Thursday, April 27, 2006

Year of the Baby

Mozart and Desertification supporters insist that 2006 is their year but what 2006 is shaping out to be is the year of the baby. Baby watch frenzy has reached a fever pitch as a motherlode of celebrities pop buns out of their ovens this year: Gwyneth Paltrow, Katie Holmes, Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Brooke Shields, Gwen Stefani, etc.

On the personal front, a few female relatives and a co-worker are all pregnant. I've rubbed tummies (with their consent) and shopped for baby stuff more than ever before.

Then there are the questions about when I am going to contribute to the population. These are usually accompanied with sage advice like, "Because you're not getting any younger" or "You don't want to be an old mother."

I am not adverse to having a baby, especially in the face of such peer pressure. When both Angelina and your cousin are (practically) pushing their enlarged torsos in your face, who doesn't wave their arms in surrender and start listening for the patter of little feet?

Like military training, I have started acclimatizing myself for my own bundle of joy. While I haven't actually stopped using contraceptives, I have taken other measures:
  • when a baby starts wailing on public transit, I now force myself to smile and enjoy the sounds as opposed to covering my ears while humming or jumping out/through the window
  • sleep deprivation and vigilance are expected by any new parent. To simulate similar conditions, I stay up late playing video games then check on my spouse from time to time with questions like "Do you want some milk?" or "Don't you have to work tomorrow?".
  • I stare at other people's children, trying to see their positive and cute traits. For instance, kids are adorable when they are bundled up like baby seals and their flesh is probably equally soft and juicy ... perfect for stroking with motherly love, of course.

These are baby steps towards my ultimate goal of joining everyone else on the bandwagon. To see Britney pregnant again, within three months of giving birth, convinces me that if she or any unspayed animal at the Humane Society can do it, so can I.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Countdown to a firing

Based on the lacklustre response to my previous blog, it would seem that strangers do not have any more of a clue of what I should do than I do.

My daring career gamble has failed and before I turn to a life of crime, Joe has suggested that I take a mental break. However, shopping for clothes and a new job are not enough to keep me chipper.

I've started looking into new things to learn and as usual, the impractical and the ridiculous jump right out at me.

I've looked into the following courses:

  • Kendo - wielding a big stick and talking softly
  • Medieval Martial Arts - getting medieval on someone's ass for real
  • Learning a new language - forget professionally practical languages like Mandarin. I want to know how to ask for 80 chickens in Farsi, Russian or Ojibwa.
  • Tap dancing - every time life gets me down, I'll just start tapping my toes and my life will suddenly become a Hollywood musical. At worst, people will throw money at me.

It occurs to me that my life is like a buffet: low on longterm value but high on cheap thrills. Up next: convincing my boss to lay me off. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Boredom drives the future

If you ever had a chance to scan my work resumé, you would see that I have never worked for a single employer for more than two years. More charitable observers might say that I am ambitious and quick to jump on opportunity. The truth is that I bore easily and have a low tolerance for routine.

I am quickly approaching the second anniversary of my current occupation and I feel boredom setting in. Another sign that change is in the air is that I am seriously contemplating ridiculous career possibilities.

Here are samples of my insanity:

  • Secret Agent - I find it appealing that simple acts like making a phone call take on a special meaning
  • Criminal - the careful planning and patience required are probably beyond me
  • Dominatrix - you wouldn't have to pay me much to get a good beating

Poor Joe, who didn't even blink when I joined the equivalent of "clown college", has patiently pointed out why none of the aforementioned career paths are feasible. For instance, being a criminal means that jail time is an inevitable part of the learning curve. "Just look at George Clooney in Out of Sight and Ocean's 11," said Joe. True enough.

What do you think I should do next?

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Baby, it's cold outside

Before summer arrives and my argument becomes moot, I would like to remind beach wear enthusiasts in Toronto that they live in ... Toronto.

Hollister has recently landed in Toronto but it is only the latest in a string of surfer style retailers that thrive in Canada - most notably Boathouse and American Eagle Outfitters.

My problem with Toronto beach wear enthusiasts is that they are:

1) In a state of denial

The laid back sexy California vibe is undoubtedly attractive but California-like weather only comes to Toronto for two months of the year. The rest of the time, beach wear just looks ridiculous.

As soon as the temperature goes a few degree above freezing, I see beach wear troopers in flip flops. It makes me cringe to watch their toes turn blue but admittedly, their discomfort is not mine.

To those who would weakly argue that Toronto has beaches, I would point out that most of them are not open for swimming and that the beaches are well separated from the rest of the city both geographically and culturally.

2) Lacking in imagination

Instead of transporting a fashion from another climate and regurgitating it, why not mix up beach wear with more Toronto friendly styles?

Or just forget the whole beach bum look and wear clothes that are more suited to the urban environment that is Toronto. The fast pace and concrete jungle makes exposed feet and knees ridiculously vulnerable. Instead, Torontonians can indulge in high heeled boots (impossible in warm sand), dark denim skinny jeans (too heavy and tight for hot weather), and layered clothing.

The king of sexy sand wear, Abercrombie & Fitch, is slated to arrive in Toronto this fall - just in time for increasingly nippy, wet weather, along with limited sunlight. There will be an over-enthusiastic crush of consumers buying the clothes. My only hope is an early snowfall in October (not unheard of in Toronto) falling lightly over exposed toes in flip flops will bring everyone to their senses.