In which Nutty will never be a pretty pretty princess.

A while ago I blamed the stress of an audition for my utterly failing at missing a day of Nano Poblano.

The audition was for Once Upon a Mattress, and if you’re currently giving that title the side-eye, get your mind out of the gutter because it’s just a retelling of The Princess and the Pea.

Mind out of the gutter, I said!

The show is a hoot. There’s the requisite princess and the obligatory pea, but there’s also a heavily infantilized prince, his overbearing narcissist mother, a mute king, and an entire realm of people who are antsy because none of them are allowed to tie the knot before Jocasta’s Queen Aggravain’s precious widdle baby boy is wed to a princess she deems worthy.

The latest princess to show up – after 13 other failures – is the queen’s absolute worst nightmare. She’s spunky, she’s snarky, she doesn’t take shit from anyone, and she’s determined to pass whatever egregiously unjust test Aggravain has schemed up to try and prove she’s not princess enough for the heir to the throne.

I fucking love this princess.
They had me read for her.
I had a chance at being this awesome princess.
Casting notifications went out Thursday.
I am not the princess.

The last time I was a princess was 27 years ago. Had I known my one and only shot at being onstage royalty would occur at the ripe old age of eight, I might have taken the time to savor it more. Alas, I was eight, and thought the world would always be my oyster.

Which, granted, it kind of still is, it’s just the pearls don’t always come from where you might expect, and some of them are a bit wonky and maybe a little marked up and scratched from having been dropped repeatedly and gnawed on by the dog. You still wind up with an interesting necklace in the end, it just doesn’t remotely resemble any of the really perfect-looking ones you’ve seen in stores and you have to learn to be okay with that.

The pearl I received from this audition is not smooth and round and fit for a princess.
Instead it arrived in the shape of a knocked-up lady-in-waiting whose boyfriend is kind of a prick.

Meet Lady Larken. She and her knightly beau Sir Harry did a little spontaneous cookin’ during a sunset tryst, and now she’s got a bun in the oven, making her in desperate need of either a shotgun wedding or a way to hightail it out of town before everyone learns of her disgrace.

But with no one able to marry until the prince does, that shotgun wedding’s not looking so possible.

So Harry, being a semi-decent guy, goes princess hunting to help speed things along and returns with the aforementioned royal badass that I don’t get to play. But not before blaming the couple’s pregnancy predicament entirely on Larken for her “moment of weakness”. See? Kind of a prick.

Larken then proceeds to:
– mistake Princess Winnifred for a servant and be mortified about it
– have a fight with Harry
– unsuccessfully try to run away
– unsuccessfully try to run away again, this time dressed as a boy with the help of the king, the court jester and the minstrel
– have another fight with Harry, who has been unconcernedly passing the time since their first fight by dancing with a pretty French girl whose entire English vocabulary consists of the word “yes”

– have a heart to heart with the princess (who also thinks this is all Larken’s fault, because if Harry didn’t try any funny business with her when he was traveling with her back to the kingdom then obviously he’s a stand up guy who would never knock a gal up one minute and then go get jiggy with a little French trollop the next – note: this is the only thing I don’t like about Winnifred)
– go back to Harry and have one of the most unsatisfying reconciliations imaginable.

So basically, while everyone else at court is drinking and dancing and celebrating Winnifred – or reviling her, if you’re a bitchy queen – I get to be belittled, drag luggage around fruitlessly, and weep.

I mean, okay yeah, I’m still the third most important female character after Winnifred and the queen, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

But sometimes you just wanna be a goddamn princess.

Liquid banana bread and the disappearance of everything good in this world.

Every year I wait for the local drugstore to bring in its annual quota of holiday teas. The particular brand they stock every winter (and only ever bring in for the winter) offers flavors like Almond Biscotti and Carrot Cake and Black Forest Cupcake, and the best part is that the teas actually live up to their names when brewed, which is something that can be hit or miss for novelty store-bought sachets.

Anyway, there’s this one tea called Banana Cinnamon Spice which is basically banana bread in a cup and I love it and adore it and buy twenty billion boxes of it every December.

Every December except this one.

My liquid banana bread is nowhere to be found.

Because anything Nutty loves has to be taken away. It’s the law. Nutty likes it? Not allowed. Discontinue that shit. Nutty wants to buy it? Oooh, sorry, we don’t carry that product at this location anymore; have you tried Ontario or Nova Scotia?

This is why I stockpile. Nutty Hubby used to laugh at me for hoarding products I was afraid would be taken away too soon to that great big retail space in the sky, but then he began to see firsthand why it was necessary.

There was the piña colada flavored drink I loved that used to be sold in every convenience store in the city. First my regular store stopped carrying it, then my alternates, then even the little specialty hole-in-the-wall places that sold shit like bacon and celery soda quit stocking it. Nutty Hubby managed to find me two last bottles of it in a store by his work, and then that was that.

I am a curse on menus. If I like a restaurant dish enough to order it more than once, they’ll either change it beyond recognition or stop offering it altogether. I have been the killing blow for an unacceptable number of Nutty Hubby’s and my favorite appetizers. I have wiped some of the best entrees in the city out of existence. I am become death, destroyer of unique and flavorful side dishes.

One time I thought I lucked out. One of my favorite salmon dishes got a makeover, and for once I absolutely loved everything they changed.

They changed it back almost immediately.

I have been the harbinger of doom for countless hair products, bath products, makeup items, and candy flavors.

And now my tea is gone.

I had a minor panic attack last night at the liquor store thinking my most prized holiday beer (Whistler Brewing’s Winter Dunkel, if anyone was curious) had peaced out on me too, but luckily they had just changed the packaging a bit – and by “a bit” I mean it now comes in little dwarf bottle four-packs instead of the massive single bottles you used to be able to use as a defensive weapon in the event that anybody tried to take them away from you – so it wasn’t immediately recognizable. But I found it in the end.

Sadly, change of any kind has usually signaled the beginning of the end where it involves most beverages I have loved and lost, so I guess I’d better drink every bottle of this year’s haul as if it were my last. Because for all I know, it might be.

Every so often, though, miracles do happen. Remember how I’m a hoarder?

Guess what I found buried at the back of my tea cupboard when I got home? (Yes, I have a tea cupboard, don’t fucking judge me.)

Paranoid Hoarder Nutty to the rescue!

This needed celebrating. With tea.

I put the kettle on. I set out my favorite mug. The water bubbled; the Nut poured; the tea steeped. And then    a little milk, a little sugar, a little Evan Williams, and…ahhh, liquid banana perfection.


…what? You don’t put whiskey in your tea?

Pfft. More for me, then.

Christmas decor and the stuff of nightbears.

The Nut House has officially been Noëlified. Lights, baubles, action!

As I was putting up the lights, I discovered that the small string that customarily goes around our equally small bedroom window has finally decked its last hall, so to speak, so I stopped by the hardware store to grab a new one. While I was there, I figured it couldn’t hurt to grab a nice new long set to replace the several ancient shorter ones I’d cobbled together in past holiday seasons to go around our large living room window.

It was a good idea. Trouble was, I’d forgotten that I’d already had the same good idea last year (this is why you take full inventory of things before running out to buy stuff), making me now the proud owner of two nice long sets of lights but only one large living room window.

Ah, yes, it’s all coming back to me now. How I triumphantly cannibalized the ratty old small strings for spare bulbs with which to replace all the burnt out ones keeping my artificial tree from lighting up.

There were only five non-working bulbs on the tree this year. A vast improvement over last year’s…oh, I don’t know…ALL OF THEM. Still, the tree always insists on having its little quirks. Even with all the faulty bulbs replaced, the bottom half stubbornly refused to light up for a good minute.

Then I either breathed on it in a way it liked or else the phrase “goddammit you needy fucking tree WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?” holds some kind of arcane power when shouted at faux evergreens because the tree suddenly decided it was glow time and I didn’t need to throttle it after all.

Meanwhile, I’m fairly certain my elderly recluse of a next door neighbor uses the appearance of my wreath to determine when to put up his own, because every year without fail his goes up on the door exactly one day after mine.  Which I find kind of sweet, except, just like every year, there’s this small wayward piece of faded curling ribbon dangling from the bottom of his that is entirely out of place and drives me batty.

Is Neighbor Hermit blind? Does he not own scissors? I want so badly to snip it that little eyesore ribbon off. I feel like I’d be doing him a favor. Except for all I know he likes it that way or purposely leaves it there for some other reason, and who am I to mess with his status quo? It’s the holidays. There will be peace and tolerance and goodwill to all, even if I have to go quietly mad to make it happen.

Actually, I lied. There will be peace and tolerance and goodwill to everyone except this fucking bear:

I had to buy a replacement headlight bulb over the weekend and I saw this monstrosity threatening Nutty Hubby and I from the window of Home Depot as we passed by on our way to Canadian Tire.

I’m sure whoever designed this plush robotic nightmarebear was trying to make it look like he wants a hug, but if that’s their idea of a hug then I feel really bad for all their friends and loved ones because this bear looks more like it’s ready to fucking rumble.

Even Nutty Hubby, lover of all things horror, stopped in his tracks and was like, “Jesus, do these people hate children?”

Hush little baby, don’t you cry
Beary’s gonna punch you right in the eye
And if that doesn’t make you sleep
Beary’s gonna kill your family!

Better act fast, friends. Only 20 shopping days left to get your very own Robo Murder Bear before Christmas!

I’m glad to be with you, here at the end of all things.

Well, here we are at the end of November.

Yep, we’re here all right.

I was hoping I’d have some good news or bad news or big news or any news for my last post of the month so I could end Nano Poblano with a bang, but I realized after a whole day of half-hearted brainstorming that there’s really nothing I can currently write that will live up to to the hype of yesterday’s Big Bang of Supreme Facepalmery.

That said, today was one of those days where I just felt really good for no particular reason, so in honor of the thirtieth day of the month and this rare window of optimism, here are thirty things I’m currently grateful for:

1. Nutty Hubby, for being so fucking awesome and making me feel fucking awesome by association.

2. My incredibly understanding boss, who knows I can’t stand my job and is backing my escape plan every step of the way.

3. The animal shelter, for giving me the opportunity to do some of the most fulfilling and meaningful work of my life, a few hours at a time.

4. The new kitty who climbed right up into my lap today and made herself at home even though it was her first day in a strange, scary place and she had no reason to trust me.

5. Kitties in general.

6. Kitty headbutts.

7. Kitty chin skritches.

8. Li’l kitty toe beans.

9. Rats and other assorted small animals that make me go  “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” with giddy joy from their sheer adorableness.

10. I had to go in for a Pap test today. That wasn’t particularly fantastic in itself, but now I don’t have to go for another one for three years. So yay for that. (BTW I know that was a weird jump in subject matter from rats to Paps, but to be fair, “Oh rats!” is usually my first reaction upon finding out I’m due for a Pap.)

11. Doctors who make sure the speculum is warm so it doesn’t feel like having an icicle shoved up your hoo-ha.

12. The Elimination Diet of Sadness has helped identify several foods that were sneakily making me feel shitty.

13. The Elimination Diet of Sadness has helped exonerate several foods that I thought were making me feel shitty but weren’t.

14. The Elimination Diet of Sadness has somehow made me learn to love sweet potatoes, which I previously couldn’t stand.

15. The Elimination Diet of Sadness is almost over.

16. Cast iron pans, for making everything they touch extra delicious.

17. The grocery store having fresh shrimp again instead of the tasteless “previously frozen” excuse for shrimp they carry when fresh isn’t available. (Yes, I’m a seafood snob. So sue me.)

18. Aurora golden gala apples. Best. Apples. Ever. (I might be an apple snob too.)

19. A hot cup of tea.

20. Warm fuzzy socks.

21. Microwaveable heat packs.

22. Memory foam pillows.

23. Sleeping in on the weekend.

24. Itty bitty birds chirping happy birdie songs outside my window.

25. Finally catching up on my reading and discovering several spectacularly written I-have-to-work-in-three-hours-but-I-can’t-put-this-down new favorites to add to my library.

26. I start Christmas-ifying the apartment tomorrow. MY SOUL IS READY.

27. The smell of holiday baking.

28. The television of holiday baking (Holiday Baking Championship and Christmas Cookie Challenge, anyone?).

29. Holiday music in the key of Bing Crosby.

30. The fucking awesome people who inexplicably still stop by to read this sad excuse for a blog even after it spends occasional eons lying dormant in a pool of its own filth and self-pity. I don’t fully understand why you keep coming back, but I love you for it, you magnificent weirdos.

And with that, Nano Poblano draws to a close for another year. Happy December, my dears. I hope it brings each and every one of you joy, laughter, and at least 31 more things to be grateful for.

And once this bloody diet is done, I hope it delivers me five times my weight in eggnog to suck down my greedy gullet.

This is Nano Nutty, signing off. I promise I’ll try not to be such a stranger around here.

It’s a boy! It’s a girl! It’s an $8,000,000 disaster!

Gender reveal parties are stupid.

There, I said it.

Granted, as someone who would rather die than create and incubate a small new human which would then repay me by tearing its way into the world via my delicate lady bits, I may be ever so slightly biased.

I (hypothetically) understand why finding out the gender of a baby would be exciting and something worth sharing, I just don’t get why it has to be such a circus. “We have happy news! Come stand around at our house for two hours while we string you along before finally letting you watch us lift a rabbit out of a hat holding a carrot which when cut open will reveal vegetable weevils that have been dyed either blue or pink!”

It’s like on all those cooking competition shows where Gordon Ramsay stalls for twenty minutes before actually announcing whose dish won them a tiny advantage in the next round and you just want to strangle him.

“There were many impressive contenders in the battle to fertilize Heather’s egg. But there can only be one winner. Which sperm had the drive and motivation to rise to the occasion? Was it an X or a Y chromosome of Dan’s that found the perfect pairing with Heather’s X? It’s time to find out. And so…without any further ado…I am so very pleased to announce…that the winner…of the battle to knock Heather up…the gender that I am about to reveal…the child that will be growing up under its lucky parents’ roof for the next 18 years…after an incredible performance during Heather and Dan’s successful act of procreative love…please join me in congratulating this wonderful husband and wife as they welcome…”

Like, enough already. What’s wrong with just, y’know, telling your friends in passing and letting everyone get on with their lives? Sure, have a small gathering if you’re the happy hostess type and you want to blurt the joyful news out en masse and in person. Just don’t make all your invitees wait for the next ice age before you pop your confetti-filled balloon or slice your overpriced layer cake down the middle. And if your guest list absolutely must comprise more than a hundred people, spring for a JumboTron so the people in the back can actually see what the fuck is going on.

Also, try not to set anything on fire.

know it’s just not a baby-related event without guns and highly volatile explosives, but do your best to rein yourself in.

That kid’s gonna cost you enough without an eight million dollar fine on top of it all.

You get a kick in the ass! And you get a kick in the ass!

It’s one of those days at work. The kind where everything goes wrong for the dumbest of reasons and you want to murder everyone even more than usual, which if we’re being honest is already a lot.

However, as murder is generally frowned upon in the workplace (even when your coworkers are as inept as mine? yes, even then, dang it) I’ll have to settle for giving everyone a big ol’ kick in the ass instead.

The manager who I constantly have to chase down for missing paperwork and who still can’t spell my four letter name correctly after seven years? He gets a kick in the ass.

The coworker who after five years still doesn’t understand how warranty exchanges work and paid a massive bill for a rotable part outright when she should have waited for a credit memo, just like the NINE BILLION OTHER TIMES WE HAVE EXCHANGED PARTS UNDER WARRANTY? She gets a kick in the ass.

The manager who blamed me for “letting” my dumb shit coworker pay said massive bill, as if I’m supposed to be looking over her shoulder at all times making sure she doesn’t do anything stupid? She gets a kick in the ass.

The contractor who only just now, in November, has decided to dispute his wages for the period of February through June, causing me to have to go back through our records and audit his hours for those five months? You better believe he gets a kick in the ass.

The IT guy walking by and telling me to smile because I look too frowny while I go through and add up five months’ worth of scrawled time sheets? Kick + ass = he gets it.

When I worked retail, I once had a customer tell me not to wish him a nice day. When I asked why, he said, “I’ve made other plans.”

If that grumpy old man were a workplace, it would be mine. I swear this dump and the people in it are determined not to let one single iota of joy or job satisfaction run free within their domain.

So they all get a kick in the ass.

You’ll float too.

You’d think a place like Vancouver, known for its rain, would have made more of an effort to improve its drainage systems over the years. But every year it’s the same routine; waterlogged bike lanes, swampy sidewalks, and lakes where streets should be. The City pretends to care and tells you to report these things when you see them, but then fuck-all gets done about it.

Well, that’s not completely true. There’s always the Adopt a Catch Basin program!

That’s right folks, you too could sign up to spend your free time digging disentegrating leaves, discarded food wrappers and slimy cigarette butts out of our Atlantean city’s storm drain grates for absolutely no compensation and minimal recognition!

It’ll be fun! Bring the kids! Bring the toy boat!

When it comes to teaching a child how to give back to the community, Emily Lefebvre thinks it’s best to start early.

That’s why the 37-year-old enlisted in Vancouver’s Adopt a Catch Basin — a city-sponsored community program that encourages residents to keep a storm drain unclogged.

“We thought it would be something fun to do with our three-year-old daughter — just teach her a little bit about community spirit,” Lefebvre told CBC News.

Forget community spirit; think what she’ll learn about community buoyancy! After all, we all float down here!

Elf Alone: Lost in New York

Yesterday a bunch of us watched Elf with a friend who’d never seen it before.

(Yes, I have friends. I know, I’m surprised too.)

I love watching movies with people who are experiencing them for the first time. Will they love it? Will they hate it? Will they find it scary or boring or hilarious or overrated or beautiful? Will they lose their shit giggling at the same things you do or will they die laughing at something you never really noticed before?

Those are my favorite moments: when your friend points out or laughs uncontrollably at something you might not have picked up on or found funny on your own; the moments that really let you see the movie through new eyes.

There were a lot of those with Elf, but by far the most memorable was when Buddy is preparing for Santa’s arrival at the department store and dumps a bucket of LEGO out onto the floor.

Those of us who’ve seen the film know the fantastic sculpture-in-progress Buddy has in store for us two cuts later, but Roslyn, totally in the dark and mystified, blurted out, “Wh-why is he throwing LEGO on the floor?” When the answer presented itself a few seconds later, she burst into peals of laughter.

“Oh my god,” she gasped. “For a minute I thought he was pulling some kind of Home Alone shit with the LEGO and I was like, ‘Why would you try to hurt Santa? I thought you loved him!'”

Of course that set the rest of us off, because the mental image of Buddy going all Kevin McCallister trap happy on his beloved boss in red was too much to handle, and the rest of Buddy’s decorating spree was drowned out by a discussion of just how insane and potentially awesome an Elf-ed up version of Home Alone would be.

For the record, I would totally pay to see that movie.