Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The coffeefication of Angela

I'm a coffee dummy.

That's no lie.

Except I spend five dollars on a cafe latte probably three or four times a week.

"Grande vanilla soy latte, please."

I settled on Starbucks lattes because they made sense. Steamed milk and espresso.

The first one I had was a straight latte, no syrup. And it was not good. Too sharp.

Then someone handed me a latte with some vanilla in it. Mmmmm, syrupy, sugary, vanilla-y goodness.

And I haven't strayed from that path in ... oh ... six years. OK, that's not entirely true. Starbucks came out with Pumpkin Spice latte for autumn and Gingerbread latte for the Yuletide season.

Mmmmmm ... yummy. And whipped cream, to boot.

Tonight, however, I learned much about coffee. My StumbleUpon adventure landed me on two different edumacative (I so can make up new words!) sites.

This helpful diagram says it all, telling me the proportion of steamed milk (soy for me!) to milk foam to espresso to syrup to ... yikes!

Really, it's not that complicated.

And this lovely site gives us a breakdown of all the drinks available at our friendly neighbourhood Starbucks.

Mmmmmmm ... Java Chip frappu ... ah, but I digress.

The point is, I learned something tonight. Even though my friend Mindi Rice, a fierce sports-writing woman, waits until now to let me know she's a former barista.

Sigh ... you just never know. Maybe if I'd StumbledUpon that information ...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Enemies are good for you

Not sure that many words are necessary tonight.

It's as simple a Stumble as can be: a picture posted to a Flickr account owned by CharlieMiller_SU.

A Winston Churchill quote is emblazoned in orange lettering on a green background:

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

On what have you taken a stand and caused people to dislike you?

The Angela I want to be

In less than two days, I start counselling at the local sexual assault centre.

I formulated in my head a handful of goals for these 12 sessions that will take place over the course of the next several months.

I figure I'd better write them down before they went down the drain with the shower water.

In no particular order, I seek:

  • An end to the panic attacks, the nightmares and the need for sleeping pills to drive away the two former items
  • An ability to see the red flags around a person and put them in proper context, instead of just blindly accepting them
  • The discipline to have just one instead of needing to drink myself into a state of numbness
  • The discipline to not spend every last cent in my bank account just because those shoes make me feel pretty and better about myself
  • The ability to trust
  • The ability to open myself up to people but carefully enough to remain protected
  • The filter to not always say what's on my mind
  • The ability to enjoy the highs and tolerate the lows, instead of feeling completely out of control and hurtling off a roller coaster
And last but not least, I seek the ability to put all this in a tidy little box, seal it up with extra-sticky duct tape and move.

Once and for all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ain't nothin' sexy about it

Do you have any of those traumatic childhood moments?

My dad spent a lot of my childhood in other places -- Newfoundland, Ontario, Alberta, the Yellowknife . . . all over Canada.

He would be gone for three months at a time, coming home for a scant few weeks (and in the early years, it would be a matter of getting Mom knocked up and then taking off again . . . I'm a Christmas conception!).

As the story goes, one summer he came home with a full-face beard.

And I screamed and cried and screamed and cried and refused to let him in my . . . er, his . . . house.

From that point, I've had an aversion to facial hair on men.

I can remember being scared every time my Uncle Harold came to visit. Why? Because he had a big bushy mustache and I didn't like it.

Fact is, I've never dated a guy with facial hair. Made out with one once . . . but I've never been attracted anyone but a clean-shaven man.

No chin pubes (thank you, Alicia Silverstone and Clueless!).

No soul patch.

No roguish goatee.

And tonight, I StumbleUpon the World Beard and Moustache (sic) Championship, a 'a biennial event that features competition in a variety of categories that include everything from the delicate Dali moustache (sic) to the outrageous full beard freestyle.'

Did y'all know there are only 614 days left until the next big event in Trondheim, Norway?

Did y'all know the United States leads the charge with a total of 29 medals?

And Canada, home to your humble scribe, hauls up the rear end with one, just one, bronze?

Fascinating stuff.

I guarantee you one thing.

I won't be there!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The secrets of men

It's no betrayal to give away the secrets of your gender.

As a matter of fact, the more you want to help me out with that, the happier I'll be.

Tonight, my favourite Stumble brought me to PeopleJam, where you can 'find reviews and advice about what works – and what doesn't – in Self-Improvement.'

Self-improvement . . . it's always made me laugh. If you're improving the self, how can you rely on the advice of others?

Aye me, what a conundrum.

In any case, this particular PeopleJam post exposes the secrets of men.

Men like to be called sexy, writes blog contributor Evan Marc Katz.

They won't say 'I love you' first.

Never hang up on a man.

Frankly, most of the 'secrets' should be considered common sense, simple courtesies in a healthy, committed relationship.

And yet, they're often things we let fall to the wayside.

So thank you, Evan Marc Katz for the reminders of how we need to understand each other.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I subscribe to a number of different horoscopes.

I don't know why. I just do.

One of them sends me a Daily Love Tarot card, every night around 11 p.m. for the next day.

Tomorrow's card is the Ten of Swords.

Following is its description:

The Ten of Swords card suggests that everything's over but the tears. Whether it's tears of sorrow or joy is a matter for you to decide.

When the last straw falls, you might finally reconcile a painful past that could exist more in your head than in reality.

Regardless of where the fear lies, its effect on your love life is still valid and powerful.

The impact of letting memories keep you down may be severe, especially if you roll over and play dead. All good and bad things must come to an end.

This might be the time for you to learn to let go of old wounds, heartbreak and injustices that could be hurting or controlling your relationships.

The ensuing release, relief or liberation that arrives after this key realization can leave you free to begin again and undertake a new chapter in your relationship or love life.

Believe or not, I shall be free.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Why I hate roses

Roses are supposed to be the flower of love.

I grew up around them. The front of my mother's house is lined with them. The brothers and I all had pictures taken in front of her prized perennials.

My favourite was the Prince Claus, a deep orange that captivated me.

But I've developed what is more than likely a psychological allergy to roses. One sniff of attar and I'm shaken by a violent fit of sneezes, my eyes become dry and scratchy, and a migraine starts to set in.

He moved back to Sydney that fall after flunking out of his phys ed program at X. But he promised to keep a watchful eye on me, especially since his last two girlfriends had cheated on him.

A watchful eye, it certainly was.

My parents installed a private phone line in my room. If I wasn't home when he called, he called my parents' line, demanding to know where I was. When they or my brothers said they didn't know, he would call my place of work, the number at my best friend's apartment . . . anywhere for which he had the number.

And always his first question for me was 'why aren't you home?'

Every two weeks or so, he would drive to Antigonish to visit me and hole me up in a shoddy motel room for a few brief hours every night.

(No sleepovers allowed. After all, I was a girl with a midnight curfew when I was in senior year of university.)

And every time he visited, he brought me roses.

So the power of love in roses has been stolen from me.

Win my heart? Bring me sunflowers or daisies. Sunflowers for warmth, happiness, adoration and longevity. Daisies for innocence and gentleness.

Roses, at least in my eyes and nose, are about control and power and jealousy and suffocation.

And there isn't a vase in my house that will hold them.