April 4, 2012

When I was invited to Denise’s birthday party we were given an address and told to bring a thin pair of socks. Okay, I did Google the location, but I didn’t know anything beyond that.

So as I walked up the steep stairs of the Dance Studio located at 7757 Edmonds Street in Burnaby, I reflected that I had never taken dance lessons as a kid, but I must admit, I am addicted to a certain ballroom dancing show on TV (don’t tell anyone). I was the first to arrive and the receptionist told me that I’d be fitted for a pair of tap shoes. Wow. I’m going be break out in song and flick my taps like the Broadway stars! I was excited only because I knew I’d be with a group of women I’d feel comfortable doing this with.

Once our party arrived and with our tap shoes on we clomped into one of the studio rooms and lined up in front of the mirrored wall. Barb, Denise’s friend since her childhood dance days, was our instructor. Even after a full day of teaching she still had the energy and exuberance to take us through a series of moves, broken down step by step.Everyone had their own technique as we swung our hips and hit the floor with our shoes as we watched Barb through the mirror as well as the line of rhinestones on the back of her right tap shoe – obviously there for newbies to know to follow the correct foot. With the odd grunt, gasp, and laugh we seemed to be in sync because if your not the sound of a solo tap will hang in the air.

Just putting the finishing touches on the final number and then taking it on the road

At one point Barb turns around to face us. “Someone actually hit their tap to get that sound. Did you hear it?” We all began to recreate the sound by slamming down the metal part of our shoes. There was obviously something wrong with my taps because it wasn’t working.

As I worked my way through each piece, my jeans clung more and more to my thighs.

“How long is the whole song?” Denise asked.

Barb checks the CD. “Two minutes.” She says.

“Hey maybe we can dance the whole number.” Someone shouts out from the back as everyone agrees.

“Do you want to know how much of the song we’ve worked through?” We all yell out a resounding yes and wait as Barb checks the sound system.

“Okay, we’ve choreographed 25 seconds.” Screams of laughter all around. We did the full hour though likely making it through at least 30 seconds.

Some people wanted to remain anonymous for this blog; others didn’t mind going global, so I thought I’d pass out a few awards to each dancer:
  • Clelie for the best skirt twirl.
  • Denise for the best resurrection of dance skills.
  • Teresa for the best effort.
  • Hailia for best tap (and most experienced with three years of tap lessons).
  • Anonymous for most graceful (you know who you are!).
  • Our lovely dance teacher Barb for best instruction and most patience.
  • Me? I laughed and had fun and felt for a moment as if I was putting the finishing touches on a few moves before being filmed for a cameo in Smash.
A few of us had so much fun that we are going to do it again. Watch out Anna, Maxim, and Karina, I’ll soon be competing with you for that coveted pro position.













Had a 40th birthday party at my place last Saturday. No, it wasn’t mine, but thank you for thinking it was. My friend Kim’s longtime buddy Mike was the birthday boy. And the theme – wait for it – was bacon.

A bacon-inspired soiree is new to me, however, if you Google bacon parties, there are many who have already hoisted a piece of fried fatty meat in place of a glass of champagne. Granted, bacon decorations are slim out there (you can purchase a lovely bacon pennant -sturdy and reusable, in case you were wondering), but there are numerous bacon-inspired presents including soap, air fresheners, dental floss, bandages, and wallets, all either smelling, tasting or looking like bacon. Are you religious? No worries, you can start you day off praying to the Patron Saint of Bacon in lieu of a high cholesterol breakfast.

Needs help

To bulk up the decorations, my roommate Kim worked hard into the night designing, drawing, and cutting red construction paper in the shape of bacon and gluing white strips on the front to hang around the living and dining room. In addition, she printed pictures with various bacon-inspired slogans – a flag with the caption God Bless Bacon, a little boy eating a piece of bacon, and a particularly creepy little girl ogling her plate of bacon.

All 30 of the people invited attended and Mike at least appeared to be having a great time socializing, opening his presents and answering the door to greet all his guests while in a tall felt hat with faux candles shooting out the top. I did suggest that we invite a Bacon brother, but for some reason, no one was interested.

The music, organized by another friend, was circa 1972 with tunes such as April Wine, The Stones, The Supremes, Frank Zappa, CCR, and Chuck Berry’s  hit My Ding-a-Ling. “I bet you and I are the only ones who remember this music.” The DJ said to me. I pointed out that while I was only around eight years old at the time, I definitely remembered the 70’s as I was not old enough for this period to fly by in a drug-infested blur.

It's my party and I'll wave if I want to

The big deal of the evening were the two cakes that yet another friend provided. A savory one made of layers of meat loaf, cream cheese, and bacon with a mashed potato frosting and pieces of bacon on top as well as a vanilla cake with caramelized bacon on the sides held up by a to-die-for creamy frosting made with mascarpone. I know of no other person who could have pulled this off but Bebbie the magnificent (who also swooped in and got the last minute party details completed).

Camille taking a quick break from her people

As usual, there’s always a belle of the ball, and at this party it was Camille, my 20 year old cat. She casually sauntered through the living room winding her way around people’s feet, making sure to say hello to all. At one point she was passed around the kitchen, comfortable leaning into everyone who held her and kneading the air with her paws. Phoebe, my other cat had a less engaging evening, deciding to spend half the night in a cupboard under the bar in the basement and the other half under my bed, that is, once I carried her (legs flailing) up to my room. Mind you when morning came, Phoebe was bright eyed and bushy tailed while Camille lost a whole day sleeping do to her excessive partying.

In the end, I realized hosting a party without having to be the primary hostess is far more fun than being concerned with every detail, whether or not my guests are having a good time, and wondering how long people will stay. In fact, when I had had enough, I went to bed.










March 4, 2012

My Body Double (amazing likeness)

“I’m not bringing my car, so I can’t bring my magical tickle trunk this time.” I hear the sigh in Alanna’s voice. “Guess I can only bring one bag this trip.” My best friend of 34 years tells me as she gets ready to visit from Vancouver Island.

Alanna is known for her extensive collection of clothes and stunning shoes. I felt a tad deflated as one of my favourite things to do is walk around in her 6 inch leather Prada sling backs, multi-patterned Lamb pumps or Chinese laundry wedge sandals. It was much easier to parade through my one bed room carpeted apartment instead of my family home where I live now, with the hard wood floor and stairs. Still, I grab onto the railing dressed in my bathrobe and march down to the living room as if I just woke up from a coma and am learning to walk again. Alanna tells me she is willing her entire shoe collection to me when she dies. I have a vision of myself at 86 years old insisting on wearing a pair thigh high black leather boots to dinner in the assisted living residence where I live.

This visit though, I only find a pair of Guess jeans of her’s to try on. And they fit perfectly. So perfect that I instantly wanted my own pair.

“Do you mind if I get them in a different colour?” I ask.

“Of course. Make sure to get them a little tight though. They stretch out a lot.”

Searching the internet, I told her I’d try to get them in distressed black. I’m okay if my jeans are upset, just as long as I’m not.

I have been battling with my peri menopause paunch for a year now. None of my jeans or pants fit as they use to. I haven’t gone up a size, which would have been easier as all I would need to do is buy larger pants. Instead, everything fits except the snug waistband around my developing muffin top. Whatever the reason for this body change, it’s an even better way to justify my incessant quest for the perfect jean.

So, when I happened to find myself in Pacific Centre mall at lunch this week (amazing since I don’t work downtown), I decided there was no harm in at least taking a gander in the Guess store. At first I thought I’d just look around and then leave when none of the salespeople helped me, but a gorgeous young woman, with her own perfect pair of guess jeans in yellow, came right up and found four pairs of the same jeans in slightly different washes. Without my reading glasses, I could only get a blurred vision of the price of each. I decided I’d take a closer look if I found something.

I tried on the black pair first and walked out of the change room.

“Oh, those look great on you.” Another sales person tells me.

“Yeah, but their a little tight around the waist.”

“Oh, they’ll stretch, so it’s good to get them a little tight.”

I try on another pair, this time in a washed out denim. Nice, but I want something a littler dressier.

Finally, I grab the deep blue pair. As I try to focus in on the tag attached to the waistband, I notice the word Swarovski. Doing them up, I realize that the button has a Swarovski crystal in the middle of it to match the trademark Guess triangle on the back pocket. A little blingy for me, but I’ll try them on – just for fun.

I walk out to view my whole self in front of the 3 way mirror. Looks good. I bend my knees and then rise. Still looks good. I slip an index finger around the waist. Good fit.

I get my glasses out to take in the cold stark reality of the price tag. Oh shit. More than I would have ever spent on a pair of jeans to date. I sigh and wonder when the bar started getting higher and higher on what I would pay for jeans.

I walk around again. Then try on a less expensive pair. Finally try the same pair on again.

My sales person comes back. “These fit a lot better, and of course, their the most expensive.” I say to her.

She smiles. “Yes, well, they both look good on you.”

“Yeah, but these are way more comfortable.” I wait for my justification to be reinforced. Surprisingly, she lets me stew about it myself, offering no gentle pushes towards the pricier pair.

I cringe, as I walk out with the pile of jeans.

“Did you find something?” I place the chi-chi-pooh-pooh pair on the counter.

“Yeah, I did.” Whip out my clear VISA card before I change my mind.

For God sake’s I’m pushing 50. Someone sub-in as my Mum and reign in my Swarovski crystal ass in. It still doesn’t stop me from walking out carrying my large bag with the trendy, sexy half-dressed couple advertised on it.

I’ll deal with myself later.

No sooner did I blog about not being published than I was in fact, published!

I didn’t even noticed the email from Existere Journal of Arts & Literature that was buried in my inbox. It was only when I was on the telephone with a friend of mine that I saw it and with an audience right at the other end of my iphone, I read the whole email to her and screamed out “Oh my God, I’m finally published!”

After that, I called my best friend Alanna to tell her that the first story of mine to be accepted was the one about her and I sucking the juice out of her Mum’s canned fruit when we were teenagers! Image me ever thinking that one day our basement antics would be in print for all to see.

No worries about being Adel Marmalade anymore. Not that I was worried or anything.


Welcome to my blog. My intention is to write about what goes on in my everyday life, the writing I do, and who I am or striving to be in this world. I want to keep it interesting – sometimes it will be funny; sometimes not. Whatever I do, I’ll do my best to keep it fresh! I welcome your comments. And a shout out to my friends – click that RSS button to subscribe!


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