What’s In My Bag?

Celebrities are always upending their totes and clutches to share with the world the all-important items they can’t live without: La Montagne cream made from the buttocks of Himalayan llamas to give their skin that bouncy, mountain-kissed glow; photosynthesizing wipes because using pure chlorophyll to wash your hands is the greenest alternative of all and of course drugstore sunglasses to make them seem down to earth. Being that I am a big time blogger known the next street over (Hi Mrs. Kasnicki!), I decided it was high time I share what’s in my bag.

A plain metal credit card case – At one point a decade ago it had metal designs on it, those got rubbed/chipped off. Just as well- who can commit to a design they liked ten years ago?

A blobby keychain that measures the UV index – These come free with every order of my UV shirts although it’s always sunburn o’clock for me. Other non vampires might find this gadget useful but they’re probably not the ones ordering UV protective clothing.

Reusable diapers – Being a card carrying hippie, this is my billboard to the world that I believe in saving the environment by handling my son’s waste as much is humanly possible while making sure his butt is GIANT. Others may toss their offspring’s urine into the trash with disposable diapers, but I carry it around with me so the pee can ferment in my bag until I remember to throw it in the wash two weeks later. This is how much I love trees.

Something brown, gooey and squishy – Oh good grief, it smells too! I’m fairly sure this was my son’s snack at one point, regardless; it’s going in the compost.

Huggies diaper wipes – There are reusable wipes at home, but packing the spray bottle to wet them seems a bit much.

110 SPF sunscreen – Tex hides tubes of this stuff everywhere like he’s the Easter bunny of skin protection. He knows the only thing worse than a grumpy wife is a sunburned one.

Tiny nail clippers – Newborns and babies look so defenseless until they sink their ten miniatures daggers into the fleshy part of your neck. Supposedly daily trimming prevents this carnage. That hasn’t been my experience though.

A lone red silicone muffin cup – Because sometimes I like to bake on the go. In small batches. No, actually it’s Mini-Tex’s favourite toy. Who knew bake ware could be so versatile? It goes from being a hat to a Frisbee to a teether in under a minute.

Aside from the crumbs of a thousand smushed baby crackers, that’s everything in my bag. What can’t you live without?

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On The Glory Of Shoving Oneself Into Flying Metal Tubes

Can we all just agree on one piece of information? No matter how you feel about Trump, gluten or labradoodles, I think that we as a species can decisively say that air travel sucks. Well more literally it squishes and compacts but the experience as a whole is a bit like ants at a picnic. If the ants were the size of tanks and trying to rip chunks out of you while stealing your lunch.

Regardless of descriptions, of which I have many, for example, flying is like having a mammogram of your entire body that lasts for hours and hours, airplanes are overrated. There are a limited number of places in the world whose beauty, amenities and people offer enough incentive to justify shoving myself into a flying metal tube for any length of time. In fact, I have more reasons to stay home than not.

A List of Countries and Reasons Why Sitting on the Couch With a Bag of Doritos Is Preferable To Forking Over Gobs of Money To United Airlines or Some Other Similar Company Hell Bent on Violating Your Rights in Ways that Only Airlines Can

Greece- People are always wetting their pants with excitement over the blue waters of this nation. Where I live, we have a big blue sky. Hanging upside down from a tree while my husband sprays me with water from the hose would probably have the same effect.

Australia – These people were once a British colony. Canada was a British colony. Why would I spend eighteen squillion hours on a plane to see what is most likely another version of Canada?

New Zealand – Is just Australia 2.0 as far as I’m concerned. New Zealand – The woolier version of Australia. Also they have an annoying habit of calling themselves “kiwis”, it would be like if all the Canucks decided to refer to one another as “orangillos”. Equally mystifying and ridiculous. By contrast, following the success of the Peter Jackson films, calling New Zealanders “hobbits” fits perfectly.

Mexico – A country that is losing the war on drugs. Nobody likes to hang around with a loser.

France – Historical, old buildings filled with dusty, aging furniture that no one is allowed to sit on. If I wanted to not sit on furniture, I’d visit my Grandma’s house circa 1980. Counterpoint- excellent wine but we can get that here.

Italy – France’s hairy, pizza making cousin.

Uzbekistan- Is this actually a real country? I thought this was made up for the Borat films. Also my jet setting Uncle had a policy that he never traveled anywhere that ended in “stan” for safety reasons.

Japan – I’m not a fan of being squashed into a small space for a short period of time, why in goodness’ name would I make a vacation of the experience? Also showering over the toilet is an experience I don’t wish to repeat, after living and bathing in an RV for a week, I can safely say I’m “over” this foreign country.

South Africa – My vampire skin makes this a bad idea from the get go. The fact that people are regularly mugged at gun point adds to the fire of my question of “But why?”

Greenland – This country is quite literally melting. Despite being a lifeguard, I’m not a great swimmer. Also my pale little legs just scream “eat me”. I’m not sure what kinds of human-munching sea creatures are up there, but they must be hardy and large to survive around a country made partially of ice.

Galapagos – It’s possible this isn’t a country. Or maybe it’s just a country for scientists. Regardless, I loathe regular air travel. Flying in teeny tiny planes is its own special ring of Hell that I never wish to experience. I’m told that’s a requirement of traveling to the Galapagos.

That’s an incomplete and abridged list of all the places that are not as good as a bag of Doritos and staring out my front window at home.  Please stay tuned for more whinging as my family convinces me to return home for Christmas.

Traveling Haikus

Squashed tight spaces

Though little I am crushed

In with a baby

 

Babies hate stillness

Discomfort, bedlam follows

Airborne Smarties, toys

 

At least he’s quiet

Quietly throwing objects

Hate me, I chose this

 

Babies shouldn’t fly

People shouldn’t fly period

But babies for sure

 

Even now, still flat

Air travel has crushed me

Junk food, wine, gossip

 

Only a Band-Aid

My two dimensional soul

Formerly 3-D

 

Tired drama queen

Say thanks for the right to fly

Travel is fun no?

 

Your regularly scheduled Unwashed shall return next week. Tragically, passage by plane has all but stolen her will to live.  In the meantime, you can find her convalescing on the couch while her son watches endless episodes of Peppa Pig. Sweet alcohol and pictures of high fashion can be shipped directly to her house. She will answer the door in pyjamas, with wild, unkempt Medusa hair.

This Isn’t A Post. It’s In Your Best Interest Not To Read It. Perhaps Try A Game Of Bocce Ball Instead.

Remember when you were a kid and had to travel somewhere, so your parents would be packing frantically while you laid face down on the stairs, pressing your forehead into the carpet, blocking everyone’s passage while groaning loudly? That’s how I’m feeling about writing this evening, like lying with my nose and cheeks squished against the keys would be preferable to typing out a post.

It’s not that I don’t have content. I’ve spent the past week and a half traveling about, alternating between terrorizing my sister and perfect strangers. It can be safely stated that I am a small town person. I’m meant for a slower, more familiar pace of life, where you know not only the cashier at the grocery store but two of their first cousins too.

The kind of behavior that is encouraged in a small town; skipping small talk and asking personal questions about another person’s family, might be viewed as rude or eccentric in the big smoke. So at home I am charming. When I visit the terrible metropolis empire, I am a weirdo that people ignore or move quickly away from.

To me cities are a soul strangling mix of noise and anonymity with a fierce underlying sense of competition. I suck at competing. It’s the primary reason why I chose to coach overgrown toddlers to ski. No one expects someone who recently looked kneecaps in the eye, to beat out other three year olds at whizzing down snow covered hills. The crowd just cheers if the little people make it to the bottom. Consequently in cities, when faced with the cold, indifferent looks of strangers as they bolt across loud, construction-congested streets, I start to question my life’s decisions. So I do what makes me feel good; I look for the bits of the world that make me happy and I comment on them.

I told a woman at the GO station that I didn’t think she was old enough to retire. As another lady passed me while boarding the train I commented that her dress was lovely. She ignored me. I chased down a woman wearing her toddler awkwardly in a poorly fitted carrier and offered to help adjust the straps. I smiled at the horrible skyscrapers even as they bared their metal and glass teeth at me. I sang my sweetest folk songs to comfort me and my son as the city’s desire to grow taller than the sky thundered around us in the form of bulldozers, cranes and drills as they erected endless series of towers.

When I tired of alarming passersby, I focused on my sister. Diana decided to accompany Mini-Tex and I on a visit to our grandmother’s assisted living home. “What is the food like?” my sister asked as we rode the subway there. “I’m not sure” I replied, “I’ve never eaten there”. After a second, Diana suggested that she thought the food would be soft. “Excellent” I replied, “Nothing beats a lunch of cream cheese, pudding and wet paper towels”.

Diana’s proclamation was correct. While tasty, everything in the dining room of the assisted living facility left one feeling as though their food had been pre-chewed. Mini-Tex didn’t mind in the least except for when I gave him what I thought were peaches. He spat them out forcefully and pulled a face. Surprised, I turned to my sister, “that’s strange, he likes peaches”. Diana then pointed out that Mini-Tex wasn’t a fan because the wobbly orange slices weren’t peaches but in fact apricots.

Sampling a piece, I realized the fruit was sour. “Let me try one” Diana asked. As my sister put an apricot half into her mouth, I looked at her deviously and said “Slimy, and you get the feeling they keep sliding all the way down”. The line hit its mark and my sister gave a small cough. “I just gagged” she exclaimed. “I don’t think I can eat this” Diana disdainfully held up the rest of the apricot. I was delighted and filled with the same satisfaction that a five year old has when they’ve bopped their sibling on the head with a particularly sturdy toy. Which is terrible, not the delight part, because there’s always some small part of a person, no matter their age which enjoys terrorizing their sibling, but because the line was stolen from Gilmore Girls– I take pride in coming up with my own material to disgust Diana.

As much fun as I had at my sister’s expense, some of the strangers I encountered didn’t get off scot-free either. On a late, late trip home on the GO train, the car was packed. I had a seat for most of the ride, but before disembarking at our stop, I stood in a crush of people all of whom were forced to stand for the trip. Next to me was a beautiful man. He was well dressed, immaculately manicured and very very handsome. And boy did he know it. In all of my life, I have never seen such preening. In the reflection of the window, he gazed at his perfect visage from this angle and that angle. As though he was asking himself  each time, “Am I gorgeous on this side? Oh yes. What about this side?” After I watched this for a couple of minutes, the man stopped. I thought the show was over. But then he started again. “Don’t worry” I reassured him “you’re still pretty”. He turned away from me after that and tragically stopped his preening. Pity that, I was looking forward to the bicep flexes, which I assumed were coming next.

That’s the nonsense I’ve been up to. This wasn’t actually a post. It was more a series of bizarre interactions which Diana would claim is the manner that I inflict myself upon the world.

Orgies, Meth Labs and Theft: How To Properly Welcome a Babysitter


Dear Stacy,

Thank you so much for coming over to watch our son, it’s been so long since my husband and I have had a care-free evening alone. To make your night easier, we thought we should let you know a couple of things. First off, the heroin is kept in the cupboard above the fridge. It’s difficult to reach but you know how it is; if the heroin is on the counter, no one wants to finish their dinner. You’re welcome to help yourself.

 

If you decide to host an orgy, please use the living room rather than the dining room. Not only is the living room larger, and thus can accommodate more bodies, but the dark patterned flooring hides stains well. Most importantly though, the rug in the living room is much plusher and therefore easier on the bottom of whomever ends up on the bottom.

 

For run-of-the-mill, just your boyfriend sex, our bed is best. The bedroom set in the guest room was my grandmother’s and may not stand up to vigorous activity. Remember- safety first!

 

The valuables are hidden in a ventilation duct above our TV in the basement. I suggest Kijiji over the city’s buy and sell Facebook pages, items fetch higher prices there. Be sure to really extend your arm into the vent so you don’t miss the antique silverware.

 

For the purposes of a meth lab, the rec room strikes the ideal balance between ventilation and secrecy. It’s location around the back of the house hides the room from the street and a bush partially obscures the window. In addition, the kitchen fan is only a couple feet away, rendering it the perfect place for you to re-enact “Breaking Bad”.

 

Great news! We just got home internet which should simplify the set-up of a prostitution ring, as I’ve heard that pimps have moved off the street and online. The password to our network is dirtsquirrel1.

 

That should prepare you for every possibility tonight except if you decide to start a cult, in which case, my apologies, I should have left more chips and dip.
Thanks so much, we’ll be back around ten.