Author Archives: Vanessa Jean Johnston

No Dogs Allowed

You know that Albertans aren’t heeding Bob Barker’s advice when an AB SPCA press release states that they are over capacity in many of their locations in Edmonton and Calgary.

As a multi-dog owner I know from experience that having pets can sometimes be a frustrating, time-consuming and expensive thing. My two have put an end to many an unsuspecting leather boot, fruity lip gloss, discarded garbage bag and panel of hard-wood flooring. However, they have also provided me a living fluff ball to squeeze when I needed to cry, an overnight cuddle when I was sleeping alone and a well-needed laugh on a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. The point: they pay back all of the potential frustrations tenfold.

When you hear (and see) horror stories both in the media and in your own neighbourhood of the mistreatment of pets it makes you (well, me. I can’t speak for everyone) wish that there was a Batman out there for animals. A superhero vigilante who would lay their custom-fitted, knife and bullet resistant leather boot to the keister of those that commit the offence of mistreatment of animals.

When you see the way your pets look at you – all full of love and trust and the malicious plan to somehow yoink that piece of delicious bacon you’re about to consume – it impossible to consider how anyone could ever mistreat them. Leaving them outside 24 hours a day in every season, failing to provide them affection, neglecting to take care of their ailments and, as the SPCA is now experiencing, not follow the oft-repeated advice of the revered man who also uttered the words ‘the price is wrong, bitch’ before TKO’ing Happy Gilmore – having your pets spayed or neutered. Each are examples of the maltreatment of animals that occurs each and every day.

You me know what? You’ve convinced me! I’ll do it! I’ll be the avenger of animals!

Now I just need to come up with a superhero name that isn’t already trademarked (‘Cat Woman’), lame (Lady GoGo-ldfish) or opens me up to ridicule on late-night talk shows (Dog Girl)….

… Can you just imagine the boots?!

Check out the link below for more i formation on the pet overflow and what you can do to help. But leave the boot-layin’ to me.


My little savages Capone (ebony) and Yubbie (ivory). Who could ever hurt these little yellow-vomit-spewin’ bastards?



I’m SO Totally Famous Now (aka Delusions of Grandeur 101)

I took in K Days for the first time this past Sunday and, while there, happened upon the CTV ‘So You Want To Be A News Anchor’ setup. As being in broadcasting is my dream job, I was all over it like a fat kid on a Smartie. The result?. Please see the attached link for my shot at local news stardom.

Waiver: I do stumble over my words in one part but all things considered (first time reading a TelePrompTer and it was 8pm and I had been at K Days since 11am and been rained on several times) I think it’s not too shabby (hear that noise? That’s me patting myself on the back)

V on Your TV!!!

Fat Pants for Everyone!!!

I was just cleaning up the spare room/ KJ’s closet when I happened upon the massive pair of fleecy pants that he called his ‘Fat Guy Pants’. You know the type I’m talking about, big, comfy joggers (side note: autocorrect just tried to change ‘joggers’ to ‘jiggers’. Bastards know where I’m from!! Conspiracy!) anyway, the comfy pants you put on when you get home from work, wake up on the weekends, throw on when you’re hanging out with your girlfriends (or guy friends), sleep in when you don’t want to have sex before bed and just generally love because they don’t show your muffin top, fat ass, thick thighs, or belly (whatever your hang up is). 

And I got to thinking: Fat Pants used to be just a girl thing, publicly, I mean. Men owned them, but unless you’re married to one (man, not Fat Pants) you never really heard guys talk about how awesome they are. While women would openly lament about their need to wear their fat pants (two things to interject here: 1. we usually do not don said fat pants in a relationship until the hook has set and we’re cleaning the fish, metaphorically, and 2. I’m being nice by using the word ‘lament’. we bitch like assholes about our weight. I’ve even cried once. recently. immediately after eating several bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch). 

I have to say: I LOVE that guys have fat days too. I’m not saying that I want my guy to feel dumpy (KJ, you are the sexiest man in the world, no offence other guys), but isn’t it awesome to know that we’re not the only ones?! Why hasn’t someone created a line of clothing called ‘Fat Pants’?! Not in a way that would insult people, like how everyone in the 80’s called Jordache Jeans ‘Lardass Jeans’ (oh, wait no they didn’t. I think that may have just been my mom who called them that, and she still giggles every time she says it), but just a straight forward company that sells clothes for your fat days. Baggy T-shirts that are still flattering where you need them to be, slouchy sweaters, jiggers (I let them autocorrect me that time. The Suits don’t own me!!!), you know, that kind of stuff. No false advertising either: sell it like this;

‘Did you get drunk last night and down two Big Macs? Did your boyfriend dump you and you ate 2L of ice cream? Do chips and dip just call to you? Couldn’t ‘just say no’ at the buffet line? Don’t worry! Buy Fat Pants! The clothes guaranteed to make you giggle even with that jiggle!’

And then have a waiver that says that not exercising will make you fatter, but we have pants for that ass too! Just so that we won’t get sued for false promises or whatever like Reebok did by that chick who wore the toning pants under her regular clothes everyday while living a horribly unhealthy lifestyle that included hitting the buffet at every meal and packing on the pounds. No tone. Reebok, meet lawsuit. 

I hear the chips and dip calling me…

Bring on the fat pants!

Celebrities: Your Life is Now My Life (but not in the ‘park outside your home in a van with tinted windows’ kind of way… yet)

The personal life a celebrity really contributes to how you feel about them in their movies, hey? I mean, we all have actors we just don’t like, but there are some whom we can tolerate when forced to (like when your new boyfriend REALLY wants to see the new Steven Segal movie and you guys are still in the six-month period wherein he is just meeting the representative for the President verses the President his or her self who emerges at around the six-month mark). For me, these “tolerable” actors are; Steve Buscemi and John Legazamo (I just don’t like their faces or voices or really anything about them. I even find cartoons voiced by them to be the mental equivalent of chewing tinfoil), Kirsten Dunst (she always looks like she’s trying to figure out what someone is saying. You know, all squinty like she’s not quite getting it but will laugh at the joke when everyone ese does anyway, just praying that no one asks her to elaborate), Jessica Biel (she just can’t act. I’m sorry. She’s probably a very sweet girl but I just feel that she’s in movies because shes got a nice bum… and now a JT), and a few others. However, several actors have made my ‘Won’t Watch’ list in the past few years because they seem like douche bags in real life: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (They destroyed Jennifer Aniston’s world! Rachel! Do you know how many hair style’s and outfits I copied from that woman in the 90’s? Sure they didn’t work seeing as I was essentially still sporting an afro and a fairly serious set of buck teeth back then, but she’s a good, old fashioned icon! That being said, I still had to see World War Z because I’m a zombie addict. Check out the attached pic of me as a zombie that my husband commissioned our talented friend Tyler Nicholson to create for my birthday last year), Hugh Grant (same, and I also find him guilty of never changing his hair style), Justin Timberlake (Love his tunes but really, getting homeless people to wish you the best at your wedding? You can’t get much more self righteous than that), Nicole Kidman (Sunlight, Nicole Kidman; Nicole Kidman, Sunlight. Also: Tom Cruise AND Keith Urban? Really?), Katie Holmes (although now free and just a step above the outreached fingers of those aliens that began Scientology, she was still purchased by Tom Cruise Part 2. Also: those were totally a boobs double in ‘The Gift’ ), Tom Cruise (Do I even need to elaborate? He stopped being cool in the 90’s around the same time this former buck-toothed wonder was trying to get Brad Pitt to start a ‘We Hate Vanessa’ club), Renee Zellweger (not that I liked her before: she’s another squinty face who seems to have a very low sense of self esteem – three week marriages and an ever-present “love me”/clingy look tip the scales for me, but her expression may also be because she’s usually the size of a tongue depressor so blowing away is a hazard. Now every time i see her i think of Family Guy’s depiction of her as an anteater) and Mel Gibson (the whole bigotry thing didn’t help an already waning interest in that guy).

Nick Cage, who used to be one of favourite actors but has since slipped down the pipes was ALMOST on my list after naming his kid Kal-El around the same time casting was occurring for the Superman movie that Brandon Roth butchered, paired with the bad choices to star in ‘Bad Lieutenant’ (i think that’s what that slop was called) and, the movie that’s so horrible I want to make a ‘pfft’ sound with my tongue whenever someone says any word that’s in the title, ‘The Wicker Man’ (And you wouldn’t believe how frequently the word ‘the’ is used. My tongue would be frequently numb), but I let him keep his status because of movies like ‘Lord of War’, ‘City of Angels’ (Meg Ryan. That’s another one I would choose watching a fat, furry, naked guy jump on a trampoline over a movie starring her) and ‘Face Off’. For now. Any more Craptastic films and he’s outta there. While John Cusack, Ryan Gosling (he’s a total Baldwin. There. I said it. Oh yeah, and a great actor), Tom Hardy (aside from ‘This Means War’ which was HORRiBLE) and John C. Reilly keep movin’ on up,

I wanna hate Will Farrell because he seems like such a douche bag in real life, but he’s just too funny. He truly is like a mix between Fergie and an angel. He just proving that being funny really helps improve your douche bag status in life. Funny outweighs douche.

This status was brought to you by the letter ‘D’, the number 6 and the fabulous word ‘douche’


Like, Totally!

There’s this one class that I have from 8 – 9 am every M-W-F that is actually painful for me to go to. Not because the classroom has the distinct odour of BO ( it doesn’t) or because the prof drones on like Ben Stein in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off (‘Johnston? Johnston? Johnston?’ (she doesn’t)). It’s because this one class is the most basic of the basic English course, and is the classmate equivalent of dragging my 32-year-old buns into a grade 10 class for the day ala Drew Barrymore in ‘Never Been Kissed’. The class is (literally) filled with kids just out of high school (there are two people over the age of, say, 25; me and the prof). And this magical class is filled with questions being asked of the the prof every 4 seconds, questions with the word ‘like’ peppered in there more times than post-binge bed farts.

So I rarely go to this class. This isn’t my first time doing this whole school rodeo, I’ve done a whole bunch of these classes, and this one course is mandatory for anyone doing any program at my University (or so it seems considering that I’m the only aspiring writer in the class and the rest are doing weird stuff like botany and other weird sciences that guarantee interesting dinner party conversations. Scientists: careers i don’t care about until 1. I watch Morgan Freeman play one, 2. They do cool stuff like create a glossy lip stick that you don’t need to reapply but doesn’t get all crackly and meth-heady on your lips, and 3. There’s a zombie apocalypse. They’ll be who I blame. Also, I’m a little jealous because me not understand science. There. I said it).

Does me preferring not to go to this class make me a quitter or a slacker? would you watch the same episode of a tv show over and over just because it was on, even if you didn’t like it? I surely don’t think so.

As a side note to help my cause: I’m pulling an A in this class, but its not a proud ‘A’; it feels more like being the ‘smartest’ person in your grade 12 class… When you’ve been in grade 12 for 7 years. It’s kind of a guarantee you’ll do well and if you don’t, well, then you might as well knock a couple of your teeth out and start having a slew of kids who you’ll give names ending with ‘ … etus’ (I.e. Cletus, Fetus, you know, the popular names)

From the Lips of Our Elders to the Ears of Our Not-So-Youth (i.e. Me)

Overheard in a Public Place for Wednesday, April 24 2013; Whilst standing in the pharmacy line up (no, no ointments) I hear the two old men in front of me talking. They’re about 85 years old and look like they may have known Moses personally they’ve got so many city miles on them. During the course of the conversation about whatever – frisky old nursing home birds or how far your parts drop as your ears and nose continue to grow or any other topic that smells slightly like slav, Zellers brand cologne and mothballs, I hear Statler drop two pretty well known racial slurs on Waldorf mid-story! And not bat an eye. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like he was calling his geriatric broheim names (heavens no! That would be wrong) but it happened while he was talking about someone else. And he used it like an adjective! You know, like how we would say ‘oh, you know Brenda; she’s the one with that weird eye that isn’t always quite looking at you’ or ‘That’s the guy Steve I was telling you about; he’s the one with one nut.’ Just all matter of fact. And strangely, it made me think about how old people just don’t give a shit and how they totally deserve it. I mean, look at ’em, g’bless their long, tall soxstrap (suspenders for your socks) sportin’ cotton socks; most of them have lived almost as long as Jesus so they deserve to be able to use racial slurs without meaning them as racial slurs, knowingly drive like Mr. Magoo and they are even deserving of making you suffer that little bit of conscience when you’ve cursed out the driver in front of you for wasting the turning light, threw some pretty unSunday school, potentially gender-themed slurs at them… And then see their little waxed almond head peeking up from behind the wooden steering wheel of their land cruiser automobile. 
When I’m old I’m going to celebrate my old ness by wearing moo-moos, even if I don’t need them (with soxstraps, of course. Those aren’t just for men), refuse to step on an escalator for fear that it’ll suck me in at the bottom, get pushed everywhere in those quick little chauffeured mobile Air Canada carts, even when at the mall and tell strangers’ little children when they’re too fat. Maybe even pinch a cheek or two.

The Name Game

Most people won’t give their child a name that once belonged to someone they knew and didn’t like. I’m not basing this on research or anything, just how I feel about the names of people I’ve greatly disliked in my past and watching my friends reactions to someone they just met with the same name as a high school nemesis, for example (names of ex’s, hated teachers, crappy bosses, slutty ex-best friends, etc all can be used as well) Totally different reaction than if its the name of your brother or sister, right? Easy to tell. 

But there are levels of regressed-memoritis. 2, actually. LEL (Lower Explosive Limit): If you knew a Brenda’ or a’Janice’ that you didn’t like, you are slightly predisposed to name although the next person you know who bares the name may be absolutely your best friend or whatever, you’re just not the keenest on his or her name’. 
UEL (Upper Explosion Limit): if you meet a string of ‘Adams’ or ‘Bryce’s’ and they’re all dicks, and the name makes you cringe, then its best to try to avoid meeting them. That’s a bias; albeit a fair one. However, you will most likely never give that name to your child, pet or spouse’s private part. From either of the two levels.

I just think it’s interesting. I certainly wouldn’t name my kids ‘Brenda’ or ‘Janice’. Ugh. (Sorry if that’s your or your moms name. I’m sure you’re a very nice person, and mom’s are God’s greatest creation, so that goes without saying. And we must have been very close and personal friends because we’re friends on Facebook)

Men and Women: In Front of the Mirror

As I’m standing in the mirror this morning fine-tuning my face for the day (I would like to thank Mac Studios for keeping me attractive in these, the waning years of my life), my husband walks up behind me, looks in the mirror and says ‘I don’t like my look today’. His eyebrows furrow for a moment as he considers his options to remedy his situation, then says ‘I think I’m going to change my pants’.

His pants. When women have a bad face/hair/clothes day EVERYTHING goes: dry shampoo gets sprayed in until your hair is a helmet, eye make up comes off and is reapplied, and the WHOLE outfit changes. Not just the pants… 

Then we call in sick because this disaster is not getting fixed before 8am. 

He walks out of the bathroom, stops outside and says ‘on second thought, my pants are fine. I look good. Don’t you wish it was this easy for you? You should blog about this!’

So here we are. 

I’m going to burn all of his pants when I get home (kidding!… ish)

Survival of the Fittest: 2013 University Edition

The time has begun for me to start categorizing the other students in my program to determine what role they will play in my path to news anchordom (it will happen, oh yes, it will happen).

So far I have three categories: Ally (those that will not be my direct competition and may be useful sources of information along the way), Foe ( those who will be, so I have no choice but to convert them to Ally or just destroy them. It’s a mean world out there), and Neutral (probably going to be editors of fishing or Nintendo magazines or something that I don’t care about and will never need).

When categorizing you can’t be too careful: you never know how things could change along the line (that girl could finally grow into her teeth and be a threat).
An example: someone in my class told me that thy work for The Bear (Ally/Foe), but they sell ads for them (Ally. No threat there). Then added that he/she has ‘a lot of famous friends in ‘the industry’ ‘ who can help them out (Foe). Friends like the producer of The Ellen Show (Ally?). When I inquired into how they had made such a friend the response solidified their category:

‘We’re Friends on Twitter’. 

I just created a new category: Joke.

Snow, huh, what is it good for. absolutely nuthin.

Hi. So I still haven’t posted any pics on here of my sweet finds, but it’s been a busy day, so I figured that I may be able to pacify you with something that I wrote a few weeks ago and have yet to publish. Here it is:

I’m not a huge snow person. Aside from how I’m not made of snow (obviously since I’m the one in the white dress in the main pic and that day was bloody hot), I’m just not a fan of snow. At all. Sure I can appreciate it for it’s beauty and the whole ‘rebirth of a new day with a blanket of pure whiteness’ stuff, and I get that it looks really swell in a Norman Rockwell painting, but for the most part: What’s the use of it? I have running water, a Keurig, and a Culligan cooler. I’m good. In actuality, aside from the picturesque beauty that Robert Frosts around the world glorify, it’s a hinderance. It makes it impossible to wear heels outside without faceplanting, people break limbs all the time on it, and it needs to be shoveled too frequently, which is a nightmare. All around: sh*tty in my books. My idea of ‘winter sports’ is seeing if I can get the three ice cubes in the bottom of my now-empty cocktail glass to line up in the shape of a snowman. No? Fill ‘er up.

Here’s a perfect example: I was hoping to solicit extra money from my husband for this shopping trip that my sister and I just took to Fargo, North Dakota. I love shopping. You could call it an addiction, actually, as my definition of ‘addiction’ would be: would you do a sex act for it? Ask my husband. It’s an addiction. And, sidenote: It’s not prostitution if you’re married to him. It’s love. So, to see if I could charm him with my usefulness as well as my sexy savvy, I decided to shovel the driveway. Said decision happened to fall on the same day that Edmonton got it’s biggest snow dump of the year. And I mean: DUMP.

I get home from work early (they sent us home because the highways were closing. Perhaps this should have been my first sign that today was not the day to showcase my other, more public, skill set in an attempt for monetary reward) and I still had about 4 hours left until my flight, so I figured ‘why not shovel the driveway for my husband?’. Not only is it a nice gesture, but in about 4 hours I’d have to drag my Dakine luggage through that same area in order to get it to his truck, and I didn’t want it, or my new leather over-the-knee boots to get snowy. AND maybe he’d slip me a little paper lovin’ for it. Win win. Plus, I skipped my workout that day.

So I started shoveling. It was torture. First of all: How are you supposed to dress for that? They tell you in all the survivor shows to wear layers. So that’s what I did. I threw on a long-sleeved shirt, a sweater, a ski jacket that I bought at a Zellars sale two years ago that I had never worn because I, well, hate snow sports, but wanted to look stylish while I pretended not to hate snow sports from behind a pint of beer in a warm ski lodge, snow pants, my tall, lace up Uggs that I bought on this Japense eBay site called dhgate ( you should totally check it out. REAL Uggs for $35, shipping included), and a scoodie, What’s a scoodie, you ask? Great question. It’s a brightly colored scarf with a hood that I bought from Lulu Lemon two years ago, then lost one night when I was drunk, then my husband bought for me again from a nice lady my age on Kijiji who had one that she didn’t wear who must not have known that the style was discontinued from Lulu otherwise he would have paid much more than $30 for it, probably closer to the $60 that I paid for mine. Re-tah-did, I know. Fully enveloped in a case of wool and water proof-ness, I began to shovel.

Sweating, freezing, sweating, freezing. I’ve seen ‘Trainspotting’ AND walked away from ‘blowout sales’ in the mall before, I know what detox is like. And this was it. Ok, so I don’t really know, although the shopping-relapse thing puts me pretty close. You can’t fault me for my flair for the dramatic. I have an addiction. Don’t judge me, monkey.

Plus, the snow was SO FRIGGIN HEAVY.

I’m going to stop right here and interject something: I am in no way a weakling. I work out, face off with people twice my age in the ring that is work on a regular basis, and move multiple pounds of clothing on hangers and in rubbermaid containers from the bottom floor of my home to the fourth floor when the seasons change (outfits need to be updated to those that are season appropriate, obviously). I don’t complain about work. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. But if I can avoid lifting 30 pounds of wet snow on the surprisingly slim blade of a shovel 400 times in a row, I certainly will. Just so we’re on the same page. I’m no p*ssy.

So shovel I did. For an hour and a half.

I must admit that there were several times where I wanted to say ‘Eff this!’, haughtily throw the shovel down, and dramatically stomp away into the house and drink a Palm Breeze or three, but I didn’t.  And do you want to know why? Well, as much as I would love to say ‘pride in my performance’ here, that’s not it. Why: 1. I do a REALLY good haughty throw down and walk away and there was no one here to witness my theatrical genius, and 2. My husband is the same age as me (he’s six weeks older exactly) and he would mock me mercilessly. We’re very competitive. Well, I am at least. He’s very laid back. I just can’t let him win.

You should see me stare down a baby.

I was hoping that he would be in such awe of my amazing job that he’d come home and say ‘Why, Wife of Mine! You are the finest wife in all the land of Millwoods! Allow me to bestow upon you some additional coin for your shopping trip which I fully support and understand why you need to buy a bunch more clothes when you already own 40 pairs of jeans..’ (I really do. And I wear them all, Actually, I tried it one time, and I can go for 3 months without wearing any item of clothing twice. Wild, right? And not like fringed vets and shit either. Actually stylish gear)..’for I do not think that you have enough clothes already. Go forth and purchase, arm candy of mine!’ (He doesn’t talk like he’s from Game of Thrones, by the way. For some reason when I imagine scenarios like that in my head they usually involve a large field, slow motion, and a olde elizabethan accent).

What actually happened: I got cranky because shoveling was a lot more work then I anticipated and his truck leaves huge ice-covered tire marks on the driveway that I would slam into as I was pushing the shovel along the ground, causing me to stop with a start (oxymoron?) and jab the handle into my chest. Gasping for breath, as I am not blessed with mounds of boobie padding, I would curse the snow gods and Dodge for making such heavy friggin’ trucks. Shit heads, the lot of ’em.

It’s not my husband’s fault that some truck designer somewhere is overcompensating, but that didn’t occur to me at the time. I could have sprayed the truck with a hose to really teach it a lesson for effing with me, but it wasn’t there so I couldn’t (sidenote: I really did that one time. But I sprayed my mom’s house instead. I was pitching a fit about having a 930 curfew and how it was stifling my pre-pubescent life or something so I sprayed the house with a hose while my mother and brother watched from the, closed, living room window. ‘At least she does something productive with her anger’ was the comment made by my big brother. It’s a family legend now. ‘Don’t make Vanessa angry whatever you do, she might go spray the house!’ followed by laughter. Story for another time. I did a lot of really stupid things like that, trust me).

I just didn’t see being destructive as constructive. Where would that have gotten me? And i did throw mom’s shoes out on the lawn and that’s pretty bad ass, right…. which I took back in a put away because I felt bad for throwing them in the first place.

But I digress: When he got home and asked who had shoveled the driveway, and I responded ‘Me!’, his disbelief made the bruised bones under my B cup smart a little. Especially when he voiced that he thought that I had paid someone to shovel the driveway because the snow was too heavy and wanted to say that it was me who did it so he’d reward me with extra spending money for my shopping trip that I totally needed because I don’t own enough clothes already.

He knows me too well. Shit.

Eventually I convinced him that it had in fact been I. Luckily out friend Sharson (not her real name, but it is what we call her) was driving by as I grunted under the bone crushing weight from our frozen Northern mistress, my face contorted in an expression similar to when a child is brewing a super poop in her diaper, or behind a couch but thinks that if they keep the noise to a minimum you’ll be non-the-wiser. She was my proof. I messaged her and she messaged him, and POOF! one text message sent: Effort proven. Plus, she’s a HORRIBLE liar, even via text (sorry Sharson, I love ya, but you are really shitty at it).

My husband lovingly have me extra spending money for my trip. Not because he was so thankful that I shoveled the driveway for him and that he had doubted me (I imagined this in an ‘Oliver Twist’ish accent, btw), but because, as I mentioned before, the true sign of an addiciotn is whether you’ll do a sex act for it. Just ask my husband. He’ll tell you that I LOOOOOOOOVVVVVEEEE clothes…

… and hate snow.