Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Smart Cookie

Usually, when I write these things, I try to espy some interesting or unusual phenomena out there in the universe: cupcakes, the Olsen twins, Chuck Klosterman, what have you. If, for some reason, I can't do that, I write about myself: how I like to bike, my taste in men, my thoughts on Agyness Deyn (hint: not good). Now, in the hour of my cold symptoms, when I haven't really gotten off the couch since Sunday, I'm finding my brain a wee bit addled.

Oh, sure, I could regale you with tales of my epic trek to Shopper's Drug Mart, where I tamed the wild Cookie magazine and subdued a carton of Tropicana (which is the most delicious of all the -ana drinks. Tundrana? Please. Arcticana? Just go home...leave that cloudberry, though. That sounds tasty). You might be wondering why, as a single-type person with no children, I bought a parenting magazine. The answer? They seriously have the best fashion. I can't afford any of those $950 belts currently being suggested by the clotheshorses down at Glamour, and Anna Wintour freaks me out. Plus, parenting magazines generally accept that people have about five minutes to themselves each day, and this one encourages its readers to be having sex during those five minutes. What's not to love?

There's something so soothing about reading non-applicable magazines when you're sick. Cookie is especially great for me, since I don't have kids but do think babies are adorable. It's sort of like reading muscle magazines when you're a 97-pound weakling: escapism! Delightful. Plus, it treats adult relationships like they matter: sex doesn't have to go the way of the buffalo, and just because a woman has gestated doesn't mean she's lost all her braincells.

It's nice to be party to a periodical that celebrates family without condemning parenthood as a slavish devotion to All Things Child. Magazines like Fit Pregnancy are okay, I guess, but they seem to fetishize all the trappings of motherhood without recalling that, generally speaking, mothers are women, and women have other interests beyond Astrovans and the spanking debate. They appreciate a good sweater. They enjoy a sexy boot. They will occasionally attempt to feed their families curried apple (whereupon confusion will ensue).

Not only that, but families are hard work: sometimes, moms want to chuck their kids out the window. Or their husbands. Or both, using the husbands to cushion the children. There are crying jags, low libidos, not a ton of cash, and spit-up.

So, the thing I like about Cookie is that is focuses on the whole package: the reviews of the various toys/books/educational media always mention how wigged-out having the item on repeat (forever!) is going to make a parent. They encourage families to be brave: why not book a surfing camp for your nine year old? Or try osso buco? They celebrate working moms
(granted, yes, those moms are impossibly glam, but at least they're interesting beyond having given birth) and do the whole organic-baby thing without being dopey.

Plus, seriously, the clothes are tres chic. I'm not going to lie: I take style cues from both the pint- and pitcher-sized spreads. They both seem to work. Let me put this in perspective: you know how Vogue has that laughable annual "Shape" issue? It's almost impossible to tell one shape from the next. The "athlete" is about four pounds heavier than the "boyish" model, and everyone looks the same: undernourished and bored. If you happen to weigh more than 97 pounds, you're s.o.l.. Cookie, on the other hand, has managed to wrangle up looks that work from ages 4 to 44, and from sizes infant to large (okay, medium: there aren't many plus-sized moms in this mag's pages). That's a fashion grand slam! That's a fair accompli! That's damned smart styling. That's worth five bucks, and a long and involved explanations of why single women should read Cookie.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sicked and Mired In My Own Dirt

Well, it's that time of year again. The trees are rustling, the air is brisk, and I've come down with a cold.

Oh, sure, I've been pushing myself at, like, DEFCON 1 for about two months now: going out late, getting up early, meetings day and night. True to form, I've been neglecting the homestead something fierce, and have been rewarded with the most disgusting colony of fruit flies I've ever seen. So now that I'm sick, I get to hang out in a totally assy apartment, with nothing but fruit flies to keep me company. Sigh.

I get sick all the time. I have a feeling it's something do with poor nutrition, seeing as how much of what I consume consists of rice and beer. (Sometimes both at once, cutting out that pesky middleman of "chewing.") Okay, that's an exaggeration: I eat tons of vegetables, which is why it's so frustrating when getting sick is such a regular occasion. It's probably also tied to living alone, since everyone knows getting sick and being alone is a total drag when you're feeling under the weather, and it seems to take twice as long to feel better when your only companions are The Simpsons. Plus, dragging yourself to your neighbourhood corner store to load up on crackers, soup, juice and trashy magazines is exhausting when you can barely muster the energy to run a bath.

Two years ago, I had one of the worst sicks ever. You think you've been ill? First, I gave myself food poisoning - because I am a true champion, and because I believed for (no good reason) that pasta sauce is like ketchup, and ketchup doesn't seem to ever go bad. (Assumption? False. Prognosis? Negative.) Then I got the flu - complete with fever! - which quickly blossomed into a bronchial infection. All this happened in the span of, like, three weeks. In January. Which, as you can imagine, sucked. I eventually took a cab to the local walk-in clinic, where they pronounced me "sick" and sent me home to "rest." Helpful! The codeine in the cough syrup made up for a little, but it was still brutal.

In any case, I have zero interest in being sick right now. I have too much to do: people to see, articles to research, nuits to blanche. All I feel like doing is napping and hunting those dad-blasted fruit flies with tiny guns, but I'll man up, gird my loins, and put on clothes that aren't sweatpants. Thus prepared, I'll face the day. Will there be complaining? Oh, yes. Will there eventually be triumph? Possibly. Now leave me alone - I'm tuckered out and need a nap.