Just to continue beating this dead horse. Really?

Edible Cupcakes.

Various Tents and Events
We begin at satisfactory.

Half decent selection.
Half decent network.
That's just adequate.

speaking of asses . . .

waspsting.jpg

"SON OF A  . . ." I spat as I brushed a curiously lethargic wasp off my ankle. The insect was flung out of the way and under our little cafe table. It continued to crawl around on the ground showing zero interest in flying.

"Did it sting you?" 

"No."

Boyfriend went to teach the wasp a lesson - by way of killing it -  

"Leave it alone, it's fine." I said. If I'm nothing else I'm a lover of living things. Cough* 

We watched wasp for a bit as it continued to drag its lazy thorax up our table leg. Gradually we lost interest - coincidently right around the time our sandwiches arrived. We happily ate for a bit until as if looking for more sandwich, I peeked under the table.

"Where'd it go?"

Boyfriend shrugged - he looked under the table also, but the wasp had disappeared. At least from view.

"It's probably making a home in my purse." I said as I sipped my coffee. Within a minute I was on my feet, flailing around and screaming bloody murder. The wasp casually dropped out of my skirt. 

"GODDAMNIT! It just stung me in the ass!" 

Clutching my right cheek I began hobbling around in circles. The table next to us ignored me beautifully despite the holy scene I was making. Finally Boyfriend thoughtfully asked if I was okay. Shaking my fist at the wasp who was still casually strolling between cafe tables - Boyfriend pulled me indoors.

"Ow! - Ow! - Ow!" I shrieked with every step, dragging my scene inside Boyfriend quickly ushered me into the bathroom. 

"It's stinger is still inside my dress it keeps stinging me!" 

"Just calm down and be still."

"Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!" I continued wailing while trying to tear off my dress. 

I stood in the bathroom in my underwear while Boyfriend inspected the stabbing.

"Yup, that's where he got you." he said helpfully, poking at my bottom - "There's no stinger you're fine." Using quick thinking - in the fashion of adventure movies the world over - he began sucking out the venom.

"It's not a snake bite." I commented as he looked up, lips firmly planted on my ass. (where they belong) 

He began inspecting my dress while I uselessly focussed on the pain. He didn't find the stinger so he slipped my dress on over my head and packed up our gear. Still loudly complaining as we left the cafe, Boyfriend turned to me.

"I told you I should've killed it."

put an egg on it.

i swear to god.

If I see one more bowl of pasta (udon, vermicelli or fettuccini - it doesn't matter) with a GD fried egg on top I am going to lose it. The "amazing" of the food world; you can't swing a cat on social media without seeing an otherwise delightful looking meal topped off with a quivering blob of yellow. It seems that the current trend, because radishes still haven't quite completely caught on, are runny-ass eggs. Gross with a capital Gag. 

Sadly this abhorrent movement isn't limited to noodles. Burgers, stir-fry, soups and pizza have all hopped aboard this revolting band wagon. I don't care if it's quail, free-range or whatever, get it off my asparagus.

I've never had a problem going to restaurants and ordering anything I want off the menu. I am not a fussy eater. With breakfasts it's expected that the customer will state "how they want their eggs". At the latest infuriatingly bespoke watering hole, the chemistry of the dish is thrown off if the egg is anything but drippy. (heaving*) I am finding this limiting and disgusting. 

When will it end? What's next? Come on radishes - try harder!

Amazing Jar

I said it before and I'll say it again. If you don't like vocal fry and the word amazing The Bachelor is not the show for you. 

Jimmy Kimmel guest-bachelored on the show this past week and the unimaginable occurred. 

At long last. Jimmy Kimmel (and the shows producers?) took it upon themselves to tackle the amazing epidemic (see past blog post). People should be punished for unimaginative and flagrant use of the word amazing. Whether it be lashings or a monetary fine there must be consequences.  The Bachelor chose the more prime-time acceptable route and introduced a swear-jar directed at the overuse of amazing throughout the episode. 

I almost cried - and then called all my friends. I may have been more excited about this than my engagement.

Ah-MAZING - Ah, Spare me.

amaze verb \ə-ˈmāz\amazedamaz·ing

Hands down the most overused adjective in the past 2 years. I'm finding it increasingly grating. All I have to hear is that breath of air before the stalled "ah" and my eye begins twitching. "AH - MAAAZING!" - the national battle cry of 20-30 something women. Used to praise anything from a balled up pair of socks to skydiving. There's got to be a barometer for its use.

 photo 1

photo 1

Things that aren't amazing:

  • your friend's homemade chutney - it's palatable and/or delicious.
  • a kitten pushing a shopping cart that carries another kitten - it's adorable and/or ridiculous.
  • a 40 year old flying down a slip and slide - it's hilarious and/or dangerous

Things that are amazing:

  • The Pyramids
  • Space travel (can also be filed under terrifying)
  • Surviving a cardiac arrest in a deserted parking-lot at the age of 35. (can also be filed under dumb luck)

Using a combination of shame and eye-rolls, I have successfully conditioned one friend (culprit) to curb her amazing usage - at least when she's around me.

Here's a list of synonyms to help break the cycle.

  • surprising
  • astonishing
  • astounding
  • shocking
  • startling
  • extraordinary
  • wonderful
  • marvelous
  • tremendous
  • remarkable
  • stunning  (runs a close second to amazing)
  • incredible (runs a close third to amazing)

Start listening/watching for the A-word in conversation, Instagram comments, Facebook status and tweets - you'll be sharing in my agony in no time.

Next up: Hashtags - Living with an addiction.

Only the Lonely?

Up until about 5 years ago I didn't think anything of being an only child. Actually I still don't think much of it. What's the big deal? Sure it's slightly uncommon, but what's with all of the negative stereotypes associated with only children? Blah blah blah, spoiled and self centred - I get that  . . .  in theory. But the pity? I'm increasingly surprised to hear pity in peoples voices when they hear I'm an only child. Q: "Don't you wish you had a sibling growing up?" A: "Not especially . . . no." blinking*

This recently tainted perspective was driven home after I read a Globe and Mail article by Lauren Sandler. Being "self centred", I desperatly want to read her book One and Only. Not everyone thinks they have the best parents or upbringing, but I think mine was pretty damn great and I believe part of the reason was that I am an only child.

siiiiiiigh*

Sure, I was either very well planned or a colossal mistake. In the mid 70's, after nine years of marriage my folks decided to have a baby. Lucky for everyone I was a girl. As the person who sent me an ExpressPost envelope including the Lauren Sandler article and a handful of Baby-Bels, my mother continues to dote on me (even at age 37). She was a born mother, but only ever wanted ONE. My folks were the only couple in their group of friends who had a child. They were undoubtably  those annoying people who took their daughter everywhere. Fortunately I was far better behaved then than I am now. Those were still the days of "seen and not heard". Fine by me. I always had a supply of coloring books or Hot Wheels to keep me entertained should the "adult conversation" extend beyond my elementary ears.

I used to have a friend that complained that I had never been to the end of the island that we lived on. I used to answer: "No, but I've been on safari." That shut him up. As Lauren Sandler mentions, the finacial ease is significant with only one. My parents could afford to globe-trot and take me with them. Plus they knew:

a. I'd be well behaved b. I'd appreciate the experience c. It wasn't going to bankrupt them.

Sadly it's not 1984 and any unequipped moron can have as many kids as they bloody well please. I don't know if I'll have one, three or zero children. All I know is, only children are people too . . . except smarter, more independent and better looking.

Blobs vs. Heels

As with Crocs, (gagging*) Tevas and the like serve a purpose. That purpose is to be hidden in nature and used on slippery rocky terrain. I maintain that these visually loathsome footwear choices are unnecessary in urban settings. Case in point - last weekend: Walking uphill, I overtook two women (roughly my age) wearing generic rubbery tready blobby things on their feet while I was wearing heels and a pacemaker. And there you have it.

The Defence rests.

 Not Tevas.

Not Tevas.

Allergy Watch 2013

I've already had a cacophony of sneezes and snots this year. What the hell? How does that entitle me to receive more? Fury! So in the spirit of my current misery I recall a fonder(?) time: A time where I also had debilitating allergies. Picture it: London 2005. The season was Spring, and the theme was crankiness. Please enjoy the following excerpt from one of my highly popular publications, distributed at the time. left: London Plane "fruit" (spare me) - right: Cottonwood fluff, more innocent looking, almost as lethal.

It’s come to my attention that there must be a cache of mail for me somewhere in the incompetent depths of the Royal Mail Headquarters.  Seriously, there’s a room full to the brim with letters from friends and family addressed to Zenija Esmits Great Guildford St London SE1 0ES. And all the Royal Mail employees (read: thieving bastards) frolic in it like it’s a ball-room at chuck-e-cheese.

 I was talking to Clare this afternoon and conversation led to the postal service, and figured that she has sent waaaaaay more than the single postcard I’ve received from her. Now, I’m thrilled with the postcard, but I’m pretty T’oed that there are bits of mail not reaching me. I love mail. So I intend to launch a campaign against the Fucking Royal Mail (sorry, but I’m seriously pissed off) In fact, I think they should think about attaching that prefix to their title. It would help account for their continued ineptitude.

Not only does the Royal Mail seriously blow, but the post office seriously blows as well. The dregs of society frequent the place. I wonder sometimes if the wealthy and the: not strung out on smack ever send letters? Because looking at the ‘clientele’ in these places makes me think that I’m the only sober person who mails stuff.  The public businesses such as banks, post and government offices are the filthiest smears on society that I’ve ever had the displeasure to visit. They cater to the emotionally stunted that work there and the equally emotionally stunted that require their services.  I try not to touch the surfaces. Everything is encased in contaminated plexi and the tellers whether they be post or financial are all assholes. I do not generalize.

And while we’re lingering on the subject of things that tick me off, because god knows, the list is never-ending, here’s another one to add to the archive. It all happened one sunny day in May.

I don’t know what they are, and frankly I don’t care. There’s probably a botanical name for them. I highly doubt however that it’s as colorful as the one I’ve christened them with. Blinding Maple Shards. They’re the pesky little razor sharp pokey bits that form innocent looking puffballs that dangle off the Maple branches. Innocent that is, until the wind picks up and they explode into a cloud of airborne metal filings. It should be mandatory to harvest these things off the damn trees come late April. Or alternatively, chop the trees lining The Embankment down.

It was the most painful walk home EVER! Every nanosecond another fly-away razor sharp piece of fluff attacked my eyes mercilessly. I am soooo very bloodshot right now and my eyes sting like I rubbed them with fibreglass.

Just did some research… turns out what I thought was a particularly lethal maple is actually, the ‘London  Plane’ tree. Here’s what the botanists have to say about it. The crap that almost killed me is from the ‘flowers’ (deceptively innocent term) .The ‘flowers’ are dense spherical heads comprised of millions of prickles. They are wind pollinated. No shit. Now I can look forward to London Plane trees growing out of my eyes.

Tune in again for the continuation of Allergy Attack of 2005.

They Sneak Me Here, They Sneak Me There.

And like the Scarlet pimpernel, (the weed, not the play) sneakers are popping up everywhere and with varieties ranging from persistent to invasive. Whether functional or frivolous, sneakers are highly adaptable and there's indeed something for everyone. continue reading . . . . .