Feb 27, 2010

Always Listen To Your Parents, Or You Will Float Away

I was the type of kid who was anxious about the STRANGEST things.  I worried about my stuffed animals when I was in school, fretting if they were comfortable enough while I was gone.  I would tuck them into my bed and kiss them all goodbye before I left, promising them a swift return.

My father had a 'pet' garden spider one summer.  He would go out and tend to his garden everyday and talk about his spider as if it were a member of the family.  I in turn, began to think of it as a member of the family as well, so when the weather began to get frigid, I worried that the spider was uncomfortable and cold.  What did I do?  I covered it lovingly with a big rock one day, therefore ending the poor thing's life.  But I only wanted to make it cozy.

As a young teenager, I could not go to sleep until everyone else in the house was sleeping.  This included the rare occasion when my parents would attend a work party, or the all-the-time occurrences when my older sister would be out very late at night.  I would stay up, beady-eyed and loopy, waiting for a bedroom door to gently close before I would snuggle down into my covers, happy that my family was safe and warm in their own beds.

I was a worrier.  But THIS story takes the worry cake.

It was a beautiful Summer day in 1988, and my parents decided it would be lovely to spend the day on the family boat on Lake Belwood.  My father hitched the boat to the van while my mother made a picnic lunch for us all.  Mid morning and we were on our way.  We spent a lovely morning speeding across the lake, swimming, and waving at other boaters in our happiness to be sharing such a wonderful day with them.  

Towards the end of the afternoon, we were out in the middle of the lake when my parents noticed a gigantic storm cloud descending upon us.  It seemed to have come out of nowhere, and it's colour was unnerving.  Pitch black with a tinge of green, one could feel the silence that was beginning to engulf the area from the intensity of the storm that was on the way.  It became a race against time to make it to shore, rig the boat back up to the van, and hop into the vehicle to avoid the downpour that was inevitable.  

Oh god.  My worst nightmare.  Not only was I anxious, but now there was a time limit.  This spells disaster in my mind.  Of course my worrying brain translated all of this to mean: if we do not make it back in time to rig everything up and gather all of our stuff to make it into the car before the rain hit, WE WOULD ALL DIE.

We made it to shore and began tying the boat to the dock to secure it so my father could drive the van down the loading ramp.  I was sitting on the bow of the boat (a 20 foot Bayliner) passing clothing and picnic stuff to my mother so she could pack it all away in the van.  I noticed that there were yellow nylon ropes tied to the boat, and in my anxiety-ridden mind, I wanted them to be packed away as well, safe from the storm along with everything else.  The wind had kicked up and I had to hold onto the metal rails around the bow to prevent myself from toppling into the water.  My parents were yelling at me over the wind to get down so the boat could be rigged to the van.  I yelled "What about the ropes?", and my father shouted to leave them.  Not one to listen to rationality, I untied the ropes and threw them onto the dock.

Those ropes were securing the boat to the dock, and I had just untied them from the boat.  I began to swiftly drift away from the dock due to the now roiling water being sloshed this way and that from the strong wind.  I was frozen on my knees, watching as I drifted away, unable to speak out of the fear that was building inside of me.  I heard a sound come out of my mother that would only come out of someone who was terrified that their child was in danger.  I have never seen my father and uncle move so fast.  They both dove into the water and grabbed onto the boat and kept a strong hold on it as they dragged it through the water back to the dock.  I am not sure how they even did that as they were swimming and the boat sat very high out of the water.  I only know that I am glad they did.

Lesson learned.  Don't worry about inanimate objects and things that belong outside.  Oh you mean you don't?  That was probably just weirdo me who needed to be taught that lesson.

We began the drive home while the storm raged around us, safely tucked away into the van.  I received a tongue lashing about my stupidity which I knew I deserved.  Even though I was being yelled at I could not help but be happy and relieved that we beat the storm.  We were all together in the car with everything packed up, and we were dry and warm.

Well, some of us were.  The hero's of the day had to suffer through squelching shoes and wet shorts.  

Oops.  

Feb 24, 2010

All I Want For Wednesday Is...

One of these three bedrooms.  I won't be picky.  Just give me one.


Oh, the books.  They make me happy.

Beautiful colour.  And a chandelier?  Yes please.


More books.  And a shag rug.  And branches.  What's not to love?

Any takers?  

Disclaimer: you would probably need to also buy me a house to put AROUND the room.  

I'm All Over The Place Here

This, my dear friends, is Apple Pizza:


The one I had is not exactly as the one pictured above. The apple-y delisciousness I consumed was literally pizza dough (sweetened, and thin), with an upside down apple crumble scattered across the top.  I am sure this would be ever so easy to make: just make your dough sweet and sprinkle with cinnamon, prepare an apple crumble and spread it over the top before baking.  You could make it as sweet as you wanted, or as healthy as you wanted.  I can vouch that it is delicious!

I came home to the most lovely dinner tonight.  I walked home by myself in the gently falling snow, feeling sorry for myself the whole time, mind you.  I have come to the conclusion that I do not enjoy walking to and from work all alone.  Dave and I have walked together for the past two and a half years, and I am not yet used to doing it all by my lonesome.  I am sure that soon enough I won't remember what it was like to have him walking with me everyday, and all will be well!

Anyway, I walked in the door, shook off the cold, and the most wonderful smell was permeating our apartment.  A hearty vegetable smell with an overlay of cinnamon.  Dave had made an absolutely delicious and fantastic butternut squash/ lentil/ apple soup.  Almond milk added a lovely sweet tone to the root vegetable.  Mmmm.  It was blended and super thick and I do believe it was the best soup I have ever had.  What a lovely, warm treat to come home to.  For desert, strawberry and banana smoothies, also made with almond milk.  Can you tell I love almond milk?  I am lactose intolerant so I do not drink milk or anything like that.  Normally I use rice milk in my granola, but I might make the switch to almond milk.  It is lower in calories than rice milk is, but a bit higher in fat.  So maybe I can go back and forth between the two, since both are delicious!

So last night my life exploded in front of my eyes.  Literally.

A few months ago I had bought myself a cheap, pretty little lamp.  When I first plugged it in, I should have known it was going to try and end my life via flying shrapnel because it flickered every time someone breathed.  I had the proper wattage of light bulb in the lamp (I think), and after a while it stopped flickering so I thought the poor wiring of the lamp had fixed itself.  How? I don't know.  Little electrical faeries who go around fixing your wires, no?  You mean you have never seen them?  Well, I bet you have never had a lightbulb explode in your face before.  I bent down to turn the lamp on by the cord switch and POP!  Directly in my face.  Because I was leaning so far over my head was right over the lamp shade, therefore creating a higher impact of explosion velocity because of its funnelled shape.  Yes.  It is very scientific, this reaction of gases and pressure.  You know.

Because my head was turned to the side a bit, the sound of the explosion was captured in my ear, causing a ringing for the rest of the night.  That ringing?  Cilium damage.  Your protective ear hairs are breaking off and that's the ringing you hear.  Aren't I just full of smart's tonight?.  There was glass in my hair, in my EYEBALL, down my bra, slivers embedded in my hair.  It was all over my books, my computer, my blanket that is thrown over my desk chair.  I hope this helps to paint a picture of the aggressiveness of the explosion.  I know! It's just a lil lightbulb!  But it almost killed me, I swear.

Weird random fact about yours truly: I have a genetic blood condition that makes me want to eat lightbulbs.  Like, snack on them.  Obviously I don't, because that would hurt a lot.  It also makes me want to eat dirt, and hair.  I have never given in to these strange cravings.  For real, I haven't.

Anyway, I am OK.  The lightbulb didn't slay me.  THIS time.  

Feb 23, 2010

Honestly Grateful



Samantha over at Apple Juice and Milk was awesome and handed me this award a little while ago.  I am blown away and grateful because Samantha is lovely, and has an amazing blog to boot.  Full of practical information about life, love, and potty training, she is not one that should be overlooked.  Seriously.  She takes the time to answer your comments too! A genuine sweetheart.

I might hold on to this award for a little while and hand it out at a later date.  But don't worry, it will come your way soon!

Thank you Samantha!

Feb 22, 2010

Stolen Cars and Blood On The Moon

It was the end of Summer, almost Autumn.  About five years ago.  The nights were beginning to get colder, and one could not be outside after 9PM without a jacket.  My best friend Ciara and I were dreadfully bored, sitting on the curb of a bar that was already closed for the night.  Bummer.  To drown our woes from not being able to legitimately drown our woes, we went and bought an apple pizza and returned to the dirty curb to eat it.  Just two girls trying not to look like all the other riffraff hanging out on the street at 1:30 in the morning.  That's what the apple pizza was for, so we could appear to be high class riffraff. 

My sister was working an overnight job at the time, and I had the idea to pay her a visit.  We were taking a chance on even seeing her: if she wasn't outside on a break, we wouldn't have been able to get a hold of her.  This was before cell phones, mind you, and we had spent our last quarter on that high class apple pizza.  But lo and behold!  There she was, hanging around outside, looking bored.  We snuck up on her and she was surprised to see us.  After asking us what we were up to so late at night, we told her we were just really bored and had nothing to do.  So she offered us her car.  Oh, Krista.  What were you thinking?  We were two crazy girls full of apple pizza and fire!  She told us to be careful and stay in town, and only drive around for a little bit because she didn't have much gas left.  These motherly admonishments fell on deaf ears.  When it comes to Katherine and Ciara, 'be careful' does not compute. 

We decided right away that we wanted to drive somewhere far.  Ciara was a newbie licence holder, and I didn't have mine (I still don't!).  We decided to drive about 80km away to a beach.  In the middle of the night.  A night that was really cold. 


We began the drive a bit nervously.  The roads that would take us there were winding, with many blind corners and mack truck drivers who used the cover of darkness to drive their heavy loads from one place to the next.  The going was slow at first, but then Ciara began to get more confident.  We rolled down the windows and turned up the radio as loud as it would go.  We felt free.  Just the two of us, driving a little too fast without another soul in sight. 

And then I asked if I could drive.

I think I saw a twinge of something in Ciara's eye as she pulled over to the side of the road.  Was it a gleam of excitement?  Fear?  Whatever it was she must have been feeling lucky as she gave up the coveted drivers seat willingly enough.  We discussed briefly what we would say if we were pulled over by the cops, but it was unlikely: it really did seem like we were the only people around for miles.  There were forests on one side of us, and fields on the other, where would a cop be hiding out in the middle of nowhere?

I began to drive slowly.  The cold wind and the good music was making me feel invincible, and I too, soon gained some confidence.  We were not being stupid, we were driving the speed limit (well, maybe a few km over), and we were making sure to help each other out.  It was my fist time driving and it felt good.  I have always been too scared to get my licence because of a car accident when I was twelve, but in the middle of that night, alone on a winding road, it felt fabulous. 

Until...

"OMFG A MACK TRUCK IS COMING RIGHT FOR US!".  I was losing my shit.  We were on a two lane road, winding higher and higher in altitude and at this point there is a very steep drop off on our side of the road.  Oh god. WhatdoIdowhatdoIdo?!!  Ciara very calmly (good for you love bucket) advised me to remain calm, hold the wheel steady, and look straight ahead.  And you know what? It worked! We were not squished on the road nor did we blow up careening down the side of that cliff.  I was elated.  We WERE invincible!

We continued the drive, taking turns, no longer bored.  At one point, coming around a particularly wind-y curve, high up so that our view was uninhibited by trees and rock, we came upon a gigantic blood red moon.  Uh oh.  That's a goocher.  Blood on the moon symbolizes danger.  All of a sudden I wasn't so confident.  Ciara noticed it as well, and the mood shifted to one of contemplation.  How horrible would it be for an innocent, sort of stolen car adventure to end tragically?  It's funny how your 25-year-old mind works.  If we had been 18, we would have been reckless.  Nary a thought about death and danger would have passed through our minds.  We would have thought we were immortal.  But now we were aware of our mortality, and there was no way in hell we were dying on some back road in the middle of the night.  No way.  So, we slowed it down a bit.  Turned the music down.  But we continued on.


We made it to the beach at around 2:45 that morning.  It was pitch black and the waves were crashing on the shore.  The water was as black as the night sky, and it was hard to determine where the water began and the sand ended.  We had no flashlights, just our hands to guide each other.  It was surreal: it was as if sight and sound had become something else completely.  The dark was so dark it was pitch, and the only sound you could hear were the waves.  We quickly became numb from the cold.  But there we stood, holding hands, thinking about how small we really were on this wonderful planet.  We did not stay long.  We saw what we came for, and felt more than we thought we would.  It was time to go home.

The drive back was uneventful: we were tired.  Hot cups of tea and warm beds called to us.  Autumn was in the air, and the smell of burnt leaves calmed our souls.  We were home by 4AM, just in time for my sister to drive us all home.  

Safe in our beds, we giggled about our little adventure.  Just as we were about to fall into a deep sleep, my eyes shot open in horrified amusement...

Oh crap.  We forgot to fill the gas tank.  

Feb 20, 2010

Alternative Education 101

I always loved school.  There is something about learning and books that make me feel...complete.  To concentrate on something so hard that hours go by and your brain feels numb, to me that is like heaven.  Every school year I would be insatiable about the subjects I was learning, reading as much as I could, wanting to learn everything about them.  And then I grew into my pre-teen mind and realized that something was off, and it always had been.  Way off.  I felt like I didn't belong in a classroom, and I came to understand that I had felt that way for a long time.

I am not sure what it was exactly.  I just knew that the way I felt in my head about learning, and the excitement of the ideas that I had floating around up in there, never came to light in the classroom.  Was it because I went to a Catholic school and they practiced a strict rigamarole that has not been changed along with the changing minds of youths? I don't know.  Or was I just a freak who didn't belong in a place where 30 completely different people were taught the same thing, the same way?  Somehow I didn't think that was right.  I was definitely not the smartest child (or adult) in the classroom, but I felt that my potential was being compromised for some reason that I could not put my finger on.

I began to feel more and more uncomfortable in the classroom.  My teachers would read my stories and comment on the books I read, and tell me (and my parents) that I was very strange.  But I wasn't strange, I was just artistic, and a soon to be teenager to boot!  Who isn't strange at that stage in their lives?  But it went beyond that, where I began to feel very restricted and claustraphobic when I had to go to school every day.  So I began to act out.  In a big way.  I hated being there and I made sure that everyone knew it.  I had detention constantly, I was on probabtion all through seventh and eighth grade and therefore could not attend any school events/ trips, etc, and eventually I was suspended for three days.  At one point, the principal at the time slapped me across the face so hard his handprint stayed there for the rest of the day.

My behaviour continued on into high school.  I am not sure how I passed the eighth grade, I am sure my report card was doctored so that they would be rid of me.  But there I was, in high school, where the format of learning seemed even more restricted.  I hated going to school.  I skipped everyday.  My tenth grade record shows that I skipped 90% of the year, and therefore was failing all of my classes.  Right before exam time I was expelled, so it didn't really matter did it?

I ended up being off for 8 months, and leaving home for that time as well.  When I moved back, my parents gave me an ultimatum:  I could move back home ONLY if I agreed to go back to school.  Fine.  But I had some stipulations to that.  I would go back to school if I could choose what KIND of school I would attend.  I started doing research on alternative methods of education.  I realized that a different method of education was needed.  And alternative schools were made for people like me.  People who didn't fit into a 'normal' school environment.  I began attending an alternative school.  The set up was that I had to go to 'school' for four hours a day (8-12), in a cozy place that was set up with couches, study areas, and a computer area.  You did all your schooling through correspondence, and you got to veg out on a couch and listen to music while you did it.  Or, you could stare off into space if you wanted to. As long as you were getting your work done, it did not matter when you did it.  No one breathed down your neck, and no one told you you were wrong.  This was where I learned about constructive criticism.  There were two teachers there that insisted we call them by their first names; one specialized in humanities while the other was math and science.  One was a close talker, the other always had lipstick on her teeth.  Needless to say, we were a rag tag bunch of 'drop-outs' who just wanted to get through getting our educations in a system that had chewed us up and spit us out. 

I stayed there for 2 years and then left when I was 17-years-old and worked full-time for a year and a half.  At 19, I still had a ways to go before I recieved my diploma, so I decided to go back to the high school that had kicked me out so many years before.  But isn't that the attitude of many school systems these days?  Don't deal with the problem, get rid of it.  They have hundreds of other kids to worry about, right?  I went back (amidst many judgements and doubts from the principal and staff who remembered me) and it was exactly the same as it was before.  Strict, boring, not challenging.  I got through it because I had a goal:  University.  A place where I could finally be free to enjoy school the way it was meant to be enjoyed.  With freedom of thought, a little breathing room, and a whole lot of hippie professors who shared the same view as I did about school as an institution.

Nope.  I went to the wrong University for that.  I found that University was just as stuffy, and creativity-wise, there was not an ounce.  More of a regurgitation of what you were reading, directly onto the paper, do not pass it through your mind for fear of tainting it with your own ideas.  I spent two years of my university career unhappy, never attending class, and getting low Bs.  I was in poor standing with my prof's because I saw no point in attending class when all they did was RE-READ the text that they had assigned the week before!  This is what my thousands of dollars paid for.  They also took attendance.  So my dream of a Bohemian UCLA-type school from the sixties was shattered.  It was only when I decided to do my last two years of University through correspondence that I really began to enjoy it.  Gone was all the bullshit that came with actually being there.  Finally, I was able to expand my mind and write that way that I wanted to write.  For some reason, Uni Prof's who marked your correspondence work seemed like free birds themselves, as there were not as many restrictions placed on the content of your work, as long as it still made sense to the course.  It was also then that my grades went from low Bs to high Bs and As. 

I always thought that there was something wrong with me.  That I didn't want to be in school because I was some social weirdo.  I mean, that was probably a bit of the problem, but only a little bit.  It was only in my last year of highschool, in an English class where I had an AWESOME teacher that I learned about an amazing place called Summerhill.  A school located in Suffolk, England, is the only school I have heard of that boasts "Where success is not defined by academic achievement but by the child's own definition of success" and "Where you can play all day if you want to, and there is time and space to dream".  I chose A.S. Neil's (founder of Summerhill in 1921) book Summerhill School: A New View of Childhood as my independent study project in OAC.  Little did I know that I would read and do a ton of research into the philosophy of this book, which in turn taught me a lot about myself.  And suddenly all those years of not feeling right had a reason behind it, one I could understand.  Neil's progressive attitude about education has led to much controversy over the years, but Summerhill has remained a strong force behind a new way of thought, and to how our children are taught.  

If you are interested and want to read more on Neil's progressive teaching methods, please read more here.  A short and sweet article that captures the essence of the great mind that he was.  

Really makes you think, doesn't it?

Feb 17, 2010

All I Want For Wednesday Is...

A re-start.  I wish that there was a way for everyone to go back and re-program themselves.  Back to the formation of our minds and our personalities, and learn to take better care of ourselves.  People have become (myself included) so distant from our OWN health, body and mind's, and it's scary.  We have been taught that things should be easy, and if they are not, that our time is being wasted.  Fast food, fast diets, fast lifestyles.


A vicious cycle of not enough sleep, not enough water, working too many hours and not eating properly do not make for a healthy body and mind.  Being stressed out daily from a thankless job is not the way to be happy and peaceful.  


And why do we do it?  I am starting to realize that things don't matter.  I live in an expensive apartment, I can afford nice dinners, expensive cups of coffee, and I buy too much food.  But it is not worth it to me.  I remember when I moved to this city with not a penny in my pocket, worked at a Second Cup and made  seven dollars an hour, yet I was HAPPY.  I had fun.  I loved life.  My job did not suck out my soul and make me tired endlessly.  These things that I thought I wanted, that I thought would make me happy, are not.  I want my simple life back.  


We are all artists.  We are not meant to spend our days in front of a screen, slogging away just to make ends meet in our too expensive houses and our too expensive cars, when our bosses are sunning themselves every second week in a tropical paradise.  Because of our hard work.  I am not bitter, I understand that this is the way the world works.  I just do not want to be a part of it anymore.  I want to know that what I am doing matters.  Even if it is only to me.  I want to have time to take care of myself, and to become more acquainted with my body and my mind.  Because I am detached.  I am one of those people who convinces themselves that I do my job because I have to, that is what is expected of us if we want to seem successful.  But I DON'T have to.  What I need to to do is scale things back, remember what is important to me, remember what I need.  It's not much, believe me.  We all don't NEED much, we all WANT too much.


I vow to take back my life.  I vow to take more of an interest in my health, in what I am eating.  I vow to be selfish about what is good for me, and not what society thinks a contributing member SHOULD do.  I hate working full-time.  Why do I have to?  I wouldn't if I scaled things back.  I vow to do just that, and live my life the way I want to: as an adventure.  Before we all know it we will be reading the ending of our own life stories, and I want mine to be written by me, not by anyone else.  I refuse to edit to the way others want it to be.

I hope that if you are unhappy, you make a change.  Even if at this time in your life you cannot do such a thing as making drastic changes, even little changes count.  As long as they are good for you, they count immensely.  

I know that right now, it's that change that I am fighting for.

Feb 15, 2010

Good Song, Strange Video

My sister had been telling me about a music video for the MGMT song, Kids, so I decided to check it out.  The song is simple and catchy.  But it's the music video that is the star of tonight's post because well...it seems as if they uhh...legitimately scare the dickens out of a poor baby.  With monsters.  Now, even though I laughed a little (uncomfortably) at the video, I couldn't help but wonder out loud if it was causing any serious psychological damage to this child by being scared like that.  So I sought out the 'making of' the video for this song, and well, I wasn't too convinced that the child wasn't completely OK with all of it.  Watch, and see for yourselves.  Poor kid.  For real.


Also, check out the 'Making Of' Video below:



Thoughts?

Feb 14, 2010

Lights

The interior of this bus is dark.  I sit and stare out the window at the passing fields, the glowing snow the only light source as the effulgence of the moon illuminates the white.  Snowflakes fall lazily here and there, hard to make out in the dark.  I trace their descent with my finger down the window, leaving a dewy line in the condensation, even though it feels cold in here.  I pull my jacket tighter around my shoulders and think of you.  Waiting for me, beyond the fields and the snow, in the brightness of a city so big it's scary to think about.  A person can get lost, and be lost forever in a place like that.

The snow becomes less.  Brown grass and concrete bypasses replace the fields.  Another kind of glow becomes apparent; a line of city lights, gleaming in the dark.  Soon the line will become an expanse, and then a blinding illumination that no matter how bright, still won't be able to chase the shadows out of alleys.  Yet it blinds me completely.  And even though I am made sightless by the glare of these lights and the harshness of this city that can swallow you up, I know you are there, a warm spot in the icy chill.  My warmth and my light, you are a soft glow that invites me in every time, never cold, and never empty.

For now the city lights, they are far off, twinkling beautifully in the cold dark night.  But you are never that far away from me, you are apparent in everything that I do.  My every move, and my every thought.  I know that once this bus pulls up to the station, I will be engulfed in the rush of people, and noises and colours and lights.  Just another body on the train home, swaying back and forth with tired eyes, like everyone else.  All of these people, if they are not careful, could get lost in a city this size.

But I know my way.  I will not get lost.  Because I am coming home to you.  

Feb 13, 2010

The Orange Bikini

It was Summer, I was 18-years-old.  My family decided that we were all going to a rented cottage in North Bay, Ontario.  It was this event that spurned my desire to try something I had never tried before: buy a bikini. 

Now, this was a big occasion in my life.  Normally I was all about shorts and a t-shirt when I went swimming (or usually whatever I happened to be wearing when the urge took me to jump crazily into a lake), or a regular old bathing suit.  A bikini was WAY too much skin for me to reveal, and I always try to spare as many people as I can from being horribly blinded by all that pasty white.  Also, the one other time I exposed that much skin to the universe, it punished me by making a bird shit in my mouth.   

Anyway, I found a cute little orange bikini.  It was beyond my price range, and I went back and forth quite a bit in my mind over the price tag.  The deciding factor was that it was just oh-so-cute, and the little boy shorts did wonders for my non-existent (at the time) hips.  I went and purchased it.  While in the store, with the already bought bikini in my hands, I doubted myself.  What was I doing?  Who did I think I was, buying a bikini?  My normal attire in the Summer consisted of too baggy corduroys, a chain wallet, and zip up sweaters from the 70s that belonged to my father.  SWEATERS.  In the middle of the Summer.  Wouldn't a bikini be a significant contrast?  A little too much, all at once?  Ugh.  So what did I do?  I returned it.  I believe I stood there for twenty minutes, listening to the bikini goddess me on one shoulder, promising that it would be the best thing ever to keep the bikini, and the zipped up, Nirvana listening, greasy-haired me telling me to stop being ridiculous and to put on some more clothing. 

After I returned it, I was walking through the store, lost in thought and still not feeling right about the whole transaction.  I mean, I was going to be in NORTH BAY, Ontario.  In other words, nowhere.  Who was going to see me?  Why was I making such a big deal out of it anyway?  So I went back and re-bought it. A cute boy said hello to me on the way out and I took it as a sign that I made the right decision.  Yeah, I was 18.  I was a little intense.

Fast forward to the first day at the cottage.  It was a gorgeous sunny evening, and the water was calling out to me.  I decided to unveil the orange bikini to all the other cottage renters, as well as the local hicks.  I was a bit nervous, I have to admit.  But it all went over well.  I did not feel uncomfortable, and it was a most enjoyable evening swim.  Nobody stared.  Nobody pointed at me and laughed.  My confidence was boosted, and I was happy with my choice.  

I changed out of my suit after my swim, hung it over the porch balcony of the cottage to dry overnight, and spent the evening playing cards and drinking a beer (only one!) with my parents.  I fell asleep with thoughts of a lovely morning swim in my new bikini, dreaming of the sun and warm water against my overly exposed skin.

I woke up excited.  I wanted to go for a swim before breakfast.  I wandered out onto the porch to grab my bikini and it wasn't there.  It was no longer hanging where I left it.  I asked my mom if she had brought it in and she said no.  I figured the wind might have blown it away so I checked all around the cottage and up and down the paths close to the cottage.  No bikini.  I remembered that the night had been stifling, with not a breath of wind and the air as heavy as a blanket.  I started to realize that it was not nature that made my bikini disappear, it was most likely another cottage renter.  My bikini had been stolen.

I was so angry.  Who would do such a thing?  I remember hearing some people passing by our cottage late the night before, obnoxiously yelling and carrying on.  I began to wonder if it was one of them.  Honestly though, who would steal a bright orange bikini and have the guts to wear it in the same camp as it was stolen from?  Then I remembered when my favourite shoes were stolen out of the locker room at school while I was in gym class.  They were pretty distinctive shoes, ones I had not seen anyone wear before, hence why I bought them.  And then I saw a girl wearing MY shoes the next day.  The very same ones.  I was too much of a sissy to confront her about them because she was popular and I was not.  Sigh.  Here we go again with the bikini.  Of course, the camp was huge, and there was no way I was ever going to find out who took it without them wearing it right in front of me.  And I still probably would not have had the balls to ask them about it.  

In short, my short lived bikini wearing experience was a good one.  I never bought another, I figured I should quit while I was ahead.  First the bird incident and now this.  Who knew what would happen if I attempted it again?  Cities might crumble, the dead might rise from their graves.  Obviously something was trying to tell me to keep my Casper-like tendencies under wraps.  I listened.

I have to say though, I had half a mind to post a sign all over that camp that read:

To whomever took the orange bikini:

I just want to let you know that I have a horrible, horrible disease.
You know, down THERE.
Have fun with that though.

Show Me The Love!


How sweet was Robbie over at The thought bubbles of Robbie Munn to throw this award my way last week?  First of all, the guy is hilarious, and by clicking on the link above and reading his question and answer session, you will be laughing your butt off in no time.  His sense of style is gorgeous (as is portrayed here), and he likes video games and computers.  What's not to like?  A wonderful talent with a camera and with his words, he is genuinely a lovely fellow.  Go on over and check out his blog!

I don't think I can hand this out to just one person, so I am going to give it to five.  You don't have to do anything with it except display it loud and proud.  Here you are my friends!






Enjoy everyone!  You are all lovely bloggers and you all inspire me in some way, in different ways.  Thank you for that and keep writing!

Feb 10, 2010

All I Want For Wednesday Is...

A permanent room in the Royal York Hotel.


When Dave and I started dating, we both admitted to having a strange love for hotel rooms.  Who did we think we were, Howard Hughes?  Really though, we hae both expressed a desire to live in a hotel.  Or maybe just have a room there, that we owned and could go to whenever we wished.  Wouldn't that be glamorous?

So for our two year anniversary, I booked us a room in one of the swankiest hotels in the city, the Royal York Hotel.  We were blown away by how elegant and beautiful it was.  Wow.  We really did feel like movie stars.


This could be our room.  Or one like it anyway, as they are all beautiful.  Maybe one day, when I am rich, I will buy the whole damn building.


This is NOT a lot to ask for on a Wednesday, is it?

Feb 9, 2010

Ghostbusters Review


If anyone knows me, they know that I am a bit obsessed with all things Ghostbuster.  Peter Venkman was my ideal man when I was 5-years-old.  My love for the first and second movie has never wavered, so you can imagine my excitement when I first heard about a Ghostbusters video game being published by Atari. 

Anyone who has played the demo (for XBox 360) seemed to come away from it less than impressed.  This disappointed me because I WANTED this game to be good.  I decided to forget what everyone had said and play it myself.  I am not going to lie, my first foray into the game was frustrating, because it was HARD.  I am not one to play a game on easy, and this one was no exception.  Only, I couldn't do it and only began to really enjoy it once I switched to easy.  I am glad I did, as it was a lot more fun that way!

Set in Manhattan in 1991, this third-person shooter has you playing the character of "Rookie", a brand new Ghostbuster trainee who gets thrown right into the job when a huge 'PKE shockwave' hits New York City.  Many recognizable spots from the movie play a role in the game, along with recognizable phantoms.  Slimer is the first ghoul you see as the game begins, and your very first job is to ghostbust a variety of ghosts out of the Sedgewick Hotel.  Here is where you learn to use your proton pack, as well as your PKE meter, a device that you use through 90% of the game.


The story line seems simple at first, but quickly goes deep into the background of Ivo Shandor and his evil exploits to turn the city into his own paranormal playground.  You learn of his plan to open up portals into the Spirit World that will allow that world to overpower the real one that the Ghostbusters live in.  

The controls and gameplay are amazing.  Almost the entire XBox 360 controller is used to fight, capture, and survive the many ghosts who haunt the places you are called to protect.  Each place gets progressively creepier, and I found myself jumping out of my skin a few times, especially in the library.


I found that the use of the proton pack was extraordinary.  It was programmed to act very much like the ones in the movie, with the stream bending and following the phantom in it's grasp.  Your pack overheats, so some quick finger action is needed to difuse the situation, or your player is rendered without a weapon for a few seconds.  This can be very bad, as there are so many scenes that are fast-paced and sometimes one hit can knock you down, useless and unable to protect yourself.

With the weapons as realistic as if they were heating up your hands, and the original actors from the movie lending their voices to the script for this game, it can do no wrong.  IGN  gave it an 8.0 out of 10 and I concur with this rating.  If you want a fun, fast-paced, thrill ride of a game, one that scares the pants off you at times, then this is the game for you.  A fun adventure from start to finish.

And if the pictures didn't draw you in, maybe the trailer will:


Enjoy!

Feb 8, 2010

V-Day

 I have been chuckling to myself at the amount of dating site commercials that have been airing as of late because of Valentine's Day.  Not only those, but jewelry commercials, flower commercials, and a new one I have never seen before, a Smartphone commercial claiming that flowers and jewelry suck, what she really wants is a Smartphone.  Better, I guess, than the rest, but still!

I have never been a Valentine's Day kind of girl.  My thoughts on the matter are I deserve to be treated wonderfully every day, and so far I have been quite lucky in being with people who did, and do just that.  So Valentine's Day has never been that special to me.  It is a sweet tradition, don't get me wrong, just one I don't place in high priority to celebrate.  Although this year I want to make cupcakes!  I mean really though, when do you need a special day to make cupcakes? Everyday is a day to make cupcakes!

Back in university when I had developed a new sense of feminism (see: went crazy for a little while), my friends and I did not celebrate Valentine's Day, we celebrated V-Day.  It was a way to turn the holiday around for people who just weren't into all the candy and flowers, and make it into something a little more serious.  It was a day to educate people about violence against women and young girls, and we chose to take part in this global movement by attending our school's production of The Vagina Monologues.  We would all wear our statement tees (mine said "Freedom Zone: No Rape"), and buy vagina shaped chocolate lollipops to suck on during the play (ha!).  A friend of mine even landed a part in the play one year, and her role was to act out a crazy orgasm on stage.  It made me uncomfortable.  Some feminist I was.


Oh how we thought we were part of something that nobody else had ever been a part of anywhere, anytime.  I think that's the point of university though, to feel as if you are a part of something that no one had ever been a part of before.  To learn something about yourself and go crazy with it for a few years.  I am still that feminist woman I discovered in my first year of university, I am just very calm about it these days.  As in, not everybody in this world needs to know my every thought and opinion on every subject known to man from a feminist's perspective.  I tend to keep that kind of stuff to myself unless I am asked right out, or when it is relevant.  And it has to be pretty relevant for me to put forth my views.  I also still think that V-Day is a very valid day to celebrate, and for those who want to learn more, I will quietly and relevantly post the link here.  

Anyway's, I have gone on a tangent here, when I meant to talk about Valentine's Day.  A Valentine's Day that comes to mind for me is one when I was around 20-years-old and I worked in a very busy take-out place.  I was working by myself that night, manning the counter and the phones, and we were backed up a few hours with orders.  Everyone loved this place, and everyone and their grandma who was looking for a little sexy time that night would either order a week before (because they were smart), or they knew to put aside 10-15 minutes to try and get through on the phone on Valentine's Day.  I was receiving 50-60 orders every hour, and it was falling on me to calm people down who had been waiting hours for their food, or waiting on hold for me to take their order.  In short, a stressful night, and I just wanted to leave.  The final straw was when a woman screamed at me over the phone that she had been on hold for 10 minutes (it wasn't that long if I recall), and that I had single-handedly ruined her night and she hoped I was happy.  Thanks bitch.  Right back at you.

My boyfriend at the time did make it better that night when he picked me up with a dozen roses.  He also cooked me dinner and it was delicious.  I gave him the newest Gran Turismo with a heart sticker in the corner.  I went home later that night and my mom was sitting by herself:  it was my dad's bowling night.  I felt so bad for her that I burst into tears and desperately tried to shove my roses into her hands.  It was my mom who made me realize it really did not need to be that big of a deal, as she had a good, long laugh at me and told me I was silly for feeling sorry for her.  She was enjoying a quiet evening at home.  Now that I am older, I understand.  She has always been quite an independent woman my mom, and I am happy to know that I take after her in that regard. 

Does anyone have any plans for Valentine's Day (or V-Day), or is everyone like me and view it as just any other day?

Feb 7, 2010

It's Been A Great Adventure So Far

Tomorrow is mine and Dave's 5th anniversary.  I have to say it's been the best 5 years of my life.  Full of laughter, lots of it.  We can get pretty stupid with each other and I think that's why we are such a good match.

In lieu of all the recent events (it hasn't been a good few weeks for many people I love, and Dave losing his job) we decided to say 'fuck it' to responsibility tonight.  At the last moment, we were able to book a reservation in a very swanky restaurant, where we wished to dine from a Winterlicious Menu.  In this beautiful city we have a lovely thing that happens during the Summer and Winter where fancy restaurants open their doors to common folk like us with a prie fixe menu (anywhere between 25-45 dollars per person) of their tastiest vittles.  It is usually a three course meal consisting of a limited menu.  But oh my goodness, so awesome.  This is the first time we have taken part in this lovely event, and I am positive it will not be our last.  For $35 per person, you can have a meal that is worth much, much more. 

Our night started right when we were on the subway waiting for our stop.  A pretty girl in tight tight jeans and Pretty Woman boots (you all know what I mean) sauntered on to the train with a male 'friend'?  Hmm. Of course I thought nothing of it until she began speaking quite loudly; obnoxiously if you will.  The impression was given that the two did not know each other at all.  I began to imagine that she was in the sex trade, and it made me think of how many people are mistaken as couples when they are really just completing a transaction.  Hey man, I have no problems with prostitution, only that it is still illegal and therefore unsafe.  I do believe I hit the nail on the head with my thoughts on the pretty girl, when she began pointing to the train map and loudly declaring who she had slept with down the line.  There are all kinds in this city.  Also, and normally I am not this mean, but the poor, poor guy was pretty fug.  I am just being honest here.  Bad karma for me, but really, it's a fact and I am just stating it.  I just don't know that it would be easy for him to find someone to sleep with him willingly, but money sure does talk, right?  Good for him. 

Dave checking to make sure he had enough money.  Me thinking it would be funny if we didn't.

Anyway, the dinner was delicious.  I was so full afterwards that I needed to be rolled home.  I wonder how many people thought that Dave and I were just completing a transaction?  Haha! That's funny to think about.  All in all it was a lovely evening, very worth the money we don't have.

2nd Anniversary

5th Anniversary

Good lord how it seems we have deteriorated.  Look at how happy and bright we are two years in, and how we just don't give a shit anymore at five.  

By the way, the BEARD.  I know.  Dave has been composing the score for a feature length film, and the beard is symbolic.  He will not shave it off until he is finished.  The BEARD is going to eat him, I am positive of this.

Love you Dave!  Here's to five more!

Feb 4, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Oh. My. God.  Screw flowers and chocolate.  THIS is the best present in the world.  And it comes out February 9th!  Just in time to get your significant other a lovely little gift!




Seriously, I pooped my pants with excitement.  You will too.  Enjoy!

Feb 3, 2010

I Feel Loved


Geof over at Enter the Man Cave was so kind to hand me this award.  And it's a great one!  I really do try and comment on every single blog that I read because I want to, and I know I appreicate that someone is reading what I humbly am putting to paper, so I want to show the same amount of respect for others.  That has become harder for me with the amount of blogs I now follow, so I have made a compromise with myself:  post every second day and read blogs inbetween so that I don't have to miss a single one.  It was a hard decsion to come to, so this award means something to me!  And I also love the way it looks...there is something about getting back to the basics and applying pen to paper when writing.  I do this every morning when I wake up early to write three pages of drivel.  Yes, drivel.  It is suggested that as a writer, as soon as you wake up you put your thoughts down on paper.  You are the most vulnerable in what you are thinking at that time of day, and the truth comes out more.  So write it all down for three pages worth.  It is intended to get out all the crap and make room for the good stuff: all the thoughts and story ideas you have throughout the day.  Clarity.  I can handle that.

Anyway, I am veering off topic here.  The Best Blog Comments Award!  Geof really is an awesome person for giving this to me, and his blog is more than enertaining, it's awsome!  It is full of video game reviews, videos, movie reviews (good ones too) and anything else that is interseting on the internet.  I have called it a one-stop shop for all things fun and exciting before, and I still mean it now!  Go on over there and check him out why don't you?

Now I must give this to a few others, and these people are ones I appreciate so much in encouraging me with this little thing I call writing.  Here they are in no particular order:



Indigo at IndigoWrath




So there you are friends!  Thank you Geof for the award, and thank you to everyone for being such great blog commenters yourselves!  For those who might already have recieved this award, then just put it on your blog and know that you are loved from this corner of the world!

My Piece of Sunshine Today

My last post had me wishing that everyone could find a piece of sunshine in their lives today.  I also said that I would find mine and let you know.  This has been mine:


There is a huge forested park near where I live and work, and in the Spring the cherry blossom trees are in full bloom.  They are absolutely gorgeous and there are a ton of them, and it looks as if a world of candy floss has exploded everywhere.  It changes the color of everything and creates a soft pink glow.  Unfortunately, they are only around for a limited time so they must be enjoyed while they are in bloom.  I am looking forward to this!  Even though a groundhog somewhere saw his shadow yesterday and therefore there are six more weeks left of winter, I am going to throw my nose up and pretend I didn't hear such a thing.

So in the meantime, I have this picture up as my desktop background.  I have two gigantic flat screens that I work off of, so I am now bathed in a warm pink light.  Also, I turned on the space heater under my desk and I am basking in the warmth of a Spring afternoon.  What, you aren't?

What was your burst of sunshine today?

All I Want For Wednesday Is...

Sunshine!

I have a theme here, and it is a love of all things orange right now.  If I stare at these pictures long enough, and squint my eyes just right, I can almost imagine that the seasons have magically changed to Summer.  Just adjust this space heater to blow on my face here....ahhhh!! And I am lying on my deck, listening to the bees gather pollen and the flowers grow bright.  Can you tell I cannot wait?  In the meantime, I wanted to share these bursts of sunshine with you that are currently making me very happy.







I would kill for one of those Creamsicle Cupcakes.  I am not kidding.

I hope that everyone stops for a second today to notice a little piece of sunshine in their lives.  And I hope it makes you happy.  I am going to look for mine and hold on to it!  Do the same, and enjoy!

Feb 2, 2010

Rants in My Pants

I am not sure if anyone has noticed, but I have been a bit absent lately.  It has been making me feel guilty to do so as this is supposed to be my outlet, my remembering of events that have happened in my life so as to never forget, but I have been finding it difficult to turn on my computer every night.  It makes me feel guilty, which in turn makes me feel worse about wanting to sit down and write something.  I know that this is stemming from the time of year, because for the past 7 years I have been feeling the same thing, at the same time of year, without fail.  I have spoken about Seasonal Affective Disorder many times on this blog, so those who know me will nod their heads in unison and understand.  It is just that the beast has gotten to me more so this year than in years past.  I know the cloud will lift, and that's why I want to forge ahead and keep on keeping on as they say, because come March I will be happy as a clam.  It's January and February that do me in, and it is keeping me going to know that one of those months is already swept away, under the bed with all the dust bunnies and forgotten objects of yore, lying dormant for future January's.  

Anyway, now that I have let you guys know about my dreary existence, I can also say that there have been other things adding to the grey that have been distracting me from this blog as well.  One of those things being that Dave lost his job yesterday.

A little background into the big picture, for those of you just joining me here (of which I am eternally grateful!):

Dave and I have been together and working together for almost five years.  Before the current place of employment, it was Second Cup.  It has always been a bit of a problem for one reason and one reason only: it seems to bother people when couples work together.  It was a HUGE problem at first at our current workplace (I am just going to use the term 'current' for now because it is easier for the sake of our sanity, even though Dave is no longer current there).  Even though the boss hired him knowing full well that he is my boyfriend, she still had a major problem with it.  Which I never understood.  I was supposed to train him, but if she caught us talking, we would be reprimanded.  If there was an office meeting and he happened to come in last and the only seat left was near me, he was scolded to move to another seat.  When I would prepare my lunch in the afternoons (obviously it was his lunch as well) I would be taunted and called his 'mother' for preparing his lunch along with my own.  Which happened to be in the same container.  See? This is why I never understood why he was hired in the first place if it was going to be such a problem.  

But then you had my old boss at Second Cup who scheduled us to work together every night.  For the most part this worked out, but on the odd occasion when someone would come in and ask for my phone number, or flirt with me, it was awkward.  And because I am NOT the type to tell someone 'no thanks, I have a boyfriend', a simple 'No thank you' was never enough to make them back down (honestly though, what's with that? What is the difference, to a guy, when a female says 'no thank you', as opposed to 'no thank you, I have a boyfriend'?  Never understood it).  Anyway, there were times when it was awkward, but for the most part, people liked it.  They thought it was cute, quaint even, that we worked together and were a couple.  It made people feel comfortable.  But I still had to hear it every single day when he would forget to fill the milk fridge, or sweep.  I mean really, did people think I was going to call him and yell at him for it?  Weird.

But never at our current workplace was it ever cute.  And it was never more uncomfortable when my best friend became his boss.  Ugh.  Sticky situation for ALL involved.  I am not going to get into the nitty gritty about all that because she reads this humble blog sometimes (love you!) but I am just going to say it wasn't always pleasant, once again, for all parties.  It's hard working with your friends, your boyfriend, and keeping your nose out of things.  Believe me.  

So yesterday when he was let go and the office manager pulled me into the boardroom to talk about it, I thought it was very strange.  She told me her reasoning behind the decision and why she had to do it.  Ummm....OK.  My response?  

"I appreciate you wanting to talk to me about this, but I am not sure why you are telling me all of this.  It's none of my business".

Just because he is my boyfriend does not mean I need to know all of this.  Frankly, I don't really care.  Would she pull me in if Business Person B got let go to tell me all of the reasons as to why?  No, of course they wouldn't.  So it was strange.  Again, awkward.  And to top it all off, an email was sent around the office announcing it all, which in turn subjected me to awkward stares and pitying glances.  Sigh.  

Of course Dave was home already and I was giving him a loose account of the days activities.  His response?

"Man, why is everyone being so frigging dramatic?  We aren't, and aren't we the ones involved?  Tell everyone I just cracked a beer and am sitting down to play Mass Effect 2 in the middle of the afternoon.  Poor me".

That's my positive, lovely, unemployed bastard.  Really though, together we can do anything, and that's all there is to it.  Upwards and onwards to better things!

Thank you for letting me rant and get that off my chest.  Now I can move on and stop focusing on a day that will mean nothing five years from now.