The Greatest Political Bollywood love affair of all

It’s the day after the American elections and Canada is hot on its heels trying to get a piece of their neighbor’s presidential victory pie. It figures though, the most politically exciting thing to happen to us in the recent past was in September when Parti Québécois  (a small bunch of French crackpots who want Quebec to get the hell out of Canada) won a minority.

But that hoopla lasted all of 36 hours because no one really cares someone from the party got shot, resulting in everyone forgetting about Parti Québécois’s mandate and their existence.

As my friend Amanda pointed out, we don`t get this excited for our own elections. However every four years, throw in a superpower country with a black President and a Mormon governor battling to run it, and America`s northern neighbors all of a sudden become fierce political pundits on their Facebook statuses (stati?).

In fact, 87% of Canadians stayed up till 3:00am last night waiting for  the election results, a turnout rivaled only by hockey games that our home teams never qualify for and the Royal Wedding. (This stat has clearly been pulled out of my ass)

Canada , being a relatively liberal country, welcomed the news of Obama getting re-elected with much jubilation (judging by everyone’s Facebook stati). Obama quite possibly is more loved in Canada right now then our homeboy Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I’m not Canadian (yet), but sometimes I actually get a sense that the average Canadian cherishes empty Tim Hortons coffee cups more than their prime minister.

Stephen Harper, for those of you who are not Canadian or who do not spend all their spare time googling the terms ‘ridiculous things said by obscure politicians’ , has said some things in the past that have blown the politically correct minds of many Canadians.

Here are some Harper gems:

“You have to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into Western Canadian society.”  On Canada’s failing credibility (Report Magazine 2011)

“If Ottawa giveth, then Ottawa can taketh away.” Usually taketh. 

“I was asked to speak about Canadian politics. It may not be true, but it’s legendary that if you’re like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians.” (Speech to a Montreal meeting of the Council for National Policy, June 1997)

However, my absolute favorite Harper quote came to me today on Yahoo News:

Canada and India need to beat the odds like a Bollywood movie

Being a (future) Indian  immigrant in Canada, I was all over this story like Indian immigrants are over a Boxing day sale at Walmart. Canada’s prime minister basically compared the trade relationship between India and Canada to a Bollywood movie- full of heinous obstacles, but true love prevails in the end.

I’m not sure how many Bollywood movies Harper has watched in his lifetime, but it can’t be that many. Bollywood movies typically last a thousand years, and I’m willing to bet he’s still bravely powering through the one he started watching in 1996.

An important issue that concerned me in Harper’s Bollywood love analogy were the two sexes. I’m of the school of thought that India is clearly the man in this relationship. Harper may have tried to sell it like he was the macho man who had all the answers to India’s deepest questions but let’s face it… we’re bigger and hairier.

Going with that line of thinking, it’s pretty easy to see how Harper’s analogy is nothing short of pure genius. Unlike me, who lost interest in Bollywood movies the moment someone in it spoke, Harper clearly was determined enough to make it through years of costume changes, rain, needless drama and utter bullshit from everyone else outside of the two lovers.

India’s wooing by means of cheap labor and profitable investment opportunities often fall on finicky Canadians who can never decide what the hell they want. It took decades of mindless dancing around trees to music by shitty bands like Bad Economy and Inflation Domination for Canada to finally give in to dating India, even if only for the economic perks.

Here’s lookin’ at you, India!

And like any true Bollywood movie, convincing the drama queen to go out with you is only the beginning of the next one hundred shiteous years of pain. Harper knows this when he talks about obstacles.

Obstacle 1: The no-good villain who tries to steal the girl resulting in one of the parties always being stuck in an economical friend zone. The villain’s debatably better looking, less hairy and does everything for less. *cough*China*cough*.

But the hero stands his ground. He knows he’s a good investment. Other countries should consider themselves lucky if they hold his affections! And if they don’t, he’ll nuke ‘em all muhahahahaha. Guys, I do the Count Dracula laugh, but this is not a joke. India actually has a nuclear program. And unlike some other (alleged) nuclear countries, India is not pussy-footing its existence. Which leads me to the next Bollywood obstacle:

Obstacle 2: The disapproving family members. None of Canada’s family members are pleased with this strange relationship, especially Canada’s dominating big brother.  *cough*America*cough*. The words “our nuclear program” is not something America looks compassionately at, especially not when India follows it up with the words “is none of your fucking business”.

Obstacle 3: The man’s buddies that nobody likes. Big Brother America is forever plotting to round up a gang of goons to take all of Canada’s hockey sticks and  beat the crap out of India’s commie bff *cough*Russia*cough*

It’s a never ending cycle of drama, cheap slaps and unnecessary rain dances.

At the end of it all, I couldn’t agree with Harper more. Then again I will agree with anyone who will give me a prime opportunity to write about my two most favorite things: Canada and good-naturedly bashing Bollywood movies.

This truly is a love story with many obstacles. But obstacles good communication can overcome. And if it is anything like an actual Bollywood movie, then this story will have a happy ending. Even if it takes a thousand years.

In keeping with the Bollywood tradition of having a thousand soundtracks, here’s one:

Just use your imagination and replaced all the annoying Twilight characters with multiracial women in white saris dancing around maple trees. 

All saints save the day

I had (in theory) such a great Halloween costume idea in mind this year! For once I didn’t go as myself, a crippled Disney princess or a pre-pubescent singing sensation. My Duchess of Cambridge costume had the dress, the pantyhose, the shoes, THE RING, and a supremely shiteous brown wig (to add the scary element of Halloween).

All I had was my wine, that big ass ring and the weight I didn’t realize I’d gained since I bought that dress

Unfortunately, this year Mother Nature went as Hurricane Sandy for Halloween and quite literally blew my costume out of the water. I never ended up getting to the Halloween party I was supposed to go to on Saturday. Instead I built a hurricane shelter of decorative pillows, ate potato chips and caught up on my new favorite show The Mindy Project.

I decided that in addition to being a fightercock for Halloween, I will also go as Mindy Kaling next year (who is a fightercock in her own right). Not only will this be a racially appropriate costume for once, but I have no qualms about completely removing my already dilapidated filter and becoming a verbal-diarrhea inclined noise box for one night.

We are also both pretty self-absorbed

So what did I actually do on Halloween day?

Have you ever been to one of those haunted mansions where you walk around getting aneurysms every time some asshole dressed as a zombie jumps at you? Well, my bathroom is worse. Think of the worst fake haunted house you’ve ever been to, multiply that by Fear Factor and double it by Flavor Flav. THAT was how frighteningly dirty my bathroom was. 

So on Halloween, I dressed up as a dirty bathroom cleaner and cleaned my dirty bathroom.

This costume comes complete with rubber gloves, my stained old York hoodie and a smile full of fake excitement.

But even though Halloween may officially be over, today is one of the best Catholic holidays: All Saint’s Day!

As a practicing Catholic who can`t get through a full Hail Mary without thinking about what I’m going to eat next or what I would do to my hot neighbor if he ever saw him again, patron saints are my lifeline from not getting permanently cut off by The Big Guy.

With so many prayer requests, 95% of which in recent years had to with my immigration papers, it is only natural that God assign some His most trusted buds in the bizz to handle bitch fests prayer intake paperwork.

Roman Catholisicm may have had a pretty bad rep, but those guys thought of everything when assigning saints. And so today, in honor of my Catholic upbringing, here are a list of some favorite saints and some random ones that I mentally yell for on any given day:

1) St. Anthony- Patron saint of lost things.

Common prayer: Dear St. Anthony, I lost my mind. Can you please find me a bottle of Pinot instead?

2) St. Joseph- Patron saint of workers.

Common prayer: St. Joe,  can you please inspire my patients to shower?

3) St. Isidore of Seville: Patron Saint of the Internet
Common prayer: St. Is, how many naked Ryan Gosling pictures can I download before Rogers flags my account? #girdyourloinswithgosling

4) St. Dymphna- Patron saint of insanity and mental illness

Common prayer: St. D, since my fifth cup of coffee, I’ve had purple cucumbers dancing in my head. Now they’re on my Spreadsheet. 

5) St. Drogo- Patron saint of Unattractive people

Common prayer: St. Drogo, I’m 26 and single. Please take away this plague of zits so my Neutrogena money can be better spent on a cat. 

6) St. Francis of Assissi- Patron saint of writers/journalists/bloggers

Common prayer: St. Francis, please let this post get thousands of likes and ten thousand comments. Self-esteem doesn’t magically appear out of nowhere.

7) St. Genesius- Patron saint of comedy

Common prayer: St. Genesius, these pretzels are making me thirsty. Get it? (Of course he gets it! You think Seinfeld came up with this shit on his own?)

8) St. Jude- Patron saint of lost causes.

Common prayer: St. Jude, please let Michael Kors have a sale. Also, can you make me Canadian?

9) St. Anne- Patron saint of finding love

Common prayer: St. Anne, find me a man, as fast as you can, who doesn’t drive a white van, someone with a nice tan and preferrably not a Nickleback fan. (This is the lamest prayer ever)

10) St. Joseph Cafasso- Patron saint of Prussia

Common prayer: St. Joe C, Prussia hasn’t existed for the last 65 years. If you’re not doing anything, can you please help a sister out? And when I say sister, I mean St. Anne. 

Bonus saint:

11) St. Polycarp- Patron saint of dysentery.

Common prayer: St. P, please let it all go down with one flush. 

This list represents only a tiny fraction of the multitude of saints at your disposal. There’s a saint for any human need you could possibly imagine. And all jokes aside, I don’t know where I’d be without their constant intercession. I don’t talk about religion much, but I will say that some of these saints helped me through the toughest times in my life and that deserves way more than just a light-hearted blog post. 

If you are still mourning the end of Halloween and care not much for saints then let me try and change your mind:

Come on!!! How can you say no to baby Mother Teresa?!

Seriously!! How can you!? 

Halloween Fightercocks

My mother has a talent of giving this deadpan delivery of hilarious one-liners (or one-paragraphers) without realizing it 98% of the time. I speak to her almost every Saturday morning on Skype and yesterday, I asked her what she was doing for Halloween. 

She proceeded to explain to me that true Halloween is not about (barely) wearing an inappropriate costume and drunkenly falling face first into your plate of onion rings at an after-hours diner. She might have not used these words specifically, but it fully captures the essence of her schpeel. 

I asked her about what Halloween was like growing up. She grew up in Goa, India where Halloween was actually “celebrated” on November 2nd- All Soul’s Day, a day observed by Catholics to honor the dead. Here’s an actual serious conversation we had about All Soul’s Day  and a little cultural lesson for us all (me included) about “Halloween” in Goa:

Mom: “No one dresses up on All Souls Day, unless you want to look like a jackass. All Soul’s Day is really supposed to be  scary.”

Karen: “So what do you actually do?”

Mom: “People rob and steal your things.”

Karen: *insert this face*

It takes A LOT to tear my attention away from chicken wings and my mother knows just how to do it.

Karen: “People steal stuff?”

Mom: “Yes. You know, because its scary. It’s like a ghost came to mess with you. Sometimes when you wake up in the morning, you may find all your vases in the garden missing. Or you may find your vase in a different location in the garden.”

Karen: *still has the face*

Mom continues…

“This one time, all of Marie Lou’s expensive pond rocks went missing. Her son bought them for her from Dubai you know. Turns out they were all at the local cemetery.”

Karen: Her son went to Dubai and bought her rocks?

Mom: “Yes. They’re decorative.”

Karen: “Nevermind. How the heck did Marie Lou know where to find her pond rocks?”

Mom: “If you lose something on All Soul’s Day, its most likely at the cemetery.”

Karen: “Sounds like a hassle for everyone involved.”

Mom: “No kidding! You have to be so careful too, especially if you are a fightercock. Then everyone hates you and  steals your pond rocks.”

(Quick glossary: The word “fightercock” is my mother’s umbrella term for bitches, douchebags and people who shouldn’t be talking.)

Karen: “So I guess if you’re a fightercock, most of your stuff will probably be dumped at the cemetery.”

Mom: “Oh yes. But you have to go there as soon as you can and claim your stuff. You don’t want robbers to take your things from the cemetery before you get to it.” 

My mom’s village apparently ran on the adage- Rob me once, I’m a fightercock. Rob me twice- I’m a lazycock. 

She continues, clearly enjoying my rapt attention to  this newly discovered Halloween tradition. 

Mom: “And not all your stuff ends up in the cemetery…some of it is in other people’s houses”

Karen: “Whaaaaaa?” *insert this face*

I don’t know who this fightercock is. But she was photo bombing our picture so she probably deserves to have her pond rocks stolen.

Mom: “Yes! Sometimes stuff from your garden will end up in someone else’s garden and vice versa.”

Karen: “Doesn’t anyone call the damn cops?”

Mom: “Cops don’t like getting involved with ghosts, Karen.”

Karen: “Right, of course not”

Mom: “One time, Sebby woke up on All Soul’s Day and found all the bananas off her banana trees in the backyard GONE! In all fairness though, everyone knew what a big fightercock she was. Now, she lost her bananas. Haha”

Karen: “Poor Sebby. Did she find her bananas at the cemetery?”

Mom: “No. But she visited her archenemy Antoinette later that day and saw that Antoinette had an unusual amount of bananas at home. When she asked her about them, Antoinette told her she bought them to make banana fritters.”

Karen: “Ugh! Banana fritters my ass!”

Mom: “Indeed! Watch your language.”

By the end of this conversation, I wanted to just drop my Kate Middleton costume altogether and replace my neighbour’s pots of geraniums with pumpkins. Or steal the lawn gnomes off my neighbours down the street and send them ransom notes for each one. Granted none of my poor neighbors are fightercocks, but its been so long since I’ve been able to blame anything on a mischievous ghost. 

I made a firm resolve that next year for Halloween, I’m going as a fightercock. 

Because in the end what it comes down to is this: Would you rather go the traditional route and wear a Halloween costume? Or would you rather piss the hell out of the fightercocks in your life?

Also, I know I’ve asked you guys this before but everything’s funner when there’s a poll:

The ring shopping experience Prince William never had

Halloween is fast approaching. And like most over commercialized North American holidays, Halloween comes with its own unique set of first-world anxieties.

A couple of years ago I obsessed for a week over whether I should go as 1) Justin Beiber or 2) A crayon. Beiber won the bid because I was sick that weekend and wearing a warm hoodie seemed a better alternative to puking into my pointy crayon hat. In retrospect, I could have gone as Beiber Fever. (Beiber with an actual fever…get it?)

The only thing Beiber and I DON’T have in common is blond hair

My other fantastic costumes from the past included:

Halloween 2010: A blind date.

Technically, Batgirl’s blind date.

Halloween 2011: Pocahontas  The Indian/Indian princess. It was a pun about how you can’t get anymore Indian than this. As you can see, the pun and I were both lame.

Smile! 2011 was the year of the broken foot

Fast forward to 2012.

The time has come again this year when 50% your Facebook friends will lament the annual exodus of sexy hamburgers and sexy convicts while 49% will be dressed as said hamburgers and convicts. I fall in the 1% who are at home trolling their stalkerfeeds panicking about what/who they’re going to go as.

This year though, I knew who I wanted to be. It’s who I’ve wanted to be when I hit puberty (and 3 years after that): Prince William’s wife. 

Yes…Halloween 2012, I’m going as The Duchess of Cambridge…or as I’d like to call her- Kate.

Before you laugh uncontrollably at my dreams of becoming British royalty,  let me tell you that Kate and I have A LOT in common. To start, we’re both women, we both love Prince William and we both look better with our tops on.

The real task here is putting together the Kate look without the Kate price tag. Being Indian, I come with the gene for “economical spending”. I made a list of items that would be required:

1) A pretty dress: Kate has been known to get some of her dresses at H&M. I get ALL my dresses at H&M. Soul sisterssss!

2) Pantyhose: Sears

3) A pearl necklace: Dollar Store

4) A wig. (In a moment of insanity and a cheap Groupon, I went and chopped off all my luscious locks of hair last month. Fingers crossed that Kate will get a shoulder length bob one of these days, preferably before Halloween, so I won’t have to spend $7.99 at Value Village)

5) A crazy hat that only looks good on British royals. (optional)

6) THE RING: dun dun dunnnnnnnnn. (This means I haven’t got it yet)

The success of my costume hugely depended on my ability to find a replica of Kate’s ring. For those of you who don’t know what it looks like: 

I knew that after the Royal Wedding last year, knock offs were everywhere. But last year I was too busy nursing a broken foot and being an Indian princess.

I began my search with my most trusted source of information about everything: My patients at work.

These were some of their suggestions:

1. “Go to the dollar store. It has EVERYTHING. You’ll find gold there if you look hard enough. If you can’t find it, just buy a regular ring with any colored stone and spray paint it blue. You’ll find the spray paint in the crafts aisle. They’ll never know the difference

2. “I’m sure you could make one yourself.”

3. “Are you sure you want to go as Kate Middleton? Maybe you should have a backup costume.”

My second trusted source was eBay. I found one for $8.99. Life was wonderful until I got to the checkout and saw that shipping would be $39.00. This did not appeal very much to my economical spending gene. I cancelled the order.

I had to find this ring. Without it, I would have to pick some next lame-ass last minute costume. My friend Aleks suggested that if I didn’t find anything, I could just label myself as sugar and tell everyone I’m brown sugar. I always appreciate a good subtly racist pun. But not this time. This time I just wanted to be a white princess duchess for Halloween dammit! 

My last ditch effort was to try the mall. I went to the usual teenybopper accessory stores. This yielded the same results as my patients:

1) “Kate who? I’m sorry I don’t know who she is. I don’t think we have any of her stuff here” (HOW THE EFF DO YOU NOT KNOW WHO KATE MIDDLETON IS!!?!? This salesgirl was either an Eastern Bloc spy or a recruit from a Carly Rae Jepsen concert)

2) “Is it like the rose-gold colored one with a flowery middle?” (WTF is wrong with people?)

3) “Maybe try the dollar store?”

I went home completely dejected. Kate’s ring couldn’t be found anywhere. Prince William has NO idea how easy he had it. 

But you know that saying in dating that annoys the piss out single people?

“It will happen when you’re not looking and you least expect it”

Apparently, this saying applies to costume jewelry as well. 

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and outside the store there randomly happened to be an older lady selling jewelry on a makeshift table. I took a quick gander. Sure enough, this completely random old lady had a Kate Middleton ring sitting in her ring collection. It was a size too big for me but a perfect replica otherwise. $15 later I was back on track to being a Duchess.

Now all I have left on my list is the wig, which I’m hoping to be easier to score than the Duchess’ engagement ring.

And if I can’t find a wig, brown sugar it will be. 

What I’d like to know is what are all of you folks dressing up as this Halloween? What is the craziest costume you’ve ever worn/seen?

Un petit morceau de Montréal

Disclaimer:

Dear French people,

Please forgive the very likely possibility that all my French words/expressions are wrong and/or misplaced. Je suis sorry :(

Last weekend I took a trip to Montreal. Granted it’s already been five eight days (I started this post on Friday)since said trip so some parts of this post might be made-up hazy on the details. The last time I went to Montreal, it was one of those single girl Eat, Pray, Run from hobos weekend.

This time it was more of an Eat, Eat, slow-comatose-jog away-from-hobos type of deal. I learnt a lot about my digestive capabilities, much like how Elizabeth Gilbert learnt how to make millions writing about hers.

Regardless, I tossed a dollar into one certain hobo`s venti Starbucks cup; he was a real entertainer. He was outside the Metro, theatrically jumping up, down and around a milk crate giving a gallant French sermon in a booming voice that would make The Tenors want to tranquilize him, steal his vocal cords and leave him with a ten dollar bill, bleeding from the neck in a ditch behind a Montreal poutineri.

Many people asked me whether I was visiting friends in Montreal or whether I was taking a trip with someone. Apparently,  the idea of going alone for no conceivable reason isn’t something that crosses the minds of normal people. This is why I never update my Twitter. It’s easier to just shrug a no then it is to type ‘Solo getaway to Montreal, bitches!! #foreversingle’.

Is it really so bad  that I find sitting awkward and alone in fancy restaurants infinitely more appealing than taking long knee-busting yet dreamy romantic walks through the cobblestoned streets of Old Montreal? #sarcasm

Speaking of fancy restaurants, I went to many! When I say many, I mean two.

It was Friday night when I had my first food experience. I was perusing online for places to eat when I stumbled on one very close to the Bed and Breakfast I was staying at. It was a tapas place. Tapas make me nervous. Who knows how the hell to order them?

The place I wanted to go to was called Confusion Tapas du Monde. The irony of its name was not lost on me while I spent the next 45 minutes goggling what is tapas and how to order it. The best answer was: Ask your waiter.

I called the restaurant. This was the actual conversation we had:

Tapas waiter: Bonjour!

Karen: Hello sir. Do you speak English?

TW: Yes ma’am. I actually speak very good English.  (Dollop of politeness with rich warm undertones of french sarcasm)

K: Great! I was just wondering….do I need to make reservations for one?

TW: You’re coming for dinner on a Friday night by yourself?

K: Yes.

TW: We can give you a table at the bar.

K: At the bar?! Can I not have a table?

TW: But the bar is actually quite pretty.

K: I’ll think about it.

I thought about it. As much I’d like to brag that I decided to have my Montreal adventure on my own terms, did I really want to sit alone at the bar of a restaurant where I’d be too culturally handicapped to properly place an order?

Of course not! But I went anyway. I have no Eat, Pray, Love reasoning behind embarrassing myself except that I was just very hungry.

Confusion Tapas du Monde. The bar (against the wall) WAS very pretty. Yes, those are swings. Genius.

I had three dishes.

Exaggeration alert: The broccoli soup was THE BEST I ever had. It came in a mason jar. 

The coolest and most ineffective way to eat soup

I also had escargo on a slice of zucchini and some grilled calamari. I couldn’t take pictures of everything on account me looking like a complete moron. So I drew you the closest thing.

I even ate the leaves.

Average rating of Tapas Confusion: 4 out of 5 maple syrup lollipops. An extra half eaten one for the smartass waiter.

_______________________________________________________________

The next restaurant I want to talk about is Verses. This is a restaurant that I stumbled on by accident which is why I’m so pleased with myself. I originally intended to go to another restaurant that I checked out on Trip Adviser  But when I got there, it was looked like a truck pit stop with penis drawings on its Closed sign.

N’importe quoi! (my cheap googled french way of saying whatevvverrr!)

I walked around hungry looking for alternatives but everything seemed unnecessarily expensive. Finally, in the heart of Old Montreal, I found a cheaper oasis called Verses. The interiors were fancy enough. And yet their prices were deceptively cheap(er). $22.00 for a two-course meal was acceptable to me.

I ordered the cream of cauliflower soup because I`m a toothless old woman at heart.

The best part of this soup was that I didn’t need my dentures to have it.

The entrée was where I had a similar conundrum to Confusion Tapas. There were three items I could pick from: 1) Boring salmon. 2) Interesting sounding beef tartare 3) Good ol` steak.

The beef tartare looked very intriguing. Mainly because I had no idea what the hell it was and this weekend was all about treading into the unknown. I had no google on my phone, so I texted one of my friends and asked her. No response. I decided to bite the bullet and asked my french waiter whether he recommended the beef tartare or the steak.

“Madamoiselle, beef tartare is raw beef.“

Steak it was. I`m all for treading into the unknown, but you have to draw the line when the unknown involves the possibility of explosive diarrhea.

My blackberry camera makes everything on this plate look rarer than it actually is

Average rating for Verses: 4 out of 5 maple syrup lollipops. And extra one for the waiter not judging me.

For the sake of this blog post not becoming 72 pages long, I will now only post some more very bad photos I took of my food from all the other places I ate at. This neither diminishes nor takes away from the fancy feel of everything.

Like this whole wheat crepe filled with walnuts, pesto and goat cheese at La Brioche Lyonnaise- a cute little cafe on St. Denis:

I endured three stares and a dramatic eye roll for taking this picture. You’re welcome.

This tiramisu that I took to go without taking a fork.

When our minds fail us, we have hands.

And the most terrible crime of manners in the history of manners: A sneaky shot of the first course of my lovely THREE COURSE homemade breakfast that our host Nathalie made for us. This was poppy-seed bread pudding.

Each following course does get bigger in portion size

And for good measure, here’s the farmer’s market where I got the best honey and maple syrup in the world.

Beautiful fall day at the farmer’s market

I just noticed that there are grapes hanging from the ceiling.

And that was my awesome food adventure in Montreal. I hope you enjoyed these photos as much I enjoyed eating whatever is in them. I have officially decided that a spring and fall trip will be a Karen tradition from now on. Where else would I get honey for my tea?

How to be thankful on Thanksgiving

It seems common belief that holidays of any sort can be hard on singles. Christmas time, the season of nauseating radio play of basterdized Christmas carols and long line-ups for the naked scanner at the airport, is usually tainted by Aunt Bossy at the annual family stroke-inducing holiday dinner.

Everyone has an Aunt Bossy. She’s the one with the candy cane earrings, a pearl necklace and a brooch that says “Jesus is the reason for the season”.  She may or may not be biologically related to you. But this doesn’t stop her from closelining you on your way to the cookie table with well-meaning insults.

“Why are you so thin, Karen? Are you on a diet? Your mother tells me you joined a dating site”, 

“Do you know your cousin Melissa just got engaged to that engineer from Winnipeg? Remember him? You know he has a brother? You’re not getting any younger”

Whether its Christmas, Easter, Sabbath, Black history month or the zombie apocalypse, Aunty Bossy’s solution to the question of the Universe is: find a man as fast as you can.
 
Of course you could shut her up by yelling ‘F*ck cousin Melissa and her goddamn engineer fiance!” promptly causing major family drama, a demotion from cousin Melissa’s wedding party and the lifelong family anecdote of ‘that time when Karen lost her cookies…just 3 seconds before she was about to stuff her empty soul with butterscotch.’
 
But of course you won’t do that. What you probably will do is sit there silently hoping cousin Melissa chokes on her half-price Easter chocolate.
 

Aunt Bossy.This is also pretty much what I will look like 30 years from now.

Apart from Easter and Christmas, there are also other obscure holidays like Labor Day, New Year’s, and if you live in Canada- Family Day and Victoria Day. Not to mention birthdays, baptisms, summer bbqs, anniversaries and of course Thanksgiving.

But for the purpose of this post not becoming any more of one of those angry, woe-is-me, single girl rants, let’s just focus on the real issue at hand: giving thanks on Thanksgiving.

In Canada, thanksgiving is celebrated a little over a month before our American neighbours. Nobody knows the reason for this; it may have something to do with the fact that every year, Canadians need a whole day in the fall to recover from the shock and panic of Environment Canada’s annual prediction that it will be a cold winter.

Thanksgiving, which is predominantly a North American holiday, was never a tradition I grew up with. My family was the kind that showed love by making dry sarcastic comments at each other’s expense. Christmas and birthday gifts were never exchanged and nobody sat around, held hands and talked about their feelings.

Usually I’m just grateful that Thanksgiving exists so I can have a day off. But after living in Canada for the past 8 years, I’m inclined to believe that North American culture dishes out public holidays in order to give malls silly excuses to hold sales so that single people with no families have something to do on their day off.

The only man I’ll ever need is Michael Kors

 But this year I wanted Thanksgiving to be different. None of this feeling sorry for myself bullshit. It was time to go back to the real reason for the holiday: Being grateful for everything.

As it so happened (like it often does), I had no real Thanksgiving plans with family or friends. But that didn’t stop me from starting my own Thanksgiving tradition: Having one day when I truly allow myself to see just how good I have it.

I thought I would go all out and have a hearty turkey dinner for one. But standing in front of the freezer section at my grocery store, I had to come to the acceptance that cooking a turkey, which weighed about the same as a three-year-old child, was perhaps not the most original or feasible idea for a gal like me.

I settled for a small chicken instead.

I’ve never cooked a full roast chicken in my life. The whole day was spent fussing over this damn bird that I had no time to think about all the things us fickle singletons fret about during holidays. To stuff…or not to stuff? (Gordon Ramsey says to pop in half a lemon wedge) How long do I preheat the oven? What if it turns out too dry? And what the hell does basting mean?

In end, I decided to go the heart attack route. No roast chicken can be dry if you cover it with 5lbs of butter and bacon stripes. And would you believe it…here are the results of a whole day’s worth of labor:

Just to drive the point further, that bread was fried in butter.

Never in my life had I ever created anything quite so fattening and delicious-looking. I sat down and said a prayer of thanksgiving. I gave thanks for the food, my life, my health, the fact that Immigratin Canada still hasn’t kicked me out of this country (just yet), the fact that I could still afford to eat a lard-laden meal without collapsing from a massive coronary (just yet), my family, my friends, and my future family, who I’m sure when they someday come along, will be thankful for the fact that there are no vegetables involved in this meal…and the few veggies there are are guiltily swimming in a tub of butter and bacon grease.

I truly had everything I needed this Thanksgiving. Even if Aunt Bossy thought otherwise.

And so this thanksgiving, whether you celebrate it today or a month and a half from now, may you always find something to be grateful for. And if you can’t, there’s always bacon.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of  you out there! :D

 _______________________________________________________________________

Author’s Note: There were no turkeys, aunts, or cousin Melissas harmed in the making of this post. Last I heard cousin Melissa did end up marrying that putz from Winnipeg. Bitch.

Roots to roots: How hair trouble enkindled short-lived patriotic feelings

Today all of you are in for a treat. Not only have I decided to make one of my now exceedingly rare appearances to WordPress (cocky much to believe that this is a treat for anyone?), but I’m also going to give you a little glimpse into my Indian culture that I never bother bragging about to anyone.

If you are avid readers of Ms. Breezyk’s humourous blog, The Camel Life (if not, please stop reading this and click on that link first), then you would have known from one of her fairly recent posts that this hot chick seems to be having some hair trouble. Here, this is a photo of her woe:

Perfectly normal hair.

Do you agree that something needs to be done about those 4 ounces of dark mane on this loveable brunette head? No? Really? Good. Me neither. And I’m not just saying this because I have a not-so-secret girl crush on her. But regardless, I decided to step in and help her out with her hairy conundrum.

I suggested an old Indian hair remedy of dousing one’s hair with coconut oil. I’m not completely sure if this even works since I haven’t ever tried it. I hate the smell of coconut oil in my hair. Not to mention, the sight of your head looking greasier than a Middle Eastern oil well automatically renders you a social outcast. Between my unsucessful attempts at online dating and Breezy’s numerous cat photos, it is clear that times are tough.

Now is not the time for young, single gals like us to be walking man repellents. Our womanly inclination to over-analyze and obsess does that enough.

But back to coconut oil. Other Indians (and some “trusted” sites from Google) swear by it. And there is no reason to question my fellow (wo)men on this. We Indians are a hairy race. Someone must be doing something right (or wrong). So I told Breezy that if she gave me the time of day next week for another one of our wannabe hipster brunch dates, I would have a nice blue bottle of Parachute Coconut Oil (India’s finest) waiting for her. She agreed.

And so, off I set in my mission to help my friend. The task was quite simple. Buy Parachute Coconut Oil so we could turn this:

Smiley Breezy

to this:

Don’t joo get all up in ma weave!- Some hairy baby

Destination Little India, located in a small section of Gerrard Street in Toronto was a place I had only been to once before.

Now let me get something out of the way before I proceed. I am Indian, yes. However, my ties to my Indian roots go only so far as throughly enjoying Indian food. I don’t care for anyone’s useless unfavorable opinions about curry, I will down that shit like it has power to give life. Not only is curry the Indian word for deliciously delicious, it is also richly packed with antioxidants. True fact, all you avid inhalers of genetically modified blueberries!

Unfortunately, that’s as far as my emotional bond to my homeland goes. I think saris are horrible creations for midgets like me who need to be able to run from their stalkers without constantly tripping over 5 million meters of cloth. And let’s not speak of Bollywood movies. That’s a bitch fest that could go on for at least a week. Coincidently, that’s also how long a Bollywood movie lasts.  

I pondered over the love I don’t have for Indian things like saris and Bollywood movies and that one batshit crazy bitch who sings EVERY single Indian song in her high-pitched banshee voice that shatters the auditory senses of everyone around and their surrounding five postal codes.

Such is the nature of my love/hate (clearly, mostly hate) relationship with my country. And with this feeling, I slowly got off the streetcar to the instant olfactory explosion of fried everything, incense and curry dreams. It smelled like India, it looked like India and it sounded like India. Minus the pollution and stray animals.

Normally, this is the kind of scene that drives the point further home of how I had become too much of a spoilt North America city child. But at that moment in time, for reasons that elude me completely, I found myself wanting to stay.

Maybe it was the smell of curry that was at the level of amber alert for ambushing my clothes. Or maybe it was the guilt of being completely indifferent. Whatever it was, it drew me in and made me want to be here.

Perhaps the worst (or best?) part was when I found my legs uncontrollably walking into a sari shop. I audibly gasped at everything in there. Yards and yards of beautiful fabrics with beads and sequins and mirrors and handcrafted embroidery.

The Indian saleswoman obviously noticed my dumb tourist look and told me in Hindi that the sari I was looking at was on sale. Out of nowhere I started to bargain with her in Hindi. I didn’t even know I knew enough Hindi to string along a sentence without 97% of it being swear words.

I stood there in that store listening to music featuring the banshee voice and was surrounded by every colour in the rainbow.  I had a stupid grin on my face and an unexplainable feeling of pride.

This was my country. We have annoying music, we’re cheap enough to miraculously learn a language if it means we will get something half price, we have the best curry in the world and if our clothes are any indication of who we are then we have one of the most colourful, vibrant and happy cultures in the world. And for once, I was pretty freaking proud of that.

I would have taken some photos of all the sari stores I went to (yes, all of them. The patriotic feelings were too strong to resist). But I didn’t mostly due to signs like these posted everywhere.

I had easily spent an hour perusing every store and reminiscing  little things from my childhood. I finally made my way to the variety store and picked up one these suckers for Breezy:

Get ready for some hairy goodness!

Alas! All good things must come to an end and soon I was on the streetcar headed back into the city. I spent the entirety of the ride thinking about Little India like how one would think of a first date that they absolutely dreaded at first and yet went frighteningly well in the end.

And so Breezy, here is India’s beauty gift to you: A full head of luscious Kim Kardashian hair at the expense of being an occassional social leper.

As for the rest of you, don’t think I’ve forgotten you guys! I have an Indian beauty gift for everyone today (apart from the gift of myself) (HAHA.)

I hereby give you the recipe for the Gram Tumeric facial mask. Or as I would like to call it The Radiant Indian Bride Face Mask. (You fellas can do this too. No shame in being an Indian bride)

This mask is great for exfoliation, acne and dry skin. Pretty much covers everything annoying that could happen to your face before your big Indian wedding day…or a crappy Monday at the office.

The Radiant Indian Bride Face Mask:

3 tablespoons of gram flour. Gram flour is just the Indian way of saying Chickpea flour. You can find chickpea flour at most bulk food stores.

1.5 teaspoons of tumeric. Tumeric is an antiseptic and the key ingredient in making your face all glowly and radiant. Many believe tumeric is the next super drug that will cure cancer…which may be true. But it also stains like a bitch so don’t go apeshit with the tumeric.

You want to be a radiant Indian bride. Not a jaundiced troll.

2 tablespoons of almond oil. You can substitute with olive oil.

Milk. Pour in just enough to make this all into a thick paste.

Your freshly prepared homemade mask should look something like this:

100% organic!…says my Indian salesman smile.

Once you have that shitty yellowy looking concoction, you may proceed to cover your face with it.

Like so:

A face only a house cat could love.

Yes, my face matches my Captain Morgan shirt. And I look pretty darn happy about it.

Keep that crap on for about 10 minutes and then wash off with cold water.

And voila! Radiant Indian bride face for everyone!

You’re welcome, world.

Willing to lie about how we met: A guide to keeping it real with online dating

I think it’s about time I came clean and confess something. For the past few months or so, I have resorted to the realm of online dating. Well, this was not so much a confession as it is what I thought would be a good segway into giving you folks a play-by-play into the stupid monkey dance I do in my valiant efforts at finding everlasting true love.

From the very start, the one problem I had with online dating was that it took away my fairytale. Now when people asked, I wouldn’t be able to tell them we met when he rescued me from a urinating homeless man on the subway, or that my hot neighbour knew it was love at first sight when he saw me innocently washing his car in my daisy duke shorts that I specifically bought for the occasion.

Regardless, the thought of the immense potential I have of becoming a cat owner, or worse my Indian mother searching for a worthy suitor for me were incentives enough to swallow my pride and bite the bullet.

In my findings, online dating basically is a four-stage, blindfolded journey through the jungles of modern-day MTV love. And if you ever decide to get on this bandwagon, don`t be afraid embarrased. I`m here to give you a taste of what you possibly could be getting into:

Stage 1: The Hunt

Also known as: The Profile Search

Real Life Equivalent: Scanning the bar for people who don`t look like they conduct secret gatherings in their basement to read out the Communist Manifesto.

Much like in real life, your profile search will lead you to find both decent and douche alike. You can tell decent by a normal smiley picture taken at a wedding, usually including a puppy in the background. Douche by a shirtless, Instagram photo taken in the bathroom mirror, usually including a tank of protein supplements in the background.

It’s at times like this that you have to remember that you are here because you couldn`t get a date in real life to save your life. Beggars can`t be choosers. Even douches deserve everlasting true love. Even if only for their excellent photog skills.

Once you have picked a profile that looks like it could have potential to go far…and by ‘far’ I mean enough to make you overcome the urge to fling your laptop at your plant Penny, you will find yourself in Stage 2.

Stage 2: The Size up

Also known as: Scanning a profile for character flaws by subconcisouly judging their grammar

Real Life Equivalent: Making eye contact with someone who looks like they hail from a decent gene pool while trying to see if you can find hints of axe murderer in their eyes.

Reading through profiles is a crucial step in finding your soulmate, let me tell ya! By now after scanning through hordes of profiles, you would have found a few key similarities in everyone who joins dating sites:

1) They’re ALL loving their single life.

2) They ALL love to travel.

3) Their ALL are on this site because their sick of the bar scene.

While this ALL sounds dreamy, let me  bitchslap you out of online oblivion. People who LOVE being single are usually found in cloistered convents and Siberian mountain caves…not online dating sites.

And perhaps it WOULD be better to meet someone at a bar, because if you are anything like me, you’d be more inclined to talk to them when you are blissfully unaware of ‘they’re’ inability to properly use contractions and possessive pronouns.

Yes. It is THAT simple.

That being said, please don’t be like me. Give people a break and move on to Stage 3.

Stage 3: Establishing interest

Also known as: Swallowing your pride and showing the lucky POI (person of interest) you think they’re rad enough to warrant 3 more seconds of your time.

Real Life Equivalent: Letting decent gene pool lover buy you a drink while knowing they’re probably mentally undressing you.

You swallowed your pride, charged your credit card and spent countless hours stalking a wide array of photos, wondering who’s worthy enough to see your 50 shades of cray. You made it this far, you might as well go in for the kill. Shoot an email. Take a stab at a corny joke to break the ice. Even take a jab at yourself if that starts the ball rolling.

Please note that the homicidal terms of “kill”, “shoot”, “stab” and “jab” are not an indication of how you are subconsciously feeling at this point. Obviously.

And if you’re too shy or illiterate, there’s always The Wink. This is perhaps the greatest thing about online dating. You do not have to put yourself out there and risk rejection. In real life: you buy someone a drink; in cyber life: you wink.

In most online dating cases, a wink has usually gotten me a date. In most real life cases, a wink would have most likely gotten me a restraining order.

So send that email. Its more likely you’ll get to Stage 4 if you do.

Stage 4: The Meet up

Also known as: The date

Real Life Equivalent: Going out on a date.

There are several things that could have gone wrong with your email exchange:

1) The loser never responded.

2) The corny joke I asked you to make was too corny. Or not corny enough.

3) Their response was something like this: “hey ya, haha gud joke. where u frm? maybe we cud get like a drnk or somethin ur hot txt me bak”

But let’s be optimistic here and assume none of that happened and you scored a date with an awesome possum.

Congratulations you little love warrior! You did it! :) See? Online dating isn’t so bad.

The Aftermath:

Unfortunately, I cannot guide you any further on the actual date. Perhaps I’d be a little more qualified if I had an actual success. However, there are only three ways it could go:

1) Really well.

2) Really not well.

3) Limbo- Stop reading this and refer to the book “He’s just not that into you”

For the sake of optimism again and to end this post on a high note, let’s say that over a pitcher of sangria, you both saw your unborn children in each other’s Pinot-glazed eyes.

Huzzah! Success!

This does indeed happen (sometimes), and all you singletons out there HAVE to believe that this will happen to you one day. 

Whether you find your dreamboat lover online or offline, there IS someone out there who will accept you for the complicated, delusional, imperfect, crazy bitch that you are. Someone that will make all the hours of wasted time scouring profiles worth every second.

And when that happens, shoot me an email to thank me for guiding you through that dark moment in your life when you whipped out your credit card in quiet resignation.

I’ll even take a wink.

The Mystery of the Disappearing Blogger

General Disclaimer: This post contains sarcasm and a spontaneous combustion-inducing picture of Ian Sommerhalder. You know, just the usual.

It’s me again! It really is. You’re not seeing things.

Yes, I did check the date on the last time this blog was updated. I’m well aware it reads May 31st. I’m also aware that’s two whole months. I’ve had many people ask me what kind of cave I’d crawled into? Perhaps I was dead? Or worse still, broke both my arms in a freak summer accident..like..I don’t know…think of a terrible accident where you lose both arms that one could only joke about in really bad taste.

Nonetheless I’m here now. You can take the girl out of the blogging, but you can’t take the attention-seeking tendencies fueled by blogging out of the girl…not for too long anyway. Hence, I am back.

Really, you guys didn’t miss much in the past two months. Its been a pretty dead summer so far. But now that I have quelled most of your fears about me not being dead or armless, you may be wondering what the hell I’ve been doing to keep me away from blogging for so long. Well, apart from me loving the fact that the weather’s been hotter than two rabbits making babies in a sock, here’s an update of my MIA misadventures:

1) Working on my summer tan:

You may think that a girl like me needs a tan like Dolly Parton needs a boob job, but I beg to differ. Since one of the only joys of short Canadian summers is soaking up those deliciously warm cancer rays, I refuse to be discriminated against because of my skin color. Here’s a first hand look at my new before and after sun-kissed countenance:

Before and After. Am I the only one that thinks this is NOT the exact same photo?

 2) Watching entire seasons of The Vampire Diaries:

Don’t look at me like that, you judgers! I am but a weak human being. Yes, much of the time I could have spent blogging was spent rather in mindless teeny bopper vampire obsessions. Would it sound any better if I told you that what I really have  is actually an Ian Sommerhalder obsession?

Here ladies, is this convincing at all?

Photo credit: the internet

Fellas, there’s a new Ryan Gosling in town. You may groan if you wish but stay away from that “Unfollow” button.

3) Getting hit on by a 12-year-old at my bus stop:

You all know by now that between my numerous posts on friend zones, my hot neighbour and colossal cockblocks of the Universe, my love life has been about as steamy as an empty can of cat food. Not anymore, dolls!

Not. Any. More.

For the past month or so, I have had a questionable suitor at my bus stop. It all started when this little boy asked me if I had change for a five for bus fare. I offered to just pay for his bus fare since I felt sorry for this child. The child flatly refused. He wanted to pay for his ticket fair and square. I managed to scrounge up some change.

The next day we met again. He stared at me for about 5 minutes after which he smiled and asked me if I were in grade 9 or 10. It was cute.

The following day he struck up a conversation about where he lives, where he grew up and how public transit evolved since he was young(er) and how he didn’t want me to take offense that he didn’t accept my money for bus fare. A real man never asks a woman to pay for his bus fare.

After that he asked me if he could borrow my cell phone to call his mother.

Come to think of it maybe I’m getting ahead of myself on this one.

4) Attending Coldplay concerts:

Speaking of being eternally single, this is probably one of the reasons why. All you haters can hate, but I’ll proudly admit that Coldplay has always been one of my favorite bands. Seeing them live for the first time was the icing on the cake of life. I guess I could also admit that I felt the same way when I saw John Mayer in concert for the first time, but do I really want to be alone with 6 cats and a plant named Penny, listening to “Your Body is a Wonderland” for the rest of my life? Hmmm.

5) Reading 50 Shades of Grey:

This time your judgement is well deserved. That being said, I did read these books. And my pompous, self-righteous, grammar loving self wanted to sit with a red marker and circle every second line of this horribly written book because it was seriously distracting me from all of the “kinky f*ckery” (as Mr. Christian Grey so eloquently put it.)

And what’s Fifty Shades without kinky f*ckery? (that was a rhetorical question)

….not to mention trying to have the lowest self-esteem issues possible and using terrible syntax.

6) General tomfoolery:

General tomfoolery includes but not limited to: drinking adult beverages, berating people who complained about the heat, tanning (refer to #1), shopping, procrastinating from blogging, sitting on patios, staring out my window for hours with a pair of binoculars patiently waiting for my hot neighbour to come out running shirtless and of course, getting grief for not blogging.

So there you have it. Now you’re up to date with what I haven’t talked about in two months. But clearly, you haven’t missed much. What I’m really curious about is what have all of you guys been up to in the last little while? What exciting things have happened to you?? Or am I the only one who’s had exciting things happen (as elaborately demonstrated above)

The Friend Zone

This is what happens when I’ve been away for far too long. You lucky ducks get to read TWO posts in a row! Imagine that. You’re welcome all you chronic insomniacs!

You may all know my lovely and talented REAL LIFE fellow WordPress blogger friend BreezyK who’s praises I sing at every chance I get. Well, about a month and a half ago, Ms. Breezy asked me to guest post for her fabulous blog The Camel Life. Obviously I was pretty freaking flattered but as soon as that wore off, I was filled with anxiety about what to write about.

After a whole month of struggling with this post, it took me one night of insomnia to finish it.

So what was it that I struggled with so much to write about? It was a dreaded world where we all at some point either had to live in…or in my case, had to set up shop: The Friend Zone. This is one of my rare personal philosophical posts filled with my 2:00am epiphanies. I hope you will read it and maybe on some level even relate to it.

Without further ado, here is my post about The Friend Zone on BreezyK’s The Camel Life