Showing posts from February, 2010

Black as hell; sweet as love; strong as death

By Andrea Mulder-Slater Some time ago, I came to the realization that my life is a Folgers® commercial. In order to wake up every morning, I not only have to smell the coffee, I have to imbibe several litres of it, and I'm not the only one. Coffee, the sweet elixir of life, is the world's largest commodity (next to oil, and the Snuggie) and is produced in more than fifty countries at a rate of over 8 billion pounds annually. Wow... that's a lot of java. It's no surprise really, when you consider that our society revolves around the dark liquid. Coffee breaks, coffee tables, coffee cake, coffee houses... Ahhh, the aroma. Ahhh, the taste. Ahhh, the caffeine. Yes the caffeine, that's what we're really talking about here isn't it? An ordinary cup of joe contains about 150 mg of caffeine. That is roughly the amount that physicians regard as a therapeutic dose. Therapeutic? Yes. That's for all of you who think the roasted bean juice is bad for us. Caffe

A year and a day

Like most sayings - Time Heals All Wounds - is rooted in truth. Although my emotions are not nearly as raw as they were a year ago, the feeling today is as surreal as the day I watched my father pass away. My cousin, who experienced the devastating loss of her younger sister, was my pillar a year ago. She gave me such sage and sound advice, not the least of which included, to not turn special days into miserable ones. To put it bluntly, she said, "He was dead yesterday, he is dead today and he will be dead tomorrow." This helped me tremendously in getting through this year of "firsts". I don't want to create some sort of sick anniversary to commemorate his death. I think of him daily, not just on birthdays, New Years Day or the day he died. Friends and family, with the best of intentions, called, emailed and spoke about "it" - the elephant in the living room - yesterday, while others looked at us, painfully - without comment. I spent the day repeating

Gonna Wash That Foam Right Outta My...

by Andrea Mulder-Slater Straight from the Who-the-Heck-Thought-of-This-and-More-Importantly-Why? files we have Foam Dancing - a groovy craze which originated in Spain. A throwback to the days when those wacky Romans indulged in the odd before-dinner orgy, a foam party involves lining a nightclub dance floor with something akin to rubber pool toys, and dumping ten thousand tons of frothy suds on scantily clad patrons, who I might add, pay for the privilege and sign I-will-not-sue-you-if-I-slip-and-die forms. No really, club owners from Houston to Detroit take their establishments, throw a plastic wall on the floor and using a modified artificial snow machine, blow foamy bubbles all over the place. Club Amnesia - an incredibly trendy bar in Miami Beach Florida - was one of the first North American clubs to offer "Foam Nights". One such evening (it was a Thursday) was detailed by a party go-er, "Within minutes, they were up to their waists in a sea of bubbles groping ea

The Junior Suite

By: Andrea Mulder-Slater The Junior Suite in the Hotel Napoleon was like nothing either of us had ever seen before. Well, not in real life anyway. The bed was piled high with pillows, the heavy velvet curtains reached clear up to the 14-foot ceilings, and the marble bathroom was large enough to house three small families. It was twenty minutes before we were able to locate the toilet, which was tucked neatly away between the gold plated shower and the walk-in closest, which, we later discovered, was just off the sitting room. How my husband Geoff and I (artists accustomed to sleeping in budget motels with the numbers 6 or 8 in their name) ended up in a luxury suite in the hotel Errol Flynn once referred to as, “The Place,” was thanks, in part, to nicotine. We were on a European art vacation, involving visits to four thousand museums, in three countries, over a period of ten days. After a memorable train ride from London to Paris, we checked into our main floor, standard, non-

A very virtuous and moral saint

by Andrea Mulder-Slater Valentine's Day has long offered many the opportunity to make up for a year's worth of neglect. It’s the one occasion where a few gooey chewies and a single red flower will make your sweetie swoon like there's no tomorrow. Give her a gift - for no reason - any other time of year and she wonders what you're trying to make up for. Am I right? Don't get me wrong, I'm all for this Valentine's Day stuff. Flowers, candy, cupids, hearts… it’s all so very special. But, have you ever sat wondering, hoping, that someone - anyone - would tell you how this whole ritual got started? Sure you have - and that’s why I'm here. So go ahead, put on something red, drink something warm and cinnamony, curl up on a fluffy pink chair, and read on. First off, lets clear one thing up. Valentine - a very virtuous and moral Saint - the man after whom this day is named - really had absolutely nothing to do with love and all things mushy. The only c