Monday, February 28, 2011

Entry #29 - Subarctic Spinster

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Entry #29: Subarctic Spinster

Dear Diary,
       Another cold snap in Victoria has once again sent spinster mansion straight back into the last glacial era. I thought that after caulking some of the windows earlier this winter that at least some heat would remain in the house, but much like my belief at age twelve that I would be married with a house and two children by twenty-eight, I was very much mistaken.
      The bathroom is what we call the "epicentre of frigidity"; going in there, especially early in the morning after the door has been closed all night, is akin to using an outhouse in Nunavut. The window in there doesn't actually close, so I have shoved a shirt in the gap between the window and the frame. This is about as helpful as using scotch tape to fix a leak in a waterbed.
    If life were more like a historical romance novel, Kim and I would have a blazing hearth to sit in front of while we do our needle point/read aloud to one another/put ribbons on bonnets. However, living in modern and seriously unromantic times, Kim and I must settle for sitting in front of the oven after we've baked something.

Well Diary, I think I'll sit and watch the icicles melt for a while. There are some real doozies outside the living room window.

*A special spinster shout-out to my brother, Adam, the bachelor uncle, for supplying me with my "Green Heat Boyfriend". I spoon with it every evening, and for once, I get to be the big spoon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Entry #28 - Albino Avocado

Diary of a Spinster Aunt: Entry #28 - Albino Avocado

Dear Diary,
More than once, after partaking in a delicious avocado, I have been struck by the strange desire to plant the giant seed found inside. Not being one to deny myself any of my odd or capricious notions, I have often followed through with the planting said seeds. What can I say? I like to get my nurture on, and until I acquire the standard “Five Cat Combo” of a true spinster I will have to settle for the nurturing of some trees that will not bear fruit for 20 years.
The most famous of my avocado children lived more than five years, grew to over four feet tall, and upon its untimely death caused me to experience the kind of grief that is usually reserved for the death of a human being; So deep was my despair that the dry and dead avocado carcass stayed in the planter for more than a year due to my refusal to actually acknowledge its death.
My dad, aware of how deeply the “avocado incident” had affected me, kindly brought me an avocado plant he had grown himself to replace my “lost child”. Encouraged by the robustness of this plant, I planted another seed a few months ago. When it started to sprout I thought it looked a little different than my previous plants, but didn’t think much of it. As it developed further, I couldn’t ignore that this avocado definitely had pale pink/white leaves. I consulted the googles and discovered that I had, by some crazy miracle, grown myself one Albino Avocado.
I immediately name it “Darren”, after the smartest, funniest, and coincidentally, the only person with albinism with whom I am acquainted. I fall in love with Darren’s pale beauty an cherish his uniqueness among plants. I belatedly realize that Darren (the plant, not the human) lacks chlorophyll and will thus be unable to photosynthesize…a botanical death sentence!
You can imagine, Diary, that after the earlier “avocado incident” my initial reaction to the certain death of my plant was one of panic and despair. I scoured the internet for a cure, only to discover that shy of me becoming an aroborist and learning how to graft trees together, Darren was pretty much doomed. After staring at Darren in a forlorn manner for a few minutes, I decided that all I could do was keep on caring for my pale little friend and enjoy his loveliness until the nutrition from his seed runs out. I will allow him to wilt with dignity and then I will compost him.
I’ve had Darren for four months now, and he is finally starting to fade. Knowing he wasn’t long for this earth, I have taken time every day to admire him and have talked to him affectionately even more than is normal for a crazy spinster.
Beauty is fleeting I suppose, as I was reminded earlier today by looking at pictures of myself from 2004.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Diary of a Spinster Aunt: Spinster Abroad - Part Deux

Dear Diary,
   I feel confident in declaring the Hawaii portion of "Cabowaii 2011" a success. If this vacation were the talent portion of a beauty pageant, I would have just nailed my baton twirling routine.

- Departure: Our flight to Honolulu leaves at 8am, so I am forced to wake up at O'Dark thirty in order to make it to the airport in time. In the line up for check-in I spot my landlord and the owner of Spinster Mansion, Wally, in line with his wife. I guess Wally must have a mason jar marked "Heating Bill Spinster Mansion Hawaii Fund". Enjoy spending my money on macadamia nuts you bastard!
- Shuttle of Eternity: In true spinster fashion, Vanessa and I are the very last people on the shuttle bus to Honolulu. I assure her that while she may be frustrated and over air-conditioned, I have become accustomed to the sensation of being "the last piece of luggage on the carousel".
- The Queen Kapiolani: Our room on floor ten has a giant wet spot on the carpet and an appropriately musty smell to match. Vanessa demands a new room. Up to floor sixteen we go.

- MUUMUUS: I am overwhelmed by the quantity of muumuus. Muumuus in every shape, colour, and size. However, it is when we discover T&L Muumuu factory that I am finally struck dumb. It is Muumuu HEAVEN.

-Down Time: Vanessa and I (and later Heather when she joined us) recline on our respective beds and watch Anderson Cooper on CNN. This is a special treat for two reasons - First, neither of us has cable at home, and second, it is a truth universally acknowledged that you can`t "punch the handsome off Anderson Cooper".

-Hula La - In an unfortunate turn of events, while breakfasting in a small coffee shop one morning, we are forced to watch shirtless Polynesian men dance.  As you can see in the picture, they were not in good shape at all. My jaw did not slacken at the sight of their bronzed bodies moving in time with the music.  I most certainly had no wish to rub sun lotion on the one with the beautiful smile, nor was a primal urge awoken with in me when they started slapping their bodies and chanting during a traditional Aotearoa dance. In no way did they inspire us to immediately go and purchase tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Centre, from whence they came.

Lounging - I lounge and read romance novels both in my Hawaiian print kaftan and in my one-piece bathing suit . I manage to look enormously pregnant doing both. I vow to lay off the macadamia nuts. I eat more macadamia nuts.

Pancakes -  Vanessa and I decide that we should eat some macadamia nut pancakes while in Hawaii. We order one order of pancakes and a fruit parfait. What arrives is the biggest plate of pancakes I have EVER SEEN. People stop and stare, children cry, somewhere nearby a record cuts out. Vanessa and I sit in shocked silence for at least a minute. In the end we eat about half of one giant pancake. There are still two and a half pancakes left. I go on a tirade about obesity in America. I then take the rest of the pancakes to go and eat most of them over the next few days.

Spinster Dialogue - Heather and I continue on with our Mexican born tradition of speaking in quotes from Pride & Prejudice and Disney. Here is an example:
``Is there an ABC near by?``
``I think there's one just around the river bend``
(we counted 31, apparently there are 40)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Diary of a Spinster Aunt - Spinster Abroad

Dear Diary,
    One of the many benefits of spinsterhood is the ability to travel on a whim. On New Year's Eve I received a call from my beloved "Spinster's Apprentice", Heather (equally as magical as a sorcerer's apprentice, only with more cats). After a brief conversation we came to the conclusion that Valentine's Day, along with much of the time leading up to it, should be spent abroad. From planning to execution, here's how it went:

I try to rationalize going to Boca Raton so I can buy a sequined golf cap and terry cloth track suit. You know, to blend in with the locals. I realize quite quickly that Heather, at only 23 years of age and still a spinster's apprentice, may not be ready for such full-force spinsterdom. So, I settle by taking the letters from "Boca" and scrabbling them up to make "Cabo". Problem solved. Me-hi-co it is.

Heather brings up the idea of going to Hawaii as well. Drawn to the birthplace of the muumuu like Frodo to the ring, I immediately accept.

We change the name of the Vacation to "Cabowaii".

Stand-by travel forces us to go to Calgary at the last minute in order to get to Cabo on time. I only have ballet flats or flip flops for shoes. It's minus twenty. After "letting ourselves into" Heather's sister's house (she was in Hawaii) we spend a night helping ourselves to tea and crackers. Thanks, Kristy!

We finally make it to Cabo. The customs line up is sizable. We share the earbuds to my ipod so we can listen to Disney songs while we wait. This ingenious idea was based on Heather's airtight logic that "it makes lining up in Disneyworld more fun". We proceed to have more fun than everyone else. "A whole new wooooorrrrrllllddd!"

 We arrive at our hotel only to discover that "All Inclusive" actually means "Drinks Inclusive". I momentarily consider the protein and vitamin content of a piƱa colada, then defer to Heather's logic of changing hotels. After much ado, we relocate to a much superior hotel which is more appropriately populated with people born between 1930 and 1950.

We settle into a steady routine of drinking mojitos and eating everything. By day one we know which bar tender makes the best mojitos, his name is Humberto.

We follow the basic tenets of spinster swimwear:
-one piece only, no bikinis
-"eye catching" print, preferably reminiscent of a prior decade.
- a swimdress is preferable, the more like a Russian figure skater the better.
- an inappropriate plunge is always appropriate
- ruching

In the evenings, Heather and I relax in our separate queen sized beds and I read aloud to her from my historical romance novels. Some of our favourite spinster quotes are:
-"She wasn't a girl, after all. She was in her eight and twentieth year, well past the age of orange blossoms and spring weddings". (That reminds me diary, I must put pen to cat-themed stationary and send out the invites for my birthday next month. My 28th birthday).
-"Unlike many spinsters, she had not been made to feel a burden or out of place"
-"There must be something. Something you dream about when you should be listening to the old lady sitting next to you droning on about cats".
-"It could have been worse, Jasper thought. She could've been going to see...hmm. Actually, there weren't to many things worse than an elderly maiden aunt".

Heather gets lost in downtown Cabo for multiple hours one night. I am fairly certain she has been kidnapped or murdered. Turns out she found a hammock somewhere and watched The Davinci Code with Spanish subtitles.

Well, Diary, after a one day turn around, I'm off to Hawaii tomorrow. Rest assured that my Hawaiian print kaftan is already packed.

PS favourite Heather quote of the trip:  "I've had worse things in my mouth"