"wear[ing] a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together."
That Phil and his family are profiting by selling poly-cotton clothing AND acrylic yarn and wool beanie-beards, makes me wonder if perhaps they aren't as clever or as moral as they'd have us all believe?
Since falling ill on Sunday with the flu (despite having taken the precaution of having a seasonal flu jab1) I have averaged two naps a day. During one of these my husband and eldest boy made sugar cookies:
This is all the more impressive because Mr Wrath and the boys are also under the weather. But they only have bad head colds with sinus headaches. Or else they have the same thing as me, but I am particularly wimpy.
I'm stalling right now.
I'm tired, but not looking forward to heading to bed. I "slept" for a feverish 8 hours last night. I woke every two hours from dreams of being covered in festive foil wrapping paper, and being placed in a hot oven to roast like a baked potato. A festive baked potato.
I knew in advance that it was going to be a restless night, so when the (newly minted) 10 year old asked if he could sleep in the living room next to the tree, I agreed as long as I could move into his bed. It sounded like a great compromise. However he usually sleeps with the black cat, Osiris. Osiris is a creature of habit. Upon finding me in the wrong bed, he hissed in my face and noisily stalked around the room. At some point he must have given up, because I awoke from one of the baked potato dreams to find him sitting on my chest, like a hot pat of butter. With a bad temper.
• • • • • • • •
1 -- For the record, I have not changed my opinion about the importance of getting a flu shot. It's been at least 8 years since I had the seasonal flu (though I did contract the swine flu in 2009, prior to the vaccines being issued and it was a piece of cake in comparison). This experience has shown me that the flu is not something to be taken lightly.
The list also made me question my ability to lust after random men (who I really would not chose over my own patient, loving, funny, handsome husband). Or, maybe -- I thought to myself -- I need to stop watching shows produced in the 1980s and start watching more contemporary entertainment? That way I would know more "celebrities." So I have. I'm now watching "The Thick of It" and "Arrow." Both are very good, though the former is lacking in hot men. It also does not star Alan Thicke. I mention this because my husband keeps asking if "the pride of Elliot Lake" will make an appearance. He will not. Thank heavens. "The Thick of It" is British and I am very biased toward British television. I am a not-so-secret Anglophile.
Which is part of the reason I discovered Glamour's 100 Hottest Men in the World list. Damn, the ladies of the UK have great taste in men. Please note, that I have made the editorial choice to use photos of Glamour's sexy men wearing sweaters, thereby increasing their sexiness ten-fold.
1. Henry Cavill
I haven't seen his Superman movie! Which is crazy because I LOVE Superman. And Mr Cavill ain't bad either.
2. Robert Pattinson
No. He's covered in Twilight vampire sparkles and tainted by association with that banal girl he dated.
3. Liam Hemsworth
I am that rarest of women who prefers Liam to Chris. Not even his association with Miley Cyrus could dissuade me from thinking him very cute. Nay. HOT. He is hot.
4. Tom Hiddleston
I haven't seen Thor. We started to watch it once, but the opening scene was unintelligible on our tv and computer screen (is there some setting I need to change on my LCD tv or monitor so I can watch night scenes in movies? Usually they're just black on black) and the kids asked to turn it off after 10 confusing minutes. I did enjoy him in The Avengers, even though I think that was just an okay movie. I spent the whole time saying "So the Black Widow's superpower is to act like a naive sex kitten until men confess their secrets to her? What the hell? What a waste."
5. Benedict Cumberbatch
Yes. Yes! A thousand times, YES! I may have just screamed that into a pillow.
6. Harry Styles
HAHAHAHA. Look at his hair:
This is NOT sexy, people.
7. Chris Hemsworth
Please refer to comments I made for entries 3 & 4.
Chris was in the Star Trek reboot, ergo I'm obliged to fancy him! By the way, did you know there is a third Hemsworth? Luke:
8. Idris Elba
HELLO! Sweater and a beard! Way to woo the Canadian ladies, Mr Elba.
9. Jamie Campbell Bower
Another Twilight actor. This one doesn't look like the brightest bulb. I'll leave him to the younger ladies.
10. Justin Bieber
I blame the chavs for the inclusion of this fool:
Technically, Justin Bieber isn't wearing a sweater. It's a sweatshirt, but this photo is so delightful I will break from my theme so it can be included.
Obviously I won't be able to comment on all 100 men on the list. So I'll just showcase the highlights from the remaining 90.
11. Charlie Hunnam
He improves immeasurably if he uses his original (English) accent and isn't dress like a biker and I don't have to look at any ugly tattoos.
16. Michael Fassbender
I approve of the sweater and his accent. This beard-moustache combo is not my favourite look, but I know a lot of my peers (30- and 40-something, tech savvy moms from North America) admire the cut of his jib.
The jeans are, sadly, not tight enough to reveal the state of his jib.
19. Matt Smith
Is he sexy? Not to me. I do find him charming, which I guess is one small fez away from hotness.
20. Robert Downey Jr.
I really enjoyed him 20 years ago in Chaplin, but now I think he's one pretty face in a cadre of action stars whose movies confuse me. "Who is that guy? Is he the guy from before with the thing and the punching? He's not? How did they get here? A second ago they were on the ground and now they're on the bridge? How did that happen?" I can be heard to say during any number of his movies.
22. Hugh Jackman
It's alarming that he's 12 positions behind Bieber. Women of England, you are doing this wrong!
32. Ryan Gosling
Canadian men (ie, Gosling) instinctively know that sweaters are the key to a woman's heart. Well that, and mastering the j-stroke. It's a canoe thing. Get your mind out of the gutters, foreigners.
42. David Gandy
Usually I don't like Gandy. His hyper-masculinity and menacing glare scares me. But him in a sweater is much less over-powering.
Why doesn't he ever smile? Does he have bad teeth?
46. Chris Pine
Adorable! Even if he is a modelizer.
Chris does have a fairly strong fan base (his fans are called Pine Nuts) in the UK. If you have a few minutes to kill and want to be charmed, I recommend this clip from the Graham Norton show with The 'Batch and Chris and their respective fandoms:
Not only does he look great in a suit, but he's cool enough to borrow a sweater from Bill Cosby's wardrobe:
Sidenote: the Glamour list includes many UK pop singers. Most of them are unknown to me because I don't really care for mainstream music and in general don't find musicians very attractive. A good narrative features heavily in my perception of "hotness."
63. Andrew Garfield
I can't get past the goofy surname or the big forehead. Is it possible he's actually a cartoon character? Is he weirdly fond of lasagna? Is his frenemy named Nermal?
72. Joe Manganiello
Shameful confession: I think he's hot. He's not my usual type, but he's rockin' this sweater:
76. Colin Farrell
My Irish DNA can't be reasoned with. Ditto for my Irish lady bits. I lurve him.
79. Martin Freeman
Sometimes on pinterest I see comments from women who think John Watson (on Sherlock) is sexy. I don't get that. If anything, he would be even more horrible of a boyfriend than Sherlock. Also I heard a rumour that he actually has Hobbit feet. In real life!
Okay, I just made that up. But in all honesty I can't get past him being a porn star in "Love Actually."
80. Gerard Butler
He's a dirty dog, but you can't say he takes himself too seriously:
83. Stephen Amell
HE IS CANADIAN! And he's very charming/scary in Arrow.
88. Daniel Craig
This sweater says "Now, I'm going to light a fire in the fireplace and in your pants." Or else it says, "I'm gonna fuck up anyone who touches my fireplace poker without permission."
91. Andy Murray
This token jock is worthy of mention because he isn't tattooed. Sorry, David Beckham (#21), your tattoos are -- by there very nature -- ugly.
93. Adam Levine
The fuck you say? This guy? AGAIN? No! I will not have his face and his tattoos sully my blog.
97. David Tennant
Did you watch the Day of the Doctor? Wasn't it great? Know what it was missing? Donna Noble. I need more Donna Noble! I miss her and Tennant's Doctor Who. He is definitely a hottie.
99. Zachary Quinto
100. George Clooney
He's a play-ah, to be sure. But still charming and he's the oldest man on the list.
We are all familiar with the adage "don't speak ill of the dead." The erudite amongst you might be interested to know it comes from the Latin terms "De mortuis nihil nisi bonum"(“Of the dead, nothing unless good”) and "De mortuis nil nisi bene [dicendum]" (“Of the dead, nothing [spoken] unless good”). The phrase has been in usage since the 4th century CE. The erudite amongst you will be disgusted that I'm citing wikipedia as the source of this information. Nonetheless... There is an unspoken belief (at least in my head) that "don't speak ill of the dead" can be fully and unapologetically suspended when it is revealed that the dead person in question is mourned by a girlfriend who he [allegedly] started dating when he was 33 and she was 16. I am referring to Paul Walker (an actor of whom I knew nothing until his death on Saturday) and his girlfriend of seven years. She's 23. They've been together since she was 16. That's statutory rape. I'm not okay with it (nor should I be) and I'm really offended that people and websites are again glossing over a celebrity's [alleged] criminal, immoral actions. – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – To end on a high note, if you're keen to peruse a really funny pinboard I recommend "I Was Born in 1971." It includes photos of artifacts familiar to anyone who grew up in the 70s and 80s. Like this one:
Listening to my children read aloud the Harry Potter books is killing my love for that series. It's obvious that Harry Potter's appeal lies in the books' characters, plots and themes. It does not lie in Ms Rowling's talent as a writer. I muttered. I muttered crossly. I muttered crossly while wondering if she got paid by the adverb and if people in England are extremely fond of muttering. Below I've underlined a prime example of a sentence that tripped up my 9 year old emergent reader:
"Harry, Ron and Hermione joined the Gryffindors streaming up
the marble staircase and, very tired now, along more corridors, up
more and more stairs, to the hidden entrance to Gryffindor Tower."
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, p 74
Where was her editor? Did no one at Bloomsbury have the balls to say, "Fuck off with that 'very tired now' aside and stay on point. Don't use 'more' three times in a single sentence." Pass the butter beer. It's going to be a long couple of months.
This year's winner is Adam Levine. The news leaked a few weeks ago and I wasn't too, too upset. Don't get me wrong: Levine is gross, but I had high hopes that the rest of the list would make up for him. My theory is that the "official" winner is the candidate whose publicist agrees to People Magazine's request for a personal interview and photoshoot, and agrees not to slag off the 'competition' when the winner is announced. The real sexy men fill out the top 12 list.
My theory has been blown to bits by the inclusion of several questionable men on the newly published list. All the same I did my best to objectify them and suggest what kind of Love Sandwich (in the manner of Oprah for Steadman) they each deserve:
1. Adam Levine
I'm not sullying my blog with pictures of this fool.
Love Sandwich: 8 kinds of ham slathered in 12 types of cheese, between two dried out white flour tortillas.
2. Idris Elba
I would kick him out for eating a Love Sandwich in bed, just so I could watch him crawl back in.
Love Sandwich: Sausage, and -- nothing. JUST SAUSAGE!
3. Luke Bryan
I had never heard of this man, and so decided to listen to one of his songs: That's My Kind of Night. Ninety seconds into that video he'd already mentioned beer, his truck, and beautiful women. MR BRYAN, WHY NO MENTION OF HOW MUCH YOU LOVE YOUR COUNTRY? IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE A STEREOTYPICAL, MANUFACTURED COUNTRY SINGER YOU NEED TO HIT ALL THE POINTS IN THE TOBY KEITH PLAYBOOK!
I'm sorry about going all capitals on you, interwebs readers, but I have very strong feelings about certain topics.
And while I was typing that last line, the song (which is still playing) referenced farming and fishing. I'm going to listen to some Johnny Cash and try to scrub that nonsense from my brain.
Love Sandwich: hot dog bun with catfish, Kraft processed cheese and American mustard. Thirty seconds in the microwave to make it flaccid and nauseating.
4. Jimmy Fallon
Well played, People Magazine. Jimmy is smart and nice. He's happily married and dotes on his new daughter. So sexy!
Love Sandwich: a lobster roll for this Boston boy. Said as "lobstah," of course.
5. Bruno Mars
He is adorable! Doesn't he seem like someone who worked hard to achieve success and is not cynical or pessimisstic? That's very sexy. However I'm the kind of woman who wants her Sexiest Man Alive to also look good in a wool sweater, while drinking scotch and building a fire. Bruno doesn't check any of these boxes.
Love Sandwich: Bruno is from Hawaii, so instead of making him a Love Sandwich I'm just going to take him to the 808 Deli in Kihei, Maui. We'll order something off the menu and have a couple of beers. 808 Deli -- best sandwiches on the planet, people.
6. Jonathan and Drew Scott
They're Canadian! I am giving them points for that! They're handsome! I'm trying not to dwell on how weird it is for grown men to be defined as one half of a sibling set.
Love Sandwich: poutine in a cruller with Montreal smoked beef. On the side: a double-double.
7. Justin Timberlake
What the fuck?! Is it 2006? No. It is not. It's seven years AFTER Justin hit peak sexiness, and hence his presence on this list smacks of My Publicists Are Desperate To Keep Me In The Limelight syndrome.
Love Sandwich: day old bacon on stale bread.
8. Chris Pine
I love him. What kind of Trekkie would I be otherwise?
Love Sandwich: I will take two slices of artisanal bread, layer on gouda, brie, havarti (my favourite), thin slices of tomato, avocado, a course European mustard and drizzle it with a balsamic vinaigrette reduction. I will press it long and hard on low heat in a panini press and enjoy leisurely.
9. Pharrell Williams
In the write up on the People list there is a quote from an Interview Magazine piece about Pharrell. He refers to himself in the third person. Ugh.
For the record Nan the person likes Pharrell because her children make her listen to the Despicable Me soundtracks (which features his music) all the time and they're not half bad.
Love Sandwich:a bánh mì. There's no ulterior meaning to this selection. These just look really tasty.
10. Ronan Farrow
Lots of twitter-using ladies love him. Not me. I suspect he has mommy issues AND daddy issues. Tread carefully ladies/men.
Love Sandwich: ice cream sandwich. To be enjoyed at top speed before it melts into a sticky puddle in your hand and messes up your upholstery.
Love Sandwich: Gyro. Let's face it -- he's probably not getting a lot (of anything) over at chez Aniston.
12. David Beckham
Intellectually I know he's a handsome man, but he does nothing for me. Mostly because of his rumoured philandering, and his well-known idiocy. I do love it when he's photographed with his daughter -- he's so attentive and sweet with her and that makes me like him.
Love Sandwich: a fluffernutter. A substantially-sized fluffernutter.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Who do you think is the Sexiest Man, Dead or Alive?
There's an article at the Daily Mail about the [unfortunately named] Meek family and their year long challenge to do 100 outdoor adventures in lieu of tv viewing. Most of the ideas were pretty good, but there were a few I wanted to expound upon:
1. Slacklining (walking on a rope between two trees) We own a slackline kit. It's basically webbing like you see on backpacks strung between posts or trees. It's surprisingly fun. 2. Scooter Safari Scooters are fun. They're like a hybrid between a skateboard and a Zimmer frame but still really dangerous. 3. Caving Code for: spelunking. Sounds awful. 4. Spend the night in a hammock Anyone else get motion sick in hammocks, or am I particularly delicate? 5. Canoe down a river I do this! I am (as you are about to discover) rather outdoorsy. I even own a puffy vest, the universal sign of an adventuring, outdoorsy type. More often I wear it while watching tv. 6. Adventure led by the girls An adventure led by my girls always leads to Cumberbatch. Wait? What? Were we talking about something?
7. Sleep in a wood 8. Watch rutting deer "Maybe I don't know the real definition of 'rutting.'" I thought when I first saw this item. Turns out I do know the definition. Furthermore it turns out that some people think animal sex is the stuff of great childhood memories. 9. Learn survival skills The local militia would be all too happy to teach my children skills for surviving in a post apocalyptic society. But I'll pass. 10. Sleep on a beach "This sounds like a great idea!" said someone who doesn't know about sand fleas. 11. Forage for a meal Hunting mushrooms? Robbing birds' nests? Berry picking? Dumpster diving? I'm not sure I want to do this one. 12. Support a cause (Comic Relief)
I support Comic Relief by watching these clips several times a year:
13. Snorkelling 14. Go for a reptile ramble No. NO! NO!!! I consider not seeing reptiles the hallmark of a great hike. 15. Find a private beach 16. Climb the Eiffel Tower 17. Kayak Safari First there was a safari on the scooters, not there's one with kayaks? 18. Camp in a city 18.5 make friends with the indigent and the streetwalkers 18.6 get tested for tuberculosis 18.7 decide to stay in school and get advanced degrees in finance 19. Swim in a natural pool BUT DO NOT SWIM AU NATURAL IN A POOL! You will be arrested. Don't ask me how I know this. 20. Sleep in a cahutte "What, pray tell, is a cahutte?" was my reaction. From perusing this site, I gather cahuttes are cabins with canvas for roofs. 21. Coasteering Another one I had to google. Wikipedia says it is "a physical activity that encompasses movement along the intertidal zone of a rocky coastline on foot or by swimming, without the aid of boats, surf boards or other craft." Translation: bobbing along in the water. 22. Orienteering race 23. Outdoor birthday party 24. Walk on high ropes 25. Make a rope swing 26. Sleep in a Bivvy-Bag [we'll return to this topic when we hit #43] 27. See a henge from sunset to sunrise The nearest henge to me is the Keppel Henge in Wiarton, Ontario. Road trip, anyone? 28. Sleep in a family-size sleeping bag I have pre-teen boys, so NO! 29. Kayaking
Which is different from the Kayak Safari listed in point 17 because it's -- erm...well, I don't know actually. 30. Community work 31. Climb and abseil Abseil is British for "rappelling." This sounds like fun! Provided that the course is installed and inspected by professionals and the operators are well insured. HEY! I enjoy outdoorsy fun, but there's no reason not to be safety conscious. 32. Sailing 33. Walk a peninsula 34. See a puffin 35. Watch wild seals Watch wild seals?! I'm there! Can I bring my friends, Mr Hakapik and Mr Bourdain? 36. Play conkers I bruise easily. No. 37. Go off-road hiking I think this is a contradiction. You can not hike on a road. That's just regular old walking. 38. Sleep in a shelter My house is a shelter! 39. Climb an epic summit 40. Camper-vanning I am beginning to suspect that the Meeks also set themselves the goal of making nouns into verbs. Random verbising/verbizing makes me pissy. 41. Cook and eat in the wild 42. Wake and run This sounds like a stage direction from the Hunger Games' script. 43. Bivvy by a river Translation: sleep in a bivvy bag (a one person tent not much larger than a sleeping bag) next to running water and spend the whole night trying not to think about how badly you need to pee. 44. Tag team cycle trail 45. Learn a constellation Pfft. Big Dipper -- easy peasy. 46. Whittle (carve) while you walk Or whittle while stationary and avoid going on an "adventure" to the ER after you slice your finger to the bone. 47. Sub-zero camping "There won't be any bugs!" my husband says every winter when he tries to con me into going camping in the snow. 48. Snow walking In Canada we call this "walking." Or "going on a snow safari." No. Not really. Unlike the Meeks Canadians don't affix "safari" to activities to make them sound cooler. 49. Floodlit swan feed When I was seven I tried to feed the swans in Stanley Park and one of them chased me. I hate swans. 50. Discover local history My extensive viewing of Time Team leads me to believe that in England all you need to do is turn over a rock and you find a Roman coin or a Viking longboat. Lucky bastards. 51. Find a summit 52. Go without electricity for 24 hours I wish I lived in a place where prolonged power outages were less common, because then I might be enthused with this idea. 53. Weaseling (climbing between gaps in rocks) Translation: practice hiding from marauders when they invade your village. 54. Night-time descent 55. Eat nettle soup My mouth is tingly just thinking about it. And not in a good/Cumberbatch way. 56. Enter a race 57. Explore rock pools 58. Cook on a beach 59. Dam a stream This one pisses me off. How it is an adventure to fuck with a river's run? Why destroy fish habit and a stream bed? Doesn't that encourage erosion of the banks? 60. Explore a cave How is this different from "Caving" which was item 3 on this list? It's almost like the Meeks are exaggerating the difficulty or originality of their adventures? Huh. 61. Explore a wreck Show of hands: who is now humming the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald? 62. Find a waterfall I rolled my eyes at this one, then I reminded myself that not everyone lives in the Rocky Mountains. I'll own my geographic bias. 63. Take on the elements "SUCK ON IT, HELIUM, YOU GAS BAG! WHY ARE YOU INERT, XENON?! ASTATINE -- YOU ARE COMPLETELY UNSTABLE!! NEON -- YOU'RE FLASHY BUT YOU THROW LIKE MY MOTHER!" I will yell, and then we will fight. 64. Body-boarding 65. Wild river swim 66. Mountain biking 67. Going to the toilet outside The Meeks are totally dialing it in with this one. 68. Go behind a waterfall Sometimes in the shower I stand behind the spray and pretend I'm doing this. The real thing would be even cooler. 69. Coastal walk 70. Music festival Dirty hippies, loud music, and mud. I'm too old. 71. Visit a landmark 72. Walk to a tidal island This list is making me feel badly about living my life hundreds of kilometers away from the seashore. 73. Sleep in an eco-tent
This one intrigued me, so I googled and found out that "eco tent" translates to "cabin that operates like a youth hostel." 74. Spot red squirrels 75. Climb a ‘matterhorn’ **cough**same as #51**cough**And #39 **cough** Cheaters **cough** 76. Walk down a river Where I come from this is called "wading." It usually involves slipping. 77. Geocaching (GPRS treasure hunting) 78. Clean a beach One time in Cuba I found a used tampon on the beach. I'll pass on this one. 79. Scramble This is fun. Because it ends with a long slide down a scree on your butt. It's actually very satisfying. 80. Walk around a city 81. Orienteering 82. Night-time wood walk 83. Snow hiking Is this really any different from adventure 43 "snow walking?" 84. Cook with snow 85. Visit a suspension bridge 86. Three peaks in three day This sounded impressive until I remembered the Meeks live in England where speed bumps are considered peaks. 87. Climb a winter summit 88. Ghyll scrambling (walking through gorges) I googled this one, too. It appears to be sliding over waterfalls while wearing a helmet. Do the English not have waterparks?
89. Make meal for mum on Mother’s Day Go one better: clean up after yourself on Mother's Day. That's my idea of a treat. 90. Play in snowdrifts 91. Backpacking 92. Tracking and mapping 93. Visit London 94. Build a bridge 95. Crabbing 96. Night walk in a forest 97. Off-peak camping 98. Skiing 99. Climb indoors 100. Tentsile (hammock-like tent) With this adventure the Meeks have cured their children of claustrophobia! I hope. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Are you inspired to get out more or are you more in love with your television set than ever before? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Update: Shit. My husband wants to buy a tentsile. Grrrrrr.