Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Need Some ID: Show Me Your Dog

This evening I set out on my nightly walk with the Beast. A daily ritual, I try to find a different purpose for our trot around town.

Tonight, I felt lucky. I felt really lucky. The Beast agreed, so we set off to find some lottery tickets. A constant number player, I often purchase tickets. I am convinced I will win. Most people sing with the shampoo bottle in the shower; I practice calling the lottery office. If I was an addict, gambling would be it - this is to say I always feel lucky.

We lumbered to the convenience store, the cool air crisp on our faces and the Beast blowing through piles of leaves. We had a destination, we needed to see the Milk Man.

The first thing the Newf and I did when we moved to Toronto was to find a convenience store. Being small-town, I avoid chains like the plague, always looking for a friendly independent establishment. A buddy-buddy business is always best; it provides friendly chit chat and service is always better when you are a consistent, loyal customer.

It didn't take us long to find our store of choice. One walk, on a warm spring day, found us our man. There, sitting in a lawn chair, stretched out in the sun, and smoking a cigar was the owner of Sun Milk Convenience. The man, later to be dubbed the Milk Man, looked up from his cigar and went nuts. "Ohhhhhhhhh! What a big puppy! Oh, you a big boy, you a big boy!" he excitedly exclaimed as he outright kissed the dog.

This guy was weird; we were sold.

Every warm day thereafter you could find the Milk Man, sunning himself next to his umbrella, cigar in hand. The umbrella doesn't offer much protection from the sun, the Milk Man always sits next to the contraption. Instead, this pole offers the perfect place to tie up your pooch. Somedays there will be a bunch of dogs, in differing shapes and sizes, all tied to the same pole. Lord help us when they all decide to run.

Every day we pass this little store we have a quick chat and the Beast gets a little French love.

So, it was a given that I would stop here for our lottery binge. Being late October it was chilly I had an oversized sweatshirt, warm vest (plaid of course) and reindeer toque plunked on top of my wet hair. I was dressed appropriately for poop scooping. The Beast was left, tied up to the umbrella pole, and I waited for my chance at the counter.

When I got up to the counter my cheery conversation and ticket request was shot down. "You have ID?" the Milk Man said, calmly but firmly.

"Oh, no, I am sorry, I don't!"

"Oh, no ticket then;" the Milk Man responded, face flat and hands motioning to reiterate that he was closed for business to minors.

"Oh dear, I come by all the time," I replied, hoping to avoid the walk back home (I really felt lucky). I wracked my brain for something recognizable, "I have the big black dog!"

The Milk Man did not look impressed. He held his ground.

The line was growing in the small store, so I shot a smile his way and went out to get the Beast. Now, our dog is a good one; he doesn't eat the Jos Louis on the bottom rack nor does he jump on people. He is friendly, but he is BIG. When you get him into a small store, filled with people, he just doesn't belong. Normally I wouldn't bring the Beast in a store, especially one that had food, but this was an emergency.

The Milk Man took one look and lit up, "Oh! Oh, oh, OH!" He knew who we were, and he knew he'd seen my ID before.

The Beast was escorted back outside and I took my place at the back of the line. When I reached the counter the Milk Man put his hand on my shoulder, head down. "How old are you?" he asked.

"I'm twenty-six," I said hesitantly, wondering if this was a trick question.

The Milk Man burst out laughing. Face red and cheeks full he yelled (loud enough he made the woman behind me jump), "Oh! You look SO YOUNG!"

I bought my lottery tickets. I love the Milk Man.

Do you have any commercial loyalties? Any favourite stores, brand name or family run?

Enjoying my youth,


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Small Things: Ads CAN Make you Smile

I saw this ad yesterday while streaming some Mantracker online.

I love it. Not only is it clever but the faucet is pretty cool too. Problem is, if I owned it I would spend hours turning it on and off, just because it was fun.

The two-button water-saving toilet entertained me for days when we moved into our current place.

Small things, simple things.


It gets me right at ". . . even make a pizza pie!"

Do ads and commercials ever make you smile? What's your favourite?

Amused by ads,


Dead, But HOW Dead?

I saw a dead guy the other day. I've been thinking about him (or her, let's be fair) ever since.

I was out walking the Beast when he decided to have the mother of all shits; it was a double bagger. As I looked up, I caught sight of a shiny black Suburban pull into the funeral home across the road.

Two people got out and opened the back doors. Assuming they were dropping the casket off I paused for a second; it seemed like the right thing to do.

What followed was not a casket but a bona fed body. It was on a stretcher in a black body bag, complete with feet poking up like circus tents. The body seemed to be a long one (aka, he took up the full stretcher) so I'm assuming this was a man. Either way, it was a thin body.

For those of you who think I'm completely nuts, let me justify my fascination with advising you that my university studies revolved around dead bodies. Skeletons, forensics and human behaviour were my subjects of choice (maybe a little English was thrown in).

It was such an odd sight, this body fresh from the hospital. I certainly wasn't expecting anything other than a pine box (possibly mahogany, considering the neighbourhood). I've seen lots of bodies, fresh and foul, during my own employment at a funeral home. Thing is, I always knew the story behind them.

I don't know this body's story. Where did they come from? Why did they die?

Tonight I was walking the pooch again and saw a crowd milling around the same funeral home - likely the family and friends of the deceased.

I didn't stick around but I still wonder, what is the story?

Debating the dead,


Monday, October 25, 2010

Music Monday: Surviving the Election

Good morning!

IF you are living in Ontario, Canada, and IF you are over the age of 18 today is election day! All over the province people are lining up, ready to vote for the best candidate to run their village, town or village.

Today is municipal election day.

I love election day. I enjoy chatting with people at the polling stations and I especially love spending the evening on my couch with a bag of carrots in one hand and the remote in the other. Granted, the bag of carrots is relatively new (a big thanks to Veggie & Fruit Induction '10) and the remote is useless (the channel is not to be changed until the results are in) but it is always fun to see how things end up.

I've been lucky to live in an exciting riding; Canadian politicians can be so boring.

With all the big boys battling things out, I have what I believe to be a well-suited song.

Originally requested by a Mr. Sylvester Stallone, this song was written to replace Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust". Stallone could not get permission for the Queen tune so he had to switch gears.

Amazingly popular in the eighties (I guess there wasn't much going on) this video is wicked. How do you not love watching Mr. T crack someone, especially Sylvester Stallone?

Please, enjoy and rock out to "Eye of the Tiger" performed by Survivor.

At first the song-writer, a Mr. Jim Peterik, was going to name the song "Survival" (did you get the tie to the band name?). Eventually he smartened up and ended up with a hit.

What are your plans for today? Are you voting in an election? Do you have strong political views?

Marking my ballot,


Friday, October 22, 2010

Tossed: Tomato Soup

Tis the season for tomato soup.

As part of Veggie & Fruit Induction '10 I have rid my house of all chocolates and cakes. All of my pizzas and pastas and anything delicious is gone. Well, Newf usually brings home the good stuff but that is another story.

Point is, when I get hungry there isn't much to do but eat something healthy. Sometimes I wait awhile, hoping a pizza will magically appear. Sometimes I settle for a PB&J. Tonight, I cracked a can of tomato soup.

This tasty red stuff is something of childhood memories. Most would associate it with cold days of snow, tobogganing and grilled cheese.

Tomato soup does not remind me of grilled cheese, snow or sledding. Tomato soup reminds me of the fact that the plants in the Galleria Mall in London, Ontario are real. That's right, they have real plants baby.

Back when I was a youngster, perhaps 12 or 13 my mother decided to take my younger siblings and I shopping. She loaded us three into her car and off we went, 45 minutes to the Galleria, which in that day was quite the mall. Now, not so much.

As a country kid, mall trips were special things.

Anyways, we were happily bouncing around when I suddenly felt a gurgle in my stomach. The gurgle was not a good one, my stomach was not happy. Stuck in the middle of traffic (which was never my mother's forte) I knew what was about to happen and had to warn my mother. "Mom, I'm going to throw up!"

Panic took over. My mom was not going to get out of traffic. She could not pull over because some mother f#*k@r had taken two cars out and rendered traffic to a stand still.

My mother responded, very matter-of-factly, "Lindsay, just try to keep it on the floor mat!"

Well, my aim did not fail me that day. No, not at all. I hit the floor mat of her backseat with full force. Undigested tomato soup and crackers spewed from my mouth like a bad word. My siblings were crawling up the walls of the car and my mother managed to pull over.

The floor mat went directly into a garbage can.

Feeling much better, the four of us continued on our way to the mall, hoping the projectile puke was a one shot deal.

Hope was all we would have. I threw up three more times, all in the mall. Once in a garbage can and twice in real potted plants. I remember being impressed as I pushed my fingers into the cool dirt surrounding the plant. Here I thought I was simply defacing some plastic plant.

Real plants rule.

That day the mall had class and some (free) extra fertilization. I had a day I will never forget.

Tis the season for tomato soup. Enjoy!

Never quite normal,


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Back in Black, For Now

Good evening my electronic locals!

Did you miss me?

Well, regardless of your love (or lack thereof) I am back, for now. In my absence a few things happened. Let's recap:

1.) Thanksgiving: can you say YUM? While my turkey day was turkey-free (I blame the Parentals who were too busy living a life of adventure to cook me a turkey) it was fabulous. I ordered pizza.

2.) Grannie got the staples from her foot removed and I was there for the whole thing. I even have pictures! If you missed it, you can read all about her broken bone here. After being told she was not to shower or walk on it, the first thing she did was take a shower. I can hardly blame her I suppose, but, Grannie, please leave the sledgehammer at home.

3.) The Beast got some bad news. Being a large dog he is prone to dysplasia and it seems the D has effected the L; his elbow that is. The poor guy is limping around and he is still growing! He is still young and so we are hopeful he may grow out of it if we keep him quiet and consistently exercise the joint. It could go horribly wrong and we could end up putting him down early on but I just don't think so. The Beast is a dog set in his ways and right now, his ways include living. Dude is on a diet to keep him lean and we enjoy short walks. No more jaunts at the beach or slices of 'za on Friday nights. Well, maybe half a slice is okay - he's a big boy and he deserves to have a little fun.

4.) I won a MASSIVE giveaway. My darling friend has a wonderful crafty blog and Etsy store. Recently she hosted a giveaway and I won the first prize of a $75 gift certificate! Since I love her stuff, it won't last long. Word on the street has it she is making some new products - I can't wait! I'll post pictures of my purchases as I get them!

5.) I finished my mysterious project I had asked for your assistance a couple of weeks ago and I finally put your words to use! A big THANK YOU for all the responses! Look for my work later in the week!

6.) I have started the colourful journey of attempting to add more fruits and veggies to my diet. There is a wonderful foodie blogger who has offered to provide me tips on healthy eating. The caveat, I have to do one tip before I get another. How is that for punishment??!? This week I have to drink (or eat?) a smoothie. Problem is, it has a banana in it. I don't do banana's folks. I promise to let you know how the fruity feast goes.

All in all, it has been a busy week!

What have you been up to these past few weeks? Any particular events or accomplishments to speak of?

Working with the wicked,


Monday, October 18, 2010

Music Monday: Pretty Woman

Just a quick song to let you know I am still alive.

I am alive.

More to follow this week! My mysterious project is almost completed and I have so much to tell you all! Everything from disgruntled grannies to perfect pictures, tucked turkeys to brash brides, and the undefeated Toronto Maple Leafs.

In the meantime, something to keep you skipping on the sunny side of the street.

This song tells the story of a pretty woman walking by. He yearns for her and wonders if, despite her beauty, she is as lonely like he is. At the last minute she turns back and joins him.

Please enjoy the smash hit Oh Pretty Woman by Mr. Roy Orbison.

The title of this titty twister was inspired by Mr. Orbison's wife, Claudette. As Claudette announced she was going out Mr. Orbison asked if she had enough money. Orbison's co-writer interrupted, "A pretty woman never needs any money."

How sweet and delectably disgusting.

Enjoy your week friends!

Daring to be different,


Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Best Day of the Year: It Isn't Christmas

Friends, it is a glorious day. One to be remembered and noted in history books.

Today is the first regular season hockey game. Be still my beating heart.

I am a hockey fan. A hardcore hockey fan. I may not know all the rules or the players' statistics but I can jump and yell with the best of them. I wear my team's colours with pride and a piece of me dies with the end of the playoff season.

But now, today, that piece has had new life breathed back into it. As I write this the arena is rearing to go. GO LEAFS GO!

Do you watch hockey? What colour is your blood?

Bleeding blue and white,


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Maybe She's Crazy: A Musical Note

You know what people? I like music. I really, really like music. I like music SO much I just made a big decision, based on music.

Music has the ability to change my mood in a heartbeat, increase productivity and make a party fabulous. It is a must have at the gym, a necessary luxury at work and an easy way to create your image.

Over the years I've dabbled in instruments, ranging from pianos to trombones, clarinets to accordions, drums to guitars.

When my life derails, music is the thing that picks me up and pushes me to go forward.

This is why, when I hit university I vowed to build my music collection and fill my bedroom with band posters - bands that I knew and loved, bands that I deserved to show my love for.

I got to work early and by the end of my first year at Trent University I had weaselled my way into a group of music junkies, started dating a hot DJ and more than doubled my music collection. I had my albums organized according to use - serious projects and papers needed serious albums (enter Our Lady Peace and The Doors), gym going requires energy (um, hello Dance Mix '92-'95) and party going requires some pump up tunes (how I love French Affair) while applying makeup and sipping wine.

As the years went on my roommates all turned into DJs or writers of some sort. One loved folk, the other wrote rap rhymes, there was an 80's guy and that hot DJ was still kicking around. Somehow, with all these different tastes three of the four boys created a band in our basement. The 80's guy taught me the basics on a bass guitar (I have manly fingers, what can I say).

Our house was known for blasting move in music out our windows with massive amps during student move-in week. We hosted coffee houses, keg parties and had more musical acts sleep on our couches than I can remember. I even partied on the tour bus with Default after a hard night at work. My music collection grew to unimaginable proportions and I was happy as a clam. I was musical.

Are you a pop girl? A rocker chick? Maybe a morose metal head, whatever you are the music you listen to defines you. Even if all you do is rock to the radio, that tells me something about you.

So there I was, recently graduated, exploring the new (and real) world; all with my music backing me.

Then my apartment exploded and I lost it all (a common theme). My music was lost and I felt like a part of me had gone missing too. The boys and groups I had partied with had scattered as everyone does after university and I was lost.

I spent months trying to find my footing. Then, the other day, it hit me. I realized I really didn't like me, I didn't like who I had become. My music was gone and I was miserable.

I made the decision that to get over this whole apartment fire I needed to surround myself with music. I needed that familiar friend pushing me to go forward. I had to look, where in my life was music lacking? At the gym? Nope, my MP3 player is stocked. At home? Certainly not. Work? Not so easy. There is no music at work, not a note.

Not only was there no music at work there was only yelling. How could I continue to work at a place that is missing music, in melodies or metaphorical form? There was no success at that place, only unpleasantness.

So, I quit. Yes, here I sit, technically unemployed (I prefer the title temporary housewife). I don't know what kind of job I want but I know I want music. I want at least a little radio on the desk or a little love during the day.

My job was wholly unpleasant for a number of reasons. I worked soft collections for a major financial institution. I hate fighting with people and even more, I hate repossessing houses. I hated taking away the homes when the feeling was so fresh in my mind. The straw that broke the camel's back? NO MUSIC. They could have at least given me a radio to perk me up as my client was smashing me down.

So I guess my question is: are you hiring? Will you let me play some music? I promise to be quiet and I have a huge selection to choose from! If you are really nice, I'll even let you control remote (now that's love).

Musically motivated,


Monday, October 4, 2010

Please Help: Answer a Difficult Question

Dear friends,

I have a mind melding favour to ask of you. At the moment I am working on a large project that will *hopefully* get me where I want to go.

This is completely of my own volition but I would like to ask for your wise opinion.

What vulnerabilities do you think children face today? What do you worry your children will have to face in the coming years?

It could be a single emotion, a thought or a specific experience. Maybe it is something you yourself suffered as a child, maybe it is something you have watched another child suffer. Whatever it is, I would like to know about it.

I am hoping to draw attention to the severe difficulties (emphasis on the Western world) our precious little people face. I am not a parent so your additional input would be an invaluable point of view.

My project will be disclosed in the end, but your attachment to any ideas will be kept completely confidential if you so request. Feel free to email me LinnieDeLuxe (at) gmail (dot) com, drop me a Tweet or a Facebook message. I'll be looking for your responses.

Please, parents, friends and people of all sorts, pass on your ideas. Children are such innocent creatures, waiting for instruction on how to live life. They are our most valuable resource and I want to know what makes you worry.

This is not an easy question but if you have an idea, it would be most appreciated.

Working hard to get where I want to go,


Music Monday: Let's Rock that Lobster!

Good morning my lovelies!

How was your weekend?

My weekend was spent watching rowing races and drinking in my university parking lot. It was Homecoming weekend after all, and Trent University knows how to celebrate in style.

Trent does not have a football team, so instead they throw a big bash meant to raise funds for our first class rowing team. The incredibly buff boys and girls wandering around in spandex certainly helps the cause. Anyways, the parking lot next to the water is cordoned off and the beer starts to flow at noon. The Newf, the Beast and I all met friends for an afternoon filled with too much beer and long lost laughs.

It is the largest one day rowing event in North America.

Officially named, Head of the Trent (heh, you dirty minds) the student friendly acronym is HOTT. Over at Trent, a notoriously green school, we all work hard for our HOTT status.

As a shout-out to my long-term buddies I have a song so good we named our soccer team after it.

To begin your week, enjoy a dance around the room to The B52's "Rock Lobster":

While the song includes a lot of fictional animals (dog-fish, anyone?) a rock lobster is an actual creature (also known as spiny lobsters or langoustine).

This spiny creature is actually worlds apart from "true" lobsters. These water-logged, musical wonders aren't even closely related to the lobsters that so often end up on our plates. Rock lobsters have very long, thick and spiny antennae and lack any sort of claws (although the female rock variety have a small set of claws on their fifth pair of legs, go girls go).

True lobsters (think Sebastian in "The Little Mermaid") have smaller antennae and claws on the first three sets of legs, the first pair of claws being really BIG.

That's enough for the biology lesson today, folks. It should be a fantastic week but only time will tell.


Loving the langoustine,