Archive | November, 2012

I’m not a loser

30 Nov

I have not failed. I have just found 1000 ways which do not work
-Thomas Edison


Mr. Noodles was my babysitter

26 Nov

In India, my mother would have hand fed me vegetables and roti. In Toronto, she worked odd shifts and bought Mr. Noodles instant noodles by the butt-load. I don’t know what I ate before I was smart enough to use the stove.

Mr. Noodles has a prominent place in my memory. It is the only processed food item that can make me both happy and sad at the same time, and at different places along the space/time continuum. The present me is sad that the old me had to eat them 3-4 times a week, while the past me is perfectly content slurping away at the MSG goodness while watching Power Rangers.

Mushroom, oriental, chicken and vegetable-flavoured packages exploded out of our one-bedroom apartment’s cupboards. Oriental was my favourite, although I don’t know why they were called Oriental; they didn’t taste like Chinese food at all. We never bought the beef flavour. Good Hindus don’t eat beef, even the artificial kind.

I'm sure they don't taste that good anyway

I’m sure they don’t taste that good anyway

I would sit in front of the T.V, large Corning Ware plate in lap and faux silver fork in hand. I absolutely hated eating them in a bowl; they didn’t cool as quickly, and I couldn’t suck the remaining bits off the edge of the plate. That was my favourite part.

I innocently and obliviously enjoyed the company of Mr. Noodles until the end of high school when I was forced to take a nutrition class in health education. To my horror, I realized that for all these years I wasn’t eating real food. I felt the shameful awareness burn across my face when I thought of all the frozen dinners and canned food that was in my house. It was like we were preparing for a natural disaster.

My fate was sealed after that day. I went on to major in kinesiology and health science at York University, and did my best to educate my family about the importance of daily physical activity and reducing trans fats in our diets.

But some habits are wedged deep into our brains. Today, my mother still buys boxes of Mr. Noodles when they go on sale, and I protest every single time.

“Ma! These aren’t good for you!”

“When there’s nothing to eat you’ll be happy I bought these.”

“No. They’re just going to sit there and go bad. I’ll never eat them.”

I resist eating them with all my might. But when I know they are there, sitting on the bottom self, next to the bran cereal and protein powder, they call to me.

Come. Come enjoy us. You can have us in less than 5 minutes with no fuss. We make you happy, you know we do.

I always cave.

I crave them in the middle in the night when I’m verging on sleep and am most vulnerable. All reasoning goes out the window and I stomp myself down to the kitchen, cursing all the while. I am not supposed to be doing this. Mr. Noodles are not part of me anymore, they are something my family has moved past. We have a house and I have an education now. I now know how to read the non-food ingredients on the back of the package.

I boil water, add the noodles and rip open the seasoning package. Rather than adding the mix to the water like you’re supposed to, I drain the noodles, spread them on my plate and then add the powder. Just a touch of margarine helps it all mix together. I eat. I enjoy them in the moment and I feel guilty (and sick) afterwards.

I used to wash down the salty goodness with a tall glass of milk. Now I’m lactose intolerant and vanilla-flavoured soy milk just doesn’t do the trick. It’s not the same. I know too much now. I have too much now. And that stupid crinkly package reminds me of the old me, of everything I didn’t have, and didn’t know I was missing.

When I am by myself and have my own family, things will be different. I won’t allow them anymore, I will never buy them for my children and they will never know of their existence.

But then I think about it.

It sounds like a lot of work to make a home meal three times a day. And shouldn’t every child know some struggle to shape strength? I don’t want to raise children in the suburbs, leaving them behind with their nannies. I don’t want to be responsible for brats who don’t abide by the 10-second rule for how long your food can be on the floor before it’s no longer safe to eat. Kids these days are allergic to every thing. You know why? Because moms are too afraid to let them eat dirt. I had dirt for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and I turned out fine.

When I have kids, I’ll just pretend to be poor. I’m sure it will be good for them.

November 25th-International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

25 Nov

When a woman is the victim of ongoing, violent domestic abuse, it makes no difference to her chances of survival if she has counseling, takes out a restraining order, or learns to fight back…the only factor that statistically increased a woman’s chance of survival is if the victimizer himself is exposed to direct and ongoing anti-battering intervention
-Andrea Ayvazian from Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression

Sometimes being a chick sucks

21 Nov

One time I was late for my fitness assessment lab and I had yet to change. So I ran across campus, jumped over a fox eating a squirrel, dodged some serious goose poop and sprinted into the basement of Bethune college into the nearest change room. I ripped off my clothes and threw on my shorts and Lions t-shirt; panting as I ran through the lab door. I made it to my seat 30 sec before the start of the lab when a guy walked in, stood next to me, took of his sweatshirt and track pants and changed into his gear in front of everyone.

I hated that guy.

Seriously, do your homework

19 Nov

Use opportunities or create them yourself. It is your responsibility because you are privileged with an education

I f*%$ing love to swear

17 Nov

Note: If you are offended by profanity, do not read on. If you are my mother or a recruiter scoping me out for employment, please exit your browser and walk away. Just walk away.

There was a time in my life when I despised swearing. It was a sad time. I was a teenager and I used to surround myself with adolescent boys who implanted swears after very other word. They would use their curses as a verb, noun, adjective and even an adverb. I didn’t like it. It took too much energy to decipher what they were saying and when I did manage to decode their cryptic messages, they were simple and the cussing just wasn’t necessary.

“I f*%$ing hate this f*%$ing s*%-faced math class.”

Okay, so you’re not a fan of algebra. You just used 44% more words than you needed to and you didn’t at all change the impact of your message.

Call me a pretentious stickler for vocabulary, but I just didn’t think ‘f*%$’ was that useful of a word. And it was so overused outside the boys’ locker room (don’t worry about why I was hanging outside the boys’ locker room). Even worse were the girls who swore. The nastiest, most vulgar material can come out of a teenage girl who’s listened to too much Ludacris. It was definitely creative, but it just wasn’t very lady-like.

I went on as the Anti-Profanity Authority, shunning no-good-sayers with my looks of disapproval and curt wags of my finger. I was on a mission to cleanse the mouths of delinquents everywhere. And then my life changed forever in a university linguistics class, of all places.

The professor swore. The linguistics f*%$ing professor f*%$ng swore! A person of power and great intelligence swore in front of her students! What kind of a horrible role model would do that? Everything I thought about the conventions of swearing had been shattered with the drop of that F-bomb. And she did it with such nonchalance. While the 200 of us gasped and held our breath, waiting for her next vulgar expulsion, she simply continued writing her lesson on the board. She turned around to our wide eyes and pale faces.

“What? Swearing is a great way to let off some steam. See, I snapped off a piece of chalk.” She held up the nub for us to see and we leaned in, intrigued.

“I got upset, I swore, I got over it. No harm, no foul. If you’re slighted by this, I suggest you leave now because I’m not going to get any more grey hairs by filtering myself.”

Of course! It made perfect sense! I exhaled, nodding in agreement to her explanation. And then the class burst into joyous laughter. We were liberated. Fuck yeah!

After opening my mind to the idea of swearing, I realized that I was thinking about it all wrong. It can be not only a fun addition to anecdotes, but it also has the potential to express some true and deep emotions, unrivaled by the use of any non-offensive synonyms.

For example:

“I just don’t understand what would possess you to do such an idiotic fucking thing!” (Expressing great disappointment in your lack of judgment)

“Ahhhh! I won the fucking lottery!” (Note that the use of a curse word highlights the rarity of this occasion and therefore importance of such an occurrence)

“Fuuuuuuuuuuck! I just stubbed my toe!” (Elongation of the vowels with the head tilted back is particularly useful in releasing stress/pain)

“Hell yeah, fucking right!” (I just like that song)

As you can see, the use of a simple cuss word really spices up your communication and adds a little flair to your message. It really helps you take a bite out of the ass of life.

I learned the valuable lesson of just letting go, that day. Yes, that does require the odd sacrifice of not spending a lot of time around children (especially outside a place of worship) but in the end, I think it’s worth it. By allowing myself to indulge in the occasional* cursing rant, I have prevented horrific acts of road rage, reduced my risk for heart disease, and have found a new appreciation for rap music. My apologies to all the Ludacris fans I looked down on in my naïve youth. Man is a genius.

*occasional is a relative term

20 ways to get over a breakup

16 Nov
  1. Deactivate your Facebook (and other forms of social media) and stop ‘inadvertently’ looking at pictures of your ex.
  2. Buy Hagen Dazs.
  3. Cry. Cry loudly and unapologetically.
  4. Now that you’ve cried, go for a walk or run and feel free to curse at all of the stupid couples. Think of it like this: you just got a head start on what is doomed to happen to all of them. Suckers.
  5. Listen to JT’s Cry Me a River. Dance a little and sing into a hairbrush/microphone.
  6. Listen to anything by Adele.
  7. Work out. High intensity activities such as tennis, squash and whack-a-mole do well.
  8. Remember to breathe.
  9. Paint your nails in a semi-ventilated room.
  10. Think about all the times you’ve ever been hit on, even if the responsible party was drunk (it still counts).
  11. Spend time with your friends, alcohol and a lot of pasta.
  12. Swear. Swear a lot.
  13. Get a haircut to purge and redefine yourself.
  14. Play with your dog. If you don’t have a dog, borrow someone else’s.
  15. Get dressed up to go check your mail. Do your nails (again), brush your hair, and get out of sweats, even if it’s for 5 minutes.
  16. Watch a movie alone. You won’t have to share your popcorn or licorice.
  17. Clean your house.
  18. Take a bubble bath.
  19. Sit in a park and imagine people tripping and rolling down a hill.
  20. Google cats.