handy girl

Changing tires, changing diapers and changing minds all over town...


millicent and friends, 2009
anna leonowens gallery, halifax, ns canada
photo: sol legalt

sculptural work

i've had requests for online images of my sculptural work, so i'm posting some for the viewing. enjoy!

la sirene, 2009
granville street, halifax, ns
photo: josh szeto


girl powdering her neck

girl powdering her neck
point of view: her voyeristic husband

i understand the ritual
born and bred from birth
she prepares herself for me, so perfectly

i am consumed by the art of her beauty
yet i know her heart's not in it
still, she lays down for me, so perfectly

and she'll birth our daughter
and she'll groom our daughter
and she'll prepare our daughter
to lay herself down, so perfectly so

about utamaro
utamaro was an artist who studied women
he showed his drawings to many people so they could see what he sees

in the time of his life, the study of women made them fall at his feet
and he captured their femininity, two-dimensionally

utamaro didn't discriminate, at least not between women
the class of women, the role of women, the function of women
it was all the same
it had to be - they were women

and where are the men? what happened to the men?
sitting back in the member's only club
waiting for the unmarked parcels to arrive


the starry night

the end of life, no symbolic token
no patriotic flag, no water's broken
the tree of life, nature's child
not crying in death but living in the night sky
greater than that little town
no beginning and no end
mobius thread, born and dead


van gogh's bed

solitary definement lives here - in bed
in the truest place of dreams
here, the big bad scary world is mute
and godmother fairies abolish evil wickedness

van gogh, like cinderella
looked into the eye of the sun
and never went blind

manet's olympia

i am a prostitute, it's clear
take a look, all the clues are here
the maid, the cat, the body hair

i am a new kind of beauty
i've never been seen before
at least not here on canvas

of my profession, he does not care
my master gives me to you and with bated breath you stare

apostle of ugliness!
that's what the critics will say
until they find themselves alone with me, those masters of domain
they'll stare long and hard with bated breath, and here i shall remain

so take me, take me, take me now! my body is your glue
and that which lives right up my stairs, you'll nary have a clue

you don't seriously think i'm lying here in the dark do you?
my eyes are wider than yours, my mind is bigger than your growing desire
so fill yer boots up buddy, get a good look now buddy
my master gives me to you and with bated breath you stare


how do you solve a problem like la creepo?

dear handy girl,
someone keeps trying to publish comments on my blog that are inappropriate, lewd, and/or graphic. some of my readers are teenagers and should not be looking at this crap. also, i have readers who drink tea with the pope after midnight mass and others who are virgin buddhists in their eighties. what should i do?
handy girl

dear handy girl,
delete the comments and block the sender (if he is not an anonymous wimp). if this person does not stop, let the blog administration know. if it still continues, call the cops. they will take you seriously, they will track him, hunt him down and arrest him for harassment and a bunch of other indecent things, and then he can have all the fun he wants in jail with his new buddies.

keep in mind that only a very unbalanced individual would do this kind of thing. your blog is a clean, helpful and honest site and he obviously needs professional help. you are not his therapist.

i love you,
handy girl


accidents happen, or do they? muah!

the other day i was walking down robie street, minding my own business, when i came to the crosswalk in front of the commons. i pushed the button to make the lights flash and noticed a girl on the other side of the road, also pushing the button. as the cars came to a stop, we both headed out into the road, and what happened next seemed to occur in slow motion.

a green car had stopped. the other pedestrian was crossing the street. a tanny-gold car came up behind the green car, slammed on the breaks, screeched on the road for about fifteen feet and smashed right into the rear bumper of the green car. both drivers calmly got out of their cars, inspected their vehicles and began to exchange information.

i stood there with the other pedestrian. we talked about what we had seen. the man in the green car asked if we were witnesses and requested that we hang around and give our information. i chatted more with the girl and we both agreed that the tanny-gold car was going too fast and couldn’t stop in time.

the other witness was very nice, a creative, artistic and free-spirited, fellow by-pedal foot-wanderer, and we quickly found common ground. being like-minded, we discussed other things, like where we were headed and what kind of work we do. we realised that we had just met by accident, or rather, by ‘an accident’, and laughed about how nothing happens by accident.

when i talked about nscad, she mentioned how she’d missed the wearable art show, a fundraiser for the aids coalition of nova scotia, organized by nscad students for the eighteenth year running. i hosted the show this year, with super cory bowles and nscad’s sweetheart, katie h, and told her there would be a screening of the show at nscad in the coming weeks, and there were pictures on facebook.

the wearable art show was a fantastic event that went off without a hitch, and i am continually impressed with the raw talent breaking out of the very skin of the students at nscad. every year, the bar is raised, and so is the money donated for aids research. kudos to everyone involved.
so anyway, it seemed clear that the girl driver was trying to lessen the impact of an ‘accident’ that was clearly her fault. she said things like, ‘when i saw your break lights go on, i tapped on my breaks’, but she actually slammed them and crashed into a car that was stopped, and ‘oh there’s no damage’, as we watched other cars drive over the piece of her car that got creamed.

it was taking a long time for them to exchange info, and the guy obviously needed the co-witnesses to step up. we interrupted what may have become an argument by offering the truth, from two different perspectives with clear views.

the woman did not take too kindly to our descriptions, and kept saying she wasn’t going over the speed limit, but we felt speed was a factor. the car ahead of her had time to stop when the lights flashed, she was going too fast to stop in time. had the green car not been there, one or both of us would surely be booking passage to a greener pasture in the sky.

i have a lot to say about pedestrians in this fair town. for two weeks in september, one can tell who the students are from ontario. they make eye contact with the driver, use hand signals to make sure it’s okay to cross and then practically shine up bumpers, in gratitude for allowing them to cross the street. after this period of time, they walk out into the middle of the road like everybody else.

my ‘accidental’ encounter with escaping a catastrophe and meeting a cool chick, was like a nudge from the universe, a reminder that i am on the right path. today is not my day to die, but another day of meeting new people, promoting worthy causes and above all else, bearing witness to the truth.

and now, as i finish this post, a facebook friend request from my accidental pal has channelled its way to my inbox.


truth or truth: is there really any question?

Great answer, Handy Girl,
My situation is similar to Hopin' except I know my wife is not the one for me. We got together when I was going through a bad break-up, and deep down I knew it was a mistake to marry her. I care about her and respect her, and I would never cheat, but lately I have been very attracted to a woman at work. Our chemistry is like nothing I've felt before, and I know she feels the same way about me. I have no children, but I would really like to one day, but I don’t feel any desire to have children with my wife. Should I stay in a relationship that I know is wrong, or should I end it? I don't want to hurt anyone but I also can't spend my life pretending anymore. Please help me.
dear stuck,
seems you have found yourself in a pickle of a sticky situation. by admitting you are married to the wrong person, it sounds like you have already begun to leave the marriage. life presents us with what we need at the time in order to learn and grow, and you must now ask yourself some very important questions.
why did you marry your wife? when you met, you were going through a break-up. you were in a state of flux, of not knowing what was happening next, of ending one relationship and beginning another. you say you knew it was a mistake at the time, but you did it anyway. has this happened before? are you just repeating the same mistakes over and over and over?
are you absolutely certain that your wife is not the one? if there is any doubt, you need decide if it’s worth tossing out the bath water before you’ve even had the baby. raising children is the most important job in the universe. our choices in procreative mating ought to stand the test of time, no matter what happens in our adult relationships.
are you living as your true self, the person who is uniquely you? we often fall outside of our selves and conform to expectations of others. as time goes by, we can get further and further away from living with authenticity.
is the devil on one shoulder coaxing you to break up your marriage, or is the angel on the other saving you from a lifetime of misery? maybe the devil wants you to live in misery and the angel wants you to work it out with your wife. living with integrity and being honest with our selves, has to be our first priority.
if you really, truly, honestly can’t see yourself being with your wife for the long haul, it is not fair to keep her in the dark about your feelings. these are valuable years that she will never get back, and staying in the marriage can prevent her from meeting a man who does want to be the father of her babies.
when life is not moving in the direction we would like it to, sometimes we manifest a catalyst, to create a situation of abrupt change. catalysts come in many forms, from illnesses to car accidents.
since you have known all along that your marriage was a mistake, you’ve probably been putting the catalyst vibe out there for some time, and it has manifested itself in your feelings for this other woman. if you are meant to be with her once you are free and clear, you will be. take this as a gift from the universe. you could have ended up in a hospital bed.
now for some handy advice: should you go down the break-up road, whatever you do, be kind and be honest. it takes many, many more hours on a therapist’s couch to forgive a dishonest, assholier-than-thou mate, than it does to forgive a decent guy. since forgiveness is the key to letting go, your wife will eventually need to forgive you in order to truly move forward in her life.
keep your private life private, and keep the particulars to a minimum. none of your friends want to know the shockingly gory, intimate details regarding the dissolution of your marriage. when the dust settles, there will be a greater chance that both of you will maintain mutual friends, if they are not privy to the nitty-gritty’s, and a greater chance that you willl both be able to move into new relationships in healthy ways. stay true to your truth, do what you will, and harm none.


directionally challenged?

Dearest Handy Girl,
I miss your witty repartee & such. Glad to hear more of the universe will be able to bask in your Handiness. Since you say you are full of answers, here's a question: How does one know one is on the right path? If one has talents and abilities that could lead in different directions, how to know which is the right direction to head in? Heart & Hugs from De the directionally challenged

dear de,
recently, my head got full of possibilities that never before seemed possible. so, tonight i sat on my porch to contemplate the existence of your question, hoping the universe might give me a sign.

my thoughts turned to the last time i looked for a sign, walking through the commons on my way to yoga class, wondering about the challenges i was having with a friend. when i came to the place in the middle where all the paths meet, someone had spray painted the words, but there are so many other paths.

tonight, on my porch, there would be no messages in bottles, no lightning bolts jolting from the sky, no locusts or swarms of bees or murders of crows. tonight, my sign would be channelled to me through the humanoid forms of two young, male, drunk dalhousie university students.

tonight, as i toyed with the meaning of life, of marriage, of commitment, of everything, drunk guy number one asks why i’m sitting all alone. i told him i was contemplating existence. he told me to go with my heart.

drunk guy number two says he’s gonna take a piss, and proceeds to do so on the side of my house. drunk guy number one asks me what there is to contemplate, and i say there are new choices, there are new possibilities and wonderings about what’s behind door number three.

drunk guy number two shakes himself and tells me to listen to his friend. you gotta go with your heart. the two of them try to get me to go drinking with them but my mind turns to the oatmeal cookies that my daughter had baked the day before. they are on a plate in my kitchen. i go with my heart. cookies made by ones daughter are the best cookies ever baked because they have love in them. this was an easy choice: drunk guys or cookies. other decisions are not so easy.

i have a friend. we both look younger than we really are. we were walking in the snow the other day, talking about how we still sometimes get asked for identification in bars, about how my daughter gets handed the wine list and i get looked up one side and down the other. we agreed that the secret to youth, to looking young and feeling young, is doing what we love. how lucky we both are to be able to pull this off. or are we? does luck have anything to do with it, or does it always come down to choice?

our choices determine our future. when faced with choice, the answer has to lead us to being closer to our true self. this doesn't mean there will be things in life that we do not want to do, like washing the buttery batter bowls left behind from bambino's baking binges, but we can make a choice to change our attitude toward our activities.

am i a party animal or a thankful mother? who do i want to be in this situation? i look at the washing of the dishes as a joyful cardiovascular opportunity to shake my booty while grooving to a mika album, which favours heavily against the other choices: being disgruntled about washing dishes that i didn't use, refusing to wash them and reverting to nagging my daughter to do it, or waking up the next day at some frat house in the south end, unable to even remember if there was any joy to be had.

doing what we love and maintaing our integrity will keep us on our path. choices made today will impact future choices and sometimes we need to make mistakes so we can learn, to experience suffering in order to appreciate joy. signs are everywhere but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

here is my handy advice: go with your heart. we have one life to live in the bodies we inhabit and the most important thing is to do what we love, what leads us to joy. we make choices every day, and when we are joyful, we are our best selves. with joy, we are better able to help those around us and be the person we were born to be. good luck, or should i say, good choices...


when the sweetheart you love is true, are you?

Dear HandyGirl,
Okay. Here's one for you. A casual friendship with a woman at work has turned into a problem for me. I have become very attracted to her and there is a compulsion to take it further. This will not happen in the foreseeable future. Why? She is happily married and I'm friends with her husband who works there also. I too am happily married. My wife works there as well. We are all friends who work together and are in the same social circles. So we see each other a lot. Sometimes I try to avoid her or eye contact with her to the point of possible rudeness. Other times I just have to go talk to her. Nothing seems right. It's like I am a pubescent boy again. Then I would have just went for it, probably making a fool of myself, but then it would be over. Painful, but over. I don't have that option now. There are 3 others who I care about and don't want to hurt. Once in the past I confided in my wife that I was attracted to another. It didn't go over well at all. I promised myself I would never do that to her again. That situation was remedied when the other women moved from the area. I have never cheated on my wife and never well. I believe in our marriage, but never expected I'd have a stupid problem like this. It's not like I can just stop feeling as I do. Can you imagine a solution that will not hurt anyone?

dear hopin’,
i’ll begin by saying that your problem is not uncommon. we are human beings with feelings and desires, and it is normal, at some point on the timeline of life, to be attracted to other people, even when we are in a committed relationship. what really matters is how we deal with it.

take vegetarianism, for example. if a person chooses to be a vegetarian because they believe eating animals is wrong, and that animals have the right to fulfill their destiny as animals, then they are making a moral decision. even if they are wholeheartedly committed to this lifestyle, it doesn’t mean they might not drool when the aromatic reality of sizzling bacon fills the air they breathe while walking past the local breakfast hotspot.

revealing the sinful salivations to a fellow vegetarian may open the person up to critical discourse, but acting on the desire by chowing down on a blt is much more than breaking a code of conduct; it’s messing with core values and it carries karmic consequences. the ‘vegetarians’ who sometimes eat chicken are actually chick-etarians. in vegetarian circles, that’s a reputation breaking no-no, that smells foul.

what we have here is a question of morality. people are very different when it comes to how they choose to define and exercise morality in their lives. i had a friend once, who wanted me to commit fraud to help her to be approved for a mortgage. another person i was acquainted with, thought there was nothing wrong with pelting the sausage down the hallway with another woman’s husband.

when i finally realized that i was cut from a different moral fibre than these ladies, it was easy to see that i didn’t need to exert any more energy trying to work things out. our fundamental beliefs about life and the universe were too divergent for us to pursue truly healthy, trusting friendships. this isn’t about judgement; it’s about recognition of basic differences in core values. it takes all kinds of people to make up the world, and when the time comes for a morality check, our distinctiveness can strengthen our resolve.

you mentioned you would have behaved differently when you were younger, that in spite of the pain, at least it would be over with. some say we grow our moral backbone in childhood. then, during our teenage and young adult years, we take it for a test drive, we rebel against it, and we push it to the limits. it sounds like you were a normal teenager, fumbling through the uncharted waters of romantic love, living the scenarios that would reinforce your core values.

you say this has happened before, and the problem went away when the woman moved away. until we learn from our experiences, we will keep reliving them. we will attract what we need in our lives in order to learn. the problem has not gone away; it’s back three-fold and it’s closer than before. some people need a few kicks at the can, and the universe is giving you another shot. being attracted to someone is one thing, obsessing about it or acting on it is another. maybe it’s time for you to pick up the can and recycle it.
you’re a big boy now, yes, you’re a grown up man. your past experiences, and your desires for the future have led you to choose a wife in the present. how lucky you are that she said yes. you both have jobs, friends and a commitment to each other. break out the champagne and shower your beautiful wife with adoration, respect, neck-rubs, flowers and chocolates.

relationships change over time, because people do. as long as you and your wife share the same fundamental beliefs and stay honest, you will likely grow old together. maybe something happened in your wife’s past that made her particularly sensitive to the thought of infidelity. maybe she has attracted a husband like you, to help her work through her fears, to protect her, honour her and respect her til death do you part. to find security in her role as wife, she needs to know that your heart is hers, and hers alone. if you really want this marriage to work, you must give it to her.

you are attracted to another woman, but you don’t say whether the other woman knows this, or even feels the same way. if this is a two-sided attraction, then it will be twice as hard to resist. if you fantasize in solitude, then for all you know, she could think you’re a knight in shining armour, or a smarmy oaf. in either case, the dilemma is yours to own, and you sound like you don’t want to hurt anyone or mess anything up. your moral compass is not broken, it’s just dusty.

assuming you truly want to be in an honourable marriage, here is my handy advice: recollect all the wonderful things about your wife, that propelled you to fall in love with her, and then nourish them. spring is on the way, so plant new seeds of love in her name. every day, think of five good things about her, and tell them to her. count your blessings. recognize that your attraction to other women is a tender issue in the emotional body of that amazing woman you married, and never, ever act on it. strive to be the poster boy for that new fair trade, organic cereal, the one that’s high in moral fibre. do what you will, and harm none.


so...ya wanna be in pitchas

i know two excellently fabulous and altogether amazing women, donna davies and kimberlee mctaggart. they just happen to own and operate a local film and television production company known as 'sorcery films'.

one day, my good friend donna said it would be really cool to put handy girl on tv. i spent the next day doing handy things and minding my own business. then, the day after that, we were suddenly shooting a segment for the wonderful world of cbc television, with the most amazing camera guy ever, bob (robert) zimmerman. seriously, it all happened that fast.

so, cbc has a new tv show called living east. you can read about it here: www.cbc.ca/livingeast and you can send in your very own comments, images, ideas, video clips, etc...once the show airs, beginning january 15, 2007, you can also watch it online or on cbc's utube page.

living east is a local show, a guide to better living in the maritimes, but there are other regional shows too, right across this amazing country. there's living newfoundland and labrador, living in ottawa, living saskatchewan, living vancouver, and more! each regional show gets to pick segments from other regions, and that includes handy girl.

so, i guess handy girl is evolving beyond blogland, but that doesn't mean this blog is no more. in fact, i imagine it will continue to evolve and grow with time. keep your questions coming...i have answers in me that need to come out.


all dolled up: handy girl shows some art

i believe in egalitarianism, and the sacredness of life, regardless of age, race, gender or faith. i also believe in lipstick, push-up bras and appropriate armpit shaving. i am a feminine-ist, with humanistic tendencies.
by creating needle-felted dolls, my process is furthered along through reactions of those who view them. some think they are very strange, even creepy. others only want to play, and i just can’t stop making them.
my work responds to the incongruence of female form, proliferated by the three m’s: media, marketing and money. from the birth of venus to barbie to the bearded lady, stereotypical images are everywhere, in every time period.
all dolled up and rearing to go, i openly blame my dolly addiction on dr. david howard, art history professor, who woke me from deep sleep. it wasn’t a gentle nudge either, and now life will never be the same.
well anyway, i thought it was time to get my dolls out there; then people can see them and start talking. so there's this group exhibition from the feminist collective at nscad's anna leonowens gallery in halifax, opening at five thirty on december fourth and running until the ninth. good golly gee, i do declare, some handy dolls'll be appearing there...come on down and check it out.


chalk it up to common ground

it was a full harvest moon when we all met on common ground, armed with sidewalk chalk, packing ten pounds of intention into five pound bags. the core group of the underground common ground sidewalk chalk experiment would set the tone for the hours and days that followed, and would initialize new plans for future displays of temporary public art.
my intention was to bless the space following the aftermath of the rolling stones concert. a family friend had the intention of using up the bucket of sidewalk chalk she had found on garbage night. a sculpture student at nscad intended on finding something within the group dynamic. a young buddhist woman, who stayed up all night dancing the night before and then went to an all day conference she had forgotton about while shaking her groove thang, had the intention of not letting me down.
we began by preparing the pavement. we talked about how we wanted to remain positive and to have no rules, except to remain positive. i liked the idea of lower case letters but wouldn't dictate that to anyone. we knew there would be others walking through the commons on a saturday night and agreed to hand out chalk to anyone who wanted to participate. by the end of the night, more than twenty strangers had added their flavour to the mix.
we chalked and chalked. we followed our individual paths which led back to each other for momentary verbal and non-verbal exchanges. it seemed to us like a timeless event; we were in the zone of intention, we were driven to put out only the best of such, and the whole experience was strangely surreal, a massive output of energy for the common good.
my family friend brought beach rocks, chalked them with huge lips and words like 'you rock' and positioned them in the giant tire tracks of mud. she was a trooper, a good newfoundland girl who wouldn't leave until the job was done. while bent over to pack up the supplies, a guy came running across the commons because he thought someone was dying. we told him that we were very much living, and happy to know that someone would come running at three in the morning in the middle of the commons should we have been hurt.
the sculpture student went on to digest the process of chalking covertly at night, of creating temporary positive and happy graffiti in a public place. the buddhist, whose initial intention kick-started her into showing up, gained much more from the experience on a personal level. it really was to the benefit of the chalkers and to those who would walk on common ground.
i went over the next day and sat across the street from the commons. i watched as people slowed down to read the pavement. some people stopped walking altogether and started talking to each other. my intention was to bless the space, and right before my eyes, people were smiling at each other and strangers were chinwagging all over the place.
we didn't go over with spray cans and ski masks, yet we remained somewhat anonymous, which gave us the chance to be flies on walls. i heard some people talking about how good they felt walking to work the next day when they read the words on the pavement.
eventually, my ears would hear, 'oh no, it's raining! i guess that's the end of the happy commons'. this is the way of temporary chalk art. once the rain comes, it disappears into nothingness.
worry not, haligonians! handy girl is planning on creating more temporary public art and is waiting by the fire for the first snowfall of winter (yes, that's a clue)...stay tuned, there is just so very much more....


common ground?

handy girl has been on hiatus and is now back by popular demand. apologies to faithful readers who are on the verge of abandoning this site.....with a new semester beginning, a daughter starting high school, love interests and computer issues, i have neglected my absolute duty to entertain y'all with fresh fingers. there is much work to be done and it all starts this saturday night. ya that's right, tomorrow night, and you have a chance to be involved....participaction! get with the action!
there's a lot of talking going on, all around town, all over the radio, and in the papers too, about the rolling stones concert that happened recently at the halifax common. for those who are unfamiliar with this town, the common is a large area of flat grassy land, walking paths and sportsfields. it connects different areas of the city together and makes getting to and from school or work much easier for many haligonians. lots happens on common ground.
so anyway, after fifty thousand or so people jumped up and down in the rain while mick and his boys belted out their cazillionith renditions of their cazillion songs, the common ground was left, how shall we say, looking like a shithole? for this reason, some people thought the concert was not a good idea. other people thought we should boycott the entity known as the rolling stones and bring in a more contemporary band, and even others thought that people who thought this should be boycotted.
in the days that followed the show, the worker guys worked and worked. the stage, the port-o-potties and the garbage (for the most part) got hauled away, and what we were left with was a blown up version of a backyard belonging to four year old quintuplets, after a rainy birthday party day of tonka trucking in a grassy mud pie eating contest delerium.
nobody from the city and none of the concert promoters bothered to clean the mud from the walkways for nearly a week. it was a full three days following the stage removal that they came back and haphazardly moved the mud. i think they were hoping for a giant sponge to sweep down from the sky and i was more than half tempted to go over there myself with shovel in hand. as i began to recruit an entourage for this task, the mud was no more.
this doesn't mean there is no other plan. in fact, i have a very handy idea, and you too can be involved. meet me at the fountain on the common ground at eleven o'clock tomorrow evening. bring your friends and be prepared for fun-ness. that's tomorrow, saturday october seventh, eleven pm. photographic documentation may appear in my next post.


love or karma: which comes first?

Hey Handygirl.
Got a problem. Hope you can help. I hang around this fella, he and I have a lot in common. He has a girlfriend, she lives away so they haven't seen one another in awhile and won't until September. So, I am interested in him, I know I shouldn't be. BUT I think he could be interested in me. BUT I am not sure. Is he just a nice guy, or is there another reason we are always at the same place at the same time? Fate or Coincidence? Do I have to make an ass of myself to find out? Ahhh! I think about it all the time, I need your help!
Thanks in advance,

dear limbo girl,
once upon a time, there was a man who travelled a lot with work. when he was out of town, he would hang around with this gal and they had a lot in common. often, he wouldn’t see his partner for a while, and on one of his out of town jaunts, they both decided to express their “interest” in each other. they were always in the same place at the same time. fate? coincidence? or just two people making asses of themselves?

it was many months before their little secret was discovered, the events of which set in motion years of heartache, karmic balancing acts and feats of strength. you see, when you mess with someone else’s partner, bad things happen. if not right away, then eventually. this is a hard and fast rule with no exceptions. sure, many people need a way to get themselves out of a relationship, but that catalyst doesn’t have to be y-o-u.

but, you may ask, what if they aren’t meant to be together? how could it be bad? how could the coupling of two people who care about each other be wrong? why would the undercover karmic police officers hand out a ticket for something that seems so right?

the answer is simple. there is a third person involved here, a person with feelings and attachments, a person who is composing chapters of her life without knowing that some other chick has the white-out on the go and is putting a quill to paper in an attempt to rewrite what she thinks should happen. yikes!

okay, so some people would say that this girlfriend has lessons to learn in life. some would say that she needs to be with a guy who cheats in order to learn about what she really wants in a relationship. like a guy who doesn’t cheat, for example. some would say that she is a bee with an itch, or insecure, or whiney or not a nice person, and it is her karma that manifested another woman. ya, ya, ya, let’s blame the girlfriend instead of being responsible.

imagine that his girlfriend is you. how would you feel when you returned to town and found him in the arms of some other girl? or how about this: imagine for a moment that his girlfriend is your sister, cousin or best friend. how would you feel about telling her that you are now the woman in her man’s bed? the final test of right or wrong, moral or immoral, is the scariest one, but also the most accurate. what would your mother say if she knew what was going on? there are so many men out there. you do not need to move in on one who is already involved with someone else.

i am more likely to believe there is another reason the two of you end up in the same place at the same time. here are some handy possibilities: your moral compass is being tested, you are actually meant to be friends with his girlfriend, he has a friend who is perfect for you, he is sleeping with your sister, your friend, the entire population?

twenty years ago i was in a relationship with a man i loved dearly, who was perfect for me. the problem was, i was too young to realize it at the time. i figured that because we had no conflict and got along so well, that something was wrong. silly old bear. we ended up in other relationships, short and long term, and now, two decades later, we are both single again. i don’t know what will happen next. i do know that sometimes the timing isn’t right, sometimes you need to take twenty minutes or twenty years to think about it.

so here is my handy advice: take some time to think about it. is a roll in the hay worth getting fleas? do you want to be a contributor to another woman’s pain? sheesh girl, us gals need to stick together! look around you. see who is truly available. be aboveboard and honest in your dealings at all times. most importantly, have faith. there are so many other paths to take, but if you are meant to be with this man, the universe will pave the way. good luck.


handy girl goes greener, searches for alternatives

a prophetic woman told me recently that i would be changing vehicles. she said it had nothing to do with a car accident and i would be very happy with the decision. letting go of my little red car had not entered my mind before, and this led me to question and ponder her insistent words.

i’ve lived without a car many times. i got by just fine with a 1950’s baby carriage, for jaunts to the laundromat or the grocery store. sky train, subway and bus tickets have frequently taken up space in my pockets. my feet have also been very good tools for getting me where i’ve needed to go.

one time, i got a job where i’d quadruple my income and challenge my creativity. the only problem was, it was fifty city blocks away and started at six in the morning, meaning it was impossible to get there by public transit. i knew cycling was my only option, but i didn’t have a bike as a child and i never really learned to ride.

so i hoofed it over to the local bike shop. the boys chuckled at my clumsiness on wheels display, but made the time to teach me. on the first day of work, it took just under an hour to get there, and at least half the trip was spent pushing the bike up the hills. by the third month, i could cycle the route in twelve minutes and had developed legs of steel.

i’ve lived with a car for a while now, as a single parent with a child whose school was a distance away, as a tv and movie girl who went on the road to buy things or travel to and from the set, as a canadian who took off from time to time, to explore more of this great land.

over the last couple of weeks, the universe has been giving me clues that it’s time to let go of my car. during a routine servicing, my karmachanic told me i would soon need new brakes and tires. the next day, the city increased the price of parking from a dollar to a dollar twenty five an hour. i bought a latte yesterday at steve-o-reno’s, and accidentally spilled it all over my car.

when i put a for sale sign in the window, i got a ticket for having a for sale sign ‘on a highway’. i was parked at a meter for half an hour, on a street in the city, a street that nobody would ever think was a highway. i’ll be fighting this one in court, and i’ll bring some handy photographic evidence of the street in question, illustrating the absence of a highway aesthetic or highway signage, for that matter.

i am now excited about letting go of my car. my karmachanic says she’s a good car and aside from regular upkeep, i’ve had no problems. to de-car my life will be an organic process, and i am open to trades, barters or alternative methods of payment, so like, if you have a piano you don’t want, we can talk.

suggestions for alternative methods of transportation are welcomed and encouraged. i am thinking along the lines of a handy human powered vehicle, or some kind of handy go-cart. for now, happiness is putting one foot in front of the other and walking the path. lo and behold, i do believe the grass just got a little greener.


high school and high-end salons: a change for all reasons

I'm going to cut my bangs, and am looking for help on finding a good place to get it done so that I look Chique for HighSchool. I'm also thinking about Hi-Lights also.
you be muy... muy... Helpfull! YAY

dear ema,
high school is an entity of it’s own. it’s a place where nearly all people in our culture go, during a time in our lives when we are undergoing big changes on every level of our existence. it is a place to take what we have learned in life so far and embark on a journey to define who we are.
every single person who goes to high school thinks about how they will be perceived by others, and the three m’s, media, marketing and money, play a huge role in defining what mainstream culture will look like at any given time. the best thing anyone can acquire in high school is one good friend.
in high school i was teased terribly. big bad bully boys ritualistically picked me up and threw me into the dumpster behind the school. black eyelinered, blue frosted eye shadowed, camel toe girls, tripped me up in the hallway, pulled my hair and spat on me. preppie prom peddling perfectionists pursued pastimes of poignant intellectual mocking.
teachers quipped, ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘don’t be a tattle tale’ or ‘if you were as smart as them you wouldn’t have so many problems’. none of them knew my brain actually had an extra lobe for organizing karmic clutter.
it was 1980, disco was dieing, and shoulder pads, bold prints, big belts and big hair were being born. as an artist and sensitive creative person with aesthetic values, i could not bring myself to submit to wearing something i considered hideously ugly and repulsive.
i chose to create my own style instead, rejecting the trends of the time. looking back, i see why classmates questioned such individuality, but standing here in present time, individuality is still a major driving force in the continued expression of our true selves.
a couple of years ago, i attended my 20 year high school reunion. people didn't recognize me, except for my one good friend, who looked fabulously gorgeous and happy. i walked through the room and talked with people; some were content, some were full of regret, some looked old and grey and tired and weary and some apologized for what they had done to me so many years before. everyone talked about the struggles of high school.
this one guy told me that after school one day, he kicked the crap out of a bully who had been notoriously tormenting me. then, a girl told me that the reality of my life, and the fact that i pursued a career doing what i love to do, was now an inspiration for her to change her own life.
nobody denied anything, and nobody held judgement. it was high school, an anomaly, both significant and insignificant at the same time, the ultimate paradoxical place in the space time continuum.
scared yet? well don’t be. things are much different nowadays, what with the metal detectors and gang wars and all. seriously though, the youth of today have many more rights and schools have zero tolerance for bullying. teachers take sensitivity training and students have more choices for what they want to learn.
high school today can be a very positive experience, as long as you do these three things: stay committed to learning about what interests you, what challenges you and what makes you tick, eat healthy food and exercise your body, and make sure you have the right hairstyle.
i had a haircut five years ago that made me look like i was going to a head-banging kiss concert in the eighties. i made two mistakes. i deviated from my regular salon to try and save some money and i did not trust my gut reaction to the appearance of the stylist himself. needless to say, i wore my hair short for a while. it cost two haircuts and a honking slab of humble pie to repair the damage.
i woke up sweating buckets one morning, with my long, thick hair wrapped around my neck. while walking to work, a big gust of wind blew my hair into my mouth, just as i chomped down on a wad of gum, leaving me with a mouthful of hairy gum for the dealing.
it only took me a split second to march on over to thumpers salon, and as perfect timing would have it, they’d just had a cancellation.
my stylist told me that it is every stylists dream to give a short haircut to someone with really long hair, but that most long haired people who come in looking for short hair, decide against it during the consultation.
she told me that it’s risky business because people often aren’t really ready to alter their appearance so dramatically and they end up regretting it in the end, crying or freaking out. it was her lucky day, and mine. i walked out of there with a feeling of weightlessness, and she lived out a fantasy in real life.
so, to make long words shorter, to cut to the chase, the handiest advice i have to offer is this: please go to a high end salon. it will cost more money, but you will never, ever have a first day of high school again. make the appointment for two weeks before school starts so that your hair has time to settle and you have time to adapt.
if asking your parents to spend that much cash on a cut and colour is problematic, then approach them with an offer to earn the money by doing chores and other jobs for them. explain to them how important it is for you to look and feel your bestest best. be very thankful if they agree to cough up the cash.
to find a good stylist, ask around. if you like somebody’s hair, ask them where the had it done. high end salons will not employ stylists who aren’t tuned in to interpreting what the client is looking for, so collect pictures of styles you like and bring them with you to your appointment.
talk with the stylist about yourself, and get a feel for who they are, because trusting them and how they wear their own hair, is very, very, very important.
adding highlights is a better idea than all-over colour because you don’t have to keep going back to get your roots done. choosing the right shades depends on your personality. stay with shades that are slightly lighter than your hair colour if you want it to look natural, or add some hues outside of your range to spice things up. your stylist will show you samples of what they have available, and this can really help you to decide what’s best for you.
if you’re thinking about getting bangs, think very carefully. bangs are often drastic if you’re not used to them, but they also have charm and help to frame the face. it’s easier to wear your hair down when you have bangs because you don’t have all that front hair falling in your face all the time. another good thing about bangs is that you can clip and pin them, tuck them under a hair band or slick them back with product, whenever you want to go for a full faced look.
high school is all about change and i imagine you’ll go through many different ways of wearing your hair. sometimes we need to make the changes subtly or slowly over time, and other times we’re ready for something more drastic. a good stylist is going to be able to gauge just where your head space is at any given stage in your life, and when you find one, make it a permanent relationship. stay faithful and loyal to the end and they’ll help you out through thick and thin.
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