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.

Swan Song

That’s it. I’m not dating anymore.
My heart is too soft and squishy still, and I just can’t deal. I don’t know what I need to do to get myself back in the head space I need to be in to play the game, but offering myself up like this is sure as hell not it.
Maybe focusing on my home improvement projects, my friends, and my family is a good start.
Quality time with my dog, who just wants to run around and be happy, could go a long way towards keeping me content, and keeping the world in perspective.
I’m supposed to be at a party right now, and eventually I will have to tear myself away due to obligation, but I am so not in that space. Despite all sense of reason, I just want to be spooning, and pouring out waves of love where they are needed most, and feeling like I can make a positive impact.
This is the exact impulse that keeps getting me into trouble. I want to fix it, and love it, and take care of it all, and then there isn’t much left for me.
Theoretically, it’s early enough that this should be easy, but it feels pretty shitty all the same.

Is The Whole World Sleeping In?

Sundays have a particularly solitary quality. It might be because I’m an early riser, and when I’m padding around the neighbourhood with whichever dog happens to be in my life this week, thinking about coffee, and trying to guess how the weather will unfold, there is never anyone else around.
Not in my High Park haven. Not here in glorious Yorkville. Especially not in Paris, and certainly not at King and River street. Even the homeless were sleeping in.
I imagine people in their beds. Lovers enjoying the first few rays of sun, wound up and naked between crisp, white sheets. People who have partied too much, marinating in beer-scented sweat, with their heads shoved under a pillow to keep out the light, families with little ones who have piled in for an early morning snuggle before cartoons and French toast.
Me, I woke up in a borrowed bed to the urgent nudging of a cold, wet nose. I blinked, and the liquid brown eyes of a pretty blonde blinked back. A kiss. Sloppy. Then a paw, strong and insistent on my arm. Any dreams I would try to remember have now slipped away. I stretch and feel the empty space beside me, and wonder for a moment why I keep myself tucked away on one side of the bed when I have so much room to sprawl. Old habits…
I throw on a loose-fitting dress, and my glasses. Out we go for our morning constitutional. I’m very naked beneath the dress, but there’s nobody else to worry about. It’s just me and my always-smiling, sweet-smelling girl dog.
I’m confused today, and more than a little sad. Brain is fighting hard to come back, but we are vigilant. Heart is a bit sore, and has created an interesting reaction in throat. A tightness. Gut feels empty and a bit raw. It’s going to be another hot day, but I crave an over-sized, holy sweater, a cottage surrounded by trees, and a stack of good books.
Brain is our protector. We’re a little worried that we’ve sent her away now, because sometimes she’s right. There’s no going back, so we’ll have to rely on Gut, but sometimes Gut gets confused by Heart. Brain is always able to pick things apart to the point of annihilation, which every now and then is a good thing.
I bought it hook, line, and sinker. When something arrives in a whirlwind, it often spins off the same way, with the same velocity. If people seem like they are saying things out loud to hear what those words sound like when they dance in the world, it’s because that is exactly what they are doing.
If Brain were here, she would remind us that we had given up putting stock into words, and point out (gently) that we rely now on action and follow through. We’ve been that way for years.
A little bit of heartbreak is a set-back, but we have to dust off and get back into the game.
Today is Tiki day. Despite the encroaching rain, I’m taking out my Hawaiian dress, my fake hibiscus hair flower, and my red lipstick to once again promote and raise funds for the Burlesque Festival I’ve helped to organize. I will smile and flirt and hand out flyers, sell beer, invite people to come and celebrate with us, make conversation, weave in and out of crowds of happy gay people celebrating their gay-ness. I will flaunt my freckles, laugh like I mean it, and probably come home drunk.
First I will brunch with a lovely gal who makes me feel warm and happy all over.
Brunch is the greatest weekend pleasure. I will know that it’s time to invite Brain back home when I find the perfect brunch companion, who isn’t a sister friend, and who loves that ritual just as much as I do.
I always think of it as a sleepy, public celebration of the love that was made the night before. Look at us. Look at our rumpled hair and our sleepy eyes, and the way we can’t stop reaching across the table to touch each other a little bit. Look at how even though the sports (world, life) section of the paper is dividing us, you can still see the rays of love shooting from one to the other. After we eat your bacon, and drink your coffee, and listen to your kids squealing and screaming, we’re going home to get tangled in the sheets one more time before venturing forth into the world of weekend goodness.

I like my eggs over easy, and I don’t care who knows it.

Reading You Loud and Clear

I don’t need to have a functioning brain to understand what’s going on. Sometimes, things are clear enough that a person who is only functioning with the heart can sort it all out.
People, it’s important to take your cues off those around you, and respond accordingly, remembering always that we teach people how to treat us.

If I re-assess my summer goals, they look something like this:

1. Have fun
2. Refuel the love tank
3. Rediscover “me” time
4. Build a beautiful home

I need to remember rule number one. If it feels bad, slap some aloe vera on it. If that doesn’t work, cover up and head indoors. Easy as pie.

When I was a little girl, I used to spend hours listening to music, sprawled out on a pile of cushions, with my dad’s giant headphones on. I ordered a futon today for a quirky little corner in the Fortress which will now become my nap/reading/music/guest nook. I’m going to pile it with pillows and make it a very appealing place to curl up for an afternoon nap, because the space is otherwise un-usable.

Fortress of Solitude Rule #2: Music is key

To survive the next week I’m going to need some twine, garbage bags, cold beer, flowers to plant, friends to drop in, Thai take-out, and a lot of spare time. By this time next week, we’re drinking on my terrace.

This evening was hard because I was craving the domestic. It would have been perfect to curl up on the couch with someone I love, a cold beer, some home-made popcorn, and a stack of movies.

I’ll get there again. All in good time.

Notice of Eviction

Ok brain. Thank you for kicking in at 12:00 am. That was pretty funny, to take an entire day off, and then keep me up all night, and have me in knots all day today.
I pulled down a post because you can’t decide whether or not it was too personal. I think the point of the blog is to not edit like that, brain.
I really feel like you’re screwing things up for me right now. Heart and gut are supposed to be doing all the work these days, and you keep sticking your brainy nose in, and confusing everything. And for an organ that’s supposed to be so smart, I really feel like you’re making some stupid decisions. In fact, I don’t think you should be making any decisions at all right now, unless they are completely inane and rudimentary. We had an agreement that after those big, life-altering decisions that led us here, and to Paris, you would just go on sabbatical, and let us enjoy this summer of freedom. Heart, gut, and I were really looking forward to fueling up the love tank, and enjoying summer dresses and pretty sandals.
Now we have to take action. We’re evicting you. We realize that this could lead to big trouble for the rest of us (especially liver, and well, let’s face it any of those gals below the waist) but we don’t care. We were doing you a favour by taking charge while you kicked back and relaxed, but you’re so damn stubborn! The rest of us have agreed to let you come back in the fall to assess any progress or damage we’ve made over the next couple of months, but for now you’ll have to settle for just watching. We know how hard that will be for you.
While any upcoming job interviews or mathematical equations will surely be a challenge, we are particularly enthusiastic about allowing tongue and nose make all of the decisions about food for the summer, because they don’t care how big ass is, AND YES WE REALIZE NOSE ISN’T AN ORGAN! We’re also looking forward to having skin, eyes, and soul (yes, that’s right, soul) take over whipping the apartment into shape.
And get this – skin is teaming up with uterus to make any and all dating decisions.
Now, now. Screaming won’t change our mind.

Men at Work Overhead

A saucy young window washer repelled off the side of my building today and dropped down in front of me like Spiderman.
“Hmmmm….” I thought. “This is an interesting way to start the day – men raining down from the sky with a wink and a nod.”
That was when I decided to shut off my brain for the entire day. It’s been working incredibly well. Even when I found out my contractor hasn’t been in the apartment all week, and not a single thing has been done. I began to fret momentarily, but then reminded myself that my brain was off, and therefore I couldn’t worry or get anxious about the renovations that just aren’t happening.
I toured around the city today with Megan in tow. Megan is my cousin’s beautiful yellow lab puppy, and she and I are hanging out this week in her lovely Yorkville condo while her dads are in Scotland. We went to meetings and ran work errands, and it was lovely and hot. Everyone wanted to say hello to her. She’s incredibly cute.
After I dropped her off, I popped by the office, and decided to walk because it was so lovely and steamy outside. I’ve been making a habit of smiling as much as I can to people on the street. I’ve decided to officially launch a “Gracious Living” movement, whereby I embrace nostalgia and a slower pace, and really try to feel connected with people. I’m generally pretty good at this, but I want to encourage others to try it too.
So, I’m walking, and smiling, and stopping in the flower markets, and strangers are striking up conversation, and I’m exchanging pleasantries, and helping them pick out bouquets for their wives. I got an iced coffee from a great little place on Dupont called Ezra’s Pound, where the lovely Max gave me the scoop on the very handsome Ezra, who is apparently in Tofino, and apparently common-law with kids. I hit Shopper’s Drug Mart and picked out a delightful shade of orange polish that will give me the Popsicle Toes I’ve been craving. Now I’m going to take a nap, because I’ve spent a couple of hours doing actual work, but nothing that required my brain.
I may try to carry this through the weekend.
I wanted to buy new peonies because the beautiful ones my aunt left for me from her garden are starting to wilt, but they were $20 a bouquet! They really are so exquisite though.
The Fortress of Solitude will always have fresh flowers. That is the first rule. Hmmm…if my brain weren’t shut off, I might take this moment to think up a list of fun rules for the Fortress. Maybe some more will pop into my head while I’m napping.

Tonight I’m busting out that new lilac sun dress. Look out Yorkville. It’s a simple, sunny day here in Schnooville!

Fortress of Solitude

I think Superman was on to something.

Today, I feel that maybe it’s a bad idea for me to be dating anyone. After recently moving away from so much hurt, it’s still so close to the surface, and I can feel my old sensitivities being irritated all the time. For four years, I was in hot pursuit. I was adoring, attentive, I lavished love, and support, and so much care, and in turn spent much of my time waiting, and yearning, and wanting. I felt invisible, unwanted, unattractive, and largely unhappy. Every aspect of our relationship was on his terms so much of the time; when we went out, when we behaved like a couple, when we had sex. I felt I was always begging him to put down his work, or his emotional walls and live in the world with me. Mostly I felt really, really lonely which is a very strange way to feel when you are living with someone. I couldn’t wait or want anymore, and so that was it.
If I’m going to put my toes in the water of love right now it has to be very sweet, and perhaps I just need too much…maybe that water is just too deep while I still feel like a sinker.
When I love, that person becomes the centre of the universe for me. Everything in my life takes a backseat, and I think I’m realizing now that this is exactly what I’ve been doing wrong. Fine. I can get my head around that.
But you know, if I’m going to feel like loving you, I want your time, and your attention. I want to really be adored this time. I’m good for it. I’ll give it back, I swear, but I just don’t want to ever have to fight for it again. I just can’t do it.
If I’m going to plant a seed, it needs to be watered and fed this time. I can’t make something grow in a drought. I tried to make that happen. It’s a choking, tragic exercise in horticulture.
So, here’s what I’m going to do…
My crazy apartment will slowly become my fortress of solitude. I will build it full of the wisdom of my ancestors, treasured memories from my home planet, beautiful light-catching objects, and clean, crisp lines. Every now and again I may fly in a Lois Lane, to catch a glimpse of what my innermost world looks like, but I will accept and understand with a super-sized heart like this, a normal relationship might not be in the stars.

Weekend…What Weekend?

I lost my dog for four hours on Saturday, and it was the greatest hysteria I have ever known. It was a bad judgment call on my part. I left him in the yard, which wasn’t totally secure. He had spent lots of time there through the week, and had been just fine. Saturday he decided to fly the coop. It was sheer hell. I had to recruit my ex, which was the last thing I wanted to do, and panic ensued as we all went hunting for him. My friends were even awesome enough to borrow a friend’s car and do a High Park stake out, using their own pup as a make-shift bloodhound. Finally, someone in the neighbourhood called to say they got my phone number from animal services, and that her daughter had found Arthur wandering on my street. We scooped him up, and he was completely unscathed. In fact, I thought he looked a little smug. It was a tearful reunion for both parents, but I have never been so scared in all my life.
It started to make me wonder…
I am one of the most nurturing, care-taking people I know. This is not horn-tooting, it’s just simple fact. I’m built for love, and when I have someone or something to love, then I’m really in my element. The love I feel for my dog (which is more than I can get my head around sometimes) is a mere fraction of the love I would feel for a child. Now, I know I would one day like to have a baby, but I realized on Saturday that once you have a kid you must never really sleep properly again. How could you relax? How do parents stop themselves from spiraling into complete and utter hysteria? How do they not project that fear onto their children? I’m nearly hysterical just thinking about it. Do I have the chops to really take all that on if I can’t even manage to keep a dog in the yard???
Between the trauma of loosing my dog, my weekend was book-ended by a rapturous fever, which resulted in about 17 hours of sleep each night on Friday and Saturday. Sunday, my eyes are glittering like a consumptive, my lips are swollen and raw, and I feel almost completely numb. It’s like the weekend served me a great big slap to slow me down and have me take stock.
What am I taking stock of, exactly? My foothold in reality has felt a bit slippery, that’s for sure. It’s been impossible to focus on anything, and I think it’s the panic I’m feeling over not having a home. Still. If my renos aren’t finished soon, I’m going to totally loose it. All I want is my own bed, and a clean apartment, with a well stocked fridge. I don’t feel like that’s too much to ask for.
Fortunately, this week I’m house/dog sitting for my cousin and his partner at their amazing, clean, un-cluttered condo. It’s like a boutique hotel compared to what I’m used to. I’ll be purging a hell of a lot more once I’m back in my own place, because I know how sweet it is to live without crap everywhere. It’s very Parisian.
God, Paris feels like a far away dream these days.
This entry could only be more whiny if I included a high pitched squealing audio track.
I promise not to write again unless it’s more interesting, and less self-pitying.
Perhaps a little more sexy wouldn’t hurt either.

Scampi + Full Moon = Crazy

I’m back in sync with the moon. It took a while, but here we are, and now I have to be careful about when I decide to host dinner parties because it becomes a Like Water For Chocolate extravaganza.
I vow to use this power for good and not evil.
I have asked the universe for joy and love and laughter in abundance. As it turns out, I already have a lot of that. My friends are the greatest force in my world. They inspire me to be a better person, and they make my heart want to burst. I can cook for hours and create a ridiculous amount of food, and still want to send THEM a thank you email for being in my life, and giving me such a lovely, crazy family to cook for.
It makes me so happy to feed them, and give them a place to gather and laugh, and share battle stories.
Tonight, I think everything I cooked was infused with the love I feel for my friends.
One day, I hope that I have a huge table that easily seats a dozen people, and we can gather with kids and dogs, and I can spend two days preparing a glorious spread that will make each and every one of them know that they have given me such joy, and made me feel so strong in the moments that I needed it most.
I want to be the crazy auntie to their children, and I want the haven that they can escape to when they want out of the city. I want noble dogs that they can romp with, or curl up next to by the fire, and I want the most comfortable beds where they can lay their heads and rest. I want the fiercest fire pit with the most voracious playing of acoustic guitar, and raucous warbling of classic tunes that nobody really knows all the lyrics to.
I want a bed and breakfast where only the people I love are invited, and there is no such thing as off-season.
I also want someone fabulous to run it with me, who can make a mean breakfast, and who knows all the chords to my favourite songs, so to speak.
Can you hear me universe?


I brought Arthur to my client’s office yesterday. She’s out of town, and told me he was most welcome to keep me company. He hates traveling on the subway, but I can tell that he loves going everywhere with me, because he smiles up at me a lot and likes to sit right on top of my feet.
We woke to the exciting arrival of the roofers, here to fix my leaking bedroom ceiling, and I figured having him with me would be better for him than leaving him at home to all the ruckus. Am I ever glad I brought him along!
We came home at around 4:00 to find the entire apartment filled with thick, blue smoke from the tarring going on overhead. Because there was a gaping hole in the ceiling, all of the smoke had found its way into the apartment, and it was like a four-alarm fire. Thankfully, I left my patio doors open, so that helped a little, but my landlady freaked when she came upstairs, and dispatched immediately for an industrial fan. The night before last, at an impromptu bbq at my friend Oonagh’s, I wistfully told the gathering that all I wanted was for all of my clothes to smell like campfire. Be careful what you wish for, I suppose.
All is well now. The smoke has been cleared out, and though whatever they were doing on the outside of the roof totally burned the insulation on the inside, there seems to be no real lasting damage. I chalk it up to one more exciting way to claim my apartment.
I’m claiming my space in all kinds of exciting ways, and I so look forward to having my own complete bathroom, and spacious bedroom, and fully stocked kitchen. I can’t wait to have a dinner party here, and thank my friends properly in my home for all of their love and support. I can’t wait to unpack!
I’m building lots of love into the living room right now, that’s for sure. It’s where I sleep, and dream, and write, and work, and….hmm…play. It’s one very, very happy corner of my chaotic home.
So, if the apartment is a metaphor for my inner state of being, I’ve got one small corner that is functioning beautifully, which makes me realize that I don’t need much to survive. The rest is like a chrysalis, biding its time until it can unfurl into something truly magnificent. Or maybe the small corner IS my chrysalis, where I am cocooning, and dissolving into primordial goo, only to resurface soon with seriously kick-ass wings and antennae that don’t miss a damn thing.

The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire…