Breakfast of Crapions…a cautionary tale

I was raised by the Fruit Loop. A latch key Lucky Charmer

If it came in a colorful box with a (I must have it!!) toy inside–it was ON my breakfast table.

Perhaps it was the divorce guilt that made my mother so accommodating, or conceivably maybe she just didn’t know any better.

Also, it was the 80’s. I wasn’t the only kid on the type2 diabetes-inferno-sugar-diet

While I do have gauzy early memories of Shreddies & Rice Krispies, I recall a swift move on to the ‘harder stuff’ as soon as I could articulate the ad bombs that were targeting my innocent brain in between my Saturday morning cartoons. Sure ‘Snap, Crackle, Pop’ was catchy, but those 3 elves couldn’t compete with the bad-ass wrecking ball crew from Transylvania. Pffffffffffffft…slow cooking rice imps! This be some monster crack yo’! Recognize.

My darling (read: exhausted) mother allowed me carte-blanche while riding shot gun in the shopping cart.

I never had to resort to vocal hysterics or crying fits in ‘aisle seven’ as some of my contemporaries had to do with their moms. I knew all of these drug deallers cartoon characters on a first name basis and would point and ‘squeeeee‘ with delight as she plopped each box in the cart without reservation.

Candy For Breakfast

I can recall with such clarity the ((((ANXIETY)))) that would fester when my marshmallow to cereal ratio was out of flux, my sister often bogarting the marshmallows, leaving me with (feh!) lonely mouthfuls of frosted corn. “Give me my MALLOWS ‘bitch!”

Yes, I spoke in confectionary gangster Ebonics as a child.  Why, didn’t every one?

The Fragile Eco System of Marshmallow to 'Corn' Ratio.

The Fragile Eco System of Marshmallow to ‘Corn’ Ratio.

Contraband Cereal

It’s unclear as to why, but besides already having deep seated insecurities for being Canadian (American everything was wayyyyy cooler in the 80’s) there were certain cereals we could never get our hands on due to geography. This of course made these cereals that much more alluring and desirable.

Cases in Point:

Boo Berry never came to town. Like, ever.

I frothed at the bit for this blueberry vomit by virtue of the fact that I couldn’t. have. it.

***

Another General Mills elusive was Trix.

I remember loving the commercials as a child and the mind control catchphrase “Silly Rabbit, Trix are for Kids” all the while dreaming that ‘somewhere over the Rainbow’ (Milwaukee?) there are KIDS eating these mysterious fruity corn balls (that taste just like Fruit Loops).

The reality was, Trix wasn’t REALLY for all kids… just the ‘chosen’ ones.

 ***

Fruity Pebbles wasn’t available in Canada either, which seemed like THE biggest rip off ever?

You Broke My Heart Fred....

You Broke My Heart Fred….

The Flintstones were part of every child’s daily viewing diet (usually at noon) and the disenfranchisement was too much for my little heart to take. Fred Flintstone was the biggest star I knew, and I couldn’t taste his prehistoric wares?! Oh Hellllllllllllllllz no.

It was then that I started freebasing Dimetapp. But that’s another story for another day.

***

Cookie Crisp was probably the most coveted cereal of all. Cookie soup that turns into chocolate milk? Um…yes Please!

I finally started a small importing racket (thanks mom!) via the rough streets of Lake George and Plattsburgh and let me tell you, this cereal lived up to all its hype. That is, until I discovered the mother load….

 My saccharine rock bottom… [cue record scratch here]…

*PAC MAN CEREAL*

Pac-Man Cereal with Ms Pa-cMan *SHOCKING* color combo.

Pac-Man Cereal with Ms Pac-Man *SHOCKING* color combo.

The *Psychedelic* colors. Those crunch-tastic pellets! Must. Get. Those. Little. Ghosts!

…And then I’d black out.

XOXO
The Pop Culture Rainman

I Came, I Saw, I Attended My First Ever Blogger Conference-#BlissDom 2013

Athough I’ve been a published writer for over fifteen years I’ve only recently become hip to the blogger scene. First as an exclusive contributor for the Huffington Post and in the last 6 month’s on my personal blog The Pop Culture Rainman.

In an era where it is *encouraged to spill ones own digital ink* throughout social media, writers—-› especially funny ones, have become super forces on the web.

Via personal blog sites, Youtube channels and Twitter platforms, successful bloggers (i.e. those with healthy follow counts) can receive huge pay offs in lieu of book deals, television pilots and the ambiguous apogee in social media stature; Online Fame.
One of the largest communities and resources for bloggers is the American site BlogHer.com which boasts an online community of 92 million. BlogHer also hosts several niche and one mammoth conference, where I’ve been told the totem pole of online famedome looms large–hierarchy ‘tude included.
Blissful Thinking
In it’s fourth year, Blissdom Canada brands itself as Canada’s Premier Social Media/Blogging/PR Conference. With around 500 attendees from all over the country, Blissdom sets itself apart as a ‘kinder, gentler’ conference (how so very Canadian!) with the marrow to *inspire,* *connect,* and *teach.*
“This year we were very intentional that everyone [feel] at home,” said Shannon Mischuk co-principal at Blissdom Canada. “We want everyone to be conscious of their words and give everybody a chance to use their voice. Numbers don’t matter to us, it’s all about the conversations that take place”.
Being a blogger conference neophyte, I was excited to immerse myself in the culture, meet some like-minded individuals, and connect with some great Canadian brands. The setting was the Delta Meadowvale in Mississauga and although it’s a 3 day affair, I strictly attended Friday’s all day agenda starting at 8am.
Upon arrival I run into 10-year old blogger Hannah Alper in the lobby of the hotel, daughter of Twitter herculean musicologist, Eric Alper.
I want to help the world and promote causes I believe in, like the environment and social action” said Hannah not forgetting to promote herself as an official We Day and Free the Children speaker.
Hannah Alper: Her Future's So Bright *WE* Gotta Wear Shades!

Hannah Alper: Her Future’s So Bright *WE* Gotta Wear Shades!

Erm, Holy Impressive?!  I just stood there inhaling in her adultness and poise.
I do believe I was almost *exclusively* making my Barbie’s hump each other at her age and shame washes over me.
***
Mommy Bloggers Oh My!
A trend is taking shape; most of the women I am meeting overwhelmingly identify as ‘Mommy Bloggers’ in various permutations.
There were The Mompraneurs, The Yummy Mummies, The Outspoken Blunt Moms, The Karate Moms, The Happy Clappy Perfectly Positive Mommy’s, The ‘Can We Talk’ Mommy’s, The Wine Mommy’sThe-This-is-Why-We-Drink-Mommy’s, The Bacon Mommy’s (ok, I made that one up) the Glam Mommy’s and the Yoga/Pilates Mommies. (BDB ‘Big Deep Breath’!)
Mommy Bloggers
Even though I’m not a mom myself, I get the ‘sisterhood’ of it all, and I understand the large draw to these kinds of events. The Mommy Blogger revolution began from the reality that many new moms feel isolated and overwhelmed and it was a way to initially share tips, stymie loneliness and curate community. From speaking to some of these women, many are ‘desperate‘ for a night or weekend away to connect with their friends and learn about their craft.
Of course not all ‘Mommy Bloggers’ simply write about runny noses and eco-diapers, while many eschew the term itself as it can sound quite condescending and limiting.
I’m not trying to devalue or mock Mommy Bloggers, the fact is, most of the women I met at Blissdom owned this term in their titles and branding platforms. I would never insinuate that it is all they are. I mean at the core we are all writers trying to express ourselves creatively right?
Perhaps it says more about me than anything that I felt stifled by the overwhelming atmosphere of Mommy Bloggers. Hmm..projection much Ms Gold? (Fertility Woes Ovah Here!)
*Might I add, most were lovely and as kind as can be while ONLY one or two appeared to have swallowed their own vomit in my presence?

Madonna was the *Original* ‘Miley’…

*Spot the Difference?*

*Spot the Difference?*

This rare & vintage photo of Madonna says it all…doesn’t it?

I won’t be posting any pictures of Miley for a side by side comparison, as just mentioning her name puts kittens everywhere in harms way.

It’s true friendsicles. It’s an unknown fact that every time Miley gets her undeserved air time, six kittens die. SIX!!??

Save the Kittens!

Save the Kittens!

So while I’ve already put many at risk, not ONE more kitten will suffer…NOT ON MY WATCH!

To sum up; not only is she-who-should-not-be-mentioned a paint-by-numbers rehash of every shock and awe ‘pop star’ that came before her, but she’s also ripping off Madge?

Off with her HEAD Tongue!

XOXO
The Pop Culture Rainman

Remembering 911

Remembering 911

Remembering 911

It was a beautiful Tuesday morning September 11th, 2001. I was taking a uncharacteristic early morning walk in Montreal, when I saw a friend opening up her clothing store at 9:30am near my house. She had a harrowing look on her face.

Have you heard?” she said to me in an all-out panic

What?!” I answered back.

We’re under attack. Terrorism. Go home and watch it on TV

Back then, barely anyone I knew had a cell phone, and although I had no indication of what exactly was going on and what exactly she meant about “we,” I speed walk home in 6 minutes flat.

I ran into my apartment and turned on CNN and I immediately see a visual of a plane hitting the New York World Trade Center with an audibly shaken correspondent doing a voice over. I watch as a second plane hits. I call all of my family members who are all in Canada except for my father who is in Florida.

As I am on the phone with my mother, I watch as the first tower collapses. We are both in d-i-s-b-e-l-I-e-f. Then the second. We both gasp.

In what feels like another nanosecond there is a frantic ring at my door.

My heart skips faster as I ask in a suspicious shrill “Who is it?”

It’s the landlord“…

I’m beyond paranoid. I take a look through my peep hole to verify and I open my door.

You have to evacuate the premises, there is a bomb threat next door at the synagogue.”

I. Can’t Believe. This. is. Happening. My small apartment complex is right next to a beloved Montreal synagogue and with the TV left on, I grab my cat (who HATES going outside) in a small blanket and run downstairs and outside without even locking the door.

I go across the street into a green field and sit down on the the grass, with my cat in my shaking arms with other members of my building. I keep looking up into the sky, looking for any sign of possible ‘incoming‘.

About an hour later we are given the go ahead to return to our apartments, but I am shaken to my core with the added awareness of how Hate & Evil has hit so close to home; both literally & figuratively.

The next few days were spent in tears, and many times I have to just shut off the television completely. Not an anniversary goes by where I don’t have a massive pain in my heart for all of those who perished in that terrible tragedy.

On behalf of each precious innocent soul who perished twelve years ago today, to all those who were injured, and to all those who lost someone; be especially kind to one another.

It matters. Today and always.

Amen.

Maybe She’s Born With It…Like Hell She Is!

I look good for my age*. By all accounts, in terms of my outer dermis–I’m aging “well.”

On the topic of beauty I am of the mind that there are things we can do to stave off the sands of time, and there are those things that have been given to us on a silver platter — like good ‘ol genes.

When it comes to the skin lottery I cashed in big with my mother, whose own family members often called her a “good witch” as it would seem that she defied the laws of aging.

My mother never had any work done, never had a facial (let alone let anyone touch her skin!) slept in her makeup and used the most inexpensive cleansers. She barely had wrinkles on her face even as she was passing from cancer this past April just weeks shy of her 78th birthday.

She actually looked luminous — it baffled the palliative nurses.

I credit her for my oily t-zone which has been a blessing in disguise — keeping my skin looking naturally radiant and dewy. Thanks to her, the texture of my skin is naturally thick and practically immune to crow’s feet.

I can also admit that not having children yet or as Louis C.K. so gently puts it: “having people come out of your vagina and step on your dreams” has definitely impacted my fountain au youth. Those little munchkins g-d bless them are wrinkles in a jar, and while I yearn for one on the daily, I know my skin is the way it is, based on the dearth of kidlets in my midst.

Some of us born with unique physical gifts that do take us through life, to a point.

Maybe She's Born With It...Damn Skippy I Was!

Maybe She’s Born With It…Damn Skippy I Was!

For example in my case…those two flotation devices you’re staring at where normal people’s lips exist? Yes, those puppies of mine are in fact REAL despite incessant naysayers to the contrary who constantly ask me “who does your lips?” and are mystified when I simply say “The Lord!?” These are my natural, born-this-way lips that until my late teens were actually regarded as a curse, but have ultimately served me quite well. Once upon a time I also had a naturally thin physique whereby I got away without working out way beyond what seemed fair to most of my peers, and again this too was a blessing.

Sadly, as the sands of time sift through this ephemeral spinning wheel of life, screwing with everything from my metabolism to my hair — even my flotation devices (my lips) are starting to get smaller. Mick Jagger’s lips were once gorgeous puffed up pillows and are now sad, thin, drooping prunes. I imagine this is the trajectory my lips will eventually take, but like the Great Wall of China, mine can still be seen from outer space (for now).

Now my mother was the rare exception of ageless beauty, not the rule. I firmly (pun intended) believe that after a certain age, you’re either working at maintaining your looks or you are letting mother nature take over — and that bitch is like bull in a china shop.

Like my mother, I have been very adamant in avoiding the sun, but unlike her I’ve tried every potion, lotion, snake oil and service available on the market. I have had over 50 facials, a dozen Microdermabrasion treatments, a stab at some facial filler (marionette lines and cheeks) and of course, there’s my boyfriend “Bo” — oh…have you two not met? Bo’, short for Botox, came into my life five years ago and we have been seeing each other twice a year now on the regular. Bo has been a saviour for my trouble spot the ’11 wrinkle’ right in between my eyebrows. My ’11’ has no real defense mechanism and in my opinion is the biggest indicator of ‘le aging.’

Some women have a 1, an 11, or (the horror!) a 111.

Which 1 Are You?

Which 1 Are You?

The 11 wrinkle shows up early in life but becomes perma etched in ones facial topography by a woman’s early 30s. After years of professional furrows, my 11 wrinkle made me look hard, angry and quite frankly permanently pissed off. Bo’ has changed all that, and even gives a slight lift to the eye area. My go-to-skin-guru is dermatologist Dr Lisa Kellett M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), D.A.B.D. from DLK on Avenue in Toronto, whose own skin is like a milky diaphanous dream. Her approach is subtle and is oceans away from the permanently alarmed look that’s all the rage with certain celebrities.

Dr. Lisa Kellet

Dr. Lisa Kellett

I think the biggest ruse that women try to sell themselves, and each other, is that WE are aging naturally. While some of us are ‘maturing‘ better than others, my belief is that after a certain age most women are actively doing their personal best to slow down father time — they’re just not telling anyone about it.

I recently asked a woman slightly older than myself what her secret was after admiring her skin. She looked me straight in the eye and said “absolutely nothing” — while her freckled and wrinkled chest, compared to her face which resembled an ice skating rink told a much different story.

It was a bold faced lie and quite obviously Profractional Laser work for which I’d sell my left buttock for. Now I know essentially her skin care regimen is really none of my beeswax, but who did she think she was fooling? A wink and a smile would have gone a lot farther than a liar-liar-pants-on-fire denial.

Dr. Kellett who is fiercely private on behalf of her clientele, believes these attitudes could be changing. Either way, she operates on the “don’t ask don’t tell code of ethics.”

It is an interesting question,” says Kellett who believes that a daily skin care regimen and sunscreen are still the best defense against premature aging. “In fact, the trend now is that many people are quite open about non-surgical procedures and like to communicate what they are doing to their friends. Because these procedures are non-surgical, many women do feel comfortable talking about it since the result is a fresher, more rested version of themselves. There is less stigma in doing these treatments as opposed to invasive surgery where the effect is more dramatic.”

I’ve always been one of those gals who is transparent — to a fault, when it comes to beauty routines. While I may strive for perfection on the outside, I’m the first person to expose those pursuits, and make fun of myself in the process.

Case(s) in point:

*Compliment me on my hair and 10/10 times I’ll tell you its extensions, “my weave,” or I’ll just point to my mane and say “F-A-K-E.” For good measure, I’ll probably tell you that I have always had ‘nervous hair’ that have slowly been committing suicide since 1991. I call them jumpers.

*Tell me how my skin is looking great, and depending on how self-loathing I’m feeling, I may point to a menstrual boil on my chin and possibly get out a handy black light to show you pores the size of gum balls. I tell everyone about my ‘BO’ or my Microdermabrasions, anything about any one of my connective tissues, really.

I can’t help it; it’s how I’m built. I love to share beauty secrets with my friends, strangers, OK, the mailman — anyone who wants to know! I don’t want to hoard the information I have, but spread it around like croutons on a big, leafy friend salad.

As for my *age, my big fat lips are sealed. Like my mother, that is one disclosure that I like to keep private.

"I'll Never Tell..."

“I’ll Never Tell…”

 

Stay Gorgeous,
XOXO
The PopCulture Rainman

PS. You can also have a look at this story on the Huffington Post Style.

Nail Art for the Jews!

Nail Art for the Jews!

Because Nail Art Never Takes a Holiday, I bring you a step by step DIY Matzah Nail Art Project just in time for Passover. It kind of looks like a face riddled with acne scars and oozing pustules~but REALLY, whose to say?

 

Happy Holidays My Nizzles!

Happy Holidays My Nizzles!

SuperHeroes…Just Like Us!!??

Superman Caught in a Pick??!!
Superman Caught in A Pick??!!

Artist Greg Guillemin’s ‘The Secret Life of Heroes’ puts comic book favorites such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman in everyday scenarios where they are stripped bare to showcase ordinary everyday moments and experiences.

The illustrations break down the barriers of heroes and the everyday ‘Joe Donut’. These captures include such things as Wonder Woman stuffing her bra, and the dynamic duo making out. Interesting juxtapositions on such iconic ‘untouchable’ characters.