Sunday, May 6, 2007

Because all the cool kids are doing it

I'm moving. I've decided that Blogger is like your first car. The one where you need to use the pliers with to turn the radio on, and thus, I've decided to upgrade. (We can all really blame Ruby for this actually.)

Find me at


Thursday, May 3, 2007

My Greatest Hits

Brace yourselves.

I've got big news.

Blogger has informed me that this is my 100th post. Cue confetti, start up the marching band and get those batons twirling!

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I considered a massive celebration complete with new sparkly shoes (any reason is a good reason to shoe shop). I thought everyone should take the day off work, and write poetry about how great I am. Perhaps those artistically inclined could make me some art, those who enjoy astronomy could name a star after me. Someone would find some elephants for us to ride around on (not circus animals, but wild elephants who are just wanting to give rides for fun) and cotton candy would fall from the sky like raindrops.

However, this seemed a tad impractical, so I saved you all the trouble of planning an elaborate party and have instead complied my ten favourite posts. They weren't always the ones that got a lot (if any) of hits from other readers but I consider them my greatest. If there is to be no parade, at least I will make this post all about me. I kid. Sort of.

1. Because that's how I roll...

2. Flair: 2007 Style

3. Garbage Day with the Hendersons

4. So this is what it's like

5. My lips are sealed

6. Under My Skin

7. X + Y + Z = I'm a rock star

8. Charmed, I'm sure

9. When a good run can break your heart

10. 20/20 Talk

Oh, and those are my shoes. The picture is a bit dodgy and you don't see the great heel but that's all I've got people. (Oh, and the jeans rolled up? That's 4 drinks in and suddenly I feel that people NEED to see the shoes more CLEARLY). But seriously. Shoes that great under $20? They were practically free!

On a completely different note I'm just finishing up my last few books and am looking for some good reads. Please share your suggestions!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The icing on the fake

I've never understood girls who weren't friendly. Pretending to be "too cool", or "too busy" or "too important" to remember someone always just seemed like a gigantic waste of time. I like knowing that if I go up town and see my math teacher from grade 7, or the chick who cuts my hair or the man who gave me piano lessons, I will always say hi- and they will say hi back. Because, to me saying hi is what normal people do. Saying "hi" isn't showing exquisite manners, it's just being normal. It's like, tying your shoes or brushing your teeth, something you just... do. If you see someone you know, why wouldn't you say hi?

Enter Jessica.

Jessica and I went to school together for as long as I've been going to school. Through velcro shoes, lock-up jeans, and those thermal shirts that changed color when they got touched (why where those popular again?), we've always gone to school together. Grades 1-12. Her locker was next to mine in grade 8. She was the worst player on our volleyball team yet everyone always told her she did a good job, and made nice plays. It seemed the nicer people tried to be to her, the meaner she got.

Jessica saying "hi" to me when we see each other is like a math equation dependent on many factors. Who I'm with (more people equal a greater chance of a hi, and if it's guys I'm with? She wants to hold hands and suddenly her laugh begins to resemble Julia Roberts minus the sincerity), how many drinks she's had (again, more equals a better chance of a "hi", but instead of hand holding she wants to hug for too long, like a grandma who you never see) and whether or not she's stranded alone at a table waiting for someone to show up (if she's alone, suddenly we are long lost sisters).

I've always found this more amusing than annoying. I'm not saintly, but I would rather get frustrated at people who leave their pets in cars while they take long lunches than at a girl who is more fake than a $3 bill. I think I just like to reserve my frustration for those who have truly earned it.

Today however, Jessica took this all to a new level...

Scene: I'm cruising the grocery store trying to tell myself I will still live a long life if I don't buy the really expensive pomegranate juice. I see Jessica standing by the organic carrots with a robotic man wearing every shade of beige possible. Because I'm normal, I say "hi". She gives me a puzzled look like she's confused. So, because I'm not clear what she would be confused about, I walk over...

Me: Hi! How are you?

Jessica: (begins miming what she must assume 'confusion' would look like if she pulled it out of a hat during a game of charades. She's all head scratching and squinty eyed, as though blurring her vision is going to cause her to remember everyday we sat next to each other in Science class our last year of school, or the fact that two weeks ago she chatted with me in line at the movies.)

Me: It's Brandy...

Jessica: Hmm.. (at this point she's doing some head shaking too, like by violently moving her head the memory of me will fall into place. Keep in mind, there were 60 kids in our grade in elementary school. We know each other.)

Me: Um, we went to school together? (And because I'm really obnoxious and too stubborn to let this go helpful, I add in...) For 12 years?

Jessica: Wait, is your name Lyndsay?

Beige Man: No, I don't think that's it (Suddenly beige man is trying to place me, though I've never seen him before in my life. Suddenly trying to remember me is a partner job that Jessica can't do alone)

Jessica: Oh! Well, it's been so long since school...

Me: I guess it has. Okay well, I will see you later

I walk with a case of "the inappropriate giggles", which strike at funerals, during the telling of sad stories or (apparently) when I'm getting snubbed by someone who cried when the New Kids broke up. I suppose that I could be annoyed, or insulted or frustrated by Jessica's progression to complete ignorance of who I am, yet I still find it amusing. And honestly, a little amazed that someone would go to such great lengths.

If being the biggest fake is a game she wants to win, I will gladly hand her the crown.

I walk back, pick up the pomegranate juice (I've earned it) and go to pay with one thought in my head-

"Well played Jessica, well played".

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Shrimp Forks

I probably should wait before writing something. I should probably drink chai tea, do some yoga or go to my meditation room where I will breathe deeply until my lungs hurt. But, since I have no tea, don't do yoga (don't hate me. I also don't like sushi and sometimes take two parking spots at the mall when it's tricky to park my truck)and don't have a meditation room (surprise!), I'm just going to write. Besides, that's why I started writing in the first place- to have an 'outlet' for frustration. And you know, because I like to.

So. (Side note: I notice that I say "So." a lot when I'm frustrated. And it appears that I also have the urge to use a lot of brackets)

I'm frustrated.

I know this person. Let's call him... Marvin. (And no, I don't particularly love the name Marvin, in fact, I picked a name I dislike because I'm spiteful like that. And if you are reading this, and your name is Marvin... I'm sorry. I'm sure you have lots of other great qualities and that millions of girls in this great big world love that name, but I don't. And I'm sorry. But not sorry enough to choose a different name.)

I digress.

Anyway, Marvin. Marvin has always been on of those friends that you could talk to about anything. In fact, there was a time when he was the first person I told all the big moments, bad news and exciting stories to. Marvin was funny and thoughtful and always had something interesting to say. He asked questions. He remembered things. He held up his end of the conversation and more than once listened to me declare jihad on ex boyfriends cry. But lately, Marvin has become really... well, lame.

I realize that lame is well, a lame word to use but it fits. If the God of Friendship (let's name that God...Jack, because that's my favourite name for a boy), so if Lord of Friendship Jack, told Marvin and I that we had to unload a dishwasher, it's like we went from doing everything 50/50 it being 90/10. Suddenly, all Marvin is capable of is putting away shrimp forks. And sweet Jesus, this may surprise you, but just putting away shrimp forks does not a friendship make. Suddenly, I'm doing all the work, asking all the questions, working at something that used to not be work.

See? Lame.

I suppose this is where you would tell me to stop acting like I'm oh, about 14 years old (again), and talk to Marvin. And I could. But the thing is, what do you say? "Start being more like the old you and less like the new you?", "I'm sad I don't know what to talk to you about?" Or better yet, "Do you want to just... stop being friends, because if you do, that's fine but you are going to have to tell me because I'm a girl who just don't get the 'fade out and I'm sorry if that's hard for you to grasp, but that's just how I roll'?".

That hardly seems adult.

But I guess it's better than the alternative- stabbing him in the leg with a shrimp fork and hoping it brings the old Marvin back.

Monday, April 30, 2007

... And then I'm 14 again


I think some of you got scared from the last post (Actually, I know one of you did, you sent me a lengthy email discussing all the reasons I'm a great person, BUT how moping about my life is a thorn in feminism's side, and gave me advice on how to improve my life that started with my "fixing my apparent urge to downplay anything girly" about me. And no, I'm not joking. I'm almost thinking this little gem needs to be shared,- name withheld, of course). Anyway, the feeling has passed. I'm sure there will be a time I will feel lonely again (and despite the advice in the aforementioned email, I'm sure I will write about it), but today, oh today I'm happily single.


Because I just ran into him. You know. That guy in every ones past who is just... it. Or who was it. Who makes you just want to reach out and touch somebody (like... him). The guy who makes you feel like your 14 again because when you talk to him suddenly your self conscious in a way you haven't in a long time. Suddenly you notice how much space is between you, the band aid on your finger, the color of his eyes. Who makes you blush every time you talk because you are pretty sure he knows what you are thinking (and for the record, you are thinking about wanting to touch... him). The guy who has the actual ability to make you swoon. Swooning people! I was swooning!

I'm actually feeling giddy. More giddy than new shoes make me. Ahh. I'm 14 years old again, but with a bank account and better shoes.

Today, I love the universe.

Sunday, April 29, 2007


My Saturday night started off very well. A good friend was in town, and to celebrate we popped open wine, marvelled at my shoes (pictures. soon. promise.) and discussed everything from The Hills, to Don Imus with equal passion. We laughed, we drank and I went out smelling of vanilla, glossed with my lipglass and doused in the "look at me, I'm bloody fantastic!" confidence that comes with a 4 drink minimum or a really good hair day.

We went to a lounge where the music was loud and the people were polished. There were camera shots and tequila shots. There were hugs to old friends and numbers exchanged to new ones. It started out being one of those nights where you hope you see everyone you ever knew because they would see you at your best- laughing, happy, surrounded by friends and wearing killer footwear.

An unfortunate circumstance found me having to state my relationship status repeatedly (or lack of relationship status to be more accurate). At first it was fine, I can throw in a joke about it, can say all the reasons I'm glad I'm not currently coupled like an animal on Noah's ark (the commitment! the chance of drama! the fact I would have to shave my legs on a regular basis!), but it didn't stop. I had to keep saying it over, and over and over again.

I'm single.

And the kicker? I'm not casually dating, not currently on the fence about a particular guy, not even secretly lusting after someone.

I'm just... single.

It was in that moment that I noticed everyone who wasn't single. I noticed the couples suctioned to each other- sweaty from dancing with hands interlaced. The ones smiling at the dancers antics knowing they would go home together and have something to talk about. The ones whispering secrets and stories no one else would ever hear.

Suddenly, I felt something that stirred my insides and left me shaken. A feeling that crept slowly up my throat and left a bad taste in my mouth. Suddenly, I felt being single wasn't fun.

There's the idea that singleness equals carefree road trips with red toes out the window. Of random sexual escapades that would make even Samantha blush. Of spur of the moment splurges, weeknight parties, drawers filled only with expensive knickers and complex nightgowns with strings and bows.

And sometimes being single is like that. It's lovely, and exciting and causes you to skip into your office or strut in the coffee shop. You feel independent and lovely and find yourself going on trips or applying for jobs you would have to think twice about if coupled.

And sometimes being single isn't like that. It's heartbreaking and lonely and causes watery eyes when you realize that when you wake from a bad dream, there's no one to tell. And you find yourself on a Saturday night wearing your best shoes, surrounded by too many people, feeling far too alone.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Near-Miss First Kiss

I've been subbing grade two this week. There is one particular girl who has captured my heart in a way that something you love so much you almost hate can. She's a tattler, overly emotional, the first one to complain, the last one to help clean up. She's constantly chatting, is bossy, and talks at a volume so loud, I've considered buying the entire class earmuffs to save their little ears. In short, she's me- 17 years ago.

She screeched in with her hello's this morning and followed it up with ...

Girl: Miss V! Miss V! I got to tell you something. Really big news!

Me: Sounds exciting! What is this news? (For the record, the last 'news' she shared with me was that she recently touched the leg of a dead moose and it made her feel 'weird'. Don't ask for more details because trust me, neither of us has the time. Needless to say, I tried hard not to giggle..)

Girl: Well Miss V, I've been trying to get my first kiss for a while and I almost caught it!

Me: You almost caught a kiss?

Girl: Yes. I got Matthew on the floor of the bus before the bus driver started yelling. I'm going to get him today though and then I will have it.

Me: Did Matthew want you to kiss him?

Girl: I don't know, but I need to do it anyway because I've got to get my first kiss from someone and he's the best at Sparkle (a spelling game), so it's got to be him. Plus, I really like him a lot and I don't care who knows it.

(I put on my teacher hat and try to gently discourage a follow up to this near-miss first kiss when Matthew enters..)

Girl: Hey Matthew. I'm going to catch that kiss at recess. I just missed your lips, before but I'm going to get you still!

It's in this moment where I realize how different my little friend and I are. Though we are both loud, chatty and prone to hurt feelings, I would never have the nerve to try to catch a kiss from a guy. Chasing's just not my style. I suspect despite all the talks, warnings, and 'looks' from the teachers, she will get her kiss. And it will be great because she wanted it, she went for it, and she got it.

Her first kiss will be exactly how she wants it to be.

I can only cross my fingers for Matthew.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stove tops

When I was little my mom would get upset because I would always put my hand near the stove. Despite her warnings, I would do it- because I could and it was MY hand (I was a charming child). Of course, I would get burned. Normally one burn is enough to teach a child, but I was not a normal girl. The fascination of a heat that warmed me before it hurt me would drawn me back again, and again. Eventually, I grew out of the fascination, just as one grows out of old clothes with faded logos or songs that have lost their meaning and my parents breathed a sigh of relief.

I find myself near a stove again. And I know what will happen before I touch it. It will hurt. This time it's not my family telling me to stay away, but my friends. My smart friends who know about particular stove top burns and how slow they are to heal. How slow I am to heal. And this time, I really want to listen and I know I should, but I find myself wanting to be warmed again even if it hurts. I find that their kind words and gentle warnings are the rock, paper, scissors but my foolish heart is the atomic bomb that beats them all.

I find that I'm six years old again.

It will hurt. More than before. Because it's not a stove anymore. And it's not my hand.

Note- Okay, so I just re-read this and realized it sounds like I'm getting initiated to join a gang of angry bikers with bad facial hair or have decided to give crystal meth a try. I assure you it's nothing that dramatic. I'm just... a sap.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I had a great post planned. It was going to be funny and discuss really loud grade 2 children and how they are learning about numbers in math.


I can't write about it because I'm still freaking physically exhausted and emotionally bankrupt a tiny bit weepy from damn American Idol. It was the "Idol gives back" episode and I should have known to crack open a new box of kleenex when Ryan first appeared wearing his 'serious face'.

Let's recap...

Carrie Underwood singing "I'll stand by you", while taking African children to put flowers on a grave? Sob

Simon and Ryan watching 13 kids lay down on a dirt floor getting ready for bed? Sob

Being told that a baby that the camera crew picked up on the way to a clinic who had malaria (which is CURABLE, people) died before getting treatment? Sob

Every picture they showed of HIV orphans crying big fat alligator tears? Sob

Annie Lennox singing "Bridge over Troubled Water"? Sob

Because I'm working on not worrying, I decided the only way I would feel better about all of this is if I did something. So, I ordered another Gap t-shirt and another package of one bracelets. I've also decided that instead of buying 5 fat and glossy fashion magazines each month, I'll buy 2 (it's the same stuff in each one anyway), and donate the difference. It's not a lot, but it makes me feel better.

Upset that kids are dying from CURABLE disesases? Go here. As for a post about numbers, I will leave you with one I'm not soon to forget: according to Malaria No More, this CURABLE disease kills 3,000 children everyday. 3,000 doesn't sound like a lot until you start thinking of everyone you know. Do you know 3,000 people total? Imagine all of them gone tomorrow.

3,000 kids a DAY

And it's CURABLE.

I'm going to get off my soapbox now.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The 3's

Three Words/Phrases I Say Too Often
1. Seriously!
2. Imagine!
3. What the hell am I doing?

Three Addictions That Make me feel like I'm 14 years old
1. "The Hills". I. Cannot. Get. Enough.
2. Facebook
3. Harry Potter mania. New movie annnnd new book this summer? Screw December, I think July is going to feel a lot like Christmas!
4. Going to see J.T. in concert this August. (Because really, what's a better way to celebrate my 26th birthday?)

Three Quirks that make me feel like I'm 84 years old
1. I refer to my legs as my gams
2. I just bought a $63 tube of eye cream
3. I think most people listen to their music too loud

Three Things/People That make me swoon
1. Anyone who is a)male b)in possession of an accent c)single
2. Pretty new shoes. Especially ones on my feet.
3. Seeing other people in love. Since, the last time I was in love man had just invented the wheel and the consensus was that the world was flat. It's been a while, friends. But I love seeing other people in love. Especially old people. It's just so darn cute.

Three Recent Purchases That Made Me Happy (Because yes, I'm the girl who gets happy by material objects. It takes more than personal fulfillment and rainbows to get me to smile sometimes...)
1. New shoes (pink satin with a 3 inch heel. Peeptoe, with a bow. Cuter than a baby panda)
2. "On Beauty" by Zadie Smith. If I ever wrote ONE sentence similar to how she writes, I would die completely fulfilled.
3. Elizabeth Arden Mediterranean perfume. (I smell radiant. sensual. captivating. A modern expression of sparkling radiance.- Well, at least that's what the box says it will be like...)

Three words I commonly misspell
1. accidentally
2. Mediterranean
3. misspell

Three of my best Halloween costumes
1. A ninja turtle (we went as a group. I was the orange one...)
2. A paperbag princess
3. Ashley Olsen (Trout was Mary Kate)

Three things I do exceptionally well
1. write in fragment sentences
2. distract small children and get them away from open windows so they can finish their schoolwork
3. give speeches

Three things I do not do exceptionally well
1. time management
2. hold my tongue
3. hide my excitement

Three people I would love to be for a day
1. Zadie Smith
2. Karl Rove (I would love to see what his typical day is like. Does he really rub his hands together and laugh wickedly when he has an evil plan? I'm curious)
3. Jon Stewart (the man is hilarious)

Three people I would not want to be for a day
1. Ann Coulter (karma is going to get her and I don't want to be around for that)
2. Ann Coulter
3. Ann Coulter

Happy Wednesday!

Worry Boot camp

I'm a girl who worries. A lot. I have lost countless sleeping hours wondering if the relationship is going to work out, if I'm going to get the job, if I parked too close to the curb, if it's going to blow over, if Angelina really doesn't love Shiloh, if he still remembers me, if I hurt her feelings, if a Canadian team is going to win the Stanley Cup, where Heidi is going to live when Spencer breaks up with her, where my extra set of keys are, if I've accidentally had gluten... and quite frankly, it leaves me tired.

So I'm going to throw myself into worry boot camp. For the rest of the month, anytime I start to worry about things I can't control, the people I can't change and the acts I can't erase, I'm going to stop. Then I'm going to channel Dr. Phil/Oprah/The Secret and anyone or anything else that's about positive thought and has sold a lot of books and take my worry and replace it with a great thought about how freaking fabulous I am. Because really, if everyone I know is signing up for a boot camp to improve their assets before summer, I'm going to sign up to improve mine. And I can't think of a better place to start than with my brain.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

20/20 Talk

What I wish I would have known 5 years ago, at age 20

- Dude, your house is going to burn down. So when you go away for that one weekend to visit your brother, take your journals with you.

- You know how you pride yourself on holding on to grudges? You shouldn't. Because you aren't holding on to the grudge anymore, it's holding on to you, like a shackle. And every year you continue being angry, sweet girl, it just gets harder to remember why you are so angry in the first place. So back down, grow up and move on.

- Sunscreen. Wear it.

- You will meet a boy and he will be everything you didn't realize you wanted. But, you will break up. You'll contemplate a breakdown on the side of the highway and then much later, it will be the cause of a breakthrough. You will realize that sometimes, what someone will do to you- will have nothing to do with you. That their mistake doesn't have to be your fault.

- If a guy tells you he's a jerk, he's a jerk. If he tells you he's interested, he's interested. If he tells you he has a girlfriend but that he loves you, - run.

- Getting your degree with be the easy part. It's what you do AFTER you have it, that's challenging.

- You are smarter than you think you are.

What I wish I would have known 10 years ago, at age 15

- You know that girl in your highschool that you think is perfect? The one who always wears the Calvin Klein jeans and looks like she's just walked out of a toothpaste ad with her ever smiling grin? Yeah, she doesn't know what the hell she's doing with her life either.

- Don't worry. You will fall in love. I promise.

- Boys have feelings actually. And treating them poorly is bad form, and your mom raised you better than that. Plus, karma is going kick your ass in a few years with a string of bad dates and boys who think the word "tits" is a completely respectable term to throw out upon meeting. Be nice.

- Being rebellious doesn't make someone more interesting. Don't feel bad for not sneaking out and driving around town sipping strawberry wine with girls who have secret tattoos and hate their parents.

- Step away from the hairspray. Your bangs are now officially a fire hazard.

- He's not being mean to you, he's flirting with you. Flirt back.

- You are prettier than what you think you are.

What I wish I would have known 20 years ago, at age 5

-Listen sweetheart, you're mom has something called a 'hobo' purse. In fact, because your mom is a shopaholic she has a ton of them. And they are just going out of fashion so she's going to donate them to Goodwill. DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN. One day in your future, those bags will become insanely popular again and you and your mom will reminisce over them. Save the bags!

- That's it. You are pretty much perfect.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bubblegum Thursday

So I'm lucky, in the random sort of way. I win random contests, accept random prizes and am STILL getting random cheques in the mail from the government of Canada who I think must really have a crush on me (Bre, if I can't find a way to spend them, I will send them your way, as you mentioned).


When it comes to winning stuff based on talent, or skill, or personal effort other than writing my name and phone number on a piece of paper... not so lucky. Other than winning a handful of horse competitions and public speaking awards in my youth, the last time I really won something meaningful was grade 2 class president.

I'm still a little vague on what the presidents role in the classroom was, and considering I live in Canada, I now think class prime minister would have been more appropriate... but I was glad I was victorious. I wish I could tell you I won through hard work, determination and a *speech that moved my classmates to tears. (Actually, I think Daniel was crying in the third row because he had peed his pants at recess and was embarrassed, but that's just a hunch.) but, upon reflection I won the same way most politicians do- empty promises and vague declarations of a better tomorrow. I told them if they voted for me I would be their best friend, figure out a way to cancel math class and (this was what sealed my victory) make sure that we could chew bubblegum whenever we wanted.

Thankfully my teacher was great and said that everyone could chew gum for the day that I won and was awarded my black construction paper crown with navy and silver glitter glue decoration. I suspect she allowed the gum chewing because she realized any public, grade two or otherwise, would lynch a newly elected official who broke her biggest promise on their first day in office.

Up until yesterday, that had been my biggest win. So it was a happy surprise when I found out that I had won a 'thinking blogger' award, bestowed upon me by the always lovely and entertaining Jennifer. I haven't quite decided what to do with it, perhaps print it off and put it on a mantel. Or hang it over my bed so it's the first thing I see when I wake up. Or maybe, just maybe, I will put it on the side of my blog and so I will have a reminder that I should perhaps write about more than Snoop Dog and loincloths.

In the spirit of discussing great blogs, or blogs that are entertaining reads, I will throw a shout out to my new favourite blog. Perhaps you think I'm a biased because she is Fabulous, and maybe you are right, but I don't think so. I just think she just has a unique voice and interesting tales that are worth sharing.

And to celebrate my win, I'm declaring it bubblegum Thursday. So find some bubblegum, blow a big bubble and relish the thought that you, as an adult, can now chew bubblegum whenever the hell you feel like it, instead of waiting for a classmate to promise you the dream of one day being able to.

*As stated in a previous post, my mom did help me write my speech. It was good, made my teacher laugh and I'm pretty sure I was the only candidate who spoke of 'classroom rights'.

(Oh, and we just take a moment and marvel at the fact that I posted a picture? Or something similar to a picture? I swear, one day soon I will learn how to get that strike through font...)

Loincloth thoughts

I have a certain conversation on a weekly basis. My view is constantly changing and the topic never grows old for me. I imagine one of the first conversations on the topic of guys and girls being 'just friends' went something like this...

Mary and Sarah sit in loincloths eating raw meat...

Mary: Sarah, we missed you yesterday at dinner. We played hangman on the cave wall, ate burnt leaves and drank from a muddy puddle. It was wonderful! Where were you?

Sarah: Oh, Jacob and I went rock picking and then he speared something, which we quickly ate to avoid having to share it with the tribe.

Mary: You went with Jacob? Alone? Sarah, I have to ask, do you covet Jacob and want to bear his children? Do you wish to look under his loincloth?

Sarah: No Mary, Jacob and I are just friends.

Mary: Just friends? Is that possible?

Sarah: Why wouldn't it be?

Mary: I've just never imagined that people with fitting parts could possibly be just friends. Are you sure this can happen?

Sarah: I think so... I mean, I don't think I want to run into the bush with him and I don't think wants that either. I think we are happy just spearing animals together and seeing who has the most impressive grunt.

Mary: Fascinating. Man and Woman. As friends. This needs further discussion, but for now let me pick the bugs out of your hair. I'm starving.

End scene

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Holy Site Meter!

In the early 90's my mom's mantra was "Learn about those computer things! They are the future! By the time you are in college everything will be on computers, we will all wear tinfoil jumpsuits and you will have a flying car, isn't that exciting?!".

Sadly, I didn't learn about computers. I decided that my high school elective should be cosmetology, because spending 80 minutes three times a week fully mastering the art of washing hair made much more sense. I'm happy to tell you I can now rinse shampoo with the best of them, and if finger waves ever come back in style, I can totally hook you up.

Computers however, baffle me.

I'm a devout follower of "if you want it bad enough it should just magically happen", which is why the last time my computer started acting weird, I assumed I would be able to fix it. Because I wanted to. I spent a day pushing keyboard buttons I forgot I had in alternating combinations, ALT & CTRL & F6, ESC & SHIFT F9, & QWERTY- just because it's fun to type. I ended up deleting my entire hard drive.

Despite my lack of computer skills, I started a blog. I figured it was not really about computers but more about ideas, and I do have those. In abundance. And for the most part, the posting of all my ideas hasn't been that difficult. Minus the fact that I have no idea how to post pictures and it took me a good two weeks to figure out how to link anything because I was too mortified to ask anyone. Oh, and that little trick you all do where you write in the strike through font... yeah, that causes mini explosions in my brain from extremely painful thought.

But complaining about what I don't know isn't what this is about. It's about sharing what I DO KNOW. *And sweet goodness, I just discovered site meters!Half a year into blogging, and I now see that there's a way to keep track of who is reading what I write. And I have to say, it's bloody fantastic! Whoever thought of site meters should get some sort of genius award. Like, a life size statue of chocolate. Or all of your money. People in New Zealand and Chicago, Atlanta and London... are all reading.. this? That's so crazy. I mean, I knew obviously, that the people who commented weren't all my neighbours, but seeing it on a map how far away some of you are, well, it made me think that I should attempt to write something interesting sometime soon.

Give me six more months and perhaps there might even be pictures!

*I'm saving this sentence into my memory bank as proof of my nerdiness next time I start to think I'm more diva than **dork.

** I secretly like being a dork. It's less pressure.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Today's Top Five

Sooo... again this is from Bre. Basically, the idea is that someone sends you five questions and you answer them. Which, in my opinion is a great idea, because I love, love, love talking about myself. I kid. Sort of.

1. What is your earliest childhood memory?
I grew up on an acreage and in the spring my mom would pack a picnic and carry my brother and I out to a field to eat and play in the sand. I remember eating a honey and peanut butter sandwich and crying because it fell on the ground. My mom gave me a Popsicle instead and then my brother purposely dropped his sandwich. My mom threw her head back and laughed. I think I was about four. The next earliest memory is my fifth birthday when I got my pony. Yeah, I just had to say it.

2. What about blogging appeals to you?
I like how writing helps me organize my thoughts. Sometimes I won't even know exactly what's bothering me, or why I can't sleep or why I'm skipping happily into my office until I start thinking of how I would write about it. Once I do that, everything sort of falls into place. I also like the challenge of it, the idea of taking an ordinary story and making it more interesting, or something someone can relate to. Or knowing I've used the best possible word in a sentence. Man, that sounds sort of nerdy now that I typed it...

3. How do you spoil yourself on a daily (weekly/monthly) basis?
It's all about the afternoon naps... oh, and expensive (albeit extremely glossy) fashion magazines that weigh more than a phone book.

4. What is the most ridiculous thing that has happened to you in the past week?
Um, I found myself watching this movie. And honestly, if that doesn't sound ridiculous then you clearly haven't seen the preview. Or, being one of the only 'non-accountants' at an 'accountant' party... there were some ridiculous aspects in that... such as me busting out the Snoop while other people watched.

5. What is a relationship dealbreaker for you?
Other than cheating? Bad kissers? A close relationship with cocaine? A hate on for dogs? Hmm, I would have to say I don't like the idea of being with someone who isn't confident. I don't require a man to be arrogant, but I really need to be with someone who feels secure enough in themselves that they don't question every choice they make. Reflection is good, but a guy who doesn't have the confidence to make the first move, or stand by a choice he's made is probably not a guy for me.

And thus concludes my five. If you are interested in participating, here are the rules:

Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me!”
I will respond by e-mailing you five questions. I get to pick them, and you have to answer them all.
You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

On loss

Though I'm reckless and fickle, I can be a planner. I like laying out my clothes the night before, getting my concert tickets ahead of time, choosing the reason of my post instead of just 'free flow' writing it.

But sometimes planning feels instinctively wrong to me. Like wearing rubber boots with your prom dress. Or smearing ketchup on chocolate cake. Or trying to read a novel underwater. Or thinking out a planned response of sympathy to a tragic event.

I suppose the reason I can't plan what to say about Virginia Tech, is because if I tried, I would feel... silly. It's not my school, it's not my town, it's not even my country. Adding sympathy or trying to comment on something so tragic leads to me grabbing fistfuls of cliches, "I don't understand", "Everything happens for a reason", "I just don't know what to say".

I would like to say something memorable, something relatable, something that would provide my brain a moment of rest while it races through dictionaries of words and lists of quotes, but I'm just left with cliches. And then I realize, cliches are cliches for a reason. Because they give everyone who doesn't know what to say something to reach for, and in times like this, that's what people need.

I work in a college. Everyday I see kids walking through halls, ipods jammed in ears, laughing with their friends. With the approach of spring, the laughter has grown and the mood has seemed lighter- even finals haven't dampened the mood. Until now.

Today the halls are quieter. There is not less to laugh about for them- their lives still hold the same people and promise they did yesterday or the day before, but I think, I think they have been reminded of what the look of loss is, how it's painted in shades of grief and agony. And that it can be found anywhere. At anytime.

Even, in a school like their own.

So without knowing what to say, I will say this. The loss of lives at Virgina Tech has saddened not just the nation (as put by George W Bush in his speech to the students) but anyone who has ever felt like their world was secure. Who has ever felt a bounce in their step, or a reason to laugh.

It has saddened me.

And that's all I can say, on a day where I don't know what to say.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Singing to Snoop in my cardigan

Picture it: A Saturday night house party. Except, instead of being in high school surrounded by people drinking Mikes hard lemonade and wearing Ikeda jeans, I'm surrounded by working professionals drinking wine and wearing Hugo Boss. For reasons I'm still a little vague on "Gin and Juice" is being played (because really, isn't that what all accountants listen to in their spare time?).

T: Um, did you know you are singing to this song?

Me: Ah, no I'm not. I don't like this song. At all.

T: But, but you were just singing. Really.

A moment goes by. Wine is sipped, talks of a taxing tax season are overheard...

Me: Holy shit. I'm singing along. Why am I singing along?

T: I just want to know when you learned all the words. Now, would you like a glass of gin, some crack and a ho to go with your cup of cranberry juice?

Me: Shut up. Just shut up.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Comment Horror, Comment Whore

So a few days ago I posted this lovely ditty. I thought it was well said, with some interesting points written in a lovely, non-confrontational way.

I checked my email later in the day to accept those who disagreed with me and feel warm and fuzzy for those who did. I expected compliments and flowers. Disagreements but acceptance. I expected sentences that started with " Well, I don't agree but...". Instead, I got crickets.

There were no comments.

At first I thought nothing of it. I have always felt that all you bloggers secretly meet to discuss when you post, since you always do so when I least expect it. (This is frustrating since I'm always the 14th person to comment and all my "original" comments have been said already by persons 1-13). I imagine the "" people meet in a warehouse drinking dusty kool-aid out of plastic cups and eat prepackaged foods high in sugar and low in taste. The '' kids get together at a Ramada hotel and drink diet sodas out of real glasses and marvel at the pretty landscape paintings adorning every wall. And those with their own domain? They meet each dripping in diamonds and sweating in mink, via satellite- since they are all on their own yachts and phone reception is iffy.


So the 'no comment' thing didn't bother me. I mean, as I recently told Miss Fabulous (who herself has started her own blog), writing for comments is like, working for the man. It's prostituting greatness, and if I'm going to prostitute myself, I'm going to do it for big bucks. More bucks than the man could ever pay. (Actually, I think I just told her I didn't write for comments, and left the man out of it). I was sure that you were all busy with Easter and work and family, and the comments would come flooding in, and suddenly my world would make sense and I would once again, feel whole.

I checked back.


I re-read the post searching for something that would have caused you all to slap me with silence. Did I accidentally type "I believe the only good orphan is a working orphan?", or "I believe when my *grandma doesn't polish my shoes the way I like, it's a free pass to pistol whip her and kick her good hip while wearing stilettos?". Nope. I didn't say any of those things. So what the hell?

I was stumped.

Later on I started getting emails from people saying they couldn't comment. I checked back and realized I had the 'no comment' filter on. Suddenly, my world made sense again. People weren't shunning my post, they were forced to not write something. It was only when I realized this, did I fully understand how comments can really be useful, or at least nice to get once in a while. In short, I realized, I'm a comment whore.

This led me to think about all the times I read something I enjoy and don't comment. This was the last one I read on someones site that I really, truly and madly enjoyed and left without commenting. All the comments seemed to be what I was feeling, so I didn't add anything. Now I realize how important every comment is. So do I go back and comment and say 'ditto?', or do I just leave it? Sigh, I don't know. Perhaps I should invent an abbreviation for the line "I really enjoyed this post, and wish I had an original comment but I don't. But I still want you to know I enjoyed it". Perhaps this could be shown as "IRETPAWIHAOCBIDBISWYTKIEI!".

Or I could just stick with 'ditto'.

* the grandma reference was just for you e.b.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

When a good run can break your heart

I have a confession. I'm a runner.

No, I'm not confessing to slipping on my pink and silver Nike's at the twilight hour and running until a thin film of sweat covers me and my body aches in appreciation of being tested. My running isn't healthy and doesn't do anything positive for my heart. I run from people. Problems. Discussions where arguments hang heavily in the air like the smell of a burnt dinner that's ruined the night.

I don't run from every argument, every person. Just the big ones. The really big ones. The ones who matter, the people that earned an explanation before the shotgun goes and my legs start. The ones who deserve you to plant your feet and have the talks you don't want to. The talks where your awkward fingers dance on tabletops giving you a focus other than someone else's apologetic eyes.

Running doesn't mean I don't say sorry. When I feel something is my fault, when I have been in the wrong, chosen the thoughtless word rather than the the thoughtful act, I apologize. And I mean it. But when someone has hurt my feelings, suddenly my only option is to throw on my sneakers and sprint to a safe spot, avoiding the hurdles that come with a healthy relationship.

Perhaps running would be fine if I wasn't the type of girl who liked to look back, but I do. I like seeing where I started, how far I've come. I need to see my progress, whether it's the distance between me and the starting line, or me and a boy who broke my heart. But lately, looking back has only shown me how little I've moved. Instead of running on an open track, where the perspective changes with each step, I've been on a treadmill- pretending. Pretending that my aches and breaks, pains and gains have been worth something, and you know what? They haven't. Running only works if you feel better from it.

I don't feel better.

So maybe it's time to hang up the sneakers and try something a little better for my health. Something that doesn't promote regret and make my heart ache in a way that only making a big mistake can. Perhaps table tennis.

* I got a few emails about people asking why they couldn't comment on the previous post. I accidently had the comment section turned off. Sorry.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Stealing Inspiration

So once again, I'm stealing an idea from Bre, because sometimes stealing is the only way I can be inspired.

Things I believe in....

I believe that "sleeping on it" always helps figure out life's big problems. Unless you are sleeping on a rock, then I'm against it.

I believe if your $15 lip gloss makes you feel like a million bucks, it's worth it.

I believe that the only thing more dangerous than a president with a narrow minded personal agenda, is a public who votes him into office. Twice.

I believe in forgiving people, not for them, but for yourself. I believe, this is easier said than done.

I believe that everyone belongs to someone.

I believe that drinking alone doesn't make you an alcoholic. Only drinking alone, maybe...

I believe that a true, honest, platonic friendship rarely can occur between a man and woman, but that it can occur. I believe I'm cynical about this because I'm much more like Harry than Sally.

I believe the hardest lesson to learn is that you can't help who you love, and trying to understand why you do, will lead to a weekly therapist appointment and a strange love affair with late night television.

I believe that you don't have to call your best friend at 3am, to prove she's your 3am friend.

I believe everyone looks prettier when they are happy and are happier when they are feeling pretty.

I believe in thank you notes, tipping even when the food wasn't great, and solo break dancing performances at weddings.

I believe that crying when your sports team loses a big game is perfectly acceptable- crying every time they lose a game, is not.

I believe in regrets, and that I'm a girl who needs to say I have them.

I believe every song sounds better live, every pie tastes better homemade and every shoe is more fabulous when it's on sale.

I believe teachers are undervalued. I believe I think this because I'm a) a teacher and b) someone who sees on a daily basis the gigantic impact a teacher has on students. I also believe that anyone who utters the phrase 'two month holiday' in regards to how easy teachers have it, has never heard the phrase ' school wide lice outbreak'.

I believe that money provides freedom, and freedom provides happiness.

I believe "I'm sorry" always sounds better than "I apologize".

I believe you can love someone more deeply and clearly than ever before, and still be the absolutely wrong person for them. I believe that knowing this, doesn't always bring comfort, in fact, it usually doesn't.

I believe that a woman should choose what she does with her body. I also believe, that abortion shouldn't be used as a form of birth control. I believe that this is a topic that needs more than three sentences to be fully explained.

I believe opening your presents on Christmas Eve is cheating.

I believe that forgiving someone doesn't mean you need to be friends with them.

I believe if someone wants to propose marriage to you, they will. I believe that asking for a proposal is asking for something I would never want.

I believe in the usefulness of interactive toys, light up games and sturdy Baby Einstein books. I also believe that an empty refrigerator box is the best gift you can give a child.

I believe that unless you voted, you haven't earned the right to complain about the government.

I believe every success I've had has been the result of a mother who gave me a truckload of confidence and an eye for great shoes.

I believe people need to let the Anna Nicole thing go. Seriously.

I believe being 'complicated' doesn't make you interesting. Some of the most fascinating people I know are those who live life simply, without the tanglements of drama.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Procrastination Nation

Lately I've begun wondering if the last-minuteness of my life is necessary.

I'm that girl who started cracking my textbook the week of finals, who drinks the last sludge of milk in the carton that smells iffy because she hasn't gone to the store, who always gets the 'guaranteed or it's free!' coupon from blockbuster because I only rent movies at 11pm after everyone else has picked up all the 'two thumbs up' releases.

I started thinking about this, my love of procrastination, this past week. I've been on holidays (more stories of me, piano bars and 3am mass emails about my love for Oasis to come in future postings), and have had a lot of free time. Like, I can put lotion on my legs and wait for it to dry before getting dressed, sort of time. And honestly, it's weirding me out.

I kept going to sleep rolling through everything that I thought I had to do, should be doing, or was late doing. Because, the thing with procrastination is the rush of adrenaline that comes with it. The addicting metallic pulse that comes from realizing you could fail and if you did, it would be only your own fault.

I love that feeling.

I'm the queen of procrastination, a wizard at wasting time, a true master at the art of doing nothing. Which would make you think spending a holiday doing nothing would be enjoyable, and something I would relish. But I'm realizing that I work best when I have a looming deadline, because then I will fill up all my time with making myself busying doing something else. Having nothing to do, makes me do less.

Realizing that I have no crazy work to-do list, scheduled doctors appointment, report to write, oil change due, or meeting to attend, makes me a little anxious. Because suddenly, I could spend an entire day doing nothing. And once you realize, all you have is time... well then you are forced to discover that you can do anything you want.

And realizing your only limitation is yourself, can be more frightening than the current lycra leggings revolution.

Oh, the updating of my blogroll, will get done soon. I promise. I just have to put some lotion on...

Monday, April 2, 2007

I'm thisclose to pulling a Plath

Ohio lost. Instead of winning my pool, I tied for first place.

Perhaps if I was a middle child, or a native from Switzerland, or a generous Pisces or just someone who didn't know better, I would be happy with a tie.

But to a Leo, who is the oldest child, who sometimes enjoys winning more than she should and who at times likened herself to Luke Skywalker in her battle against evil forces such as an NCAA basketball team who just won last year, this tie feels like a loss.

Good things need to happen immediately.

(NOTE: Apparently when I'm feeling sad, I need to use a lot of italics.)

I got kidnapped too!

Actually, I didn't get kidnapped. But Ruby tagged me to do this, and she got kidnapped and I was just trying to outdo her. Why? Because at first I thought there was nothing interesting left for me to say about myself since, I succumbed to pressure and wrote out this, and then.. this. But, then I thought to myself 'self, you ARE entertaining and there is MUCH the world doesn't know about you, so do it! And do it well!'. Hence,

FIVE Things You Don't Know About Me

1. I'm a reading dork.
Now, I'm a teacher so I promote reading all the time. It makes you smarter! It expands your vocabulary! All the cool kids are doing it!, but the difference between being an avid reader and being a reading dork is what you read and how often. I've made no excuses to hide the fact that I'm not so secretly in love with Bob Woodward. I have, however, recently discovered a new lusty-like feeling for George. If I just enjoyed the good political book that would be fine, but I like to sprinkle them in between re-reading Harry Potter for clues to what will happen in Book 7. Because, I think I'm going to find all the answers by re-reading the end of book 6, oh, 4789 times. (And to further hammer the dork point, I will admit that I got panicked thinking I wouldn't get Book 7 the day it came out, so I pre-ordered and then asked what time the store opened so I wouldn't be waiting in line until my 35th birthday). And if that still didn't prove how much I loved reading, when I was 9 years old I told my brother that I loved books so much I wished I could eat the pages so they would always be inside me. Okay, I said that when I was like, 14. Okay... like 22. He still makes fun of me for it.

2. I'm anti-"blog"
I hate the word blog. Because it rhymes with my two least favourite words- slob and glob. The word 'Blog' makes me think of old sweatpants that smell like sour milk and spray cheese smeared on the side of someones face. I prefer the term 'Post', as in "I posted about Ohio". To me, "post" implies that I typed while wearing creamy white gloves while sipping chamomile out of a dainty teacup adorned with hand painted buttercups. I've never actually typed while wearing gloves, or drank tea out of an actual teacup with saucer (I prefer comfy pants and a juice box), but the idea of it makes me feel better.

3. I've lived in a tent
Not permanently. But, growing up my dad's hobby required travelling every summer, so each year from June to August, my family would travel all over Western Canada. And because for the entire summer we lived in our holiday trailer, and as much as I love my family a girl needs some space- I took to sleeping in a tent.
Every night. Every summer. For ten years. (And for this sacrifice, my parents rewarded me with a very cool tent of my choosing for each summer. To this day, I get ridiculously excited when I see the tents up at Costco for you to buy)

4. I like hospitals
I suspect the reason I like them is because when I'm there it's me in the hospital and not anyone else. If I knew someone who was always in the hospital, I suppose I would detest them with the same fury that Paris would shun polyester. But, because it's me, I enjoy them. When I'm there overnight, I love the blankets they give you with just enough scratch to exfoliate (too bad they didn't smell like this) your body and dim lights- dark enough to make you sleepy, not enough to make you scared. I get blood taken a lot (mostly, to just re-confirm the fact that the blood I do have is bad), and doctors waiting rooms make me feel just as good. I like reading all the old Housekeeping magazines that give me quilting advice or tips on making meatloaf. Perhaps the reason I like hospitals and waiting rooms is because I know neither is permanent.

5. I'm always gettin' lucky
When it comes to winning contests, or getting money for doing nothing, I'm always getting lucky. The last contest I entered and then forgot about, I won. First place. Hundreds of dollars in gift certificates to the mall, new sunglasses and two tickets to a three day outdoor concert. When I was in university I applied for this obscure funding option based on the fact that my grandmothers grandmother was Native, and I got my last year of tuition/books/rent paid for. Plus a healthy spending allowance. And even now, I get random cheques from the government and I have no idea why.

And now you are fully in the know about me. Oh, one more thing... I'm trying to update my blogro-, er, postroll, so if I don't have you would you just leave a comment so I can keep track of everyone I need to add?

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Ohio Madness

So I just realized this is my third post with the word "Ohio" in the title. I'm not overly fascinated with the State, but maybe this is a sign I should pay a visit?

Anyway, March Madness is winding down (tear) and yours truly has a chance of winning her pool if Ohio wins in the final. (I actually picked both Florida and Ohio to be in the finals, but I'm trying not to brag since they were both a number 1 seed....). So, all I'm asking is for you to all cheer for Ohio on April 2nd. Face painting isn't mandatory but it would be a nice touch.

Oh, what do I win if Ohio wins? A few dollars, bragging privileges and 5 haiku's that discuss my greatness.

Fingers crossed.

Me, Jack Daniels and Doogie Howser, M.D.

Before I met Jack Daniels, discovered how important reading glasses are and found myself commenting on the price of gasoline, I was a kid. I was a kid who had big expectations for herself.

When I was little, being 20 years old made you an adult. Because being 20 years old meant you weren't a teenager anymore and the only thing after a teenager was an adult. So once I was 20, I was going to be a teacher and a psychologist (apparently Doogie Howser and I drank from the same water bottle). I was going to have high heels and wear lots of pink skirts with flowers on them. I would have 2 dogs, 2 cats and a turtle named Melon.

My hair would be really long.

I would have a big house that had a porch all the way around it. I would have lots of flowers in my yard. I would have a housekeeper. I would drive a brand new red car and I would have gone to Easter Island (a place of fascination in my youth). I would have actual tea parties, call people 'darling' and wear scarves around my head when I drove.

I would be married.

My husband would look like Uncle Jesse, but would make me laugh like Joey. Sometimes we would kiss when I wanted, and if I didn't want to he would build me stuff like bookcases and take me fancy places for dinner where the forks would be as small as the ones in my playhouse. I would stay all the way up until 11pm and if I wanted, I would have vanilla cake with chocolate frosting for breakfast.

I would complain about bills, but always have enough money to pay them. I would have cloth napkins and always remember to say "may I ask who's calling?", when giving the phone to someone else. I would refinish furniture, quote Shakespeare in random conversation and own a well-used picnic basket.

I would worry about losing my wedding ring down the drain.

I'm past 20 now. A few years past, actually. And I realize that my life isn't at all what I thought it would be like. I'm my own significant other, I drive an old truck instead of a new car and I can't remember the last time I had cake for breakfast.

Am I sad that my life is so different than what I imagined? Sometimes. It does sound easier. But I'm slowly learning easier isn't always better and if this life means having more disappointments than I thought I would, I'm okay with it.

Besides, if I had the life I always thought I wanted, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't know Jack,- Daniels that is.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

#5: Trout

If you haven't been keeping up (and it's a shame if you haven't), the Month of March was dedicated to "Women who have shaped you", an idea that a lot of great writers stole from Bre. (And if you haven't read her last one, you should. It's genius). Anyway, this is my last one for the month (I like to cut things close apparently).

You know how you have that one event that becomes the marker for your life? Everything happened either before or after it, and the day it happened is burned into your memory? Sometimes it's a divorce, sometimes it's a wedding. Sometimes it's a death, sometimes it's a birth and for a few of my more... materialistic friends, it's the time you found your favourite shoes marked 50% off. I have my marker.

It's the day I met Trout.

I don't mean to say that my life before this great friend was horrible, or that the life I've had after has been a blur of rainbows and butterflies but she's the marker I have because I have a hard time imagining a life without her in it.

She's that friend.

The first person I told when my doctors thought I had cancer. The last one to judge me when I made the same mistake for the fourth time. The one who knows my secrets, my failures, my regrets and likes me despite it all. The one who is the Mary Kate to my Ashley. The one who volunteers to help regardless if it's moving furniture, painting childrens faces for a play or listening to me discuss the latest trouble in my life. She's the one who understands why I need to color code my bookcase and closet and comments on how nice it looks while others stare wondering 'why?'.

The one who has seen me at my best- dressed to cause heart attacks with shiny hair and tall boots (and the only one who truly knows how long it takes me to achieve this look), has seen me at my worst- in 3-day old sweatpants and sweatshirt with holes with no inclination to find the hairbrush, and everyday in between. She's seen me in every Halloween costume imaginable (pirates last year was a favourite, but the signature Brandy and Trout costume was defintetly the Olsen twins the year before), and knows exactly what my 'rage' face looks like. She's the one who I can have a 40 minute conversation about a celebrity (and not feel guilty at all) and then yell about George W, and not blink an eye.

She's the friend who feels like the sister I never got.

She was there when my house burnt down (it was her house too, after all). She watched my bag during the 10 hour layover in Germany when mono ravaged my body. She was the one who handed me the bag of frozen peas to stop the swelling when I broke my foot break dancing. She was there for the time 34 eye patches needed to be made for a pirate play. And the time my heart broke into thirty-six million pieces because of a boy? Trout said all the right things, but realized sometimes saying nothing is the best thing you can do. She's been my translator, my therapist, my stylist, my cook (I miss the grilled cheese) and the one person I seem to never run out of things to talk about.

I will see her in a few hours. Because Trout has volunteered her Saturday to painting many faces for my latest childrens play. She will do this and I will say thank you and then I will realize it will have never of crossed her mind to NOT help me.


Because she's the best kind of friend. The one who wants more for you that even you can imagine, who's hopes for you exceed your own, the one who doesn't ignore your failures but finds the success in them.

She's that friend.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Love means big screen tvs

So I've been reading a lot of posts about love. I suspect it's spring. There's something about not wearing 18 layers of fleece and thermal each time you leave the house that gets the libido going. Suddenly, the removal of hats and scarves and lumpy coats prove that we are not all cousins of the Michelin man. Instead, we are well-dressed people with curves, and smiles and hair that hasn't been flattened by a toque. And such discoveries can lead to love, or at the very least, a well developed case of like.

But spring and love is another story. This is about love, and love alone.

Apparently love means never having to say you're sorry. That phrase is like the 'get out of jail free' card in regards to apologizing. The phrase is everywhere and has been said so many times, it's now taken as fact. It's embroidered on pillows, agreed with on Oprah and referenced *328 times every minute in the North America when a couple fights over a missed anniversary.

And the truth is, I think it's bunk.

My experiences have taught me that love means saying sorry. Frequently. And usually with gifts that require extensive assembly or jewellery cleaner. I'm kidding, sort of. But I do believe it's the people who love you, and who you love who deserve your sorry's even more than the stranger you never see again. The people you love the most, deserve your best. So when you screw up, slip up or are just trying to make up, say sorry. And when words are not enough, say it with a big screen tv.

* I made this up. I felt my post was lacking statistics.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Work is a fairytale

I'm working on today's to-do list for work and this is what it's looking like:

1. Find a 'witch-like' broom for the Wicked Witch of the West.
2. Find green face paint for the Wicket Witch of the West.
3. Buy some tarts so White Rabbit can get put on trial for stealing them.
4. Find shoes that look like glass slippers for Cinderella.
5. Build/buy/find a monocle for the Mad Hatter, get tea for their tea party and search for more tea cups.
6. Door Mouse needs a tail.
7. Grab an apple for Snow White
8. Dorothy needs more sparkle added to her shoes.
9. Snow White's stepmother needs her dress hemmed, the Duchess needs a completely different outfit and White Rabbit's watch fob needs to show actual numbers.
10. Gretel needs bobby pins. So Does Dorothy.
11. Alice needs a basket, Knave needs gloves.

I have two children's shows in the next week. This is about a third of my to-do list. Sigh. At least it's entertaining. I mean, who else can add 'looking for a glass slipper' to their work list?

#4: Edie

(This is the fourth post in a series of 'women who have shaped my life'. I got this idea from Bre, who has been doing a better job at posting these than me.)

When I get bored at work I will roam campus looking for a vending machine that sells something that is gluten free. Or just something that looks like it wasn't made prior to Trudeau taking office (whoo ha! A little Canadian history reference for you, which means that basically it's a reference that no one will get. Moving on..). And once I admit defeat and spend my money on sour candies from the vending machine, I wander over to the coffee stand that almost bankrupted me my first year of college.

One day not so long ago, I had paid for my tea and felt the unmistakable sensation of being watched. I looked around and spotted my stalker. A well dressed, elderly woman with a shock of short white hair. She waved. I waved. And since I had no idea who she was, I proceeded to be deeply interested in the color of my tea.

People stare at me a lot. This has nothing to do with any weird extra limb, or my hobbit like status, but because I look a lot like my mom and everyone seems to know her. So, they think they know me, when they don't. Usually, I just smile and wave and then the person does the same and walks away.

Instead, this lady came over.

It turns out, Edie did know me. I had taught her grand kids figure skating when they were younger. She was at the college to meet her granddaughter for lunch. I admired her brooch and we chatted about the insanity of extra low-rise jeans being in style. She repeatedly kept looking to my left hand and then finally asked the question all single girls hate:

"So, not married?"

I said no.

Usually, this is where the conversation ends. Though I like to complain about my single status, I usually reserve this privilege to friends, or people who subscribe to read about it,- Edie was neither. I looked at her, ready to follow-up my one-syllable answer with an excuse, a joke, a way to change of subject, but I didn't. She had asked so nicely, and had waited patiently for a reason rather than just a response, I couldn't ignore it- I couldn't ignore her. And there was something about the way she looked at me that felt that lying to her would be as bad as lying to myself. So, I told her the truth:

"It all just seems really hard."

Her freckled hand with pale blue veins mapped out like a tree's roots, reached for mine and she laughed.

"My dear, all you need is to find someone who puts up with you, but who won't when you don't deserve it. If you find that, you've found everything."

And with those two sentences, my dating philosophy was born.

The conversation drifted and we sipped our tea, just two women surrounded by students. One woman knew everything, the other just enough to realize how important the other womans words were.

Monday, March 26, 2007

#3: Mom

(This is the third post in a series of 'women who have shaped my life'. I got this idea from Bre. Smartypants.)

I know what you are thinking. #3? This woman tortured her body to give birth to you and she's #3? She endured months of pregnancy, hours of labour, and years of sullen teenage angst for you! She spent her youthful 20's carpooling, counselling and cooking all for you, and she's #3?!

All I can say is yes.

She's #3 because I've been struggling how to describe her. I've thought of this in traffic jams, while waiting 3 minutes before rinsing my conditioner (I'm a sucker for direct directions), while shopping and bowling, working and napping. And I've finally realized I can't tell you how she's shaped me. There was no complicated goodbye, no single phone call that illuminated her influence. The idea of putting words to who she is has been rolling around in my head, leaving me frustrated because I just don't have the right words, because sometimes there is no right words, or best words. There are just the words you have.

She's unlike anyone I've ever met and I'm better for it.

She's the mom who hand painted my sneakers in elementary school so I would have shoes no one else did.
She's the mom who started her own business, and when families can't afford to send their kids, she lets them come for free.
She's the mom who put pomegranates in my lunch while all the other kids had browned apple slices.
She's the woman who (every year) risks getting kicked out of the holiday resort because she sneaks cold cokes to the beach jewellery sellers.
She's the woman who befriended a jewellery seller named Juanita and has taken her family to Wal-mart for shopping sprees, paid for her children's school uniforms and bought them chickens.
She's the mom who remembers my friends birthdays, the name of my grade 3 crush, and the day I started like onions.
She's the mom who showed me how to not be embarrassed of success (or really, really large shoe collections).
She's the mom who still has my paper crown I won as grade two class president, and she's the mom who helped me write the speech that clinched the win.
She's the mom who has had my puke on her. More than once.
She's the mom who took me to gymnastics, horse riding lessons, brownies, figure skating and cooking classes, all in the same year when I decided I wanted to 'learn about everything', and didn't once utter the word 'chauffeur'.
She's the mom who can get me at my own game.
She's the mom who taught me how to check the air in my tires, apply fake eyelashes and "say sorry like you mean it".

She isn't a perfect person, and I'm not either. We've had fights that have made the King of Sparta vs. the Persians look like a lunchtime misunderstanding. But she is mine and I am hers, and though we may violently argue over ideals and ideas, I love her just the same.

She may be #3, but realizing that the one person who told me I could be anything is the one person I want to be like... makes her incomparable.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Eyes Wide Open

I watched "Poseidon" this weekend and realized one thing:

I really, really need to learn how to swim with my eyes open.

I would have been deadweight to the survivor team with my inability to open my eyes underwater. Poor Josh Lucas would always be having to comeback and find me holding my breath, eyes clamped shut, banging my head into a closed steel wall thinking it was my way out. And I'm going to go out on a limb and say that would effectively ruin our chances of being together.

If Josh and I are going to have any serious chance at love, I've got to get my eyes opening underwater.

That is all. Carry on.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Discomfort Zone

Like Pavlov's dogs, I'm learning that certain triggers will send me into an unplanned response. More specifically, certain phrases will send me into a blood curdling, hair tingling, cold and uncomfortable sweat that will prompt me to lie in the fetal position under my bed and drink whiskey until I think I AM Johnny Cash.

Okay, I exaggerate, but here are some phrases that make me prone to fits of extreme rage, or you know, just uncomfortable or unhappy...

- "I signed us up for karokee, stop drinking so fast, let's do this song sober!"

- "Hi there, this is Revenue Canada. Can we please speak to Brandy?"

- "You're late" (I hate,hate, HATE being late)

- "It's time for a pap smear!"

- " I think you are silly/cute/a joke".

- "It broke" (And to quote Louis Armstrong, 'if you have to ask, you'll never know')

- "Now, I know we said we weren't going to cut a lot of hair off this time, but I thought this Dorothy Hamill cut would really suit you. Hey, why are you crying?"

- "Nope, we don't have you booked on this airplane, sorry! Now can you step aside for the next person in line?"

- "Hey, dude, I'm watching your house burn down right now. No really. Ohhh, they just smashed your window."

- "I don't want to date you anymore, but happy birthday."

- "Ma'am, I need to see your license and registration" (this is only uncomfortable when I'm driving with expired insurance...)

- "You're a democrat? Wow, I would have totally pegged you as a Republican." (this one was more funny, but I was shocked nonetheless)

- "I don't watch The Office. Wait, why are you looking at me like that? What's wrong?"

And of course, the ever popular, never appreciated

- "I have some bad news"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Being Called the "C" Word

I admit it, I say it. A LOT.

Before I can stop myself, the 'c' word will fall out of my mouth and into casual conversation. I've called Miss Fabulous the 'c' word. I've called the kids I teach the 'c' word. My old dog, my favourite shoes, even my grandmother have all been called the 'c' word. In fact, just today I yelled it down the hallway to my boss. It would appear that I like giving the word out, but I've discovered I hate being called it by others. The 'c' word I'm referring to? Cute, of course. For some reason the word 'cute' rolls off my tongue and gets attached to many things in my life like a piece of velcro you can't shake off.

It's always been the adjective people use to describe me. I suppose it's the blond hair, or the fact that I laugh a lot. Maybe it's because I have the hobbit gene and am short. Maybe it's because I get excited easily or cry during Saturn car commercials. I don't know. I do know however, that I'd rather be called a million other things than cute.

I don't strive to be called 'sexy'. It seems like a lot of work. Perhaps it's not fair of my brain, but when I hear the word, the first thing I think of is fishnets, a red sparkly dress made out of lycra and thigh high stilettos. And long red hair. Basically, Jessica Rabbit with a little less Botox. When I think 'sexy' I just think I would be too tired to wear those shoes all day and keeping my hair red hot flaming red would take serious upkeep. Maybe I'm less cute and more lazy?

Sometimes I get 'nerdy' and it fits. Unlike those who object to it, (they are most likely to be wearing fishnets I've noticed), I don't mind it. I read a lot. I get irrationally angry when people display ignorance about war or politics. I have been known to get really happy over a sweater vest. My closet, bookcase and shoe collection are color coordinated, and I take great pleasure when others notice this. Recently, I've found myself squealing when I watch a new Harry Potter preview. See? Nerdy fits.

I've gotten 'funny' before and that one I like. Who doesn't relish the idea of feeling that what you say is worth a laugh? "Complicated" has been whispered, which is understandable, but not always appreciated. Though it seems we live in a world where 'complicated = interesting', I would prefer to be something different. Complex, perhaps, that seems like complicated's nicer cousin. Complicated reminds of people torn between huge life choices and prone to maniac cleaning spells induced by rage. And I assure you, I vacuum quite irregularly.

I started thinking about this on Saturday when a nice couple (Channel and Dan), couldn't find a table at the St. Patricks party we were at and joined ours. They seemed a bit uncomfortable at having to sit at a table of 8 girls (1 of which who was standing on a booth doing an air guitar with part of her body I'm too lady like to describe right now), so I kept asking them questions. They told me how they met, how they fell in love and the whole story was just so well... cute. I might have clapped my hands but then Dan started raving about how 'cute' I was, and the feeling passed quickly.

Maybe I don't like it because it's the term I get the most. Or because it seems like an adjective that's not very specific. It's like 'good' or 'great'. It doesn't seem like it's based on anything. I mean, puppies are cute. One could argue that at times, Colin Powell has shown cuteness. I would just like another word.

But I suppose when the time came, when the request tumbled out of my mouth, whoever had called me 'cute' would just feel that I deserved the term that much more. If my grandma threw her hands on her hips when I stuck the 'cute' term on her, and told me that being called 'cute' was silly and wanted another word, well, chances are she would seem that much cuter. Or she would seem ridiculous.

And given the choice between ridiculous and cute, I would take cute.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Worth the wait in an instant world

We live in an instant world. Instant coffee, instant messaging, instant car starters. We wait for nothing. We can fast forward our commercials, email our letters and drive-thru for our meals.

Everything happens so quick that when I actually am forced to wait for something; eggs to cook, Saturdays paper, a doctor to see me, life suddenly seems to move very slow. Too slow. Unbearably slow.

While toe-tapping and watch checking this morning waiting for an airline flight confirmation, I got to thinking about what is WORTH waiting for. What would I never want to be found quicker, what I wouldn't want to experience sooner, what I would hate for technology to 'speed up'. My list of what's worth waiting for includes...

- homemade pie crust. Actually, any food that's homemade. Instant potatoes scare me more than Tara Reid.

- babies.

- the third date kiss. Not the "it's the third date so we should kiss", but the "I'm so excited about you, I need to kiss you" kind.

- a proper goodbye.

- handwritten letters in the mail that confirm I'm not the only one who misspells "foreign".

- my birthday.

- someone who loves you even on the days (most especially on the days) you don't love yourself.

- garden peas.

- the shoes you adore (but cost more than your car) to come on sale.

- a glued macaroni picture addressed to you in crayon.

- an "I love you" to be said sober, fully clothed and vertical.

- movie sequels with an actual plot.

- waiting in line to meet Cinderella.

- an explanation for a broken heart, missed lunch appointment or $489 vehicle repair bill.

- seeing your favourite piece of artwork so close up your eyes can trace the paint strokes and find the pieces of hair stuck in the paint.

- the perfect wedding dress.

Suddenly waiting doesn't seem so bad.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Disappointing Oprah

So recently I've noticed a trend. It started out with a friend of mine, then moved to Grey's Anatomy, then spread into the life of yet another pal. The trend? Realizing that even if you don't want to be with someone, you still don't want them to be with someone else.

I'm weening myself off Grey's Anatomy (I'm sorry but there's something about Meredith that makes me want to take a scalpel to my brain), but saw Izzie tell Alex "just because I don't want to be with you doesn't mean I want you to be with someone else". That really hit home. I know it's selfish, immature and lacks the all-knowing self empowerment that Oprah has in diamond encrusted truck loads, but I find I relate to that sentiment. And I'm finding, I'm not the only one.

It's not that I want the people I don't want to be single and miserable forever, I just want them to be single until I'm not. Once I'm bathed in the lavender glow of coupledom, where 'we' statements flow and the inside jokes are common, I hope they find the same. After I'm happily cocooned in a great, stable relationship with a man (preferably a pediatrician who sings 'green eyes' by Coldplay and thinks my neurotic tendencies are adorable), I will become more Oprah-ish. I will be that ex who invites old flames for dinner with their new loves. Who takes great delight in the fact that they have found love with someone who is not me. And in this version of my future, I will also be able to wear pearl necklaces without looking like I'm playing dress-up.

The bottom line? I want ex'es to be happily coupled, to experience the satisfaction of feeling like they found a person who fits snugly into their life.
I just want them to find it after I have.

See? I told you- immature.

It's moments like this I'm glad I'm not friends with Oprah. I don't think I could handle disappointing her like this.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I second that Emotion

Overheard today...

" Sometimes I feel smarter knowing less. I mean, sometimes information isn't power. It just gets in the way of the stuff you already know."

In other news, I just calculated that I won't be home (ie. in my bed sleeping) for 15 hours. This thought has left me incredibly depressed. Even more depressed than seeing what's-his-face-with-the-ever-changing-hair stay yet another week on American Idol. What gives America?

(And yes, the phrase 'what gives?' is making a comeback. And it's starting today.)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Family Sacrifices

At this point, I'm willing to stun gun my grandmother if someone can promise me it's going to stop snowing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Lessons on a Tuesday

1. Never trust a man who has a fridge stocked with pesto but no ketchup.

2. Sometimes prayer works when your truck doesn't start. Sometimes a new battery works better.

3. Never take a cart when you go to Costco. Or else your bill will be so high you will have to sign off on your first born. Seriously, who NEEDS a 5 gallon jar of pickles?

4. My grandmother had something called a "dinner ring" and wore it after she had changed into something 'appropriate' for dinner. I have something called "sweatpants" and I wear them while I eat my dinner that comes from the microwave.

5. A hair straightener can become an excellent clothes iron in a pinch. (I like to think MacGuyver would be proud of me)

6. Some things just don't translate. Like explaining how funny a phone conversation I had today with my friend about how I plan on trying out for the Amazing Race with an imaginary partner. Needless to say, it would be me, not Hank, who would be performing all the tasks but I would be yelling at him to "hurry up!", endlessly. See? Not so funny typed, but at the time it was hysterical.

7. There is a man in Texas who thinks Canada is in Utah. This should make me sad but it just makes me giggle.

8. It's impossible for me to listen to "Brown Eyed Girl" without wishing I had brown eyes. And a boyfriend who loved layering his clothes and playing that song on the guitar and singing it to me every morning immediately after he serving me breakfast in bed. Oh, and he has a dog too. And nieces he lets braid his hair. And he's always saying things like "how did I ever manage without you!?". And he has parents who marvel at my brain and hug me everytime they see me (which is usually once a month when the whole gang meets for brunch at the estate). And- okay I need to stop.

9. When you start trying to figure out chords, it's time to take a step back and reconsider your love for the air guitar.

10. March Madness makes me happier than Christmas. (I started a pool!)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Killing Time...

I got this emailed to me and it was really fun, and an excellent way to waste time! Try it, I want to see if anyone else was deemed a 'love bug' like myself. (Oh, and the 'easy rider' label was great. Anyone else thinking "The Office"?)

Cheating: A words game?

I had a conversation recently that went something like this…

Not me: So, have you ever cheated on a boyfriend?
Me: Define cheat.
Not me: Have you ever had sex with someone else while dating a guy?
Me: No
Not me: So…. then what’s your definition of cheating?
Me: I think cheating is doing something I wouldn’t do if my boyfriend was there.
Not me: So then you have cheated?
Me: Well, under my definition yes. Under your definition, no.

(Long silence as we contemplate that under my definition we are both guilty and under theirs we are both innocent…)

It seemed strange that such a huge issue- the issue of cheating, would be defined so differently between two people. I always assumed that cheating was a black and white issue, how could there be so much confusion? So much grey matter? I decided to ask my trusty dictionary to give me some clear cut definition- and answer to the biggest question since the Caramilk bar mystery of the early 90's, but found out that Encarta is sometimes as helpful as a screen door in a submarine. This is what I got…

1. deceive somebody: to deceive or mislead somebody, especially for personal advantage
2. be unfaithful: to have a sexual relationship with somebody other than a spouse or regular sexual partner
3. escape something: to avoid harm or injury by luck or cunning

So, we both found our definition embedded in the great mind of Encarta. Instead of feeling pleased that the dictionary recognized the act of deceit as cheating, I was more troubled. Were Encarta and I prudes in assuming that cheating was deceit? Did everyone else think cheating was sex? And if they did, were the majority of these individuals carrying a Y chromosome?

I decided to take to the streets (okay, my email contact list) and ask others what they defined cheating as. Apparently, when it comes to cheating everyone has an opinion and it’s different from the rest. Here are some of the results…

Cheating is…..
- “sex.”
- “anything you do that you wouldn’t want anyone to find about”
- “ isn’t looking at other girls. It’s giving them my phone number when my girls in the bathroom”
- “unforgivable. People say they forgive it but don’t forget, but if you don’t forget something that horrible, how can it be a healthy relationship?”
- “boob grabbing”
- “ a words game. It’s instinct over conscience. It’s anything you do that you feel guilty about”
- “wishing the boyfriend/girlfriend you are with was someone else”
- “dangerous, and devastating if you are the person getting cheated on. I would never do it because I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I did.”
- “anything you wouldn’t do with someone of the same sex (if you aren’t gay)”
- “removal of clothing”
- “lying to your partner because you spending time with someone else. Even if you are fully clothed and spend the whole day at the park, once you lie, you cheat”
- “sometimes a way to see if you are really serious about your boyfriend/girlfriend”
- “not cool unless you are on a holiday, or if she/he is cheating too”
- “not worth it. I mean, if you want to be with someone else, why are you with the person you are with?”
- “getting caught”

Honestly, it was a bit frightening to see that so many people I know define the act of cheating so differently, but it was nice to see that men weren’t prone to one type of answer and women another. There were pretty equal in the numbers of responses who viewed cheating as ‘just sex’ or ‘anything you feel guilty about’.

Our society clearly defines our world; this is what murder is, this is what marriage is, this is what taxable income is… and yet, cheating has slipped through the cracks. I realize that cheating is a moral issue and that it would be impossible to lay down a clear definition in the “book of life” , I’m just saying that it would be nice. I like the idea of in the heat of an argument being able to pull down a large book with tissue thin pages that would state: "Cheating is: holding the hand of another girl at the movies", or something similar. It would make things so much easier- and arguments a lot shorter.

Until then I will hold myself accountable and feel guilt over my past. Why? Because I’d rather be guilty under my definition than innocent under someone else’s.

Anyone have a different definition of cheating?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Ordinary grief

I suppose it’s quite common to feel very small in a crowded church smelling of wet coats and baby powder. And I suppose it’s very pedestrian to wonder what you are doing with your life when you listen to a pastor talk of a boy who never really got the chance to live his. To feel that this must all be a mistake when you recognize that this baby’s first words were also his last

I suppose it’s quite common to feel your heartbreaking with an ache so intense your hand instinctively moves to your chest. To actually have your insides hurt with such a force it steals your breath and leaves you lightheaded. To realize that it is possible to cry your hardest without making a single sound. To find that sadness hasn’t swept over you- it’s invaded you.

I suppose it’s very commonplace to find yourself feel like something has broken when you see the uncle who once told you that “crying is for sissies”, openly sobbing, clenching handfuls of tissue. To see shy grown men shake their heads, hands stuffed in their pockets, not bother to wipe away their tears. To watch a mother whisper such a private and choked goodbye you have to look away, because such anguish does not need a witness. And I suppose it’s expected that you find yourself wishing you knew what to say but to finally (finally) learn that sometimes there are moments where words will not fit.

I suppose it’s very ordinary to see firsthand the difference between crying, weeping and sobbing, and to find that it is the weeping leaves you saddest- the beautiful restraint of it all seeming very brave. To close your eyes and hear what a church full of grief sounds like.

And I suppose it’s expected to revert to being a child again and to ask “Why?”. To take the frustration of no answer and want to bargain. To know that in an instant whatever you have you would give- to end the sobbing of a man who can’t stop repeating his sons name.

And I suppose it's very natural to be shocked at just how hot your tears are and how fast they can fall.

I suppose there is just nothing sadder than toys in a coffin.