Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Fruit is so utterly overreated. Health nuts rave about these multi-purpose edible objects. Their skins makes your hair shinier, your skin glow, fight cancer, cure anxiety. You name it, fruit does it apparently. Please. All fruit does for me is leave me gagging, my eyes watery, my throat clogged up and my lips itchy and bright red for days.

I developed an allergy to every kind of fruit about two years ago, and it's only getting worse. I can't eat apples, pears, plums, cherries, any kind of berry without hacking and regretting it woefully afterwards. I'm assuming it's the pesticide on the fruit that's the culprit. Even before allergies, I was never a big fan. Fruit is messy and requires a lot of work to eat - peeling, pitting, juice running down your arms, stones to remove, skin to discard of. Ugh. I still ask people to peel oranges and mangoes for me because I can't bear the thought of doing the work and getting my fingers pruny with orange juice. The biggest shocker I received was when I nearly choked because of a banana. A BANANA! They're like the anti-fruit. They're a fruit-haters excuse to pose as a health freak. They're not messy, you technically don't have to touch the fruit whilst eating, and of course who can forget the potassium. Oh, and unlike other fruit - the DO keep you full. My friend, Caitlin, can't eat bananas at all becasue the pesticide seeps through the porous surface of the skin and infects the fruit. What a bummer.

Maybe I'm also a bit jealous of fruit eaters. I envy people who chomp on apples or pears in class and will later refuse your offering of chips because, "I just ate an apple. I'm so full!" Are you kidding me? The only thing fruit does for me is create an appetite. I'm ready for dinner after a few plums. Maybe it's because of years of trying to lose weight and having diet books tell me to breakfast on a "piece of fruit." The only thing that ever did for me was cause hunger headaches by 10a.m., leading me to the closest Tim Hortons for a medium French Van capp and a seasame bagel with cream cheese.

My New Year's resolution (or revolution) will be to eat at least one fruit a day isA. I will wash the darn thing so well it won't know what hit it. And then I will cut it up and put it in my mouth. If I am still allergic, it's another doctor's apppointment for me.

Incidentally, a melon froze to death in our fridge yesterday and my mother is trying to thaw it back to life. Melons are the only fruit I can enjoy. Only if they're sweet. And they can't be too cold... otherwise my teeth hurt.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Meet you at the Ikea

Ikea is a whole world unto itself here in Ottawa - and I think in Canada generally. I am amazed everytime I walk into that Swedish realm of fresh-smelling wood, flexible furniture, and 50 cent hot dogs.

I visited Ikea this past Saturday. "People, like, go to Ikea for the day," my sister commented (pictured above) as we skirted family vans to squeeze into a parking space. Looking around the packed parking lot, I realized how right she was. Families with multiple strollers walked in and out of the store as though they were visiting the mall for the day, or to check out a massive side walk sale the place was hosting. The funny thing is, more than half the people who walk in, walk out empty handed, or with a tiny bag of light bulbs, or a $3.99 potted plant they could have nabbed for less at Loblaws.

This weekend was a madhouse in Ikea. You couldn't walk in a straight line in the aisles because there were people everywhere. Kids screaming and waving sloppy snacks, yuppie couples contemplating their first bed or maybe wondering if moving in together is really a good idea, first year students shuffling in flip-flops and too much midriff showing buying art and frames and glass bobbles that hang from the ceiling. Ikea art makes me shake my head. It is everything art shouldn't be. Generic, standard, mass-produced. Yet, people gobble it up.

I have to admit, however, I'm a big Ikea shopper. Over half the things in my room (home) are from the Swedish retailer. We live in a realtively small apartment and you have to give it to Ikea - their stuff fits. I recently bought a vertical chest of drawers which has earned my room some breathing space. It matches very nicely with the bookshelf and table top I bought about 6-8 years ago (and which are still available).

But this Saturday, my mom, sister and I just had a drink at their cafe and walked out. Empty handed.