Writing and editing

Sometimes you work and work and work really hard to make the right choices in life. You say no to a bunch of things like cigarettes and cheese burgers even though your brain tells you that you might really need cigarettes and cheese burgers to be happy. Eventually, you get to a place where your brain tells you to eat a vegetable instead of smoking a cigarette or eating a cheese burger and that is strange. And then, it happens all the time, and then you never want a cigarette or a cheese burger again. And that feels weird, but right. Your friends who like cigarettes and cheese burgers think you are a pretentious dummy, and you try not to judge but you feel superior.

And then you go to Whole Foods.

And you are wheeling a little shopping cart around the store after coming close to having a coronary in the parking lot, and all the choices have been made for you. You do the math in your head and realize that you are spending most of your pay cheque on crackers and sprouts. And you can buy fake cheese to put on your fake burger and you line up with basically nothing to eat in your cart. You have a strange sinking feeling that you hate everyone in the store, so much, because they are always in your way or they are rude or they are buying real burgers. And you realize: you are not any better. All that yoga and fake cheese, imagine what you would be like if you didn’t do all that? Frightening.

Ugh. Whole Foods.

I have been to the Whole Foods in Toronto and the one in the suburbs. And I am inured. Maybe the Toronto pushy is a pushy I am used to. Maybe it is because our country in so big, we tend to spread out a little. I’m not sure. But whenever we travel in the US, I look up the nearest Whole Foods expecting that I will be spending most of our vacation eating from the coconut yogurt aisles. And we do. But I often come away with such serious doubts about my life choices afterwards. For example:

1. Seriously, what is the deal with the Whole Foods parking lot? Three days ago I watched a man on a phone back his Porsche up into a police officer and then shrug when the cop yelled at him. AND the cop just kept walking because he was in a hurry to buy kale like the other 40 million people crammed in the store that day.

That same day, we tried to leave the parking lot, but realized the car line-up to leave was over 30 minutes long. I had a weird feeling like I might die in the Whole Foods parking lot. But I also felt better because we had purchased strawberry popsicles sweetened with brown rice syrup. So we ate them and  and we listened to the cars honking at one another. Just as an aside – if the driver of the first car in line isn’t busy backing up into a cop but waiting for a break in traffic – then why honk? I don’t really get it. I mean, if you own a Range Rover than you probably get a pay cheque and so you have to be smart enough to get to work and make someone pay you, so it follows that you should be smart enough to figure out that honking might not solve your problem in this instance. Anyway, we ate our popsicles on the stoop and waited until the parking lot had cleared. Later I read that the popsicles also contained white sugar and I felt stupid.

I found a video about the Whole Foods Parking Lot! I think I am late to the party. but it made me laugh.

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2. White sugar: Often when I go to Whole Foods, I think to myself, “Stanny, this is Whole Foods. Where EVERYTHING is healthy and a whole food. You can buy whatever you want!” But when I leave, I realize that I spent Holden’s college fund on every vegan product in the world that contains sugar. I know this, and yet I continue to make this choice over and over again. I dream of the day when I can walk into Whole Foods with my eyes truly open and my cerebral cortex functioning and say to myself, “Stanny, that vegan chocolate mousse is not a whole food. It is vegan and it has tofu and it is a million dollars, but that doesn’t make it good or healthy or worthwhile.” Sigh, dreams.

3. MindReading: There is something a little unsettling about the fact that while I often think I am a unique snowflake, Whole Foods all over North America has me figured out.  How do they know that I, a struggling yoga teacher, would pay a million dollars for vegan chocolate mousse? That means the store is filled with people just like me who can’t resist the temptation of vegan chocolate mousse. And that seems so sad and strange and depressing.  It also furthers my belief that in a zombie apocalypse I will be the first to go. My neighbours will come and eat me and I will spend the rest of my undead life chasing cats for supper and shuffling my ethically-sourced vegan boots around.

Thanks Whole Foods.

So, Miami. Do you really want to see? Are you living under a mountain of snow right now? Can you imagine that some people live in a place that is like this in February? I will be shovelling out my car soon enough, don’t worry.

We ate carbs on the beach. So good.

I wore this and wasn’t cold!

Holden wanted a Valentine’s balloon very badly from CVS. He took it everywhere.

Handsome dad!

When I was a teenager, we used to say to each other, “Mom, kids in France are drunk! They are forced to drink a WHOLE bottle of wine. Can I have some chips?”

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And then Gavin grew up, and totally wrote this book.

This is an interesting moment in parenting philosophy, where people who know nothing but heard something about some kids somewhere else, are informing parenting movements. There is even a step by step guide to raising your child like a French person. And the author isn’t French. And I think that is a bit weird.

I don’t have a problem with French people, but are there no annoying children in France? Are no French mothers looking at their gorgeous unpasturized-cheese eating children right now and saying to themselves, “These fuckers are crazy.”?  And when those French kids grow up – are they all  super successful and incredible because of their fantastic upbringing? Or are they just human: sweet, annoying, funny, smart, dumb, difficult – like the rest of us.

That is not to say that I don’t believe we could all learn a thing or two from the way people raise their children around the world. I am always in awe of how independent young children are in India. But I guess I would rather hear a South Asian, or French woman tell me how they work their magic. Today I saw a book called, How Eskimos keep Their Babies Warm…. First of all: Eskimos – really? Are you time travelling from the 1940s? And besides that, unless you are moving to Iqaluit, you probably don’t need to worry about that level of warmth.

Week in Review:

1. I think I might need to take back that thing about not worrying about your baby getting cold unless you are moving to Iqaluit. The weather here is deteriorating into the worst pile of crap. Right at this moment, I am looking out my window and watching powdery white snow falling on the oak trees and it sickens me. Boo winter!

2. This week Holden has been an angel. Sweet, compliant, and loving. He often says out of the blue, “Sorry Mommy!” Which I could think was a bit sad considering he hasn’t done a single thing wrong in a week. But I really love it and I am secretly hoping he stays this way FOREVER.

3. Sometimes, I remember that Rob Ford is actually the mayor of my city. I wonder, briefly, if I might have dreamt it. And then, I realize: no this isn’t a strange nightmare, and I start to feel panicky about what that means. Then I will myself to stop thinking about it because it is too terrifying. But before I do that, I reflect on how many people in Toronto are doing the exact same thing.

4. We started an Indiegogo campaign to renovate our studio. Next week, between Feb 3 – Feb 7, David and I will match any donation up to $5000. So, if you were thinking about giving – next week is a good time because your contribution will double. A big huge heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported us thus far.

5. In 36 hours I am going to Miami. David is teaching at Miami Life Center. I plan on enjoying the weather and the thongs immensely. I hope you, dear reader, enjoy your week too.


In the last three days, three people have mentioned reading my blog. And three times three makes nine, I think, and that is clearly a message from the Gods that if I don’t write in my blog the sky will fall on me.

So, I just turned on the lights here at  Miss Stan headquarters. Dusted the cobwebs off the compooter, powered it up and made some cracking noises with my fingers. Read some fascinating comments from Mr. GetRidOfManBoobs. Now I’m  ready to get everyone caught up

1. Holden, David and I went to Miami, or “Miamit” as Holden calls it, last month. David had a workshop at the Miami Life Center. We stayed at Kino’s house, which was very fun. Now, I get why parents don’t go anywhere with small children unless there is a beach. Holy crap, beaches are entertaining. Holden told me today that he was going to take an airplane to Miamit. His favourite part was when he saw a crab. My favourite part was South Beach fashion.

These pictures are when we just decided to take a walk on the beach, and Holden decided to go for a swim. In his clothes.

2. That picture basically sums up the experience of parenting a toddler on a good day. Your kid wants to do something fun and silly like 98% of the time and 97% of the time you have to be somewhere not soaking wet. But sometimes you catch a break, and you can actually be a total mess and your kid totally jumps on the chance. And it is awesome.

3. Because I don’t want to give my son a crew cut, I have become one of those parents who gets asked constantly if her child is a girl or a boy. Often I pick Holden up at daycare and the teachers have put his hair in a ponytail. Okay, maybe I am also a bit lazy about cutting his hair. I recently cut it after staring at this picture for a while and realizing that I was raising a dirty hippy.

When I cut his hair in the bathtub he cried, “Hair fall down!” And I had to pretend that I was gluing his hair back on his head.

4. Holden is collecting potato bugs that he finds in the basement to show his dad when David gets home from Edmonton and Ottawa. I suppose I should be alarmed that there are that many potato bugs in my house but I figure it could be so much worse. Anyway, all the potato bugs have “fallen down”, which is such an elegant toddler euphemism for dead. Funny that the hair on his head and his nails have also met the same disastrous fate.

5. Yesterday, on a whim I visited the rat-infested Pusateri’s. Well, I guess it was rat-infested last year. Anyway, it was my first time and I bought something in a bottle. I got to see a little old lady who had a driver in a very fancy suit helping her with her crap. And best of all: when I was leaving I was about to turn right out of the parking lot because Avenue Road was a bit busy – but there was a cop there. And he stopped traffic to let me turn left. Imagine that! He went to cop school and he is helping rich people who shop at rat-infested stores turn left. It was so great to turn left and not have to go around, so I was indeed very grateful to the prosperous, if somewhat filthy Pusateri’s.

Life is good.