Monday, December 28, 2009

Try Again in Twenty-Ten

Anne Shirley and I had a helluva difficult 2008. Our motto going into 2009 was "EVERYTHING IS FINE IN '09".

Anne found true love in the latter months of '08 and it blossomed over the course of '09, culminating in her moving in with her betrothed. So overall, I'd mark '09 as fine in her column. (And yes Anne, I know you had other life changing events that were not at all fine, however, I'm looking at it from the perspective of finding love and a mate, and with that came someone you could 100% lean on during those shitty times.)

For me, '09 turned out to be as big of a bitch as '08. She was a different breed of bitch, but ended up biting me just as hard.

It always amazes me how much happens, and how little happens over the course of 365 days. I look back at my blog and it's obvious that a lot of shit goes down in my life. Yet if you asked me to describe what's happened over the last year, I am unable to find the words.

At any rate, in the finding true love and settling down and having babies category, I failed miserably in '09.

I'm really, really hoping that 2010 is going to be the Year of Paprika. The year where she gets everything she deserves. Love, happiness, and maybe a flat screen TV. Is that really too much to ask?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weepy Christmas

Turkey Dinner #1: My Dad's house on Christmas Eve with Dad, brothers and their respective others. Usual family madness. I cried once because my brother hit me with just the right insult that I couldn't let roll off my back.

Turkey Dinner #2: My sister-in-law's grandmother's house Christmas Day in the early afternoon. One final gathering at the homestead out of respect for her recent passing. Cried once quietly in the bathroom where they had found her.

Turkey Dinner #3: My step-sister's house Christmas Day in the early evening. Watched family videos from 1990 when both my step-mother and step-brother-in-law were alive. Cried openly watching the grainy images of two souls now gone.

It's been raining the last few days. The weather matches my tears.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Let The Freaking Out Begin

LSIL—low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. Low-grade means there are early changes in the size and shape of cells. The word lesion refers to an area of abnormal tissue. Intraepithelial refers to the layer of cells that forms the surface of the cervix. LSILs are considered mild abnormalities caused by HPV infection. Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion is not cancer. (

I've spent the last two days crying over this. It's likely there's nothing for me to worry about. However, I am a worst-case-scenario-doomsday type of person. So of course in my mind, I've already lept to this being cancer and having to get a hysterectomy and subsequently never having children.

Merry effing Christmas to me.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Rollin' With The Homies

1977 - 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Of Course Not

They say timing is everything.

I couldn't find Mr. David after the show last night, which was probably a blessing in disguise.

He was at the studio today. My heart skipped a few beats of course when I saw him doing his regular twirling around.

While I was congratulating my instructor on his performance last night, and Mr. David floated on over to where we were standing.

P: You were really good last night!

D: Thanks! It's Paprika right?

P: Yes!

Then he floated on back over to his corner of the studio and continued twirling around.

My class started so of course, I had to pay a bit of attention to what was going on. I noticed a few minutes into the class he was making his way to the door with his bag. He started changing shoes and putting on his coat.

My friend noticed he was leaving and she came over to me. She whispered, "Pretend you need to use the washroom and go out there and say something to him."

My heart started beating faster. My chance to talk to him was slipping away and I was paralyzed to do anything about it.

And off he went.


One of the other women in my class was his partner last night for one of his dances at the show. So I asked my friend to gently probe her to find out what his situation is.

Answer: He just got out of a long term relationship and isn't looking for anything at all right now. Not even something as casual as going out for drinks.


I'm really glad I didn't march up and ask him out. Because I think I may have actually died if he'd shot me down.

Friday, December 18, 2009

First Step

My horoscope for today: "According to the planets, someone is as attracted to you as you are to them but they are finding it difficult to make the first move. So take the first step."

Maybe it'll be a first dance step with Mr. David. Wish me luck for tonight!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bod Mod

I've been feeling like I have zero control over anything that's going on in my life right now. Whenever I get like this, inevitably I either cut my hair or get a tattoo.

I remember the first time I felt this way. It was back in Grade 8, when I was working my first job at McDonald's. I was 14 years old at the time and totally in love with a 19 year old, who happened to be the boyfriend of one of my classmates who also worked at McDonald's.

Being so young and so totally naive, I had no clue he was playing both of us. He kept telling me he was going to break up with her, because it was me he truly loved. He'd pick both of us up after our shift (we always signed up for the same shifts), and he'd drop her off at home first. The excuse being that I lived closer to his house. Then he'd take me either for a drive or back to his place to listen to Alice Cooper records and make out.

Long story short, he knocked her up. I was actually there the night it happened. Her parents were away for the weekend so she decided to have a party. Of course I was invited, seeing as I was one of her closest friends and all. She confided in me she had decided that night would be *the* night. I almost threw up in my own mouth, knowing all of the nights he'd spent declaring his love for me, and how unhappy he was with her.

At one point in the evening, they both disappeared upstairs. I went to the bathroom, locked myself in, and cried and cried and cried. About an hour later, she came rushing out of her bedroom, bedsheets in hand asking, "Does anyone know how to get blood out?" It was bad enough I knew they were in there doing it, never mind seeing the evidence. I told her to wash them in cold water.

The next day, I got 8 inches chopped off my hair. My father shrieked when I came home with a lopsided bob. He kept asking me why I had done it, and I just said I felt like it. I went to my room and felt awesome. It was basically a big FU to him, because I knew how much he loved long hair.

About a week later I saw him at McDonald's dropping her off. I could see the shock on his face when he saw my hair. He starting making his way towards me, but I scurried off to the crew room in the back. I never spoke to him again.

Oh, they ended up getting married, having a few more children, and are still together. I found that out through the magic of Facebook.

Since then, I've gone on to get more haircuts and more recently, some pretty awesome tattoos. I'm a little more careful about getting inked on a whim. I actually think it's better for me to get a tattoo because I end up becoming completely engrossed with planning the design, rather than feeling anxious about losing control in my life.

The last tattoo I got during an anxious period was a "G" that ended up just under my right collar bone. I'd known for a while I wanted the "G", I just hadn't gotten around to actually getting it done.

I was at dinner one night with a friend of mine and I was telling her about a particular douche bag I'd been seeing on and off. I got so worked up while telling her the tale, I slammed down my chopsticks (we were having sushi) and declared I was going to get a tattoo RIGHT NOW!

She looked at me a bit perplexed, but she quickly got the waitress' attention and requested our bill.

We were on Queen Street West, where there are lots of tattoo shops, so it wasn't hard to find one that was open at almost 11pm on a Tuesday night.

I spent about 20 minutes picking out the perfect cursive font for my "G". And then it was ink time! I brought my friend in with me as she'd never seen someone get inked. Ten minutes later, I was bandaged up and feeling a lot better about everything. It felt like I could breathe again.

I don't know what it is about making a decision that is so permanent that makes me feel so free. I've really been feeling trapped lately. I was about two seconds from cutting bangs myself yesterday when it occurred to me I can get a tattoo since I just donated blood. That made me put the scissors down and start research on my next tattoo.

I suppose it could be worse. I could be doing this.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I was trolling around Facebook today, and one of my friends had posted a link to a hilarious video from The Onion.

The sketch was about an "internet archaeologist" finding relics of a past online civilization called Friendster.

I had totally forgotten I even had a Friendster account until I watched this sketch. So I went and logged in (after having to get my password emailed to me) and found my profile. I had only added two friends, Ethel & Anne Shirley. I never did finish setting up my account. I left my profile at 63% complete. I think that was around the time MySpace started and I quickly moved over there. However, here is what I had filled in.

Interested In:
Dating Men, Relationship with Men, Friends, Activity Partners

Member Since:
Oct 2003

Profile Viewed:
0 times

Fort Erie

Document/Data Controller

What I enjoy doing:
music, theatre, film, karaoke, singing, writing, television

Favorite Movies:
Dirty Dancing, Moulin Rouge, Chicago, All the Kevin Smith films, The Wedding Singer

Favorite Music:
Janis Joplin, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Madonna, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys

Favorite TV Shows:
All My Children, Smallville, The Joe Schmo Show, Friends, Alias

About Me:
I'm a hopeless romantic but will never admit to it. Even if you try water torture tactics I WILL NOT ADMIT IT. I'm fun, goofy, crazy and I hate filling out these "describe yourself" type questionnaires. I love to sing, and more important, I love the art of karaoke.

Who I Want to Meet:
I want to meet my own personal Johnny Castle. And if you can figure out the reference, then I most definitely want to meet you.

I'd say 99% of this is still pretty right on. The job has changed twice since then. And most of the TV shows I watched have since been cancelled. The most interesting part of this profile is the "Who I Want To Meet" line.

I think it took 6 years, but I'm pretty sure I've met him. Wouldn't that be totally awesome if it actually works out?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweet Baby Jesus

Fate stepped in and forced me to talk to David.

I was scurrying off the subway this evening, late for my dance class, after a ridiculous day at work. Normally I take lessons on Saturday afternoons. But because I missed a few lessons while I was in Oz, I had some credits to use, and I chose Monday nights to jump into a tango/jive class.

It was raining tonight, and I failed to bring an umbrella with me this morning. I was clutching my shoe bag and hustling as quickly as possible to the corner of Danforth & Broadview.

Then everything slowed down as I saw him standing there, waiting for the light to change.

He was wearing a camel coloured coat, no umbrella, no hood.

My heart skipped a beat.

It was *him*.

And before I knew it, we locked eyes and my mouth opened.

P: Hi David! (arm outstretched for handshake)

D: Hi... (hand takes mine for good, sturdy handshake)

P: It's Paprika. We haven't officially met.

D: Yes, Paprika. Hi.

P: I've seen you around the studio. (pause) What a lovely rainy December night.

D: (small chuckle) Yes it is.

P: Are you heading to the studio?

D: Yes.

P: Are you in the showcase on Friday?

D: Yes I am. I'm doing a group dance and one with Nicole (his instructor).

P: Oh that's great, I'll be there! I figured you were preparing for something. I actually thought you were an instructor.

D: Oh no, no. (chuckle)

P: Really. You're a really good dancer, that's why I thought you were a teacher.

D: Oh no, but thanks.

P: How long have you been taking lessons? (Wow, this light is freaking long!)

D: Since January. I really love it.

P: A year! Wow! (The light changed, now we're crossing the street. He has really long legs and it's hard to keep up.)

D: What about you?

P: Well, I took ballroom back in university about ten years ago. Wait, that's more than ten years ago. Ah, and I took tap for about two years, but this year I decided I wanted to get back to ballroom. (Now we're climbing the stairs, and I'm getting out of breath.)

D: That's great.

P: I am in Danny's boot camp class on Saturdays, but I missed a few lessons while I was in Australia on vacation. So I picked up a few of Rebecca's classes. So I've only been here since September.

(Now we've hit the entrance to the studio)

D: Have fun tonight.

P: Thanks!

I cannot even describe the number of flips and twists my tummy was doing during that whole exchange!!! I'm just so damn proud that I didn't vomit on his shoes or faint on the stairs.

I totally stared at him during my class while he was twirling around as per usual. There were a few times we made eye contact and I totally smiled my best smile at him. :)

Okay, so step one is complete - he now knows that I exist. Step two will be to somehow figure out whether or not he's gay. I did notice tonight the gay receptionist ask David where he got his awesome sweater. (OMG, it was totally awesome, he looked very hot in it.)

Let the final countdown begin. Oh courage, where for art thou? I need you for Friday, please and thank you.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mambo Magic

I have a huge crush on a guy who I see at the dance studio where I take weekly lessons. He's looks to be in his early 40's, tall, blue eyes and dark wavy hair. From the moment I saw him, I fell head over heels in love.

He's usually practicing alone in the same studio where my group lesson takes place. It's either the mambo or the waltz that he's working on. I often stop paying attention to my lesson and watch him twirl around in a perfect dance hold. I imagine that it's me he's dancing with.

He's caught me staring a few times. Instead of looking away, he looks right into my eyes and smiles. That's usually when I snap back to reality, completely flustered and trying my best not to totally die from embarrassment.

Over the last few weeks, I've made it my mission to figure out his story. And being the complete chicken shit that I am, I've enlisted one of the girls in my class to help me figure it out. Seeing as she's married, she has nothing to lose and has found very clever, yet very direct ways of asking the important questions.

Question: What's his name? Answer: David.

Question: Is he married? Answer: No.

Question: Does he have kids? Answer: No.

Question: Is he gay? Answer: Still pending.

Next week is my last lesson for the term and with it, will be my last opportunity to talk to him. I've got six days to grow a pair and figure out something to say to him. A few of my friends have suggested that I ask him if he knows of any places that have ballroom dancing, where as a beginner, I wouldn't totally crash and burn. And then somehow ask him to come with me one night.

What I really want to ask him is if he would be willing to a) give me private dance lessons for cheaper than the school, and b) learn the final dance routine from Dirty Dancing and perform it with me at my birthday bash in February.

Every time I think about actually talking to him, I want to vomit. Partly because I know I suck at being a girl and doing/saying girlie things to attract men, and mostly because I don't want to get shot down like the last time I decided to ask a guy out.

If any of you have seen my self-confidence, please tell it to come home before Saturday.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Coffee & Coffins

I had the most fucked up dream last night.

It started out with me being at Perez Hilton's house in Los Angeles. He invited me over to his place to watch him blog. His house was an absolute pig sty. I couldn't believe my eyes. I figured that someone making the kind of dough he does would at least hire a housekeeper.

He invited me to sit on his couch and watch him update his blog. I thought it was cool, seeing as I read his website everyday. He was drinking coffee and eating and smoking. He showed me a picture of Britney Spears that he was going to post, but needed some inspiration for the doodles. He told me I could doodle if I wanted. So I doodled some stuff and he liked it a lot and posted it to his blog.

Then he invited me out to watch him do an interview for a local TV talk show. He had a driver pick him up in a red SUV limo. I was really excited until I went to put my shoes on and realized his dog had peed on them. He told me to just borrow a pair of his. I looked at his shoes and they were all dirty and crusty and just generally gross. I told him thanks, but no thanks, and that I'd just go barefoot.

All of a sudden, I find myself in an open coffin. It resembles a grand piano and I'm trying it out for size. The part where my feet would go was really narrow and I had to cross my legs to get my feet to fit. I told the clerk I didn't want that coffin because I didn't want my legs crossed as that would be uncomfortable. He reminded me that when I'm dead, I probably wouldn't care if I even had any feet. I told him it was my coffin and I would pick what I wanted.

I woke up from that dream screaming.

That'll teach me to eat potato chips and chocolate before bed. :P

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


My sister-in-law's grandmother passed away this morning after having several strokes. This comes just a year after her grandfather passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack.

It's a terrible thing to have happen, and it's just that much worse so close to not only Christmas, but to my sis-in-law's 30th birthday which is next week.

My brother is having a rough go of it as he became quite close to her over the last year.

My deepest sympathies to the entire family. May she rest in peace.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wish List

On my lunch break today, I went to the mall with my coworker Bindi to find her husband an anniversary present. They are celebrating 10 years of marriage today. Of course, the mall was totally decked out for the holidays. I immediately became annoyed with all the Christmas cheer in the first store we entered.

I'm very bah-humbug this holiday season. I believe it is partly due to the fact that for most of my life, holidays weren't a big deal for my family. And partly (probably mostly) due to being a bitter, perpetually single woman.

After my Mom died, we kind of forgot about Christmas. She was the one who organized it all for the family, so I guess all the ballyhoo that came with the holidays died with her. My Dad had other things to focus his energy on instead of worrying about how big of a tree we would want.

In my high school years, we'd get our fill of Christmas at my Dad's girlfriend's place in Buffalo. They did all the usual tree/stockings/presents/food. After my Dad and his GF broke up, we just went back to ordering pizza for Christmas dinner. We did gifts, but didn't have a tree to put them under. So our coffee table became the tree. We'd just pile all the presents on the coffee table and open them Christmas morning.

Christmas only became a big deal for me when I was married, as I had a stepdaughter who was totally a believer in Santa and the miracle of Christmas. I did a lot of organizing to make sure that my new little one had a celebration at her grandparents' place, at my Dad's place with her new grandfather and uncles, and at home with me and her (idiot) father. I went totally crazy and bought her a ton of crap I'm sure she didn't need and that her mother would have a hard time finding a place keep all of it.

I even got us a tree! It was a little 3-footer because that's all that could fit in the apartment, but I got it and decorated it, and placed the presents around it. It was hilarious that the presents piled up higher than the little tree.

And then as quickly as Christmas had become important to me, it became non-existent again. My marriage didn't last long enough to have another Christmas with my stepdaughter.

So as Bindi was oohing and aahing over all the Christmas decorations, I was busy doing my best impersonation of a hissing venomous snake.

Bindi asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told her absolutely nothing. She insisted I must want something. To which I replied, "A bottle of rum and a Kit Kat bar." Booze and chocolate make it all better.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Toxic Love

My new favourite musical is "The Toxic Avenger Musical". It was written by David Bryan, the keyboard player from Bon Jovi.

I saw it for the third time last night. And you know what they say about the third time being the charm...


It's really too bad I look so hideous in this picture. My head looks enormous. He on the other hand, looks fantastic. He's pretty hot for a dude who was born in 1962.

Moments like that remind me why I love living in the Tdot so much. WOOT!

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Own Horn

I rarely give myself credit when I've done good work. I also have a hard time accepting compliments from people on said good work. I was raised to always do my best because it's what's expected, not just for the glory. I also think doing a good job is a reward in itself, with no need for any extra fanfare.

At this moment however, I am totally going to sing my own praises on a job well done. I was especially proud of myself for figuring out an IT problem on a Mac (I use PC), with editing software I know absolutely nothing about. (Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not an editor!)

So . . . TOOT TOOT! Paprika was wicked awesome today! She not only helped out a student to finish his project on time, but saved the college money by not having to call in the 3rd party computer guys whose going rate is $50/hour.

Yay me! Good job! Pat on the back! Party all the time! Ticker tape parade!!!!

Okay, back to my regularly scheduled work day.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

No Show

Just as every other man who's made a date with me in the last year, BGK was a no show today to pick up his package.

I was really looking forward to that Kit Kat.

Why do I repulse men so much?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


On my way home tonight I saw a man jump the turnstile at the subway entrance. He had long, stringy hair and was wearing dirty jeans and really worn out shoes. He was wet from the rain tonight.

He looked nervous jumping the gate, even though the token taker was sitting on the other side of the booth dealing with other people who were probably pissed off about the current token shortage and being forced into buying tickets that expire in a few weeks.

It made me sad that this man obviously did not have the $2.75 cash fare required to get around on a sub par transit system.

It made me think he probably doesn't have much of anything at all.

As I made my way onto the platform, I noticed the door to the room where the drivers take their break was open. I've always been curious about the set up they have in those secret rooms.

Inside were three of the TTC's finest sitting on plastic chairs. All of them were drinking from Tim Hortons coffee cups and eating granola bars.

On the back wall was a string of white Christmas lights that had been awkwardly taped up. This was the only light coming from the tiny room. A cozy little space for them to take a break from transporting the masses.

And then the man who jumped the turnstile popped into my head again. I bet he would have enjoyed a nice warm cup of coffee and a granola bar while the soft Christmas lights twinkled around him. And I'm sure he would have enjoyed the huge salary that comes with working for the TTC.

Rainy nights like tonight really highlight the divide between societal class.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009