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First World Problems

7 Dec

Sometimes (often), some people (I), need a little kick in the rear, to bring them back to reality.

This last week has been one of the busiest weeks of my entire life.

(Kick.)

Ok, maybe not my entire life, but definitely the busiest week I’ve had in a while.  I’m dealing with extensive to-do lists and rapidly approaching deadlines resulting in sleepless nights, a bad attitude and unjustified complaining.  And not even about anything worthwhile.  I find myself complaining about the most trivial bullshit, commonly referred to as ‘First World Problems.’  #FWP

OMG, it took me five minutes to find a parking spot, and when I finally did it was like three blocks away from my apartment.

Really?  You own a GD car.  Beyond that, it actually drives, you have an apartment, and the parking was free.  First world problems.

It’s so ridiculous that I can’t use data on my iPhone while out of the country.  I can only call and text.

Wow.  Not getting emails and only being able to call, text, play angry birds and fruit ninja on a device that understands english, answers questions and takes pictures all the while fitting into the pocket of your skinny jeans…  Yeah, that’s rough.  PS: People used to die from the Chicken Pox.  First world problems.

I’m so thirsty and sweaty after my hot yoga class.

You just drank an entire litre of water imported from fucking Fiji, then paid some skinny white dude $40 to speak to you in Sanskrit for an hour while you willingly dehydrate yourself.  First world problems.

This free sample of hot apple cider from Trader Joe’s isn’t hot anymore.

If the words; ‘free’, ‘hot,’ and ‘groceries’ are in your regular vocabulary and would consider this an inconvenience, you should probably drown yourself in your remaining lukewarm Trader Joe’s cider .

Sometimes life is hard, but right now you’re on the internet reading a blog.

Crafty

22 Nov
I always fancied myself a maker of things.  But if I am totally honest I’m more of a buyer of things that other people have carefully made. You feel me?  We bought these three little box shelves from Target…six months ago and they have been sitting in the closet ever since. Then last week I was shopping at one of my favorite shops in LA Maison Midi and I found this wrapping paper.
I have always loved turquoise and red together and I especially love that the owl seems very angry.  So I bought the paper and said to myself “I’m going to make this the backing of those green shelves, I will put them up in my daughters room, and they will be adorable!”

So last night I set my Phazers to “craft.” First things first, open tiny bottle of champagne from baby shower goody bag, check.

Take 3 sips of champagne and begin to think this out….

I placed the shelves on the paper and traced around them. Logical. I cut out the squares, and rewarded myself with a few more sips of champagne.

Shmeared glue on the back and place paper on the backs of the shelves.The glue needed to dry thoroughly so I drank the rest of the mini champagne bottle while watching “Boardwalk Empire” with the hubby. As I drifted to sleep I imagined how cute those shelves were going to be in her room.

Cut to next day: Husband is out grocery shopping, baby is out with the sitter. I begin to hang the shelves.

First shelf goes well. Shelf two… things go horribly wrong. As I begin to hammer in the second screw the wall gets a bit crumbly. So I take out a wall plug and hammer, twice. The plug goes through the wall and falls down inside the wall. I am left with a GIANT hole. Put duct tape over and try again…fyi duct tape does not fix everything. “Piece of shit!!!” I scream. “Son of a whore!” I yell to know one in particular.

How will I mount this? I try a nail but the wall just crumbles more.

Think Robertson THINK!
I put a nail underneath to support it and with one side functional and some help from below, it actually works! The third tiny shelf goes up without a problem and for a moment I am proud of my accomplishment. Sure an engineer would scoff at my work but a one and a half year old won’t know the difference and this is the first crafty thing I have done since I became a mom! So there!

Getting In The Mood

14 Nov

Furs, black patent pumps, full-bodied reds, something smooth on the radio and spicy on my plate.  Holiday season, I’m all yours!  (You totally thought I was going somewhere else didn’t you… Lot of growing up to do.)

This will be my second Christmas here in Los Angeles, and to be honest there’s not a lot I miss from Toronto winters.  Friends and family back home ask;

“Does it even feel like Christmas?”  “Don’t you miss the snow?”

Let me pause a moment and consider my answer while I sip this chardonnay on a patio while wearing a light blazer and sunglasses…

Nope.  Definitely doesn’t feel like Christmas.  All the trees, lights and music actually put me in the Easter spirit.  I was genuinely confused when I saw Santa at the mall.  I called him a fake, ripped off his beard, pushed him into an Ed Hardy sales clerk and told him to put on his bunny costume.  I may have gotten arrested by a mall cop.

As for the snow,  I don’t do cold.  I have horrible circulation that leaves me with pale-ass skin and frigid appendages.  I can’t even touch small animals or infants after September without the risk of frostbite.   I don’t look good in hats, I hate the fact that hands are completely useless while wearing mittens, and my idea of a ski trip involves a hot tub, massage and a glass of merlot. Most winter mornings, I wake up and consider death a more pleasurable experience than facing another day that measures anywhere near freezing.  And once we hit below freezing on the ol’ thermostat, I’m pretty sure my soul leaves my body in attempts to hurl itself in front of oncoming traffic.

Winter comes – I die inside.

Needless to say, adjusting to winter in California has been life-changing.  I don’t need Seasonal Depression Disorder to get me in the mood.  I need to hear carols sung by crooners, to drink wine before noon, and light candles while making breakfast.  I need to wear fur to dinner, paint my nails black and do copious amounts of baking, adding cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to absolutely everything.  May the celebration begin!   Nothing wrong with a personal sized apple crisp and glass of red wine for dinner.  Yes, for dinner.  Very satisfying.

Apple Crisp

4 medium apples, sliced
3/4c  brown sugar
1/2c.  flour (I use half rice flour, half sorghum flour to keep it GF)
1/2c. quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats (GF oats available)
1/3c. butter or dairy free alternative
3/4tsp.  ground cinnamon
3/4tsp.  ground nutmeg
1/4tsp. cloves

Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch pan. Arrange apples on bottom of pan. In medium bowl, stir remaining ingredients until well mixed. Sprinkle over apples. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork.

Easy Peasy!

10 Things That Scare Us

31 Oct
1. Horror movies that involve demon possession of children.  (Jenn)

Especially now that I have a child living in my house.  Late one night when Lola was a baby, my husband was out-of-town and I was downstairs, alone, watching Pet Cemetery.  As I realized the small child in the movie was possessed, I heard a noise upstairs – I looked at my baby’s video monitor, and at that moment, Lola opened her eyes, sat up, and stared right at the camera! Even creepier, the camera has night vision so she was green and her eyes were black and glowing!!! AHHHHHHHH!

2. Cat Hair (Nic)

To me, cat hair is kinda like a bad rash.  It’s itchy, it migrates, and it always ends up getting in to places it shouldn’t.  I’m getting hives just thinking about it!  And no matter how fierce the outfit, sprinkle a little cat hair on it, and you may as well be wearing a Snuggie to a cocktail party.  Cats don’t scare me, it’s just what they leave behind that gives me the chills.

3. Undercooked Chicken (Jenn)

I am always examining chicken, asking people, “Does that look a bit pink to you?”  I‘ve never had food poisoning from chicken, so I’m not sure why I am so weird about it. I just am. Let’s move on to number four, shall we?

4. Vibram Five Finger Running Sock (Nic)

I’m all for working with your body’s natural mechanics, but the Five Finger Running Socks, scare the shit outta me!  First of all, they’re toes, not fingers.  The fact that we can’t keep that straight, is scary enough.  Secondly, when wearing them, you look like some kind of human-sloth inbred.  Makes me think you can do things with your toes, that you shouldn’t be able to do.

5.  Fat free, dairy free coffee creamer. (Jenn)

Coffee cream consists of two elements: dairy and fat. So if you aren’t either of those….what ARE you?  The answer is: mostly vegetable oil and corn syrup. Powdered coffee creamer has also been used to whiten clothes, clean dry erase boards and when you ignite it, it makes beautiful, pleasant smelling, fireballs.

6. Food past it’s expiry. (Nic)

Even if it’s only an hour passed the recommended expiry date, I can’t eat it. No matter what.  The expired food immediately tastes sour, forms a pungent odor, and an offensive texture.  I simultaneously develop a serious gag reflex, and consume nothing but rice cakes for the rest of the day.

7. Parents who say “Good job!” to their children every five seconds. (Jenn)

I seriously want to tell them to shut it. And I AM a parent! Don’t say “Good job” when your child goes down the slide. That’s not a JOB! It’s recreational fun! Over-praising your children for activities that take minimal effort may result in your child growing up to be a huge douche-bag.

8. Bees (Nic)

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of bees, and know the world wouln’t continue to exist, blah, blah, blah…  However, I have yet to be stung by a bee, so it is not uncommon to hear me yell such phrases as, “Watch your skin!” or “Is it in my hair,” at random passer-byers.  Or to see me jump out of my car, at the intersection of Hollywood Bld. and Highland, spastically remove my shirt and then beating it against the pavement, screaming “Die bee, Die!”  Thankfully it was a red light.  And the tourists loved it. PS. Jenn does not respect this fear. She says “bees are very smart and good, wasps are A-holes.”

9. How much I love Neil Diamond. (Jenn)

When I was a young kid and didn’t know any “official dance moves”, my brother and I used to run in circles around the living room when my mom put “ Sweet Caroline” on the turntable. To this day, hearing a Neil Diamond song puts a smile on my face, and song in my heart.

10. How much I love Phil Collins  (Nic)

As an adult, I do know some official dance moves, yet I still prefer to run in circles around my living room, while listening to Phil Collins or Genesis on my itunes – always making sure to include a wildly impressive air drum solo to ‘In The Air Tonight.’

Get Your Sweat On

25 Oct

I’m a strong believer in exercise.  It’s a great way to blow off steam, cope with stress, and manage the guilt that comes with eating an entire cheese cake.  I’ve had fantasies about becoming a runner, but that’ll never happen.  I have bad ankles and despise the feeling of my wobbly bits bouncing around and making a scene in public.  I give full props to anyone getting their butt to the gym and ‘pumping iron,’ because personally, I find weights boring as hell and hate the fact that my hands are left smelling like a combination of wet metal and protein powder.  If I wanted that, I’d add whey powder to a margarita, and drink it out of a tin can.

I had basically come to the conclusion that I had serious fitness commitment issues, until I made a discovery five years ago.  Title of my upcoming New York bestseller – “How Hot Yoga Saved My Life.”

For those of you that are unfamiliar with this type of yoga, each class is 60 to 90 minutes and practiced in a room heated to one hundred and five degrees fahrenheit, with forty percent humidity.

Basically:

– you sweat your ass off,
– struggle to breathe, and
– fight to maintain consciousness while an instructor melodically guides you though a set of poses that cause your body to violently shake and make you wish you were never born.

Yet somehow, it’s the greatest thing I’ve ever done!

This week, Jenn got us a month’s pass for Moksha Yoga LA, a new hot yoga studio in her area.  I was completely thrilled with the opportunity, as I was once an avid practitioner, but let’s be honest, it’s been about a year since my ‘avid’ days.  Needless to say, my first experience back was… enlightening?

First of all, it was hot.

Like, I’m sporting a parka while power walking through the Gobi desert, hot.  Like, I’m wearing a full length mink coat while participating in a triathlon on the fucking sun, hot.

Within the first five minutes I became brutally aware that I did not drink enough water that day, and the waffles I had for breakfast? Poor choice.  I was completely soaked, sweating like a beast by the ten minute mark, and my thighs and entire core were on fire and threatening to call it quits, by minute fifteen.  I found it next to impossible to ‘find my focus,’ with sweat dripping into my ears, and almost gagged when it crept  its way into my nose and eyes during downward dog.   There I was, blind and choking in a sea of my own filth, far too mindful of the garlic I ingested the night before.  And friends, I don’t care how waterproof your mascara says it is, it’s lying to you, so don’t even bother.  You’ll never look cute leaving a hot yoga class.  Never.

Now, I know yoga is supposed to be anything but competitive, but when there’s a sixty-year-old woman next to you in a swim suit, no cellulite, and a sticker in the middle of her forehead, bending in half like she’s a fifteen-year-old from Cirque Du Soliel,  I start to feel a little competitive.  I yoga’d  hard.  Shit got real.

The consequence of my ego?  An inability to use stairs for three days, raise my right arm above my chest, or stand fully erect without muttering such obscenities you’d only hear in women’s correctional facility, while the inmates are PMS-ing.

That said, even though Jenn and I left the studio looking like ass, we both felt like a million bucks! We’ve decided to drink more water, accepting that a third cup of coffee does not apply as a substitution, and I will be practicing at home between classes, to improve my form.  Either that or sitting on my mat in yoga gear— while watching The Food Network.  Feeling fit is sometimes equally as important.

A Week Without Facebook

17 Oct

Starting tonight at 8pm, I Jenn Robertson, will NOT be using Facebook for 7 days. Yes, that’s an entire week, people.  It’s not because I’m worried about security, or sad that I FB people instead of calling them on the phone.  No, I want to see how many hours of my life I can get back this week, by not scrolling through my home page, looking at random pictures of people’s cottages, babies, or babies at cottages.

I figure I waste at least 3 hours a week on Facebook.  Allow me clarify that when I say “waste,” I mean aimless wandering in a bumbling, social media induced fog. Basically the online equivalent to 12 year old boys, throwing dirt balls. What I am doing, serves no purpose other than to waste time, and destroy brain cells. As a mother, I don’t have the time I used to, to just F around.  Seriously, I barely have time to play Angry Birds.

Most of my wasted FB time is spent judging other people’s status. Why do I do that? This is Facebook not the New Yorker Magazine. People should be able to post their feelings without having to be witty or profound. OR SHOULD THEY?

Should I have had to endure this status?

“I just cut my nails. They were getting really long. Now I feel awesome!” 

No I shouldn’t have.  And I certainly shouldn’t have wasted another 2 minutes of my life reading the 10, count them 10, comments that followed.

How long were they?
Long.
I love cutting my nails!
Good for you!
I hope they’re not too short. I hate it when I cut them too short 😦
I have a hangnail right now!
Ouch!
Hangnails are the worst!
Try putting olive oil on them.
I will thanks for the tip!

Initially I was angry at these people for wasting 3 min of my life, on the most banal conversation of all time. Then the anger turned on myself, as I realized I chose to read that!

OMG I cannot believe that people just “popped a boner” about some dude cutting his nails.  WTF!

How long were they?

Why is that even relevant?

Just curious….

Don’t be curious about how long some guy’s nails are! Be curious about why there is so much injustice in the world! Be curious about what the we’re going to do when we run out of oil! Also, I don’t even think his nails were that long.

So tonight I begin my 7 days of no FB.  Light a candle everyday and think of me. I’ll be journaling my feelings, listing withdrawal symptoms, and noting all the things I’m doing ’cause I’m not on Facebook.  Nic will be playing the role of enabler by sending me texts every hour, detailing only those FB updates of great importance.  Like when your cousin posts “My hamster just did the funniest thing ever!” Funniest thing ever? I doubt it, cousin Melanie. Talk to you next week!

“Cheers to you, Assholes!”

10 Oct

A $40, ooo backpack?  Really…

Vlog it off.

3 Oct

We’ve boldly entered the world of “Vlogging!”

BAM!

Jazzed Up!

26 Sep

As the weather turns cooler (seriously, it was like 75 yesterday) and the sun sets sooner, there’s a little voice inside you that says “Go enjoy the outdoors while you still can, sucka fools!”

Our version of “being outdoorsy” is NOT hiking some remote location where you get your arm pinned under a boulder and end up drinking your own urine for survival. Although, that can be a good time…

We prefer walking 4 blocks to LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), pinning down some tacos for under 5 bucks, and drinking wine for our survival. No need for rescue helicopters here…unless Jenn has too much chardonnay…again.

Below we are doing something local Angelinos rarely do: walking. Don’t these pictures look like a sexier urban version of “Sister Wives?” That’s our friend Jen in the stripes walking behind Nic.(Yes ANOTHER person named Jen) She’s one of the sweetest, prettiest girls we know. She has a baby inside her. It will probably be the sweetest prettiest baby we’ll know.

During the end-of-summer/fall season, LACMA hosts live outdoor jazz concerts on Friday nights at the Grand Entrance of the museum complex. The museum is itself a work of art, comprised of modern and art deco architecture built within Hancock Park – home to the La Brea Tar Pits – where a whole bunch of fossils have been dug up. By the way: trapped in hot tar = bad way to go. If I were a Mastedon (and sometimes I feel like one right before my period) and I knew the asteroid was coming, I would rather take a boatload of Advil PM and call it an era. The tar pits are still hot, and bubbling. And sometimes at the corner of 6th and Fairfax it smells like farts from the sulfur. In fact we refer to 6th and Fairfax as “the corner of fart and egg salad.

Lola in the stroller and Sofie the dog watch as we eat tacos and discuss the problems of the world. I wonder if Jenn’s husband knows how dangerous it is to wear a shirt with a target on it while Jenn has PMS?

Brandon can’t believe the veggie taco tonight is green beans! Karl (on the right) can’t believe Brandon is so exited about green beans. And check out the man-camel toe to the left of Brandon. Wow! Those jeans are right up in there! We should have done a “jean intervention” with both of these people.

Jenn’s daughter Lola has a deep rooted love for jazz.  Basically, she can’t help but dance as soon as she hears it. She will also dance with her stuffed dog and maintain eye contact with him while they dance – out of respect.  So, with apologies to my Mom and Dad for the ridiculous amounts of money they wasted on my dancing career, but I was out-shone by a baby.  Clearly I’ve been a little over confident in my abilities to pull focus.  Maybe I should get my boobs done?

Then the sun finally set, we recycled our plates, and strolled home. Not a whiff of fart in the air. Except for actual farts from the tacos.

PS. Dear readers, we want to thank you for all your support over the last 8 months. And we’d like to ask you, in a very meek and Canadian way, to SUBSCRIBE to Society Finch. Over 400 people read our blog every week yet only 29 of those readers subscribe. It’s free, no salesperson will visit your home.

Hair Extensions – Part Deux (The Reckoning)

19 Sep

The theory behind the Butterfly Effect is that something as small as a butterfly flapping it’s wings is enough to cause a ripple effect that could change major events in history.  Forget butterflies, I altered history big time flipping around my new long hair on Saturday afternoon!  Friday I’m a short hair gal.  Saturday I’m a long hair gal. It’s pretty weird I’m not going to lie.

The hair on my head is Russian I’m told, and the method used to apply was Extend Tubes. A tiny piece of my hair and the extension get threaded through a little silicone tube that looks like a bead. The bead then gets squished, thus holding the hair and extension together.  I felt like I cheated the universe. In 3 hours I had hair that would have taken me 3 years to grow.  Then my new hair got caught in my seat belt and I realized, like with superpowers, with long hair comes great responsibility.

The first night, NO SLEEP! Those little extensions hurt like a son of a bitch. It felt like a hundred tiny ponytails that you can’t take out. And since they were all over my head I had to sleep on my stomach…. face down.  Starfish float (face down).  I tried to put my head on the pillow but it felt like I was lying on one of those beaded seat covers taxi drivers use.

Woke up day two, and looked like an extra from FuBar. My short hair has separated from the long hair creating a super rocker dude effect. I panic, fluff it up, and curl the ends.  Go for breakfast that morning and a woman compliments me on my beautiful hair. Because I am me and always have to “tell it like it is,” I  enthusiastically reply, “Why thank you! It’s fake… and Russian!”

My partner at Society Finch, Nicole, has also gone for extensions. Like animals in the wild we are adapting to our LA environment.  We are merely fitting in with “the locals”.

It’s a choose your own adventure in the wild world of weaves, and Nicole has opted for clip ins. Nic’s hair is longer and more suited to clips ins.  With that bit of extra length, she can wear clip ins and not look like a cracked out drag queen. (P.S. there is a cracked out drag queen named Sharone who frequents our local library. Literacy is for everyone!)

The great thing about clip ins, is that Nic can remove her extensions when going back east, avoiding the statement, “LA has changed you.”  FYI she wants you to know LA HAS changed her. In her words “I no longer look sad and pale, and guess where I was this morning? The mutha fuckin’ beach y’all!”

Nicole can remove her clip ins, wash them, and put them away in a cute little pink bag…kinda like a diaphragm.  I on the other hand am permanently attached to my extensions that I have nick-named, “The Wendigo” (due to the massive amount of hair involved).
Despite our fake hair we’re still the same salt of earth, Steel Magnolias, tells it likes we see it kinda gals. Here are some photos to prove that we’re still just everyday people….with extensions!
We wash dishes.
We clean toilets.
We barbecue. (With caution.  Extensions are flammable.)
We do our own gardening. (She’s actually just holding dirt.  She doesn’t garden.)
We wait for the mail.
We pick up our friends dog poop.  (We’re so average.)
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