I know you won’t believe me, but …

… as a kid I was painfully shy. I didn’t walk beside my mother, I crept along behind her. And if I could have crawled under her skirt, I would happily have done so. Seriously. For that matter I wasn’t a particularly outgoing adult for much of my life either.

Hard to believe when you look at this photo, I know, but it’s true.

I still get clammy palms when I think back to the first time I was part of a major creative presentation, to a major client. Huge client, presenting to the president and CEO and I was new to the account and the agency. Hell, I was new to Toronto.

To make matters worse, I’d had no presentation training, Continue reading

A frustrated artist …

That’s me in the photograph. I was a first time flower girl; and it was one of my great uncles who was getting married. He was only 15 months older than my mother.

Can you imagine? The uncle and the niece were probably in diapers at the same time. It’s unsettling enough to think of your parents having sex, but your grandparents. And your great grandparents. Good God!

You will never know how much I hated that dress. It was tulle, but it was rough and scratchy, and it felt like I was encased in barbed wire. For most of the night I squirmed and twitched like I was possessed. And when we finally got Continue reading

The good old days …

A friend and I were talking about New York the other day. I’ve been there hundreds of times over the course of my lifetime, but I had an instant flashback to one trip, in particular.

I was with my parents, my aunt and cousin. I was young, not yet a teenager. But not as young as I am in the photo with my parents. I was probably a year old, two at the most in this shot.

My parents and I used to go to New York every spring, for easter, for about a week or 10 days. My father went often for business, but as a family we went once a year, although occasionally more often. My mother was born there and Continue reading

Before and after — vive la difference!

It’s a miracle, I tell you. Believe it or not, the frying pan you see in this photo, is exactly the same frying panfrying-pan that occupied this same space last week. In case you don’t remember, click here. Except last week it was charred beyond recognition. And here it is again, good as new.

I’d given it up for dead immediately. Then a few friends shared a secret “recipe” with me:

“Put some dish soap and water in the pan,” they said. “Then put one of those Bounce dryer sheets on top. Put the pan on the burner, turn on the stove, give it about a half hour — et voila!”

“And make sure you watch the damn pan this time!!!”

Except I don’t have any Bounce dryer sheets. I don’t use them because I can’t Continue reading

Nero fiddled while Rome burned (in a manner of speaking) …

… except this time it was me who was fiddling — with a blog post — and not paying attention to the frying pan onburned the stove. The All-Clad pan. I was cooking (obviously) and the recipe called for caramelized onions. They turned out fine, you’ll be happy to know.

It was after they were done that I ran into a problem. Because I’m lazy, I usually put some dish soap into the pan I’ve used, add water and put it back on to the stove briefly, just to loosen up all the bits so it’s easier to clean.

That’s what I did this time. It usually just takes a few minutes.

But inspiration struck. I got an idea for my next Huff Post blog. I’d been struggling with the idea all day. I couldn’t take the chance that I’d lose it, while I watched the pan. The heat was turned down very low, and all I wanted to do Continue reading

Finally, something to feel good about …

These days everyone’s attention seems to be focused on “millennials.” Marketers everywhere are trying to figureperennials them out, desperate to find ways of reaching them, talking to them, convincing them to notice their brands, to like their brands, to choose their brands. To favour their brands with their attention, their praise, their cold hard cash. To favour their brands with their loyalty and their reco’s.

They’re proving to be a tough crowd, but I’ll save that conversation for another day.

In the meantime, it’s easy for us geezers to feel left out, forgotten, ignored, irrelevant, unnecessary, unimportant, undesirable, invisible, pretty damn useless actually — need I go on? It seems like just yesterday, the world was all over Continue reading

I’m officially ready to move on …

While talking to a friend last Friday, she said something that sort of freaked me out — not because it icewas shocking or surprising — only because I’d thought the exact same thing myself, a few hours earlier.

Turns out we’ve both decided we’ve had more than enough of summer.

Don’t know about where you live but here, in Toronto, it’s been relentlessly hot . Day after day of humidity so high it Continue reading

Thanks (again).

Canadian Thanksgiving was this past weekend.  And considering how, for the past two weeks, I’ve been talking about what I’m pumpkin piegrateful for, I figured this was the perfect time to continue that particular conversation.  And then I’ll give it a rest, I promise.  Which you’ll be thankful for, I know.

Right off the top, I’m grateful for my sense of humour.  There’s all kinds of shit going on just about every place you can find on a map — not to mention  the crap we all put up with in our own lives — so being able to find Continue reading

It seems I’ve undergone a metamorphosis …

… or at least turned over a new leaf.  And not a fig leaf either.  I hate to disappointment anyone but despite the drawing this adam and eveisn’t a post about men and women.  Or sex.  It’s about temptation.  Well, not really, but sort of.  Or resisting temptation.  Sort of, but not really.

A bit of background.

As long as I’ve been earning money I’ve liked gizmos and gadgets.  Well, I’ve probably always liked them.  But it’s only since I’ve been earning my own keep that I could indulge myself and buy them whenever I’ve felt like it.

To be totally honest, “liking” doesn’t really capture it.  It’s more like “I must have that!”  The very Continue reading

I’m the kiss of death …

Can’t you just see everyone who comes into contact with me, who’s read this headline, slowly backing away?  I can.  Kinda funny, actually.ExplodingComputer  But they really should have stuck around for the rest of the story, because it only applies to me and technology and electrical appliances.  Humans and animals are safe.  At least as far as I know.

In the last month alone everything I’ve touched has turned to shit.  We had a power outage a few weeks ago.  Not just in my apartment building, in a huge area of Toronto.  Of course it happened the instant I arrived home with six bags of groceries, most of which were perishable.  I live on the 15th floor and had no intention of schlepping those bags up all those stairs.  Not that it would have Continue reading