Jun 152012

I dedicate trying this new thing to Dr King and Jenny Freakout for their role in getting me to do what I thought was the impossible–considering that it is the most crazy ass thing I could ever imagine doing.

This is how it started.  During a phone conversation with Dr King:

“Jenny and I were talking, and as much as we love reading about champagne and cheese, what we love the most and want more of is when you do your crazy things.  Everyone loves crazy Kitty adventures”

I relay this conversation to the Germ.  It goes something like this:

–Dr King and Jenny Freakout want to see and read about me doing really crazy things.

–I can think of  a crazy thing you could do

–I can think of one super crazy ass thing, but it is too crazy

–Really Crazy?

–Are we both thinking the same thing?

–I think so

In unison:

–The EdgeWalk.

We mentally decide in February that we are going to do this walk.  For months, every time I see the CN tower, my heart skips.  I feel sick. The EdgeWalk re-opens for the season in May.  Our anniversary is May 16.  Seems like a fitting thing to do on an anniversary non?

A few days before May 16th, we book on line.  The walk is non refundable and expensive.  We are now committed.

The Germ has specific instructions–If I fall off, he is to to unclip immediately and jump after me.  Ditto goes for me.

So here we go EdgeWalk, Kitty and the Germ style.

We make our way over to the base camp inside the CN Tower (right beside the gift shop).

Once taken into the change room area, we are instructed to remove all jewellery including wedding bands and earrings.

We are given read jumpsuits and were breathalized (no drunks permitted).  We get put into harnesses.

We ride in a special elevator all the way to the top and walk right out. I am in full prayer mode.  It is super windy outside, but not windy enough that we can’t go.

The Germ, as per usual gets outside and is fearlessly brave and hanging/dangling over the edge at every opportunity.  Me?  Not so much.  I did not sign on for the additional activities.  I just signed on to walk around the edge.  It was also just us two, so peer pressure wasn’t applicable.

To some, this may not be the craziest thing, but since I am not a fan of heights, this really was the most crazy ass thing I could imagine.

Attached is the video.  Proves we were there!

Kitty and the Germ – CN Tower EdgeWalk
 Posted by on June 15, 2012
May 152012

Believe it or not, there is proper form on how one should pour wine. To many, this may seem like a no-brainer fact, but how frequently people don’t abide by this tradition either illustrates that a) people no longer care or b) they simply don’t know.

For the interested B crowd:

When pouring a bottle of wine, be sure that the label on the bottle is visible to the person whose glass you are filling. If you are filling multiple glasses–yes, you will need to rotate the bottle.

Now that I have mentioned pouring good form, take note on how wine is poured at a restaurant.  The more accomplished servers will always be aware of the label.

At your home, if you are serving a fine wine–show it off.  Many guests will be very interested to discover the type of grape, the house, the vintage and the region of the wine you offering.  If you are serving something far less than fine–so be it.  It happens.  Don’t try to hide it, show that label off too.

 Posted by on May 15, 2012
May 142012

I am seated on the edge of a hotel the bed, chatting with the Germ, wearing a summer dress.  As I cross my legs, my perceptive Germ points to the back of my thigh and asks–what is that?  I look.  Odd, something new that I had never seen before.  I lick my finger in an attempt to rub it off.  Pen?  Chocolate?  It is not coming off.  There is a small black dot and I know instinctively that this is not good.  I am sure that it is really not good.  It is tiny, however it is black, brand new and looks like nothing else on my body.

I had an appointment with a dermatologist two weeks later–booked months before for an unrelated problem.  Of course the original issue had already resolved itself.   I went to that appointment and asked the intern and the derm to take a look at the black dot.  Both of them thought nothing of it.  It was small, but I could not shake the feeling that it really shouldn’t be there.  The derm told me that she was “99% sure it was nothing”, but since it was bothering me–off it came.  No big deal, 1 needle, 2 stitches, done.

I put it out of my head until l I got the call two weeks later.  The derm’s first words were–I am so glad I listened to you.  It is melanoma.  Cancer.  A surgery has been scheduled.

I didn’t think much of it, perhaps because everyone uses the term melanoma so interchangeably (usually incorrectly) with all other forms of skin cancer.  Melanoma is the bad one.  It’s the one that spreads.  It’s the one that kills.  My friend Dana lost her father far too young to this type of cancer.  Melanoma was also the cause of death for Bob Marley–God rest his rasta soul.

A few weeks later I arrive at the hospital for the surgery which I thought was going to minimal.  I pictured another biopsy and a little scar–maybe something the size of a penny.  Not the case.  The surgeon drew with a purple marker all of the flesh that he was going to remove.  Seriously?  THAT big?  The mole was tiny.  The drawing was as big’s as a man’s thumb.  Oh well.  What’s a scar when compared to life?  The staff commented on my mature attitude.  I hadn’t actually seen the drawing of the incision at the time I said this…

Do you tan?  No–never.  Do you wear sunscreen?  Always–I am known for it.  Family history?  None.

SINCE it was caught early–I am all good.  I didn’t spread. t thankfully escaped chemo.  Forever on mole patrol, but happy to say–am now cancer free.

I do have an ugly scar which unfortunately can be seen in most of my dresses, but will remain hopeful that it will shrink and fade as times goes on.

Life lesson:  Be your own health advocate.  If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Melanoma 101

-Melanoma is the least common of all skin cancers

-Melanoma is the deadliest of all skin diseases

-Melanoma is more common in women than in men

-160k cases of Melanoma diagnosed each year WORLDWIDE 

-48k deaths related to Melanoma each year WORLDWIDE

-Melanoma is more common and dangerous to fair people (light hair, eyes and skin)

-Exposure to tanning beds increases the risk of Melanoma

-If not caught early, it spreads to other parts of the body, most commonly starting with lymph nodes

-Melanoma can usually not be cured once it has spread beyond skin and nearby lymph nodes

I entered into 2012, the champagne year with a list of new things I wanted to try and actively saught out new experiences.

I was not expecting this one…But I have kept calm and will continue to carry on.  Stay tuned.

 Posted by on May 14, 2012
Apr 042012

It is in bad form, really bad form, to ask a woman about her plans regarding pregnancy and babies. When/Are you going to have a baby is not a polite or an appropriate question to pose–ever.

Many people will certainly disagree with this commentary.  I know this to be true due to the many (countless) people who continue to ask so frequently about my plans.

Asking about babies and pregnancy is in bad form because you never know what another person’s business really is.  I confirmed with Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette (50th Anniversary Edition) where she states “It may be a painful subject.   This is not a question that should ever be asked”.

It may not always be a painful subject–the truthful answer could simply be–we’re having too much fun, we’re just not ready or we don’t want children at this time. But imagine if you will, the very real possibility of the honest answer being:

Thank you for bringing this issue up–we have been trying for years.  So happy you asked–I can never have children.  I appreciate you bringing attention to this issue–I just had a miscarriage…

Bottom line–don’t ask questions regarding pregnancy.  Not only is it impolite and in bad form, the truth is that you never, ever, know what actual business may be going on.

 Posted by on April 4, 2012
Mar 072012

Without question, one of the most underrated Champagnes around is Paul Laurent. 

Bottom line, it is delicious. Easily enjoyed on its own, Paul Laurent also pairs very well with most dishes, and costs significantly less than its counterparts.  Value! This wonderful champagne is full of character and refinement.  Paul Laurent is one of the newer champagne houses, hailing from the Gruet family who have also expanded into the sparkling wine business in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

I discovered Paul Laurent years ago when I was making an effort to branch out beyond the few big houses that were always my go-to bottles.  Boozy best friends were over, a bottle was popped and we discovered the magic of Paul Laurent together.  We were oohing and ahhing over the smoothness, the balance, the lovely colour and delicate bubbles.  We were all converted into fans immediately.

Paul Laurent is a blend of pinot noir (80%) and chardonnay (20%) and made in the traditional méthode champenoise.  It always delivers and can be consumed at any and every moment. I adore that it emphasizes the taste of even the most simple dishes and enhances the pleasure of the most elaborate ones.

Don’t miss this delicious, refined, delicate AND economic champagne.

Champagne Detail #3–The pressure in a bottle of champagne is 90 pounds per square inch–almost three times more pressure than in a car tire.  If you want to blow the cork, do it outside!

 Posted by on March 7, 2012