Category Archives: random

Fresh Pots!

Dave Grohl made this a thing. Fresh pots. Indeed

I drink a lot of coffee too, and believe it or not I’ve cut my consumption by two thirds at least. Still, this may sound like a lot of coffee to some people…

I take my coffee hot, fresh, and with a double dose of unsweetened almond milk. no fatty cream and no sickly sugar. Tea, I drink black.

6:45 am

2 huge cups in the morning of very very inexpensive ground Colombian. I buy it at Giant Tiger or get the No Name brand. Hey, its better than most diner coffee! If you use cheap coffee within days of buying it and drink it no longer than 10 minutes after brewing, it’s pretty good.

10:00 am

Time for Starbucks. Since I don’t like Starbucks but the closest cafe is a gas station I use Starbucks VIA. It’s not as good as my morning coffee (recall, the least expensive coffee I could find?) but it is light years better than burnt and stale, weak dreck that the gas station self-serves. I cycle between Pike Place and Blonde Roast… and lately i have been sneaking a second cup because it is pretty damn delicious.

12:45 pm

Earl Grey, hot!

2:30 pm

Earl Grey, hot!

6:30 pm

Sometime after this, I’ve come home from the gym or late from work and head to a cafe. Being surrounded by Bridgehead locations, I’m basically spoiled with the best coffee in Canada. Generally, I have one but maybe two cups if I am reading a really good book. There is also the possibility that I’ve brewed a pot and am at my computer with a bottomless cup.

9:00 to Midnight

This the dark-roast night of my coffee loving soul. I fight the urge to drink coffee and have been known to sip a cup of decaf to cope.

On weekends, the only real change is that I may grind something way too expensive, use a french press or put on coffee at 3 am.

Yes. 3 am.

So, it’s basically the equivalent of 60-80 fluid ounces of coffee a day I figure? Maybe 100?


Beach Bawdy – My (now) Vintage Swimsuit

Ever wear a baggy swimsuit? Take a dive and the whole thing just kind of slips from your shoulders and starts to peel off backward? Not fun if, like me, you actually swim instead of just bob around giggling when you are in the water. The last time I wore my favorite suit, that was the name of the game. Try any stroke with one hand pressed to your cleavage to keep your flappy useless suit from flying off and you will see what I mean. Not fun. A friend tied the straps together in the back with a shoelace so I could manage the rest of the camping weekend… that was back in 2009, but wearing the Red Green treatment in beachwear is just not my thing. Since then, I have only been swimming a few times even though I was given a very nice pirate-theme tankini that fits really well. It performed well during a quarter-mile swim to a forgotten Gatineau island in summer 2011 and looks great on the shady shore so I really need to get out in it more often.

Anyhow, back to the old suit. It was bought around 1992 when Wonderland opened it’s water park. I was 17 years old and absolutely not comfortable wearing anything remotely like a swimsuit in public. I was doughy and without an ounce of true muscle. At the time I had lost a bit of weight, but a struggle with body-image and womens-media had begun and I was suddenly faced with a decision: either buy a swimsuit I liked and accompany my friends to the new waterpark, or sit out and grumble. I had three swimsuits to choose from at home, but they were hideous and cheap.

I usually wore a shirt over them and swam with family or friends so it never mattered. They were also at home and I was 200 miles away. I was stuck among 20,000 people, three friends, dozens of cute boys, a blazing hot sun and quite possibly the most amazing water slide ever. I rationalized as best I could at 17. Buy the most expensive suit on the park grounds and promise yourself you will wear it forever and ever, Amen. It cost me $80, which at the time was half of my spending money for the trip and a lot to pay for a swimsuit. Sigh. Worth it? Yes. Very.

You see, this was probably the first item of clothing that worked for me. The piping was flattering. It created shape where I had none. It showed off a figure that was only barely there. It hid everything that needed hiding, and it was black. Gorgeous, sumptuous, and gothy-dead black. I loved it. It even made me feel a little tiny bit sexy. I didn’t wear a shirt over top for the first time I could recall. It was the first piece of clothing that I wore and actually gave Not One Fuck about how I looked. Not One. I cared about how it felt, and it Felt Just Fine.

That day, onward, my weight changed from 160-ish pounds to the top weight of 210. All the while, I wore this suit. At 160, it fit. At 210, It was tighter… but that is what lycra is for! Since It was a top brand (Body Glove or Ocean Pacific, I forget and the tag is faded and specifically bought it since it had no logo imprint) it was destined to look great and last forever. Trust me, if it still fit, it would still look great.

Once I aged and gained all kinds of muscle from eating well and weightlifting for a few years, it stopped fitting when I hit 155 pounds. Although the numbers on the scale are close, my body has changed dramatically from the day I bought it. In contrast, the suit has not changed one bit.

Not one stitch has come loose. Not one inch has been overstretched. The gusset is spotless. The white thread is pristine, and the black is still dark as coal. All this despite it seeing me through three years as a camp counselor, countless laps in chlorine pools, swimming lessons with the YMCA to get my bronze cross, tanning (yup, tanning), and exactly one million midnight dips and camping trips. It lasted from that long day at SplashWorks when I was 17 to the last camping trip in Mattawa when I was 34. In the photo, you may be able to make out a little zinc cream on the left strap. That was from the last time I tried it on and had a laugh at how floppy it was.

I can’t seem to part with it. Those in the know, know that I am the least sentimental person for miles. I don’t save x-mas cards or children’s artwork for long and I certainly do not save clothes that I don’t wear. I have a few trinkets that live in a jewelry box, but they are small and go undetected when I purge most things I own.

Wednesday, I purged four white trash bags worth of clothes. Something like ten pairs of pants, eight sweaters, three dresses, a jacket and three blazers, let alone random blouses, skirts and t-shirts. Since I lose an average of five pounds a year trying to stay healthy, I ditch clothes that are too big annually. Buying clothes is far more painful. I have no problem tossing clothes and never have. Good riddance and to Goodwill with you!

This time, half way to the St. Vincent de Paul, I got talking about this suit. I even tried to pawn it off on my friend who was helping me carry the overstuffed bags down the street. A swimsuit that is almost as old as she is is a tough sell, and understandably so. After talking it up, I stopped. I dug out the suit. I stuffed it in my purse, and brought it home. I’ve never really done anything like that before. Had a sentimental-ish moment with a piece of clothing. It’s a weird feeling for me and now I have no idea what to do with it.

Maybe a thoughtful or crafty type of person could suggest something. Do I get a dress-form and leave it to collect dust? Shall I pin it in a shadow-box and call it art? Right now it is hanging on the wall in the dining room – classy, I know. I guess it’s going to go back in the drawer from whence it came. Perhaps it can whisper low in its archaic way and teach my fishnet apparel or corsets a thing or two.

On twitter

Sure, I like twitter. I use it a lot and I have since it’s inception. It’s great for local stuff like traffic or breaking news; even what cafes are open on a holiday. It’s a promotional tool combined with a very plain social media and message centre. I keep up on a lot of really rad horror news, authors I love, musicians I adore, and people who are fascinating.

For years I’ve read articles on others opinion of the site, let alone ‘tips’ on how to use it. Most of it goes in one ear and out the other, but I am very interested in what people think of social media since that tends to shape it eventually.

Recently, I read a few do’s and don’ts that came across as a ludicrous Ten Commandments on how all should ultimately use it and what Twitter ‘actually’ is. I won’t link it since this isn’t about arguing opinion, rather, it was one line that prompted me to write this. These cranky notes have been piling up for a while in my head on their own, but a lot of what irks me were things he suggested people should do. So, take this post and read it bizarro-style and you will have the article I read.

The line was an ultimatum. Something like ‘people think twitter is a social site but it’s not.’ Very narrow minded. Very typical coming from someone who only uses it to bot-tweet endless promotional links. Pretty anti-social really. Last I checked, twitter is largely a social media site and not a digital business card collection.

Anyway, there are counter-intuitive things everyone does on any social media, myself included (like drunk tweet endless photos of tacos… maybe… for one), but at the end of the day Who Really Cares. It’s Only Barely Real Life. Keep that in mind. These are just a few things that people do on Twitter that may drive me to unfollow them, never follow them in the first place, or wish every day that I could unfollow them without hurting little tiny feelings.

Hall of Mirrors

Okay. These tools exist and people use them. Is it laziness? Do they feel they are saving time and being enterprising? Using apps that auto-post from one platform to another only work  half-right on Twitter. The 140 character limit cuts your post short before you actually say anything, then you insist your followers leave twitter to read your full post. Nine tenths of this is asking too much, especially if your post is cut off before explaining what the link is. There is no appeal. This is compounded when your friends or fans follow you elsewhere. What you have created isn’t a useful and enterprising duplicity, but an annoying hall of mirrors that says nothing. This is worse when the account is entirely unused except to mirror your Facebook wall. Why follow you on twitter at all? If your post elsewhere incorporates hashtags and is short and interesting, let ‘er rip. That makes sense. Most cross-posts don’t and it seems you give it no thought at all.

Oversharing and Oversharing

Sure, that tweet is cool. So is that one. Okay, the next ten… wow… have you posted anything yourself? If not I may rather following all the cool people you re-tweet over you. Sadly, I wanted to follow you, not them. It’s nice to re-tweet relevant and not-to-be-missed content but really think before you share. This becomes the record of your content in a way. If ‘your content’ is really just a bunch of other people’s notes, I’m eventually gonna cut out the middle-man.

Then, if ‘your content’ is nothing but griping about your wife/kids/bowels I honestly wonder why you turn to social media. That is really coffee talk to be shared with those close to you that can really provide input on your specific domestic situation. Or your doctor. Or your lawyer. A divorce lawyer. Or babysitter. It’s one thing to share tidbits of your personality and things important to you but when Every Single Post boils down to your wife hovering over your shoulder… yawn.


My new favorite… Nuff Said… Check this out… Made me chuckle… yeah, you know what? On a wall of succinct and interesting content, all these cryptic links get ignored. I’m not intrigued by the internet version of crying wolf. Hint at what the link contains at least, please. It strikes me that the only person who would click on it is probably in the room with you sharing some kind of conversation we can’t hear. I have no idea what you are on about, so this is static noise to me. What ever gave you a chuckle remains a mystery and I’m fine with that. Tease people into clicking your link. I’m not going to click on a link with no preface and if the preface is unimportant to me, I’m not going to click through hoping the link content redeems your weak tweet.

Robot Insurance

When people follow you, assume they actually read what you write. Also, many people scroll back in time to read what they missed. Using a bot to auto-tweet all day long is plain annoying. I know you wrote that book or cut that album or took that photo. I maybe followed you due to that. Maybe I even bought a copy. No amount of daily robotic copypasta is going to make me buy it again. If I shared the info once, I ain’t gonna do it again no matter how many times I read the exact same tweet over and over for months. Sometimes years. Don’t insult your friend’s intelligence. Don’t ask them to insult their reader’s senses by sharing your never-ending stream of diarrhea. This is just as bad as asking your followers to follow you… It also makes me think you are not present (as in the hall of mirrors) and aren’t reading anything I write either. Why follow that? I also know (or hope) you are a witty and bright person who would still be allowed on the internet if they had a mandatory intelligence test every time you logged on, so why not write custom posts? It’s not hard. Considering your feed is half pictures of beer and you bidding the ‘twitterverse’ goodnight at 9 p.m. it’s not like you don’t have time.

The Great Wall of Chirpa

Okay, sure. You got a life. Great. You only have x amount of time to spend on Twitter. I hear that. Sitting down and plastering 50 rapid fire tweets is doing it wrong. Who does that? In real life, do you do that? What do you do when you see a feed that is all one person? Do you honestly read that? If it’s a bot it’s even worse since you know it’s a hall of mirrors that isn’t even sentient. If it’s a live person, then it’s insulting due to lack of regard. I follow hundreds of people posting really cool stuff, then all of a sudden your impenetrable wall of 50 tweets carpet-bombs my feed with what might as well be napalm crap. Even if it’s all gold, due to the sheer amount, I feel like I’m expected to go panning and read every single one looking for a gem. Forget it. Magazines and some news agencies are really bad for this. Timing a slew of auto-posts or an RSS feed turns into a full wall or ten. I tend to unfollow the faceless feeds and just grumble when my friends do it…

… until Now. Now you know. Now you see the tip of that big cranky iceberg my personal Twitter Fail Whale swims around every time I peruse my feed. No need to change what you do, as I likely still follow you if you are reading this. I don’t follow all of my followers since I honestly read my feed like a news ticker and not everyone posts content relevant to my daily life. Most of the people I follow I have met and shared some success, art piece, journalistic feat or drinks with. A few are those I just plain adore. Or, like Bad Joke Cat or Sockington, are cats. This is the internet, after all.