Patty-isms 101


For those of you who know me, know I like to make up words.  What you may not know…it’s not always been on purpose.  I’ll let you in on a little secret…one of my superpowers is that I am Dyslexic (GAWD that word is hard to spell).

Way back in the olden days, when I was a tot, teachers and parents were not as aware of learning challenges as they are today.  Let’s just say I spent a lot of time in the “special” class.  I struggled with spelling, reading, writing and speaking.  My brain would work at bullet speed but the link from brain to mouth was on sloth mode.  The alphabet was a blur of nonsense. Individual numbers and letters were animated shapes that danced.  Words were unspeakable, impossible to decipher or pronounce. Voices and incessant talking sometimes caused me to zone out to Mars. Instructions or rules like grammar were instantly forgettable and as if that wasn’t enough to make an already super shy kid feel like they were stupid – I also experienced extended hearing…hearing things not actually said…yup voices in my head!  I didn’t feel crazy at all.

Luckily for me I had a very unique and magical Dad who saw my peculiarities as perks. Perks that lead me to hone in and celebrate my own unique way of expressing my observations, ideas and feelings.  Perks that ironically helped me to become a very clever and creative writer (who btw can not spell).  I remember my Dad sitting with me at my tiny desk in a tiny chair teaching me to think with images and feelings. Even today I think with my eyes closed because I can see the pictures better, travel down the corridors on my brain hallways, open the different drawers where the memories and pictures are kept safe and sound.  He also helped me practice saying words by making up rhymes. If (and when) I flubbed them up he’d just tell me to say it with confidence and eventually people would figure it out.  So as the story goes – I’d say tons of words perhaps closely related to what I thought my brain was meaning but they’d come out a little jumbled or completely re-invented.  But gosh darn it – I said them with such confidence that they now exist within the collection of my vocabulary.

Some of my favourite made up words are mash ups, smash ups, completely bastardized or simply redefined….

Benane – the combo of benign and inane – meaning “safely stupid.”

Endolphins – the combo of endorphins and dolphins – meaning “the euphoric release of happiness reminiscent of frolicking dolphins.”

Loviation – “Infusing amplified action into the state of love thus creating an even bigger expression.”

And my all time #1 fave is more of a philosophical belief that inspired me to create an evolved expression of the word “love” because I felt it was being overused and under valued….ex:  I love llamas, I love peanut butter, I love Robert Doweny Jr.  So I decided to take a word that already had a lot of moxie and oomph attached to it and redefine it.  The word I chose was “slut”. I felt sorry for it always having such a bad wrap.  And to up the ante on my new word I set a precedence that it could only be attached to the one single most all encompassing thing you love (or slut for). Only one thing – whether that be butterscotch, llamas or Robert Downey Jr.  For me this one thing is camping (or kamping as I like to spell it) and so the word Kamperslut was born.

So go for it!  I encourage you to think about the one absolute thing you slut for and use it with enthusiasm and confidence!  And….just so you have back up for when you use it… and people look at you like you are insane…my new and improved definition of slut is as follows:

Slut – An extreme intensity of “vanting, needing, must having” that defies and over powers all previous levels defined by humankind and transcends existing degrees of yearning, coveting, impassion, craving, itching, lusting, hungering, thirsting and suspiring for to possess or have.

To slut for something is a deep rooted and spiritual commitment to your inner being that resonates beyond the realm of antiquated language and laws.   It is the epiphanic divine manifestation of a moment of sudden revelation and supernatural essentiality of life.

….and with that said I truly am a Kamperslut!

PS.  My recently published book “How to Live Like a Chipmunk and Other Tips on Living an Awesome Sauce Life” has a glossary at the back for all my made-up Patty-isms!

One. Of. Those. Weeks.


OMGAWD WHAT A WEEK. Can I please press replay? This was supposed to be my vacation?  My well needed, well deserved vacation.  WTF Happened?

I’ll tell you what… the mille-second I relaxed the lergy of the universe came crashing down like a thousand tons of stone gargoyles writhing upon my vulnerable soul infecting me with a radioactive festering flu and tsunami cold of the century where every single molecule and hair on my body screamed in excruciating pain.  I poured sweat, fever blisters formed around my parched lips, my skin cracked and eyes glued together in pussy pockets of flotsam and jetsam. And that was just Sunday,  Monday I woke to the slicing sound of needle sharp killer kitten nails hooking, carving and scoring across my face….I felt the wetness first, startled by the profusely bleeding gash – I ran to the bathroom to reveal the mark of Zorro (aka Charlie).  Half a bottle of peroxide, a tube of polysporan and a half hour of applying strong pressure…. the bleeding stopped.  Guess I’ll stay up now …it is 7:20 on the first day of my vacation…..then the phone rang and it was my sister telling me she was off to emergency.

I drank apple juice, oregano oil, yogi tea, neo citron, Buckley’s and whisky. I slept and sneezed and tossed and turned in perpetual sweats and dripping nose until my pillow was soaked. Every time I blew my nose I re-opened the kitten slash…eventually giving up on what would become a bulbous infected nose. I was too sick to go visit my sister in the hospital, so stayed closed to the phone with one eye peeled, the other glued shut.

Tuesday was a blur – it was supposed to be my Patty Pamper Day. I had 4 appointments lined up to transform me into the new and improved me – all cancelled.  I do remember throwing up and the toilet over flowing. Sister was stable. Gash mending. Tummy not happy. I stumbled to Shoppers Drug Mart for some pepto bismal, ripple potato chips and Glosset raisons.

Wednesday I had an appointment to get my stitches out from the 6 month ordeal known as “the tree growing out of my leg”.  I was delirious with malaria, typhoid and hoof and mouth disease….but Doctor Coasta was dreamy and this was my last chance…*(I said I was delirious)…so I put make up on only for it to melt off. I took a cab down to the clinic only to realize once I got there I was wearing jeans.  Skinny leg jeans. Skinny leg jeans that were so tight on my calf that I couldn’t roll them up to get to the stitches and had to take them off and sit in my sick day ratty panties.  Kill me now.  Needless to say we didn’t play doctor.  I walked over to the grocery store and bought Kraft Dinner.  I ate the entire box.

In between laying in fetal position on the cold kitchen floor to cool my burning forehead, laying on my back to preserve it from being coughed out of its vertebrae and feeling pretty darn sorry for myself with intermittent displays of stomping, touretting and over all hissy pissy fit tantrums – I heard my Mother’s voice….”it can always be worse”.  I went to spit out the words “shut up” but remember the last time I did that she washed my mouth out with a bar of soup…so instead took a deep breath, opened my eyes to see Sadie at floor level looking at me wondering if she should dial 911…. I said “it’s ok Sadie”.   I sat up and indeed realized it could be way worse.  I was luckily at home, I was lucky to have a floor to lie on!  I had a frig full of comfort food, three nurse cats, and no serious obligations. My stitches were healing and thank Gawd I wore panties that day. We’re lucky to have a medical system, doctors and thankfully my sister was getting better. And although I felt like death warmed over – it was just a juicy Lowry cold that would probably be gone in a few more days. So I made another pot of yogi tea, added in some whisky (thank GAWD for whisky) and went up to my sewing room and cut out a dress and started sewing. (Thanks GAWD for Fabricland).  Alfie was running around on the hamster wheel, the cats were snuggled up together on the bed, my sister was improving and just like that I started to feel better.  It could have been the Buckley’s or the whisky or just a slight shift in my molecules.   Perspective is everything.  Thanks Mum xx

Monkey see, monkey do.


I love monkeys.  A lot.

I love them because they’re probably a distant relative, they’re incredibly curious, mischievous and over the monkey moon cute.  We also have a lot in common – outside of our cuteness…we both love bananas and love to swing in trees. As a totem they symbolize “airy playfulness”and send us a reminder to laugh, be happy, be naughty and play!  Another thing we share is  what Buddhists call “the monkey mind” – a state of being unsettled, restless, indecisive, confused and out of control.  Yikers!

We’ve all been there, focused on one or a dozen obsessive thoughts, going over and over and over it, sometimes even blurting out loud what’s happening in your head (cue monkey screech).  Buddha described it as the human mind being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering and carrying on endlessly. He also identified fear as being an especially loud ferocious monkey banging on a frying pan sounding the alarm to point out all the things that we should be scared of and everything that could possibly go wrong.  Sometimes these monkeys get so out of control, they go on a bender for days and weeks and trigger a really yucky feeling of monkey madness or anxiety.   Been there done that.

Now this Buddha dude was so smart and he also must have really liked monkeys because he knew it there was no point in fighting with the monkeys or even trying to tell them to split the scene – in fact he said we had to make friends with them, give them some space and give them something else to do in order for them to calm the fuck down. (My words, not Buddha’s). His trick was to simply spend some time each day being still in quiet meditation and tell those rambunctious monkeys to focus on your breathing (instead of obsessing about bananas) and over time the monkeys would become more tame. Awe monkey Zen.  Easy peasy right!?  NOT!  Trust me… take this from a Type A energizer bunny that would schedule her first meditation class as TIME TO FUCKING RELAX and proceeded to twitch her way in a Tourette-like fit over the 20 minutes of tortuous OM.  Learning to be still, to breathe and train my monkey mind was probably one of the most difficult lessons I embarked upon…but I stuck with it because taking a breath beats the bullets of anxiety.

Now I am a breathing machine! I make it part of my every day, I take it with me wherever I go…on the way to the bus stop, in a crowed store or during a stressful day at work.  Anytime, anywhere I can take just a few minutes with my monkeys and breathe.  I still love my monkeys…they keep me playful and engaged… but sometimes you just need to get them off your back.  Take a breath … just in and out – it will change your health, calm your mind and ease your spirit.

An Original.


When I was just a wee lass my Dad use to tell me “Patrick…they sure broke the mould when you were born kid”…I wasn’t sure what he meant but I figured as long as I wasn’t the one who broke it, then that was a good thing.  As I got a little older and my quirky personality blossomed, he’d smile and say, “Kiddo…you are not of this world…you must have been born on a star.”  I liked that idea because stars sparkled.  When I got to the age of going to school that’s when I realized or I was told I wasn’t normal.  The kids made fun of me, teased me and some even pushed me around.  I remember running home crying; feeling like my soul was stolen. I just couldn’t grasp this notion of normal.  I went straight to my room grabbed Holly Hobby, Mervin and Beanja-boobala and went into my magic closet.  It was my place, where nothing yucky could get you.  Later that night when Dad got home from work, I heard our secret knock on the closet door. I opened it and he crept in; “What’s the matter my little flower? Rough day at the office?”  I burst into tears, falling into his freckled arms blabbering a snot-infused soliloquy of drivelling angst and heartbreak only a very dramatic five year old could muster…“They said I wasn’t normal Dad!”  And before I could even snuffle back a juicy snort of sorrow he responded “Well congratulations honey bunny!  Who the heck would want to be normal?  Normal is a setting on a washing machine – YOU my little spark of magic are a rainbow.”

I was so lucky to be born into a family that encouraged my uniqueness. I was especially blessed to have a parent-in-crime that rallied around my peculiarities and made them into my super powers.  Quirky was the new cool. Being average was for dullards. Acting typical and predictable was snoresville central.  Dad infused my imagination with uber effervescent sparkle and possibility. He taught me to look at the world with wide-open kaleidoscopic eyes while wearing rose coloured glasses.  He told me to look into the cracks, see the shadows and trust in the invisible (the faeries in the chandelier are real).  He told me every single thing has a soul and needs to be loved and respected – from big fat boulders and tiny little pebbles to trees, weeds (especially dandelions), bugs and of course animals – whom when spoken to not only understand you but will be your friend for life.  He also told me I was beautiful – especially when wearing rainbow socks with my fun fur fuchsia jumper and happy face t-shirt with wildly abandoned curls that had never seen a hair product in their life.  I was a “chip off the old block” and proud of it.

Being different…awkward, a geek, a freak, a weirdo, not normal was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was an enormous gift of self, a free pass to be me, think outside the confines of conventionality and live to extreme exceptionality.   So whatever makes you an original – cherish it, celebrate it and shine your light bright.

Thanks Pinkie.

Hands Up Baby!


When I was 21 years young I went to work for Club Med in Guadeloupe as a G.O. (Gentil Organisateur).  A “G.O.” is the ambassador of the Club Med spirit and upholds the company’s values.  In addition to our professionalism – it was a way of being, a way of creating moments of happiness for the guests.  We were in charge of creating a bond. We rallied as a team because the notion of solidarity meant something – we believed in “better together”. Our job description: “to spread joy by combining the right attitude and the gumption to rise to the challenge of self-revelation.”  Sound like anyone you know?

Working for Club Med changed my life. It gave me the extraordinary adventure my soul required to become who I was meant to be.  Previous to arriving I had spent almost a year recovering from a broken back (but that’s another story).  To celebrate my recovery, my girlfriend’s and I took a vacation to a Club Med resort and within a day I knew I wanted to quit my life and work there.  I spent over 6 months applying to get an interview which were held just twice a year and had openings for only 40 spots to be filled from Canada. Every week I sent crazy letters, cards, photos, videos of me making bikini angels in the snow to get a chance.  I got the call, I got the interview and I got the job – a week later I was on a plane for Guadeloupe. Up until that moment I had lived at home, never travelled, my parents in fact forbid me to go on this ridiculous beach bum lark stating I had a great job as a secretary and it was sure to ruin my life. Needless to say, I quit my job; I defied my parents and stood up for what I knew I had to do for myself.

Now my experience working for Club Med is an entire book in itself…but what went through my head this past week were two things.  One – trusting your gut and following your heart…ok that’s two things in one.   If I hadn’t pushed myself and trusted the unknown I may still be a secretary. Secondly – the notion of choosing joy and being a cheerleader…Opps I did it again – that’s two things!

At Club Med we were joy spreaders.  We were there 24/7 round the clock to make sure everyone was having the time of their lives.  There was a chant that we would lead the entire resort in every night to close off the show…you may have heard it before, but it goes like this: “Hands up baby, hands up, gimme your heart, gimme gimme your heart gimme gimme all your love” …it had hand gestures and dance steps to go along with the song.  It was rally cry to get everyone in the spirit, to create a coming together, to engage, to let loose, celebrate life, and make a joyful noise.  It was empowering and silly and uniting and energizing and it was contagious.  I remember the first few nights the guests would start off slowly, some hesitating with a meek and mild rendition, but by the end of their weeks’ vacation it was an all-out mad house of love and joy.  I carry this experience with me at all times. It is how I choose to be in the world. To be joyful, to celebrate, to lead a pack of hooligans in hand waving freedom of spirit. To be myself, to stand up for myself, to stand up for others and spread joy with abandonment.  So skip, sing out loud, give compliments, say have a great day, be friendly, be inclusive, be a team whether it’s between one or a thousand and choose joy – it’s a wonderful way to live!

Hands up baby!