me and my best friend joni

old joni mitchell and i have a lot in common. check it out:

both blonds
both alberta girls
both moved to america
both don't know what we got til it's gone (sorry about that grammar situation mom).

so basically we are kindred spirits or something. anyway ever since i got home from edmonton my mind has been playing joni's big yellow taxi on repeat.

here is why:

i hated garlic city for the 4+ years i lived there. now in most cases hate is a strong word....here it probably doesn't even start to do my feelings justice. i'd go back to calgary pretty much every chance i got. i was always looking into transferring "someplace cool" and when i realized that was too much trouble, i started hitting the books like a mad dog just to make sure that one day i'd at least have the option of going "someplace cool."

and i did (and it was fun). and i haven't really looked back.

until a few weeks ago when i found myself in good ol' garlic city once again. i am driving around old strathcona with sister rax and i start getting all teary eyed and wistful. seeing my old stomping grounds: the buildings i studied in, the restaurants i ate at, the neighborhoods i walked through....just made me so nostalgic. university times were some pretty good times.

then we went to a wedding and saw many old friends. i may not always have liked edmonton, but by george, there were some amazing people there. i look at these people now, many who still live in edmonton, and just feel so lucky to have had the chance to associate with them. and i feel like a nard dog because i didn't appreciate then how rare people like that are.

and now i am half-wishing to move back to edmonton, and buy a house in glenora, and get together with friends and play settlers of catan every weekend, become oilers fans, go for winter dream hikes through the river valley, and eat a lot of perogies....

because this time i would appreciate every little moment of it.
even when it is -45.

post notes:

1. so i may have had this conversion re: garlic city, but don't expect it to happen re: SL,UT.

2. gold stars to fellow former golden bears who say they miss garlic city. i want odes to edmonton!

3. oh and recently my friend chucky (one of those people i was talking about above) started calling edmonton "garlic city." i loved it so much i decided to do my part to make sure the nickname sticks. so now do your part!


goo gets married

it was one heck of a weekend in garlic city. watching dearest lindsay marry spencer was such a great way to kickoff the holiday season. she was radiant. it was a joyous celebration and i feel honoured to have been included.

momma, rax and i practiced our modeling poses in the photo booth, made random kids rock out with us on the dance floor, and overate (shocker). total blast.


When I Rock the Mic


1. thank you to robbie williams for inspiring me to get down with my bad self.
2. thank you to utah county for inspiring this totally "ama-zing" outfit.



Big Eater

son look at all the people in this restaurant,
what do you think they weigh?
and out to the window to the parking lot
at their SUV's taking all the space...
~Ben Folds

am i the only one out there who's noticed that like 80% of cheesecake factory patrons are two bites and a gulp away from a massive heart attack? these people are HUGE and i'm not talking like they've got cushion for the pushin'. i'm talking the kind of people who need to use the motorized scooters over at walmart because they can't WALK. they say obesity in america is an epidemic. a meal at cheesecake factory should clue us all in to the reason.


now before you all go and accuse me of being one of those chicks who eats like a bird, lemme just say that i am a champion eater. i sometimes wish i was one of those girls who looked at a big plate of steaming pasta and said, "this is way to much! i could never possibly eat all of this."

these girls seem dainty and feminine--but i'm more the type to offer people help with their leftovers. this is why on a recent trip to CF i was able to work my way through the bread basket and this:and this:and still have room for this:

the thing is that just because you can, doesn't mean you should. i can eat a lot--but it isn't really good for me. not only because sooner or later my metabolism is going to crash and burn, but because eating a lot of food in one sitting doesn't seem to agree with my digestive system, a fact i had the pleasure of considering in depth while confined to the washroom the day after my visit to CF.

the thing is, i have this (kinda trashy) mentality where i think a place is good if they serve A LOT of food. i went to a restaurant in calgary recently where three ounces of steak took you to the tune of thirty bones. i was royally ticked off because i thought they were cheating me (never mind that it was of finest quality, practically melted in my mouth, and my dad was paying). when my mother reminded me that the canadian food guide suggests that adults only consume three ounces meat (or protein) at any given meal, i shut up and ate my meat (and pigged on the family style sides).

(that is not enough! who the heck seriously get's full on a deck of cards?)

but i am still kind of mad about it, because for some reason i get annoyed when a restaurant imposes portion control on me. on the other hand i get grossed out by places like CF which are pretty much shrines to gluttony. so what's a big eater whose worried about her weight to do? if i don't want to end up on one of those motorized scooters, i'd better get on the portion control bandwagon pronto....but i still wanna get my money's worth!!!

so here is the question, do you prefer going to a restaurant like cheesecake factory where you have to be the portion control police, or do you like it when a restaurant does it for you? when you dine at a shrine of gluttony what strategies do you use to control you food intake?

give me the straight. the skinny. the skinny straight.

mucho gracias.


And BINGO was her Name-O

we are major scrabble nerds. we play enough to know all the two letter words. we keep track of our scores on a spread sheet. we read blogs about scrabble strategy. we know which words are not in the real dictionary but are in the scrabble dictionary.


last night we had an epic scrabble war. check it out:
we each had three bingos. we each made a two letter word worth over sixty points. we were neck and neck through the whole game. i really wanted to win. towards the end my heart was thumping, i kept having to use the washroom, and i was sweating behind my knees*. physiological responses to a tight game are not abnormal for a serious scrabbler like myself. it's a stressful game.

we each only had two letters left and i blew michael out of the water with some really lame word like tai. the great thing about scrabble is that once you use all of your letters, it is game over. so between "tai" and adding michael's left over letters to my score and subtracting them from his, i was able to just break ahead. 526 to 532 (gold star for me).

and i am just writing this for two reasons. one, to brag. and two, so that on days when i am having the an major nervous breakdown about my life and feel like i have no useful skills, i can read** this and remember that i have "serious talent." i could go pro (pro-vided i only play against people with no more than an elementary school education).

in honour of my three seven letter words (and win), for the rest of the week i would like to be called MERCEDES "BINGO" WHITE.

*sweating behind the knees is my new nasty physical problem. although it is better than acne, it is still pretty gross. is this too much information?!? am i the only one afflicted with this condition?!? do you think putting antiperspirant there will quell waterworks i have going on back there? did you know the human brain weighs three pounds?!?

**and let's not talk today about the fact that i just admitted to being a total narcissist because i sometimes kinda re-read my own blog. in fact i am pretty sure that the only person that reads this is my mom (HI!) and that most of my profile views come from me looking at myself!

(i probably shouldn't blog at 2:30 in the morning. i'm kinda loopy)


michael aaron carey:

we've been married a year. ok. a year and a couple months. and i just wanted to tell you that

i still like you. auspicious beginning, wouldn't you say?
here we are at the slc arts festival on our anniversary. we bought some art, ate some fries, and played tetris while other more cultured festival go-ers listened to jazz music. (i swear people don't really like jazz---they just pretend to like it)


another day, another degenerate dessert.

today's special: marshmallow peanut butter slice

they weren't quite like the one's i remember from second cup.

i probably put in too much peanut butter. and i am pretty sure there weren't enough marshmallows. and i probably put the mallows in before the peanut butter mixture was sufficiently cool.....because after mixing everything together they sort of looked (and tasted like) marshmallow fluff (not we are complaining or that it stopped us from devouring the entire pan).

heaven help me (fit into my jeans).


degenerate dessert night?

according to mireille guiliano, author of "french women don't get fat: the secret to eating for pleasure" all one has to do to maintain a girlish figure is eat small portions of food prepared only with the highest quality ingredients.

according to mercedes white, author of "the degernerate food diet: how to get and stay fat in middle america," (forthcoming) all one has to do to look like a beached whale is eat large quantities of high fructose corn syrup.

i try to eat good foods, of high quality and to control my portions. but lately, things haven't been going so well. at the grocery store i stock up on cheetos. when we go out for dinner i eschew the grilled chicken and roasted vegetables in favour of things smothered with cream and cheese. i had ice cream for breakfast more than three times this week.

on monday when i went to put my shorts on--they felt tight and instead of admitting that i perhaps had gained some kgs, i do what any normal PMSing woman would do, I blame Michael for shrinking my shorts in the dryer. (he didn't--but i'll resort to just about anything to avoid taking the blame for being a little on the plump side of "at this weight i have to lay down to zip up my jeans.")

right there i resolved to eat better: oatmeal for breakfast, squrrily bread for lunch. but then around 4 pm i found myself elbow deep in a carton of ice cream. opps.

so today i decided to try a little reverse psychology and make trashiest, sweetest, high calorie dessert i could think of. because everyone knows overdosing on crap is the best way to get a taste for it out of your system (right???) so i decided on HELLO DOLLIES (also called magic squares).

if you've never tried them here is a little amuse bouche: coconut, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips nuts and sweet condensed milk cover a thick graham cracker crust.

and i pretty much ate the whole pan. and they were horrible in the best kind of way. and now i am obsessed with making degenerate desserts (marshmallow peanut butter slice is next on my list). if fact i think i need to have a white trash/ degenerate dessert night. who is in? (i am serious here).


Art as Ethos

i want to decorate because a few months ago i started reading home decor blogs and now i have an inferiority complex about my house. if your house is a reflection of your personality, mine screams:


since committing to a particular decorating scheme freaks me out, i decided i should just buy art. it is portable. you can make it work with almost any colour scheme. of course the problem with this is that my taste in art outstrips my budget for art by about 100%.

so i have been looking for posters from sites like etsy and allposters. today i looked at like 100 different versions of the "keep calm and carry on" poster (which incidentally has an interesting history).

i like it, but i can't make myself buy it. for whatever reason i have this idea that art should be a representation of who you are. people who know me know that "keeping calm" and "carrying on" doesn't exactly sum up my approach to coping. a more appropriate poster would read:

freak out and cry about it.

so anyway, long story short, this one is out.

but i like these two:

so friends if you know of anything beautiful, lovely or of good report (or cheeky) (and cheap) please send me your links. help me at least keep up the appearance of having a personality.

please? por favor? s'il vous plait?


MY Tunes

When I was in high school I was obsessed with Bob Dylan. My after school ritual went something like this: get a snack, go to room, lay on bed, stare up at neon stars on ceiling (a misguided decorating choice), and listen “Tambourine Man” on repeat.

I did this for years. I did it until my younger brother had enough and decided it was time for my Bob Dylan tape to have a tragic encounter with the toilet.

One might think now that I am grown up, I’d have weaned myself from rituals like listening to songs on repeat. But one would be wrong. There are some new developments, however. For example Michael has replaced my brother in the role of "annoyed family member." Also, Bob Dylan’s hippy folk music has been replaced with music of the trashy euro club genre, specifically “Bulletproof” by La Roux

(And speaking of roux isn’t that some kind of flour and butter concoction??? Gross.)

(Opps and according to Wikipedia la roux is English electropop. My bad.)

According to itunes I have listened to this song 73 times (in 48 hours). This is a problem. If I keep this pace up I risk coming down with “bulletproof brain” (as in the worst case of writers block imaginable). This is problematic when you make your living as a writer!

So question: tell me what song should replace bulletproof?

And seriously if you aren’t already working out to this song, go download it and thank me for fact that you run 20% faster when you listen to it later.


I can't quit you:

spray butter
gossip girl
sugar free candy
complaining about living in utah
nail biting

and just in case you aren' totaly gross out by me already, i am just going to go ahead and admit that i buy frozen hamburgers from costco, and i like them....


recent statistics*

places traveled:
  1. Calgary for some family time.
  2. Phoenix for some hot yoga.
  3. Las Vegas for all things that stay in Vegas.
  4. Los Angeles for a wedding.
  5. Boston to remind me of how much i miss the east cost.
  6. Rhode Island to remind me that there are places where the people are bigger hicks than in Utah.

books read:
the trouble with physics

(the trouble with this book is it is BOOORING.)

a fine balance
(the indian version of anna karenina and a must read. MUST MUST MUST.)

the man who ate everything
(by jeffery steingarten of iron chef fame. god put jeffery steingarten on earth to make fun of' stupid food phobias. even though i am faily certain he would make a lot of fun of me, i still love him and his book.)

teach like a champion
(bought because my primary class is going to drive me to drink. the book is supposed to help with classroom management. the only thing it is helping with, however, is my resolve not to have children.)

sense and sensibility.
(favorite line: like him? esteem him? use those insipid words again and i will leave the room this instant.)

TV series watched
a dead-good western. don't watch if you are offended by colourful language.

the wire.

makes you wonder why you ever wasted time on law and order reruns. also don't watch if offended by colourful language.

the good wife.

based on the elliot spitzer/rod blagojevich scandal. i real gem of a show.

keeping up with the kardashians.
it is free on on demand. i blame on demand or a lot of poor tv habits.

Jobs Quit:
bridal store employee

Jobs Gained:
Ghostwriter (seriously).

*i mention all these things for a couple of reasons. first, i like lists. second, lists make me feel like i am doing something with all my time; the illusion of productivity if you will.


i never learn, or maybe i do...

summer 2005: me, on the bathroom floor, writhing in pain after consuming a large sugar free crystal light slurpee. that night i vowed i'd never partake food of the sugar-free variety again.

famous last words....

last night: me, in the bathroom, trying to coax my body into releasing the toxic gases it produced as a result of consuming too many sugar-free candies. effort to no avail. i still feel positively raunchy today.

i'd like to say this time i've learned my lesson and i will never do this to myself again....

but i'm starting to think i'm a glutton for punishment.


Alberta Politics

someone i know told me they are interested in the wildrose party. at the time they mentioned this new alberta based political party, i thought perhaps i should look into it. alas eating weight watchers chocolate toffee candies (only one point) and reading gofugyourself.com has kept me pretty busy for the last, oh, month or so.

so then the other night when i was in the tub listening to a cbc podcast and they announced they were going to be interviewing the leader of the wildrose party, i was like:"oh goody." ok actually, i remember thinking: "i am totally not in the mood for this." but then getting out of the tub means risking hypotherima and at the time death didn't sound that appealing. so there i was, a captive audience.

i'm not going to lie, i was less than impressed.

ms. smith spent the entire time talking about: how climate change is, in fact, not true; how we should not let american policy on carbon affect how we do business in alberta (because america is not the center of the universe); and how evidence that does not support climate change is suppressed by scientific journals in a conspiracy to support al gore (slightly overstated on my part).

wow. honestly you have ten minutes to talk to a NATIONAL audience about what your party stands for and you choose to talk about how climate change isn't real? no wonder the rest of canada thinks people from alberta are nut jobs. if i didn't know better i would say ms. smith is also the "genius" behind the sign that was once prominently displayed on the #2 highway going north from calgary; the one that said, "alberta separation, isn't it about time."

but i digress....

ms. smith may not like to admit it, but alberta oil companies are and will be greatly affected by american policies on the environment. the united states may not be the center of the universe, but they are a huge customer. a carbon tax there would devastate the economy here.

so what i want to know is where does denying climate change get us? how does it promote the interests of alberta oil companies to their international customers? if a country is concerned about the environment and is considering a carbon tax, we aren't going to get anywhere trying to convince them that climate change doesn't exist. that ship has sailed.

what we need is to lobby our client's governments (and our own) to ensure that SMART environmental policies are implemented. we need to invest time and money into making sophisticated economic arguments about the cost effectiveness of policies designed to reduce those carbon footprints. when people learn that a carbon tax, for example, comes at a huge economic expense so that 100 years from now it will not be 1 degree warmer, people are going to stop and think. people are not going to even consider your ideas if you start by making the politically suicidal move of denying climate change.

there is a part of me that wants to support ms. smith. i like newcomers. i like mavericks. i like people who are trying to shake things up. the thing is, her talking points on the carbon issue show how totally out of touch she is. do we want another out of touch government? um. no.

so does anyone have anything to say in her defense?


wowzer browzer

in an effort to economize, i decided to get eyebrow shapings less frequently. a month and a half went by; they didn't look that bad. and then two and they were a bit spindly but passable. and then i forgot about it....

until the other day when i looked at myself in the mirror and, to my horror, realized that the two caterpillars had taken over my face. cripes. see for yourself:
so i made an appointment with a brow artist in slc. this brow artist woman works on all the "famous" people in utah according to her website (i am trying to think of who those people might be. carlos boozer doesn't really strike me as a metro sexual kind of guy. neither does president monson, maybe robert redford is her client?). anyway take a gander at her handiwork.
i feel like a woman again.

i am not going to say what brow artist charged, but i will say it is highway robbery. needless to say, i didn't save a cent....which means that walking around looking like i had two giant cocoons on my face for two months was totally pointless.

i hate when i try to be thrifty and it backfires.


Note Bien Mercedes

  • they call them FIBER one bars for a reason. eating 5 per day, probably not a good idea
  • to avoid depression: don't weigh yourself the morning after a late night pizza party.
  • purchase gas mask. on the radio they said we are having a "yellow air" warning (have i mentioned how much i hate it here lately?)
  • when you are working in a bridal store and an 18 year old girl comes in chomping on a wad of hubba bubba sporting bouffant bangs and forever 21's latest, and she tells you she wants a simple, elegant wedding gown, don't actually show her one. what she really wants is the most gawdy thing you can find: pickups, long trains, 80's style silhouettes, lady gaga inspired embellishments etc. this would do:
  • the verbal sparing that takes place during the post state of the union commentary does not, apparently, compare to watching jimmer fredette drain threes.
  • just because you have the urge to say "farmer blow" every time you see/say/hear the name jimmer fredette does not mean you should. one should at least try to keep up the pretense of being a lady ( in my defense, i think the yellow air might is getting to me).



not long ago i realized that i have been making the same new year's resolutions since i was 12: stop biting nails, be nicer to my family, write in journal every day, make a quilt, be more artistic, do 500 situps each night....

if you think that after 16 years i'd make some progress on at least some of these fronts, you'd be mistaken. i am still the same moody, nail-biting, canadian-tire-sporting girl i was as a teenager.

admitting that kind of made me feel like crap, so i gave up on resolutions all together for awhile. i decided that resolutions are just a total waste of time, and failure is inevitable, and improvement is impossible and all kinds of other not very uplifting things.

this year i have stared to wonder, however, if the reason i have always been unsucessful with my new years goals is because i keep focusing on things that i either don't like or am not that good at naturally (i mean quilting, seriously).

isn't that how it is supposed to work though, you set a goal to improve at something you aren't very good at? yes. but does it have to be? why on earth to i think i need to be a quilter? why not just focus on becoming better at something i am already good at or like doing?

so i am trying it. next year i will have read the paper every day, have increased my scrabble average to 430 (on two person games), i will try a new recipe each week, and i will become a math master.

i'll let you know how it goes. here i am honing my scrabble skills over christmas with michael and gma and gpa white. what do you think of my christmas uniform? i wore that number for about 4 days straight. i didn't shower either. miraculously my husband still finds me attractive.


i heart cowtown

since 14 i had one goal: get out of dodge. as far as i was concerned calgary was the most miserable, boring, uninspiring place on earth. my recent trip home, however, had me appreciating cowtown to a degree heretofore unfathomable.

calgary had me at free wireless at the airport, but i fell hook, line, and sinker over:

1. free luggage carts at the airport

2. sobey's: it makes whole foods look like reams
(if you don't know what reams is, consider yourself one of the lucky ones).

3. my parents' steam shower, where i spent about 12 hours a day.
(don't worry mom i squeegeed the ceiling after i used it)

4. the great canadian stupidstore. two words: joe fresh.

5. alberta beef

6. free health care
(NOT a word michael!)

this list, of course, doesn't include the obvious things like....family...friends... or fernando.

ex-pats out there, what are your favorite things about the motherland?