Body Chronicles: Weapon of Mass Distraction

Body Chronicles: Weapon of Mass Distraction

My nose is pretty standard, dramatic enough to make a point but not too dramatic that it becomes a dramedy. My nose has a secret weapon: my sneeze. It is a weapon of mass distraction. For those who have caught wind of it or been caught in its wind, you know the gale force. My sneeze has rendered me infamous in many circles as well as a few popular internet forums.

One of my favourite places to sneeze is in a university amphitheatre lecture hall during math class. The acoustics are great and also sometimes the highest form of entertainment for the lecturees. University professors are a diverse lot. Some professors are warmly encouraging with audible memes like, “You can do anything.” Some crush like trolls with phrases like, “If you can do anything, please do something else.” One math professor I had in university wrote on the front page of one of my exams, “I strongly recommend that you drop this course.” Now, how is that a cheerleader of higher learning? And, hey, he’s not the boss of me!

This math professor, known from here on as Prof, is a stern stem of rigid height, spindly and awkward and mean. He’s all doom, no dancing. He’s continually droning on and on about the derivative of a function of a real variable and how it measures the sensitivity to change of a quantity which is determined by another quantity. It’s a fundamental tool of calculus, and I accelerate quickly into abysmal boredom. I’m bored out of my tree. (Where does that phrase “bored out of my tree” come from? You can be scared out of your tree too. What is everybody doing in trees? Sounds like a lot of unnecessary camping to me!) Anyway, I’m sitting bored out of my tree in the front row of math class. All the less-prominent seating in the lecture hall has been taken by the time I clamour in spilling my coffee over my PJs. The podium where Professor plunks down a gloomy stack of math exams is right in front of my seat. I’m sure he’s penned a lovely note of inspiration on mine.

As mentioned, my sneeze has force. It’s impactful enough to blow 10 to the power of 10 whole stacks of exams without evening aiming. This is an empirical fact. On the day of this account, I feel a sneeze come on suddenly. It’s always sudden. There’s no time to give warning to my surroundings. And it’s loose like a rocket, a huge blast off: AAAACHOOOO!

I see it before it happens, a slight quake from the midsection of Prof’s stack of exam papers. And I know that stack’s gonna slide from the impact of the sneeze. Prof is a good 10 feet away. 10? 15? I don’t know measurment well and I can suck much at math. In a noisy sneeze-filled instant, Prof’s blathering is brought to a direct halt. He and I make direct eye contact at a deep level. Each of our gaze is intense as we turn to aim our respective gaze at the stack. We make eye contact again, and again to the stack; back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  I can see the wheels in his mathematical mind turning, spinning and cranking into slow motion as he goes into decision mode: Should he take action and make a run for the podium in an attempt to stop the sliding stack when there’s no guarantee he’ll get there in time? Hmmm…

You know that moment when you’re in a time-sensitive decision of what you should do with your body in that moment? There’s a small moment of time within which hesitation can be your downfall. You may use initiative and inertia to move your body in time to make it to where your body needs to be in order to save the day, and that physical leap out of your comfort zone will render the image of your body to onlookers as completely ridiculous and unattractive BUT when you make that save it will render you a hero…. orrrrr…. you could make that risky move looking completely ridiculous and unattractive AND you don’t make it in time enough to save the day and escalate to that hero stage so you just end up hanging in that ridiculous and unattractive body position while the object you’re trying to catch succumbs to the force of gravity and bonks you on your head and spills your dignity to the floor. You know that moment? Prof was in that moment as my sneeze still echoed throughout the hall in a haunting taunt of “chooeyooeyoo!”

Our eyes lock— to the stack, to each other, to the stack, to each other.  He and I both know by the powers of Newton’s Second Law— and the acceleration of an object in motion once set in motion— that there is no way he is making it to that stack before it slides. And I am just revelling in this slow-motion moment of mildly calculated realization.

I nestle in as time slows down and the room quivers equally with my sneeze and his uncertainty. As we are still locked in this moment together eye to eye, I bring a tissue to my nose, drop him a wink, and say to him in my mind, “This class is not what I’m dropping, sir.”

The paper stack gives into the law of gravity at the rate of 9.8 metres per second squared and finally breaks free from its inert state, accelerating to the floor at the speed of hilarity. And the lecture hall erupts in boisterous laughter.

I showed him that he was not the boss of gravity and he was not the boss of me! I’ll have you know that I did not drop that course! I hung in there and failed it legitimately.

 

 

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Body Chronicles: The ‘Stache

Body Chronicles: The ‘Stache

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My body hair is profusely transparent blonde, so, although it makes using my eyebrows to accentuate my emotions close to useless, I’m usually pretty lucky about not seeming outrageously bushy from the outside– unless I’m in direct sunlight, which is a natural peach fuzz accentuator. It’s stunningly ludicrous that at any point in life I would be convinced that I have a moustache warranting removal, but there you have it; I was convinced. (I have been convinced of greater ludicrosity during my life’s journey, but this time was particularly painful.) Have you ever been waxed on the face?! It’s like having a scorned pinwheel surrounding you in a whirlwind of slap.

Imagine this re-enactment, if you will…

The TORTURE ARTIST enters– sorry, the ESTHETICIAN–  the ESTHETICIAN CREEPS into the TORTURE CHAMBER– sorry– the ESTHETICIAN ENTERS the SAFE AND STERILE SPA room to OMINOUS FOREBODING music– sorry. Okay, it’s a soundtrack of lapping sea surf meant to soothe, but the volume IS too loud and I swear I hear an angry shark not too far under the surface! She’s coming at me– the esthetician, not the shark. She looks me over, and I swear I see drool escaping from the side of her mouth furthest from me. She keeps her eyes locked on mine. I can’t look away. I know it’s her way of keeping my attention– a distraction– because she’s got a mission. She’s hiding something behind her back and she’s going to aim it at me. I know this like I know that at the end of a scary movie there will be approximately one virgin who will survive the bloody ordeal. Due to previous life decisions, I know that won’t be me. She reaches behind me equally casually and cagily. When she springs back, she is brandishing her weapon… a rigid woody popsicle stick glinting with the threat of slivers and doom. She reaches to her side and rashly dips her stick into a pot of hot lava from the very core of earth’s unique hell. She brings it out of the pot of hot doom and toward my face. Suddenly everything in my world goes into slow motion. The music soundtrack morphs seamlessly from the surf and into a fine blend of an epic driving metal rock ballad paired with classic symphonic orchestral maneuvers in the dark. My doom the popsicle stick comes at me in 2D, in 3D, and I swear as it comes closer the Ds multiply like a virus with vengeance… 4D… 36D… 44 Double D… and the splinter plank lands on my upper lip.

(Epic pause)

Mmm. Oh, it’s so warm and soft… so soothing, that heat. And the soundtrack transitions to a lilting rendition of Dreamweaver. Oh, this could lure me into a nap– yep, here I go. I’m on a hammock swinging on a gentle warm breeze. Madonna is singing La Isla Bonita and Johnny Depp is feeding me grapes… chocolate-covered grapes. (Sigh) I relax and drift off like a magical feather to the land of– WTF!!!! What is going on?! The sky is falling! Why is she maiming me up in my face? What the arse–

She gets up off the floor.

She: “I’m sorry, I…“

Me: “Get off me!”

She: “But you…“

Me: “Stand down!! Put the popsicle stick down!”

She: “You have…“

Me: “Get back!”

She: “…half a moustache.”

 

(An even more epic pause)

(Groan) She has a point. I am now unbalanced moustacheously. I look at her. I look at the popsicle stick. I look at the pool of my shattered soul quivering on the end of that popsicle stick. It’s then and there that I decide. I DECIDE. I am a woman, a strong woman, and I am a woman strong enough to go through life with half a moustache.

Me: “I’m out!  And I don’t even want a 50% discount!”

And that is how I came to have half a moustache… that I must constantly upkeep. You know that myth about hair coming back thicker and stronger than it was before? IT’S NOT A MYTH! My mustache half that wasn’t dismantled causes me no trouble whatsoever, and the dismantled half is a princess of maintenance.

I think that sometimes we’re good just the way we come and that we don’t need to go changing unnecessarily. Ludicrous. 

I hope you love every bit of you.
Love, Kat 🙂

 

Body Chronicles: The itch and the patch.

It’s winter and I have an angry itch.  It’s on my right outer flank; small and round and driving me chaotic. It’s not psoriasis or ringworm or anything nefarious enough to garner a treatment. It’s like a pesky item from a to-do list that requires being put on hold for hours to accomplish it.

At the peak of the itch I’m out at a fundraiser performing, and representing an organization bigger than myself, so  whipping up my dress to deal with the culprit fingers-on leaves too likely the potential for a public frowning. I do the next thing sensible, the subtle scratch scratch scratch scratch and scratch scratch and scratch all night long. I scratch and scratch and scratch and scratch and make it a part of my act. I’m now a scratch act to follow.  I just can’t squelch that itch.

When I arrive home, and finally to the privacy of my own devices, I get straight to that itch. I’m gonna scratch that itch so good that it will reverberate and send a message to all other itches to ensure that no other itch will have the nerve to take up real estate on my flank again. I am taking this itch scratch so personal that I decide to take care of it in front of the mirror. I’m gonna make eye contact with that itch, stare the itch down and own it. As I draw up the bottom of my dress with vigour, aiming the afflicted facet of my right flank at the mirror, I am shocked at what stares back at me.

All that scratch scratch scratch all night long was for naught. I missed the whole dang itch by quite a margin. And now not only do I have that itch but I now also have a patch, right beside it, a winding path of chafe adding to the misery.

And isn’t this true of many things in life? We can scratch scratch scratch with reckless abandon at the surface of all things, but if we don’t aim our focus mindfully we not only ignore the origin of our misery but we inadvertently create new ones. Note to myselfie: watch where you scratch.

This is my rendering of the itch and the patch. (Autographed reproductions available by demand.) Love Kat 🙂

 

The Itch & The Patch-by Kat Leonard 

 

 

 

 

 

New Show Announced: NEDIC

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I’ll be doing a wee 10-min snippet of Myselfie here in support of NEDIC! And there will be many other amazing performers too!

Feb 2, 2017 7:30-9:30pm

Comedy Bar 945 Bloor Street West, Toronto

Join the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) for a fun evening of art! From 7:30-8, we will be showcasing visual pieces in the lobby, and from 8-9:15, there will be a show consisting of music, films, poetry, and more!!! Come enjoy some amazing performances, raise awareness about eating disorders, and celebrate Eating Disorder Awareness Week!

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online or $5 for students at the door with ID.

Myselfie snippet sighting Jan 30 2017


Jan 30 see a 10-min snippet of Myselfie and more speakers as part of MoMondays. What is MoMondays? This:

Put story-telling into a blender. Add a dash of personal growth & transformation. Then drop in a load of laughs. Mix in real, live music, and great conversation with some of the nicest people on the planet, then push the ‘high’ setting… and out comes momondays®!
 
Think of momondays as a variety show bouncing off the walls of personal story-telling…
 
Momondays is for all kinds of people like you with a great story and life lessons to share, from people who have never set foot on stage, to professional speakers and everyone in-between!
 
Each show, you experience six speakers and performers tell a few personal stories. Some are funny, some are thought-provoking, all are motivating.
 
YOU MEET THE NICEST PEOPLE AT MOMONDAYS!
 
You really do!!! This is a great opportunity to socialize with all kinds of wonderful people in a fun, positive environment.
 
So put in your speaker application to speak… or grab some friends and get your fix of heart, humour and happiness.
 
MOMONDAYS TORONTO is UPSTAIRS at The HARD ROCK!!
 
momondays is held each month upstairs at The Hard Rock Cafe right across from The Eaton Centre and Dundas Square. If you’re driving you’ll find cheap parking under Dundas Square in the Green P lot. If you’re taking the TTC get out at Dundas and just cross the street! If you’re walking well just walk!!
 
Save your seat (and a few bucks) by getting advance online tickets for just $15 plus hst — available online until the Friday before the show. Tickets at the door are $25 including hst. Doors open for advance ticket holders at 5:30 pm for socializing, networking and merry-making. General admission at 6 pm. Show starts at 7 pm sharp.
 
Come early to grab a great seat and give yourself time to eat, drink and socialize! You really do meet the nicest people at momondays!
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REMEMBER TO LIKE THE MOMONDAYS TORONTO FACEBOOK PAGE AND SUBSCRIBE TO EVENTS IF YOU WANNA!! 
Tickets here: MoMondays