Wednesday, December 30, 2009
This year there are a few more resolutions but they are all encompassed into one: to create a better me. Whether that includes resurrecting my workout routine (or a variation of), eating healthy or even more importantly, thinking healthy, it all comes back to one thing. Me.
Aunt Juicebox of Bacon Is My Lover fame (god, I still LOVE that blog name and wish I had thought of it myself) coined a term today that I also wished I had invented. "Today, I begin." It really struck a chord with me and for that I thank my dear Aunt for reminding me that all of these resolutions begin and end with me. I'm the one in the driver's seat. I'm the one who drives my future. I am the one who has been holding myself back, with negative talk, looking at the glass half full and looking at areas where I feel I come up short. That's been changing over the past few months and I feel poised for change. I'm not only poised; I am change.
One of my first steps is to pay the piper (sorry Juicebox, you won't be seeing a cheque in the mail!). I am stepping out and stepping up on the scale at WeightWatchers. I had been talking about it for a while, but I sealed the deal when I asked The Man for a six-month weight loss membership in lieu of the digital SLR that was way out of the budget. This is not and it's only going to help me in the long run. It's the gift that keeps on giving and it's a gift I want to give to myself.
I know that WeightWatchers is not the end-all-and-be-all. I see it as a tool. It's holding myself accountable for the decisions I make - what to put in my mouth and what to do to get the pounds off and keep them off. They say that it's not a diet but a lifestyle change, and that needs to extend to my entire life - to respect and love myself enough to give myself the very best.
So tomorrow bloggers, I am off to my first meeting. Yes, I'm starting before the New Year. There's no time like the present. A present to and for me. My lifestyle change begins with me. It begins now.
Happy 2010 everyone. I'll keep you posted on my journey.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Much love from The Mugwump a.k.a. Kao, Boyo, Boy Wonder, or the newest nickname... Bubba
I'm reposting another blog. I don't know Brandy but knows where she's coming from. She's looking for hope, for prayers and for a little certainty in an uncertain time. Please take the time to read and to pray. I'm not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe in the power of hope. Without it, this world would be a small and lonely place. I'll be sending all the positive vibes I can, not just for Brandy and her most wonderful partner but for everyone dealing with a seemingly impossible situation. I am hoping for strength in numbers.
Please give this a read. It counts as one more blog of 2009, but it's also a pay it forward kind of situation.
My name is brandy. And I have a blog.
And a plea.
I use my blog to showcase the crazy I meet everyday, share the stories of the kids I teach and document my love for tequila, dairy products and the abdominal muscles of Ryan Reynolds. Rarely do I talk about personal issues on my blog- as personal as the dude that I adore (who I actually met through my blog- single ladies, let that be a very good reason to blog, the possibility of meeting someone as wonderful as my man), but I need your help. And it involves my dude.
He's a guy who made math comics for my class, so they would love learning about addition. He's the kinda guy who sends my friends gift cards when they are having hard times, who remembers every story I ever told him, who was the first person I celebrated with when I got a teaching job. He's the guy who sent flowers to me at school- dozens of my favourite pink roses just because he loves me. He's a guy who has spent a year patiently explaining (and re-explaining) everything there is to know about football during the important games when silence is preferred. He's made me word puzzles and comics and stayed up late playing Scrabble with me (even though I beat him almost every time). He's listened to me cry about school and family and jobs. He is everything I never knew I needed and everything I always knew I wanted.
The holidays have hit us hard. He's recently been told he may have something called multiple myeloma- an incurable cancer, that gives a person an average of five years of continued life. Though this news has came as a shock, he continues to be exactly who has always been- spending his time worrying about me, rather than worrying about himself. He's the most selfless individual I know- (he stayed late on Christmas Eve to work, so his co-workers could leave early) and a post like this would never be something that he would promote or encourage but when I'm overwhelmed and feeling helpless, the blogging community has always given me tremendous support and comfort, two things I desperately need at this time.
As I write this, the future is uncertain and we aren't sure what's happening. He'll need to see an oncologist soon, to verify what's going on in his body. My hope is that everyone who reads this think positive thoughts and if you are a person who prays, could you add him to your list? (You can refer to him as 'brandy's hot awesome dude'). If you don't pray, please keep him in your heart.This cancer is only a possibility and I believe that the prayers and positive thoughts of people can make sure it never becomes a reality.
I want to give a big thank you to the blog owner who scraped their original blog plans and graciously put this up. My goal is to get as many people as possible to see and read this post. If you are reading this and want to help, copy and paste my plea into your blog or send a link through twitter, so more people can keep him in their thoughts. I would be so very grateful (even more grateful than I am to my friend who first showed me the picture of Ryan Reynolds on the cover of Entertainment Weekly. If you haven't seen it, google it. You. Are. Welcome).
Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Brandy.
Much love for 2010 and beyond,
These were the questions running through my head at 2 a.m. this morning. That and who the hell would eat the KFC chicken bowls I saw advertised late at night… I mean who thinks chicken, gravy, corn and potatoes all mashed together in one bowl is appetizing? First of all, you rent corn. It goes in, it comes out. Quickly. At least for me. And whole, but that’s a detail you didn’t need to hear. Or visualize. I’m sorry.
The only thing not on my mind was sleep. I’d gotten a lot of it over the holiday. I had taken a nap on the couch on Boxing Day, because what else is there to do but fight the Boxing Day shopping fanatics and I wasn’t about to do that. So, I slept. And slept. And then when I’d had enough, I slept some more. Clearly, I was in a sleep deficit. Until last night.
I considered reading a book but the one I had on the go was a tomb. And it would be my downfall if, and this has happened to me, I would have gotten tired and realized too late, as the 700+ page book had tumbled down onto my slack-jaw face. I tried counting sheep until I remembered the old Bert and Ernie skit from the early Sesame Street days where Ernie was counting sheep, but then he changed to fire trucks and then popping balloons, so you can imagine my predicament. Fire trucks are loud and balloons remind me of clowns. Assclowns even. And I’m terrified of assclowns. Or any other clown for that matter.
The lack of sleep did help my thought process though, since I had a lot of time to think between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. A lot of time. I also realized there wasn’t a lot of time between now and the end of the year, and my goal of ending off my first blog year in style.
So, I vow to you bloggers that between now (Dec. 29) and the end of the year (that gives me up to 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31) that I will write at least one, if not two posts a day. I started this blog last May with 0 posts and I’m up to 67 posts. It’s my new goal to hit 75. That’s about 2.777 posts each week for the past six months. It’s almost three times per week and if I were on a workout schedule I’d be patting my back before kicking my ass in gear up to five days. It’s a goal and I’ve set it.
Now I’m off to buy soap, since my other new resolution is to throw out the cracked, brown shit and start afresh. Perhaps something with chamomile.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Yes, it took me all of these weeks to get into the jingle. I'm now singing Christmas carols (amidst the showtunes) all around the house - to the cat, the dog, the Man and even to the toaster (yeah, yeah, yeah, I know). I sing at the best of times but today I reached a new octave while singing "Winter Wonderland" and "Silver Bells," two of my favourite seasonal songs. "I'll be home for Christmas" also holds a special place in my heart, but there's a secret love of mine at Christmas that I can't wait to work into my schedule.
I don't know why but The Sound of Music always seems to play at Christmas time. It's not even a true "holiday" movie. There's nary a mention of Christmas throughout the movie, yet it's a movie that I continue to associate with the holiday season.
A friend who shall remain nameless (okay, it's Anasatan) has a love-hate relationship with musicals. She loves to hate them and I love to taunt her with them. I will often break into a song and dance in the most inopportune places - walking down the aisle at the supermarket, in the mall, in the kitchen, in a dance club - wherever there are lots of people and I know Anasatan will run screaming "No, Lindabelle, not again!" Imagine walking down a busy aisle at the local Loblaws and your so-called friend breaks into the West Side Story knife fight "dance" scene. Yep, that would be me, the knife wielding, finger-snappin' freak in the condiment aisle, singing about the benefits of ketchup.
So imagine my euphoria when I realized that many people (and I mean many) share my love musicals, of one musical in particular - The Sound of Music - so much so that they will dress in costume and sing along to the movie's many memorable numbers. While I had considered going many a time, I have yet to make it. I'm so enthralled with the whole production that, in my high school flute playing days, I secured a copy of the sheet music. "My Favourite Things," "Climb Every Mountain" - no song was off-limits. Maybe to Anasatan, but not to me. The sheet music has made it through four moves, from my parents' house to my first place on my own, back to my parents' and then later to my present home. I don't have the flute anymore, but the sheet music is still there, and I know where it is at any given moment.
Just this past May, I had the chance to attend one of the final performances of The Sound of Music in downtown Toronto. No one dressed in character, but it was still magical. After all, it was a serious production. There was an actual mountain set that moved as the characters climbed the hills into Switzerland and the Von Trapp children continued to steal scene after scene. And I was right there with them singing every song, with a smile and often a tear, depending on the gravity of what was happening to the characters.
Now the day has passed into night and I find myself writing this on Christmas Eve Day. It's Christmas Eve, with no more presents left to buy. A half day at work and a 15-minute drive home (hopefully with empty roads) is all that separates me from Christmas. That, and a flip through the television channels in search of those lovely Von Trapp children.
"The sun has gone to bed and so must I."I'll see you tomorrow bloggers. You can't miss me. I'll be the one snapping her fingers in the grocery aisle. Either that, or I'll be singing "Climb Every Mountain" to Kao, who I'm sure will be howling right along with me. Bloggers, I think I have myself a showdog in the making. Perhaps Kao and I will tag-team Anasatan to really send her over the edge. I'm sure he'll be right into it - unless Anasatan bribes him with a bone. Then, he's a traitor and I'll have to do the knife dance just for him. Consider yourself warned, Kao my boy.
Merely to dream is already important in itselfI wish for you to be YOU.
I wish you endless dreams
And the furious desire to go and make some of them come true
I wish for you to love what needs to be loved
And to forget what needs to be forgotten
I wish you passions
I wish you silences
I wish you birdsong when you wake
And children’s laughter
I wish for you to resist indifference, resignation
And the negative traits of our times
Most of all… I wish for you to BE YOU.
It’s a simple thing, but it’s a wish that gets lost in all of our expectations, of ourselves and others – and we know we have them.
I’ve often been accused (perhaps accused isn’t the right word) of expecting perfection in myself and being disappointed upon finding out that others do not share the same mentality. They may expect it of me (or perhaps that’s my own mind playing tricks), but expecting of themselves is another story altogether.
This past year has been a search for me. I’m searching for many things, but moreover, I’m searching for the person I would like to be. Searching, wishing, hoping – it’s all the same. The more I search, the more questions I have. The more people ask for my opinion, the more I have to stop and think “What do I really think?”
Going with the flow is no longer the status quo. I’m sure I will ruffle feathers with my newfound “I am important” attitude – it already has. I no longer ask everyone’s opinion prior to making a decision (or I try not to) – going with the status quo even when it affects only me. I make plans and then invite others to join me, not as I did before, trying to get the consensus of what everyone else wanted to do. It’s all me, all the time. Baby.
It hasn’t been an easy haul. I’m fighting years and years of habit, of what was comfortable, of not going against the grain for fear of disappointment, not in myself, but in others. Now when I shirk away from expressing my alternate opinion the disappointment I feel is in me, for not being authentic and living my authentic self. What is comfortable and familiar is in a Battle Royale with my new, self-empowering, distinctive path.
As usual, this inspirational post does not come out of thin air, or even my imagination. I was wondering what my next post would be about – certainly not the digital SLR we can’t afford to get (the tears don’t come as freely these days) – but I wanted it to be a personal, upfront and feel-good promise. A promise to do better, aim higher and reach further than I did this year. Again, I have Ange of Signed by Ange to thank (you can visit her via my bloglist sidebar). Ange always seems to come in with just the right poem, saying or sentiment to keep me going. There are others too – I’ll steal from them too! And as long as I’m inspired to continue on this path, I will continue to raid from anywhere and anyone – a note, a poem, a message written on a bathroom wall. No place is off-limits.
The Year 2010 will probably not be 100 per cent fluffy lambs and floating cherubs. I’m not expecting a miracle, but amidst the chaos there will be authenticity, and a resistance to indifference, resignation and negative responses to the new, unapologetic Scribe. And there will be laughter and birds chirping outside of my window. Even if I have to pay them.
Here’s to an honest, in-your-face authentic 2010. I wish all of you a very happy, healthy and inspired New Year. And I wish for passions and pursuit of those passions that make each and every one of you unique. I look forward to following your travels as you hopefully enjoy mine.
Much love from the blogosphere,
Scribe (along with Kao and Bella)
Friday, December 18, 2009
This debate comes up most often during the holiday season. While I have no trouble giving friends and family, and even newly made friends a hug (I search them out, really), I tend to draw the line at hugging customers. There’s a boundary there and I’m not comfortable crossing it. I even have to take a look at the whole appropriateness when it’s a work colleague, especially one who I may not work with often.
Just last week, we were talking about the need for professionalism at all levels, even when it comes to sending an email to a regular supplier or client. “You never start an email message with “Hi Karen,” said the owner during an account coordinator staff meeting. It implies friendship and that can blur the line between us and the customer. They may seem like friends now, but when something goes wrong, no matter where the fault lies, that friendship is out the window. “You can be friendly but don’t assume that this familiarity will translate well when they are not satisfied with the product or service,” she noted.
The same goes for hugs. Just this afternoon, after loading up a customer’s car with logoed soft shell jackets, hockey bags and garment bags, an order from hell that had been on the go since the River Styx was a forethought, she stepped in. At first, I was unsure and did a half-step back. What was she doing? She was taking up more of my personal space. Do I step back to let her pass? She was, after all, about to get in her car and go off to a hockey tournament in Fergus. But then she went in for the kill, throwing her familiarity, her friendship around my shoulders and bringing me into her fold.
It was a Christmas hug and I had enough sense to hug her back, though not as fully as I would Anasatan or Mags. Those are reserved for the blessed. But, I still felt unease, uneasy with this familiarity-turned friendship. A question arose: Would I be her friend if she wasn’t a customer? Even the answer was iffy. She would be a friendly acquaintance, one to shoot the breeze with if we happened to be in the same place at the same time. Would I invite her over to the now infamous Festivus Party (The Anti-Christmas Party)? Probably not.
It’s like hugging everyone in the line at the grocery store on Christmas Eve. While you may revel in the Christmas spirit, you may not be so inclined to reach across the conveyer belt and embrace the check-out cashier.
However, if the cashier were a hottie, I may have to throw caution to the wind. It is Christmas, after all.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Look for her on Facebook under Kimmie Haha. You won't be disappointed. So go now. I mean like now and join. Do it. You won't regret it.
On a side note (and another shameless promotion), I've just recently picked up my latest canvas from my art class. My friend and artist/teacher Robert J. Hurst (go to Evoked Emotions to see his work) turned the canvas into Christmas cards. I'll be posting mine in the next few days, as soon as I can get my hands on a scanner. While I lamented that my houses looked like a 5-year-old had drawn them, Robbie reported that my Christmas card got the most positive response in the Christmas card line-up. Go figure. But, I'll let you be the judge.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Calling Dr. Douchebag. Calling Dr. Douchebag.... your 6:20 Pap Smear appointment is here.
That's right, my friends. It's that time, the time for cold hands and even colder stirrups, along with a doctor with the bedside manner of a concrete wall. His stony facade is not his only attribute. He's also matter of fact about women's role in today's society: to reproduce. And this is exactly what he communicated to me at my last Pap smear. His exact words: You're no spring chicken and you should be thinking now about having a baby.
That was more than a year ago, and now that I'm just that bit closer to the magical age of 40, I can imagine what will be the topic of conversation tomorrow while his hand is up my vajayjay. My situation is a litte different than it was a year and a half ago. My relationship is no longer in its freshman year, but the Man and I have talked about kids and we both agree that it is not in the cards. It's not because I'm too old. It's because I don't want them and neither does he. Will this change? I'm not sure, but I am sure that I don't want them now and I have no maternal yearning as of yet, with me on the cusp of that magical age.
I love kids and they love me. The list of honorary neices and nephews will attest to that. I'm the cool aunt, the one who takes them to the movies and concerts and the one who discusses the finer art of wrestling (I'm not sure there is a finer art lurking in that arena, but I'll debate it with my nephew and impress him with my knowledge of past and present wrestlers. It's one of the things I took away from my first marriage). But, I'm not sure if that makes me a prime candidate for baby mama status.
I do know that no amount of pressure from any doctor, especially this one, or my parents or any friend on the baby bandwagon will get me to the conclusion that I want my own kids. This is especially true while my feet are in the stirrups and the doctor is discussing why I need to procreate now while my uterus and fallopian tubes are not yet dried up.
I've been known to wake up to my early morning alarm only to turn it off and turn over for another half hour. I think it will be the same with my biological clock. Tick Tock. Tick Tock. Now get your hand away from my ovaries!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I've cheated bloggers. I first reported that I yearned for the Nikon D90 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-105mm VR Lens Kit – and all the accessories. I've since traded up, and here's why...
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
How did I figure this out? The exact time when Fall turned into Winter? The biggest indicator: assholes on the road who, after a year, have forgotten how to drive in snow.
My part of Ontario was blanketed under what weather specialists call a 10-cm snowfall, starting late last night and going on into this morning’s rush hour. It’s still falling, and now it’s mixed with rain. I know Mary @ Holy Mackerel is sequestered in her home as her husband tries to get another flight out to Florida after theirs was cancelled. I feel your pain, Mary. In a Battle Royale with Florida vs. snow, I choose Florida every damn time.
I hope my drive home is not as eventful as my drive into work this morning. Not only were there crazies on the road (you know those people who thinks a little snow means to go faster than the speed limit and then brake suddenly and fishtail when they realize the traffic up ahead is not of the same mindset), but there’s also the aftermath to deal with – the slush and the sheets of ice floating off the roofs of the cars whose owners forgot or were too lazy to clear them off. For me, this morning was all about the slush and how it got inside my car.
Yes, I said inside my car. Here’s the low-down:
You know those scenes in the movies where a character gets creamed with a pie meant for someone else or a fully iced beverage? Replace the pie or drink with a vast amount of slush and the perpetrator with a semi that should not have been driving on a secondary road and you will have my roadway adventure.
It all started when a hunk of snow slid from my driver’s side mirror and splattered against my side window. And because it was packing snow, it stuck. Now I’m one for complete visibility, especially during the first snow of the season and with all those crazies out there, so I rolled down my window to remove the snow. It should have been a simple exercise. But that’s where the semi came in. And the vat of slush that came into the car and up one side of my head when the semi passed at breakneck speed.
I looked like Two-Face out of the Batman adventures. One side of my body was dry, but one was doused in a mix of snow, salt and rain, oh, and that black shit that comes off of tires. I’m just surprised I had the wherewithal to a) roll up the window, and b) know when to stop since my one eye was slushed. I felt like a Slushy Machine had exploded at the 7-11 and I was the lucky person to be pouring a drink at the time.
I don’t think this has ever happened to me before – the timing, the road conditions and winter onslaught – it was I had entered the catastrophe lottery and won. My number was up.
On an aside, the powers that be heard my prayers from the other day and despite being called in the third round of jury selection, I was spared from sitting through a full criminal court case. Just as the third group was about to enter the court to be sworn in and accepted or challenged as potential jury, we were told that the 12th final jury member had been accepted. Phew!
It did mean a day of sitting in a stale room full of other potential jurors, but the good news is it was only a day and in some way I served my civic duty.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
I have a hard time writing Christmas lists, especially when it comes to me asking for things. I don’t want to appear greedy, so I write nothing. I do have everything that I “need” and those wants are left for me to yearn after. Do I want a digital SLR? Hell yeah, but asking for it moves into expecting it and that transfers into greediness. So instead I look to add little, inexpensive things like slippers and gift certificates to Tim Horton’s – nothing that breaks the bank as I’m sure the SLR would.
But, in the blogosphere, I can let my true list hang out and mingle with all you bloggers. So here it is, Scribe’s wish list. Some are serious, some are not. Take it with a grain of salt, or if you are so inclined, run out and grab it for me. I would surely appreciate it.
1. Nikon D90 12.3MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-105mm VR Lens Kit – and all the accessories, including memory card – of course this has to be number one since I opened up this blog entry with it. Besides, I really want it. I mean. Really.
2. It would be an early Christmas present, but I have to ask now because it’s coming up tomorrow… please, please, please let me be excused from jury duty. I have to report to the courthouse tomorrow at 9 a.m., and because I don’t get paid for jury duty, save the scraps the Attorney-General will throw my way, I can’t afford to be off work for any length of time. They’ll dock me. They really will. They already said. Bastards.
3. A gift certificate to Weight Watchers and the gumption to go. I could ask for Santa to grant me the perfect body and the ability to eat everything I want, but I think I would just go ape-shit with that and besides, it’s not realistic and these days I’m all about realism.
4. A new job that falls into my lap, with no effort or no search on my part. Fantasy? Yes, but I don’t care. I’m not THAT into realism.
5. Slippers – yes, I actually do want them – and ones that the dog will not chew, attack or lick.
6. While I’m at it, I would like Kao to stop eating my underwear. Yes, I’ve lost another pair. I swear that dog has thumbs. And an iron gut.
7. Gift certificates to Winners, Reitman’s or any such clothing store. You don’t have to pick out the clothing yourself… I’ll be even more impressed with the certificate. Do you hear me, Mother? Absolutely no purple sweatshirts with big, honking sunflowers, or I’ll re-gift it back to you AGAIN. Learn your lessons, woman!
8. A birthday or Christmas that does not begin or end in tears, usually mine, over a snide comment from the parental units. Your job is done. Get out.
9. World peace. Yeah, I know. Everyone asks for it and most are joking about it because that’s what all the beauty queens say they want the most for this world. I want everyone to learn how to get along, accept their differences and learn from them. There’s room here for everyone.
10. People to say what they mean and mean what they say. Be honest and follow through with your promises. It may seem this is meant for our politicians, but I think we could all use that lesson.
Happy Shopping! Happy Holidays! Happy Monday, bloggers.
My friends all know this already, but here it is: I am directionally illiterate. I know left from right, and if I know that a certain road runs north and south I can usually gauge my surroundings. Until I get turned around. And then I’m toast.
That’s where Gypsy comes in. It’s the nickname I’ve given my GPS, a must-purchase for the directionally illiterate like myself, and I know there are others like me. I can’t be alone ‘because that would be a sad, misunderstood existence. “What do you mean you got lost again!??! You live here for Christ’s sake!” my friends would say, exasperated. But no longer.
Besides giving me directions from point A to point B and breaking it down into left and right turns, Gypsy also tells me what time I “should” arrive at any given place, along with updates along the way when I encounter those pesky automobile harassment squads. They are the motorists who pull out at the last second and decide to crawl through the intersection, never leaving me enough time to complete a turn without encountering another member of the squad. But, my favourite feature kicks in at the end of the trip – those three lovely words – you have arrived.
I have arrived at my destination usually on time and unscathed with no wrong turns, unless I decide that Scribe knows best and Gypsy MUST be wrong. I’ve since learned that Gypsy should be questioned only if we’re traveling through a new section of town that has yet to be registered in her network.
You have arrived. How I look forward to those three magic words. It’s an affirmation of sorts. It confirms my existence, my ability and that the course I chose was the correct one. If only life were like that.
As everyone knows, life is uncertain. One wrong turn, one wrong decision, or even the right decision at the time can put you on another path and your goals and dreams may take a detour or get lost completely. Or, they may take on a completely new form altogether, and that’s okay. It’s okay as long as you have the wherewithal to enter your new location, new vocation or new dreams into the GPS. Don’t know what those dreams are yet? Then you can’t hear those three little words, at least not yet.
There have been many changes in my life in the last year, hell, even the last five years. I changed jobs, changed “careers,” loved and lost only to embark on a new romantic adventure. Do I know where I am, what I want or which direction is north? No.
I know what I don’t want., but I don’t even know the outcome I desire, so I certainly don’t know the steps I need to get there. I know that I’m taking baby steps for now and will get braver with each success, each pin on the new map I’m in the process of creating.
I’m sure there will be a wrong turn or U-turn along the way. I’m famous for them, for self-doubt, for turning back when the destination is just up the road. But, after a few hundred or even thousand baby steps, I’m still hoping to hear those three magic words.