Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Home for the holidays

It still doesn't seem much like Christmas, even though I am going home in two sleeps.

Christmas shopping this year seems haphazard, not the usual exciting adventure to find the perfect presents for people. Instead of the desire to trim the tree, I've had the desire to read journal articles. Instead of baking Christmas treats to send out to friends across the country, I've been wishing I could write faster and go to conferences in Montreal, London (U.K) and San Francisco. Instead of watching Christmas movies, I've been thinking about Marshall McLuhan's theories. I'm a bit overwhelmed. I know the essay I submitted the other day wasn't my best, but I just didn't care anymore. The thought of submitting three more essays by the middle of January, combined with travel to Ontario and Saskatchewan for the next two weeks, is terrifying. How am I ever going to get everything done?

Instead of doing schoolwork most evenings, I've been happily curled up with the Boy on the couch or out with my wonderful girlfriends eating brie and drinking vanilla apple mojitos. Ignorance is bliss, they say. Maybe a bit of Baileys in my coffee (or some eggnog) would bring some Christmas cheer?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Home Sweet... oh shit.

On Friday afternoon the many Calgarians and Edmontonians in our PCOM crew were huddled over our laptops ferverently checking and rechecking our flights.

"I heard all flights to Calgary were cancelled."
"You're okay going in, but no planes are leaving!"
"We're only delayed two hours; how long is your wait?"

We took long walks in the sunshine, soaking in the lush greenery, knowing that we were coming back to white. Nearly 20 cm of it. Less than a week later, the conversation is more like this:

"Want to run to Starbucks?"
"What's it like outside?"
"Only -14!"
"Oh God -- so warm! I'm in!"

So warm. At -14. That's what four days of -20 to -30 gets us.

It's hard to read and even think about writing four major essays when at the end of the day I just want to hurry home, start up the fireplace, and watch Dexter with B.

Monday, November 30, 2009

On why I love being a student

My communication theory professor is old. Probably 70. He is the sweetest man in the world and I want him to be my Grandpa. Today was our last class with him during this residency, though we'll be communicating with him during distance studies. It nearly broke my heart.

He is a man who knows theorists by their first names and silly qualities. "I know in pictures that this man never smiles, but he's hilarious," he'll say. "So-and-so doesn't really wear sunglasses all of the time, though I can see how you think he does." He told us his fanboy story about being recognized by one of his favourite theorists after writing his first book. He shared jokes and comics with us every day to make lectures more interesting.

But today he shared so much more. He told us about his experience attending Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous 1963 "I have a dream" speech. He told us about how exhausting the rallies were all day in the sun. He told us about how the air just changed and the audience was buzzing when Dr. King started talking. He choked back tears as he told us about the tall African-American man beside him who placed his sign on the ground, bent over it and "wept like a baby".

He told us about how he'd never told this story when he was teaching at Berkley or the University of Southern California. He told us that until teaching here, at Royal Roads, he never realized just how important that experience was to communications. His eyes were full of tears as he told us about his wife's cancer and the fact that any group he teaches could be his last.

We were blessed today. We have been blessed to know this incredible man. This man could be my grandparent but his world view is blown so wide open. He was a young, white man working to end racism in America. He was a young man who experienced a life-changing event that he still can't talk about without tears.

We gave him a standing ovation and he patted my shoulder as he passed by me. He gave Teresa and I hugs after class while telling us how much he appreciates his students, and how he hopes that even some of the knowledge he's gained in his life will help us through ours.

Today, I experienced the single greatest event of my academic career.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Get low, low, low, low, low, low, low

It only took a week and a half before there was a dance party.

A stressful day, fueled by APA style, caused our pub night to get interesting. It was one of those built-in stress relievers (and when you have 3 papers due, it's important to remember to be social), but the administration didn't realize just how much we needed it. Teresa and I walked home under the protection of our umbrellas, held arms, and jumped into the biggest puddle we could find. Laughter ensued. When we arrived back to residence, there was the faintest murmur of conversation coming from the lounge.

We opened the door to a few people drinking wine. As more people came home from the pub, we split up to our rooms to grab more wine and throw on our pajamas. One of the ladies brought her iPod dock, glasses of wine were poured and shared, and it became a full-fledged dance party. Bonds were cemented, love was declared, and security showed up to tell us they "Didn't see anything".

Two weeks in and it's hard to believe that there are only 6 days left. We won't be together (at least most of us) until next October. I'll miss the conversations about commas, grammar and APA style. I'll miss being told by other people how smart I am, especially after the dreamy writing professor made the class applaud me for knowing complex parts of speech. When surrounded by all of these intelligent people, it is easy to think that you're not worthy or special. Sometimes we all need to be reminded.

Even if it takes a dance party.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mass media and its impact on women

I had to share these paragraphs by Susan Douglas. I agree with her so completely; there's no other way to demonstrate than simply to give you the text. My brain doesn't really turn off these days and it might burn out.

..."We have become alienated from our own bodies. We have learned to despise the curves, bulges, stretch marks, and wrinkles that mean we've probably worked hard in and out of our homes, produced some fabulous children, enjoyed a good meal or two, tossed back a few drinks, laughed, cried, gotten sunburned more than once, endured countless indignities, and, in general, led pretty full and varied lives."

..."The mass media raised us, socialized us, entertained us, comforted us, deceived us, disciplined us, told us what we could do and told us what we couldn't. And they played a key role in turning each of us into not one woman but many women -- a pastiche of all the good women and bad women that came to us through the printing presses, projectors, and airwaves of America."

..."Most women take for granted their own conflicted relationships to the mass media. They assume they are the only ones who love and hate Vogue at the same time, the only ones riddled with internal contradictions about whether to be assertive or diplomatic, gentle or tough. And too many assume that such contradictory feelings are unusual, abnormal. They aren't."

Susan Douglas, Media: A Girl's Friend and Foe

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Castles and gardens and peacocks, oh my!

I took a break to walk around yesterday while it wasn't raining. I felt like I was walking around in the Secret Garden. They actually have walled gardens; there was so much to see I decided to leave them until next time. When I went to Western, I thought no campus could compare. However, Royal Roads is on a National Historic site.

See more on Flickr

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I'm kind of a nerd

I've learned that it's amazing in Victoria when the sun is shining and the rain stops; even if it's only for a few hours. I worry that I may literally wear my umbrella out.

I've learned about relationships. I've learned that being stuck in dorms with 50 people and a lot of wine will make you very close, very fast. I've learned that I use too many commas (really, I already knew that). I'm attempting to make semi-colons my friend.

I've learned that I would rather talk about grammar than theory. Being in a class with a professor who is passionate about grammar makes me very excited about sentence structure. I've learned that I don't care for APA style. I've learned that I know parts of speech better than most people in my class (thank you, pop quiz!).

I've learned that it's normal to sit in the check out line of the grocery store, looking through magazines to find the one with the best advertisements.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I didn't get to talk to my boyfriend today and it nearly killed me.

I went to eat sushi with two darling boys; one of which is gay, the other has been happily married for ten years. I drank wine and I studied. It feels like we've been on campus for weeks. There were six peacocks frolicking around the picnic tables and the rain let up for nearly a full day.

I love learning. I'm questioning my idea for a research paper only in that I think I may need to do a thesis instead. I love talking about communications and things we've done at work so they show a positive example to others. I love that my fabulous colleague (and boss) has so well prepared me for anything I could encounter here.

I get less sleep than I do back home. I go to bed hours later and wake up earlier.

I often find myself bringing those I love into my conversations. "Oh yes, the drive through Brooks is the smelliest drive ever. We do it whenever we drive to my boyfriend's parent's place in Cypress Hills."

I love school, but I didn't get to talk to my boyfriend today and it nearly killed me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New beginnings

I'm sitting in a dorm room with a light that is just not bright enough.

I was thankful to meet a fellow Edmontonian waiting in the line for a taxi to campus, it makes me feel less badly about ignoring the voices outside my door. I'd feel weird just opening it to join in the conversation. I'm terrified of new people -- they make me nervous.

I'm looking ahead to three weeks of school, ensuring my readings are done for tomorrow's class (don't want to get behind already), and thinking of the things I didn't bring and should have -- my CP style book, the alarm clock I've had since I was eight years old, and some more courage (perhaps in the form of wine). Somebody call the Wizard.

I have a date for breakfast, and I'll sleep cuddled up to the Boy's pillow.

These next three weeks may very well kill me.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


We've been sick. We've been sick with what may or may not have been H1N1 (who are we to go to the doctor?). We're not dead. Even though we didn't get our vaccinations (how can we -- we're neither at-risk nor part of the Calgary Flames). Don't say I never shared anything with you, darling.

Instead of going out for dinner on our anniversary, we were cuddled up on the couch with dinner made at home and one of our many bottles of wine. I like it even better this way. Through my raspy voice and with the cough of an 80 year old chain smoker, we talked about how our lives have changed in the past year. In the past two years.

He used to just be "moon boots", the boy with the shiniest soccer shoes on the team. The boy who I never realized I had a huge crush on, even when everyone else apparently knew it -- including him. Truth be told, I'm not sure I noticed until that Halloween party when I was fixing his black eye with my purple eyeshadow, mere seconds before I kissed him. I was always pre-occupied with bad ideas for boyfriends.

I'm no longer a downtown dweller, and he no longer lives in a peach-hued bachelor pad. There is art on the walls. And plants. Lots of plants. Dinner has gone from being hastily thrown together for one, to being one of my favourite parts of the day. We drink a lot more wine (we took a class!). I've missed one Christmas with my family, and he'll miss his first one with his this year. We compromise.

I buy bus passes, and I get to see him everyday. Even though I am back to being a student. I play more video games. Way more. I watch and read more science fiction, even though the mere thought of Lord of the Rings still puts me to sleep. But it's a beautiful movie, he argues. I know! The scenery and the music gets me every time. Instead of him hanging out with his fave guy pal, we hang out with them as a couple. It's "we" instead of "I". Instead of going out for a night at the pub, we play board games.

We play less Rock Band than we did when we started dating, and we eat in more. We've found that we travel well together. He tries not to pout too much when I take far too many photos. He doesn't stop me from drunk dialing my long distance gal pals, and we remind each other to call our families. He let my baby sister move in. I take up too much closet space and the dust bunnies are winning. We've organized, and reorganized to attempt to fit all of our stuff into one place. We've combined our pasts, our possessions, our families and our future.

I used to think all that "He/she is my best friend!" stuff at weddings was garbage. It's so lame to replace your real best friend with your significant other. But I get it now. It's not like that at all. He's become the first person I tell everything to, good or bad. He calms me down and helps me celebrate. He supports my crazy ideas (like going back to school) and runs out before work to buy me cough medicine. He dances in the living room with me and doesn't argue too much when I make him sing when he plays me the guitar. He knows how to put up with me when I get angry. Though my girly best friend can't always be there, he can be. And he is.

And that's just lovely.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's a big weekend. A chilly football game tonight, Halloween karaoke tomorrow night, and maybe something to celebrate our anniversary on Sunday. Oh, and now that I'm a student again I have to ensure there's some reading in there somewhere. Right.

I'm so ready for the real boss lady to come back on Monday. The first two and a half weeks of doing her job were okay, but the last half a week has nearly killed me. I'm ready to rip out my super-teased 80s-style hair.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Three hundred beers

We make fun of ourselves for acting old. For enjoying a bottle of wine and playing cribbage, boggle or rummy. For making supper together and watching downloaded TV for the rest of the night.

Friday was the opposite of old and boring. It was slow dancing in the living room, a serenade while I wrote in the dust on his guitar. It was wandering over to the nearby pub, where we've never been, to watch the football game. It was being pleasantly surprised that it was also karaoke night. It was feeling popular when random girls asked if they could sing with me when my song came up -- Journey, Don't Stop Believin', of course. It was drinking three hundred beers before wrapping the night up with some Boston [More Than a Feeling]. 

Saturday was a write off. A three-hour nap before watching our Roughriders win, and watch grown men beat each other senseless at a friends' place. 

It was a whirlwind weekend of music, football, friends and a bit [maybe more than a bit] of a hangover. It was a weekend that made my heart swell and my knees go weak. A weekend where you want to say, "I love you" so many more times but it just seems like overkill. 

It's a weekend that makes the resulting week of reading worth it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Quote of the day: Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I was thinking all night about writing a post today, outlining how excited I am to be in school and be learning all that I'm learning. I was thinking about sharing my somewhat hilarious, but really just embarrassing, tale of how I sprained my ankle/foot yesterday morning as I left the house. 

But right now I can't bring myself to talk about any of that.

Instead, I'm home early checking the media alerts like it's my job, unable to even pull out my school work and get down to it.

All I can think about is this. It's scary enough to be in the building beside the WCB, to work with people who could see the gunman through their windows. It's even more terrible to try to think about those poor people who are stuck inside there with him still, nearly 8 hours later.

I just can't imagine ever going to work, thinking it's going to be a regular day, and have this happen. 

My thoughts and prayers are going out to the people who were taken hostage, their family and friends. I hope yours will too. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I'm a bundle of nervous energy. It may or may not be the full contents of the French press inside my stomach. It may or may not be the very exciting Skype conversation I had this morning, about a web project that rocks my political nerd world. It may or may not be the fact that my Masters program went live yesterday, and begins officially tomorrow. It may or may not be the fact that I've been so totally overwhelmed at work, both in a good way and in a not so good way, over the past week. It probably has something to do with the fact that one of my most favourite people in the world is finally following me across the country -- even if it is to Calgary. A three-hour drive is way cooler than a five-hour plane trip.

On another note: the Boy and I have been very popular lately, which is exciting after becoming hermits in September. It was necessary to have some kind of post-summer break, but now we're back out in the world... and finding out that bowling too much may make your butt hurt.

Note to self: don't consume copious amounts of Bubbles before going to Beerfest. Drunk face.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I've been wound up, uptight, stressed out. Even playing video games, I just feel the tension in my body, not willing to let go. I've been huddled over papers, correcting and rewriting others' work. People who get paid more than I do. I've been ranting and raving with my coworkers. Sighing in exasperation. I've been unable to believe that any professional would hand in this crap. I've been angry that their own boss would see the pretty version and not the lazy crap they submitted. I've been frustrated that my coworkers have to step up because they're slacking off.

And then, it all disappeared when my boss, coworker, mentor, the tap-dancing queen, sent this to me and my other fab coworker pal:

Thank you for all your hard work. I really appreciate all your thought, effort, and dedication to trying to make sure we deliver a quality product. Also, thank you for being such smart, fun, and happy people to work with. Even on days like today when crappy things happen at work, you both find the strength to bounce back and be that much more positive, and put things into perspective. I appreciate that very rare quality. In closing, I heart you both. Thank you for being such an important part of my everyday.

I'm glad to be where I am. I love my job, though I may not always love what happens at that job. I love my coworker and my boss. I love that we show up to work in unplanned matching outfits. I love that we're known for being fun and happy and smart. I love that my boss is more excited for me than I am when good things happen to me. I love that these people get me. I love that though the work is often stressful, these ladies make coming to work enjoyable.

And like that, the week's stress just melts away.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This is fall.

Games night with close friends and too much wine. Football game day barbeque at our place -- Roughrider green and pilsner. Going home to butternut squash soup to ease the chill from your bones. Lazy Sunday, playing Beatles Rock Band and MarioKart.

Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." Joseph Addison

Monday, September 21, 2009

[via postsecret]

Hands down, the best secret of the week.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Summer in Edmonton

Found this time-lapse video on the Edmonton Journal website and couldn't wait to share it. It doesn't cover everything, but it does give you folks a quick look into what we go through here. Sure, it doesn't show how perfect it is to sit out on a patio with a cold beer (or frosty margarita) when it's light outside at 11 p.m., but you get to see the northern lights.


Video: Summer Time Lapse

Shared via AddThis

Friday, September 18, 2009

Read: Love in the Time of Cholera

I'm a sucker for a love story. A love story that spans fifty-three years, seven months and eleven days and nights? Be still my beating heart.

Love in the Time of Cholera is beautiful. In the beginning, I had a hard time keeping track of the characters (mainly because a) I suck at keeping names straight anyway and b) I was only reading bits at a time on the train in the morning). Soon though, it became hard to put down. I wouldn't mind the Boy being a bit late to pick me up from the train station at the end of the day on his way home, just because I could get in a few more pages of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza.

Gabriel García Márquez is a beautiful writer and provides visuals that make you feel like you're there with the characters. Márquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude is on my booklist still, and I'll be picking it up sooner rather than later.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I don't often discuss work, my profession, or anything really inside my professional sphere. However, I've increasingly been disturbed with today's journalists and their (lack of) integrity.

As a blogger, I get to share my personal views. If I was getting paid to write for someone else (as I am in my day job, for example) those views go out the window. Your job is then one of two things (depending on your gig). You are either neutral and report the facts (like journalists are supposed to do) or you write what people tell you to write.

We spent a lot of time discussing ethics when I was studying public relations (as hard as this is for some people to believe... PR professionals do have ethics). I must say, I'm a bit of an idealist when it comes to things like this. I expect fairly unbiased news, even though I realize every paper, news programme, magazine or blog has a slant. I expect news. I also expect journalists not to prey on victims of heinous crime and tragedy.

This is why I have no idea why Mark Whicker's editor even allowed him to write a sports column focusing on what Jaycee Dugard missed when she was kidnapped, raped, and held captive in a shed for 18 years of her life. He began his article as follows.

It doesn't sound as if Jaycee Dugard got to see a sports page.

Box scores were not available to her from June 10, 1991 until Aug. 31 of this year.

She never saw a highlight. Never got to the ballpark for Beach Towel Night. Probably hasn't high-fived in a while.

She was not allowed to spike a volleyball. Or pitch a softball. Or smack a forehand down the line. Or run in a 5-footer for double bogey.

Now, that's deprivation.

Let's play that again. "Now, that's deprivation." It's deprivation that a girl of 11, who was kidnapped, raped, impregnated, and held captive in a backyard shed until the age of 29 never got to read sports scores or spike a volleyball.

Making light of the terrible things people have been through, or using them to sell papers really bothers me. Mark Whicker's article makes me want to throw up, and it also irks me that the media hounds the families of victims of 9/11 to dredge up stories to sell anniversary issues. Yes, it was a terrible, terrible event and I will never forget where I was when I heard the news, or the images of the planes crashing into the towers. But as a society we need to support each other, we need to pick up those who need us, and we need to rebuild. I know I'll probably get some flack over this view, but I think news should be news. If there are new developments, report on them. If not, let people grieve on their own. If people have stories they need to get out, be that vehicle. Otherwise, let them remember their loved ones in peace.

Read Tommy Cragg's call-out of Mark Whicker here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


[via postsecret]

Finally, the summer is over. Fall, with cool mornings, clothing in layers, smells and colour-changing leaves, is upon us. It's sneaking up and bringing with it pumpkin lattes and a desire to make slow-cooker soups and stews. No more jetting off to Saskatchewan, or rushing around worrying about weddings and birthdays and fitting it all in. We're back to a slower pace. Relaxed. Sweaters worn to football matches. Scarves in the morning. Seeing your breath. I love this time of year so much.

The weekend in the Okanagan brought two rounds of golf, ten visits to wineries, fifteen bottles to bring back with us, and many, many hours spent together in a car. It was camping in the rain (B spilling his beer in the tent) and our first bed and breakfast. It was fresh fruit and coffee which ranged from very, very bad (McDonalds in Revelstoke, I'm thinking of you) and very, very good (oh B&B with your locally-roasted, grinded in house deliciousness). It was my first darts victory. Poker and beer. B being forced to put up with my dance party tunes while the radio was out of commission in the mountains. It was fall romance, despite the rain.

B likes my blog because so often I'm probably annoying people by talking about him. Ego stroking at its finest.

I've had some rough times lately. Summer drama. The things one goes through when one decided that maybe a friend is no longer a friend. Wanting to keep that person around for the good times, but realizing that you have to take the bad with the good. When she started telling people I love (and who I can only assume love me) that she thinks I'm depressed and that the Boy and I are not good for one another -- he's changed me -- I started questioning what she's telling those who don't have such close ties to me. To us.

"I don't think you've changed, and I've known you my whole life," says the Little.

I joke about it with B. I've ended more than a few sentences with, "Oh, it's just because I'm depressed." And we giggle.

"She doesn't read your blog, does she?"

If she did, there'd be no question.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Ode to Kitty

It's been a busy summer, this summer of Kitty and Elle. It's been full of ups and downs. Tears and squabbles, but in the end, we try to forget about those. We remember good times at the City Centre Farmer's Market, the West Edmonton Mall, girly dates, margaritas, crochet. We remember soccer games and meeting up for "screamers" (ice cream and slushies... mixed together). Sleepovers in the old house. Moving. Bubble tea.

The first time we've lived together in 7 years, and the four months just flew by. Part of me wishes it wasn't over, and the other part is just so happy for her to go back for her final year of university with her fabulous roomate and other Ontario friends. Plus, it will be nice to see the floor again in the spare room.

She flies out on Saturday morning, when the Boy and I are on our miniature vacay in the Okanagan. Tonight is our last soccer game together, our last post-soccer round of drinks (Boston Pizza Kitty, you can get your soup!). It's the last night we'll spend together before she's gone.

It's been pretty amazing to have the baby sister around. To truly learn more about this person she's become over the past several years, and see her perspective on things that have happened in the past. To see just how perfectly her future career suits her, and hear about all the great stories she has of patients who love her and co-workers who never want her to leave. To have her be a part of my life-changing summer of happiness, and have her support for my "only if it makes me happy" attitude. Hopefully she still likes me, because I think she's pretty incredible.

Dear Kitty: When you leave on Saturday, make sure you leave my clothes at my place. xo

Monday, August 31, 2009

This is totally how the Boy works.

[via XKCD]

Thanks to the lovely ShopGirl for sharing this site. Hours of endless entertainment, let me tell you.

Friday, August 28, 2009

You make my dreams (come true)

[David Perez Facorro via the Photographic Dictionary]

Love [luhv]
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child or friend.
3. a sexual passion or desire.
4. a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
-verb (used with object)
5. to have love or affection for: All her pupils love her.
6. to have a profoundly tender, passionate affection for (another person).

I'm getting rather pathetic, cupcakes. The Boy went to Saskatchewan for the fourth week in a row (alone this time), and I missed him a ridiculous amount. The joy that raged through me when I got his "I'm coming home!" text message on Wednesday morning was off the charts.

Being without him though, did give me time to assess things. It's also gave me time to feel like I live at our place. Having to rely on buses to get around our fine city and find our way to the north end when it'd be so much easier to hang out at the old pad is a big part of that. Oh downtown, why do you have to be so appealing?

Back on point. It gave me time to talk to an old friend. A friend who really should not be my friend. We had our own messed up love story back in the day. Out of control emotions made us do things like send lyrics to each other and cry via webcam because we just couldn't be together. He was a boy who had been broken by previous relationships, a self-proclaimed robot. I was a girl (and still am the girl) who always wears her heart on her sleeve. I was sunshine and rainbows and he was a giant storm cloud. There was a long period of time where I didn't talk to him because he decided to date our mutual friend and I couldn't handle it (really, I told him he couldn't wax poetic to me and be with her -- it wasn't fair to anyone). We had a big discussion when he finally contacted me to say that he couldn't handle it anymore, he needed me in his life in some way because I'm just so fabulous (which is true). We've been friends ever since.

Back in the day, when I got out of a passionless, robotic, comfortable relationship because of some of the conversations we had, I thought that what we had was love. What we had was different, and I'd never felt that way before. It was both incredible and terrible. Everything was so emotionally-fueled it created some sappy feel-good moments and some major heartbreak. It was a rollercoaster.

It's not like that now. Love, I mean. The more days pass, the more confident I am that even though I'm kind of an l-word slut, the Boy is the only boy I've ever truly loved in a romantic way. No one has ever made me feel the way he makes me feel. He's someone I can tell all of my secrets to, someone who loves me unconditionally but isn't afraid to speak up if he thinks I'm doing something out of character, and someone who supports me in all my crazy endeavours (school, random committees, etc.). He's someone I miss an unbelievable amount when he's gone, partially because of the empty bed and partially because when anything good or bad happens, he's the one I babble on to about it. I'm attracted to him in every way, not just physically but mentally.

My friend told me about his own long-term relationship, and I feel bad for him that he hasn't found what I found. I feel bad that through all the conversations we've had about relationships and love, that he feels like he has to settle. His lady is lovely, but clearly not the lady for him. It reminds me of my own passionless, comfortable ex-relationship. The one he talked me out of, for the sake of my own happiness.

You deserve more, he used to say. I don't know how to get it through his thick skull that he deserves more too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dear baby, do your momma a favour and come out now

I'm waiting to hear from my lovely friend Robyn about the status of her uterus. There's a little girl in there just chilling out, taking her sweet time. Fashionably late, already.

Robyn and I were interns together. We got together on the regular for drinks and dish sessions. I feel so honoured to have gotten to share in Robyn's life... the excitement of her engagement, living vicariously through her destination wedding photos and planning, and now seeing her belly -- ridiculously big for her tiny frame. She's going to be such an amazing, amazing mother.

I look back on the first year I was here, and one of those great moments was rounding up a few people to join me in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life. Robyn and I spent much of the night bundled in blankets walking around the track talking about anything and everything.

There were four of us interns. Two are now engaged to be married, Robyn is all married and mamalicious, and me, I'm going to be a masters student (apparently I do not succumb to peer pressure).

Dear baby,
Please come out so your momma can get back to eating and not taking her own blood. Because it's gross. And because there are many people who'd like to see your pretty little face.

Welcome to the world Juliana!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Farewell but not goodbye

Watching me finish up the ends, he comments on how far it's come.

We've been through a lot together. I say, as I stroke it softly. It kept me awake in the mountains, went with me on trips to Saskatchewan. And bad times too, you know....

Are you sure you wouldn't rather keep it?

It's the prairies, the mountains.... it's important that she has it.

The changes in the tension of the stitches show what I've been through. They show the stress, the hurt, the aching of my first car accident. The parental visit three years in the making. They show the relaxation of the mountains, and road trips, as I stitched through my awe. The ease I felt as I sang along to 80s tunes on the way to Cypress Hills and Saskatoon.

The stitches have suffered and celebrated through the highs and lows of summer across the prairies. They'll provide warmth through the east coast winter. And hopefully, they'll serve as a reminder of the incredible friendship that I've been so blessed to have.

[stolen from Andrea]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Things that make me happy IV

[via flickr]
  1. When B picks me up from the LRT station, we make kissy faces at each other before I even get to the car.
  2. This weekend is the final glorious girly weekend with Kitty before she returns home to Ontario.
  3. There will be girly drinks on the patio.
  4. And farmer's markets galore.
  5. The cheap fruits and veggie market near our house.
  6. Finally not feeling weird calling it our house.
  7. Being the boss at work for five out of the next ten weeks.
  8. School! It's a bit off, but getting closer. I'm so excited.
  9. Talking with the girls at work about needing to get together to play lame nerd games, like the Canadian Trivia board game I got for Christmas.
  10. The anticipation of vacation.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wanted Wednesday

These sneaky wine cellars are so cool. But at $30,000 to install, it seems like B's grand idea of stacking bottles under the step to the patio is more likely.

Find out more here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Brightsand Lake

The final Saskatchewan weekend of the summer, for me anyway. We didn't let the rain ruin the fun, as the pictures of the boys' football game show. Baseball while the sun shined, football when it didn't. The only casualties: a flip flop and my poor sprained finger. Which didn't stop my team from winning. Pilsner. Feeling like part of the family. Wishing my camera battery wasn't dead as we traveled the backroads in a parade of motorbikes, ATVs and the littlest tractor. The fresh country air. Being the only ones in aforementioned parade that didn't get doused in mud. The tightness in your face you get from laughing too much. Poker and fresh fruits and veggies from the garden.
Going to the lake makes me homesick a little. Only because I love the quiet of it. I love sitting around the campfire looking up at the stars. I love being away from everything, and everyone (other than the people you're stuck there with). The smell of the air after the rain. Puppies running around everywhere.
That being said, it's good to be back in Edmonton. Back to the busy life, but with a weekend on the horizon filled with city fun. The market. The mall. Drinks on the patio. Most importantly, the baby sister. This weekend will be the last we get to devote completely to each other before she leaves me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dwight Schrute knows best

[via flickr]
Our vacation this year is short. We're expanding the September long weekend by taking two vacation days so we can frolick through the mountains to the Okanagan and drink some wine.

This morning I nailed down a (very affordable) reservation at a little B&B in Kelowna for two nights which includes a full day wine tour with the proprietor, a wine writer and educator. We had planned on camping, but with the recent fires (and the resulting fire bans) it just didn't work out. So now, we'll be camping in Yoho National Park, hopefully staying with some Edmonton friends in Vernon, and enjoying this adorable little B&B. I was worried a bit, I've never been to a B&B before and it's just so cheap.

This little snippet from the Boy this morning, via email, made all my concerns disappear. It's all coming together. I checked the place out on trip advisor, as Dwight Schrute said Trip Advisor is the lifeblood of the B&B industry. It has four reviews all 4 or 5 out of 5.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

He's a spider on the web

The Boy reads my blog (hi honey!) so it's not uncommon to have a conversation that stems from what I've posted during the day.

We were talking about just how many people commented on my request for music post (thank you, thank you, thank you*) when I pulled up my Google Analytics.

"Oh wow, you can get all that info?"

I thought I'd show him one better and pointed out where most of my traffic comes from (his work server) and how people find me. We found some weird search terms.

a part of you has grown in me
admiring the struggle it takes to be human
boob mail banner girl
boys resting on girls boobs photos
engineering girl boobs
never judge people
New Zealand picnic pictures
small girl boobs
And my favourite... small talk makes me want to cry

I made some comment about how many people seem to be looking for boobs and he comes out with this little gem, "Well, you know, when you search for 'misadventures of elle bee' a porn site comes up."**

Ah, frack.

*I officially have a girl crush on Jenny Lewis.

**Of the entire page of search results, the porn site is number three. I am the rest of the page. Also, in case you think I've been posting my more scandalous misadventures elsewhere, that site is totally not me. That I know of.

Monday, August 10, 2009

But your love won't pay my bills

[Canadian Tire Money via Cap'n Canuck]

After graduation, and upon getting a "real job", it seems like money is something you have so much of. Finally, you can eat something other than bags upon bags of 99 cent pasta. A vacation! An apartment that doesn't have a bug infestation. Plane tickets. The fun things you've dreamed about as an impoverished student working two (or more) jobs to get through to graduation.

Now, with saving and scrounging up money for the return to school, putting money into RRSPs, and paying off the last couple hundred bucks of my student loan, I'm broke. And constantly stressed out about it. The stress of my big school payment this fall has been looming over me for months. The thought of Christmas is enough to give me nightmares. It's a good thing tickets home have already been purchased for the holidays (way cheaper than waiting closer to the day), but it still doesn't ease my no-money woes.

With the summer we've had full of road trips, wedding stuff, birthdays, prettying up B's house and moving all my stuff in, it seems like there's just no way to save enough money for everything I want. Definitely no more photography classes or wine courses. No shopping, save for the brief reprieve brought on by birthday money.

What do you do to ease the no-money woes? Any tips?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

But I don't feel like dancin', no sir, no dancin' today

I've always been bad at first dates and meeting new people. My small talk is lacking. The worst possible question to come up during these times is the dreaded "So, what kind of music do you listen to? What's your favourite band?" The times that I mumble "I like everything", because I really, truly do. The times where the recipient also can't narrow down their favourite music because "music is my life!" I'm totally not like that. I used to think that was the case, but it was such a lie. Music is not my life.

If I cared enough to have favourite musical acts, they'd totally be the Beatles, Bon Jovi, Tom Petty, and Journey.

I never know new music. I'm never very particular about what I listen to (some people would argue that's how Whitesnake and all that country fit into my playlist). I enjoy jazz, terrible 80's and 90's tunes, anything that makes me lamely attempt to shake my shoulders (I can not do it for the life of me) and move my feet. Country music makes me happy because it reminds me of home, and of summer. I'll dance around the house to Madonna or Britney. I've gotten into some music through B (Blackfield, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, etc.), but most people don't get the Metal (not that Blackfield and Porcupine Tree are metal). Every football game is a dance party for me.

I used to be good at keeping up on things. I went through so many music phases through university... probably because I was away from the nothing but country! confines of the farm. Cows like country music, what? I went through phases of jungle, drum and bass, classic rock, hipster tunes... and now I'm at a loss.

For my birthday, Kitty replaced my broken iPod with a shiny new green one. As I went through my iTunes, populated by things I like and a lot of crap (so maybe I like some music more than others) that the old roomie downloaded onto my Mac, I realized I need help. I need some music that doesn't suck.

Give me suggestions. Pretty please?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

On the road

I didn't even fall asleep on the 7-hour trek to Cypress Hills. This is quite the feat, as anytime I'm in a vehicle with the motor running my Pavlovian response is to pass out.

The Boy's parents live in the [inter]provincial park, and it's always a giant nature love fest to go visit. Seriously. Watching the fawn frolicking in the backyard as we were roasting hotdogs had me so enthralled I didn't even think of my camera. We toured the Conglomerate Cliffs, had a picnic lunch at the most delightful little campground, tested out my birthday golf clubs, and hit up the Cypress winery.

It was a long weekend that felt like a week. A much needed rest. It even eased my no-money woes... for now.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

If you're looking for me, I'll be at the track

It was a great way to celebrate my birthday, and her birthday. A lot of sunshine, a splash of Bud Light Lime, small bets that were enough to make us hold on to our hats. Multiple sunscreen applications. Superman ice cream cake, and more than a handful of good people to eat it with. Freezies and branded fans in the condo to keep cool. In the end, I think I made a couple bucks, but generously donated it (and more) back to Northlands for beer. Because I'm sweet like that.

It's good to have weekends like this to realize just how wonderful your friends are. And to help lovely people fill Alberta must-dos before they leave us (me) for the east coast.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vote for Andrea: "the one in the stripes"

Click the above picture to be taken to article in the Edmontonian.

It's an indoor joke.

My baby, the nurse. The caregiver. The one who is always full of sweetness, compassion and love for all things. The one who, at 21, is way more emotionally mature than most people I know. More confident. Beautiful, inside and out.

I'm so glad that she's made her way across the country this summer to live and work in my city. To live with me for the first time in seven or eight years. My little blonde baby. I'm so proud to be your big sister. You're so full of knowledge, give such good advice, and you act like a little old granny like I do. We're lame in the most delightful ways.

Happy birthday, love.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009



Graduate university. Twice.
Move across the country.
Live in fabulous downtown apartment.
Find a career instead of just a job.
Determine who your real friends are.
Make some new ones.
Travel when you can.
Get involved in your community.
Find the love of your life.
Show your love off to your family and friends back home.
Surround yourself with people who inspire, encourage and support you.
Enrol in a Masters program.
Celebrate. A lot.
Have cupcakes for breakfast.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mr. A to Z.

I just got word from one of my lovely ladies that she picked us up tickets for the Jason Mraz concert here in October. Two of my favourite current and past coworkers + Jason Mraz = fabulous girl date. I'm so excited!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Always. Sometimes. Never.

[via PostSecret]

I always…
Say thank you.
Think that a round or two of cribbage and a good bottle of wine is the perfect way to spend an evening.
Would go out of my way for my family and friends.
Require a cup of coffee to get going in the morning.
Call people “buddy”, “doll”, “darling”, “lady”, or “miss”.
Spread myself too thin, I’m working on it.
Dance. Ridiculously.
Believe life is better with cupcakes.
Recite my daddy’s motto: “Life’s too short to be miserable”.

I sometimes…
Mail people cookies.
Miss living in the country.
Forget my cell phone, and feel oh so disconnected from the world… even if no one calls or texts me that day.
Can’t make it through books, newspaper articles, or the back of the cereal box without feeling the urge to edit.
Am unable to say “no”.

I never…
Keep up with the languages I’ve learned -- Spanish, French and Italian.
Will be finished learning.
Have regrets, not because I don’t do dumb things, but because there’s no point dwelling on them. If you learn your lesson, there’s nothing to regret.
Take family for granted, anymore.
Have felt the way about anyone, the way I feel about the Boy.
Thought I’d meet some of my favourite people in the world while blogging.

This has been going around the blogosphere, since I obviously can't resist peer pressure, I give props to Kyla and Mel.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On my Albertaversary


Approximately two and a half years ago, I told my "from there to here" story. I read it again on Sunday, my three year Albertaversary.

As I'm packing up all the things I've accumulated over the past three years, it's strange to be transported back to the days where my sole piece of furniture was my bed. As I look forward to my "Kentucky Derby"-style birthday extravaganza (hats and horses! gambling!), it's hard to remember the tears on my twenty-second birthday when I had no one. Moving out here was a big shock to almost everyone who knew me -- except maybe my Daddy, who had been telling everyone for months that I was going to take the plunge. I had never been a risk taker, so it was a big deal for me to move across the country on a whim, with the promise of a writing test for a job... not even an interview. I had a feeling.

With my university and high school friends spread across Ontario, and North America, it wasn't too hard for me to pack up and head somewhere by myself. It made sense to go where the jobs were. And the jobs weren't in Ontario, not for public relations anyway. It was empowering to come out here and be handed jobs, my experience lauded rather than being dismissed by the Toronto PR crew.

It was exciting to have the roomie join me a month later, even though I had only known her for a couple months. It was fun to have someone to explore with, to get lost with, to find new hot spots and have new adventures. Though we've had our ups and downs, it was necessary that I had her to get me through the homesick days and help me celebrate small victories.

I've made a life out here. Originally the plan was to come for a couple years, lap up all the experience I could, and return to Ontario. Last weekend my parents said, not even really a question, You're not moving back, are you? And I don't think I am. There's too much for me here. I've made a good group of friends, I've found the Boy, I'm starting my Masters. I've got an incredible boss, the best mentor I could ask for, and fabulous co-workers. I'm involved in things I'm passionate about, even though they stress me out sometimes. I managed to get together a motley crew of friends and acquaintances to raise over $5,000 for cancer research this year alone. If the right opportunity came along, who knows? But I'm happy here.

This weekend, as I move away from the downtown core (sob!), I'll begin a new adventure. It will be me and the Boy (and for a couple months, Kitty), 24-7. It will be less walks across the river to Whyte Avenue and a new section of the river valley to explore. It will be deliberate girl-dates with the roomie, rather than merely running into each other at the apartment. It will be a twice-daily trip on the LRT, instead of a six-block walk to work. It will be study time and essays instead of nightly walks to Starbucks. It's wondering how I'm ever going to get my Christmas shopping done when I'll be with the Boy all the time, and when I'll only be in this city for two weeks between mid-November and Christmas. It's erasing all traces of my old address and home phone. It's separating three years of accumulated furniture, dishes, and decorations. It's removing the skeleton from our front door who's changed to suit the seasons since the Halloween party we had where I first made out with the Boy nearly two years ago. It's moving out, without moving on.

And I couldn't be more excited.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Play me that country music

Thursday was a happy night. The sunshine came out for the first time in days as Kitty and I ventured to the stadium for Jake Owen, Jaydee Bixby, Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney. Mini donuts and Corona. Not actually sitting in our seats. Seeing cute couples two-stepping and realizing that I'll never have that with the Boy -- it's not his scene -- but it's okay. I had Kitty to swing around. Plotting a trip to Big Valley some year. Throwing our heads back in laughter, feeling at home in the middle of the big city. Dancing from nearly 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on the football field. Waiting in line for the LRT as someone started the Let's go Riders chant, the lone guy who started up cheering for the Esks quickly being phased out. Running up the stairs to be the last people on the train before they closed the doors.

Even though it was a present for Kitty's birthday, it was good to have someone to listen to country music (and dance around like a moron) with me. Both of us subscribe to the "dance like no one's watching" type of dancing -- arms flailing, finger guns, the sprinkler, twirling 'til the dizzy hits... I couldn't have asked for a more perfect night.

Monday, July 13, 2009

On miracles

My little "quote of the day" calendar on my work desk for Friday said "Our most basic instinct is not for survival but for family. Most of us would give our own life for the survival of a family member, yet we lead our daily life too often as if we take our family for granted." --Paul Pearshall

Taking the family for granted is the last thing I'm doing now. It's been a weekend of the Royal Alex, bruises, sore muscles, hugs, tears and a How I Met Your Mother marathon. Mom mentioned that it wasn't ideal bonding time, but I don't think it was possible to be any more bound together.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The entire city has been battered and bathed. It's okay because we need it. The forecast is anything but sunny, which makes me crave my heavy bedding and a book. Or melancholy tunes. Or tea and granny squares with A. Instead, I slave through the day knowing how it will end... with the unpacking of boxes, like nearly every other day for the last, and next, couple of weeks.

So, amidst the moving madness, it was nice to escape this weekend with the Boy to the mountains. My (other) greatest love. Head over to Flickr to see my other shots from our travels this weekend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Friday, July 3, 2009

Up, up, and away

[stolen from the lovely Andrea]
Munchkins, I just had to leave a message about how excited I am to be jetting off tomorrow for an overnight in the mountains with my favourite fella. With all the chaos swirling around me in the past couple weeks, it's good to have someone who grounds you. It's good to get away to a space where you just want to swing out your arms, throw back your head and breathe it all in.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy (belated) Canada Day

I'm a day late, but as yesterday was a holiday I was nowhere near the computer. Instead, I tried my best to get the pictures in the Boy's kitchen to go on the wall in a straight line, we walked down to the Legislature for a fabulous picnic with Kitty and A, stared in shock at how empty my house is getting as I threw some more stuff into boxes, and watched the fireworks from my balcony. Fireworks are one of my very favourite things.

Alas, today's back to work, feeling very much like a Monday rather than a Thursday. On the plus side, the weekend (and tonight's football game) is on the horizon. Oh, and tomorrow my parents fly into town.

Yesterday on our way to see the hoards of people swimming at the Ledge, little kids with burnt faces, and more ice cream trucks/carts then we could count on both hands, Kitty mentioned that Canada Day was just like any other day.

"But aren't you glad to be Canadian?" I gasped.

"Meh," she shrugged.

"Don't you enjoy your civil liberties? Democracy? Health care? The fact that you're a woman and you live here rather than in somewhere like the Middle East? Political stability?"

"I guess," she pondered. "It's just that I haven't had to go through that by living somewhere else."

True enough. We're pretty lucky. I, for one, am pretty proud to be Canadian.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Looking back

Twenty-something Bloggers' June blog carnival is all about looking back. In looking back at some of my earliest posts on this blog, most of them were about newsy things. I ranted and raved about my beliefs and celebrated those doing good things. The one I'm commenting on today, Date with the Night, was one of the very few about me personally. Over the past two years, I've gotten increasingly comfortable talking about myself, not caring who reads it. I am me, deal with it.

Date with the Night

Ah, Date night last night.It's been a while since I've been out and about and going on dates... which is probably why I agreed to go on this one in the first place. However, it merely convinced me of two things I already knew:
1) Dude was really nice and everything went fine, but I'm just not that into him.
2) I really am not a fan of dating.

I'm surrounded by girls who tend to measure themselves with the amount of interest that accumulates around them and I'm just not one of these. In my girl-power, independent woman way, I'm entirely alright with not having a boyfriend or anything. My last uber-serious relationship ended because I got sucked into it and forgot what I wanted out of life... hell, if I was still in it, I would still be living around London (Ontario, not UK). I'm so much better off out here, knowing what I want, working towards my own happiness.

Lately, I've been trying to explain this to Kik, one of the sisters. At 18, she seems to think that if she doesn't have a boyfriend, she's undesirable. Please! There are so many beautiful, intelligent women out there making themselves crazy over the male population. I'd rather just go with the flow and ride that wave when it hits.


I found it interesting to see where I was at then in the pre-Boy days, and how it still applies. I still hate dating. I'm still independent and opinionated. The only difference is that I've found a boy who lets me be me. He celebrates my involvement in my community, he supports my decision to go back to school, and he acknowledges that I don't always have to agree with what he believes. In short, he's a-okay.

As the countdown to cohabitation is now on with a vengence, it's reassuring to know that I haven't waivered from being the person I was in January 2007.

This post is a part of 20SB’s Looking Back Blog Carnival, and Ben & Jerry’s is awarding free ice cream to lucky bloggers and their readers!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So here I am with open arms

It feels strange that after three years of accumulating, of adding to the two suitcases I dragged off the airplane, I'm decluttering.

I'm going through old pieces from my portfolio, deeming them expired. I'm throwing out old goodbye, thank you, and happy birthday messages. I tossed a stack of pictures feeling confident that if I ever care to replace them, printing is only a click away. It's easy to get lost while sitting on the floor with my legs crossed, falling deep into old memories, old decisions, the old me. I got rid of a couple of uninspired knitting projects, but the bin of yarn I keep under my bed is still overflowing. My "to read" stack of books gets unstacked and shoved into boxes, no doubt pushed aside for the next couple of years. I spend time on the phone with anyone who sends me mail, informing them of the change. I take my time walking to work, inhaling the feeling of downtown.

"Maybe it's good you're moving in over time," said Kitty. "That way, maybe he won't realize how much stuff you have."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The ever-fashionable A

When I had my first "date" with Andrea over at Miet et Cannelle, I was terrified. Her blog shows the world that she's this lovely little bundle of beautiful imagery, a cool philosopher, and all around the person you want on your team when the world comes down to choosing sides. That night, over a bottle of red, I became just a little more intimidated. But in a good way. Over the past months, she's been a calming force over my life as we get together over some sort of beverage (caffeinated or alcoholic) to chat. Being around her makes me happy. Sometimes it makes me feel incredibly excited to head back to school, since I need some schoolin' to bring me up to her level, but it makes me happy. Happy to be around someone so clever, so creative, and so appealing.

This week, Andrea's Summer Street Style issue of SEE Magazine hit the newstands. It was a ton of work, but like her, it's absolutely lovely. You should check it out.

Friend, I couldn't be more proud.

The defensive line had no penetration

I love football. Canadian football. Last night, B and I took the parents to the Esks' first pre-season game against our beloved Roughriders. Spending a few hours draped in green and a blanket, sipping beer from a plastic cup, shouting to "just run faster", and wincing when someone gets hit really hard makes me ridiculously happy. The stress of the world melted away as the wind whipped my hair and B's arm around me kept away the chill. The view from our seats for the season was perfect, the amount of periphenalia you could purchase was ridiculous, and a glance to the boy beside me kept me warm from the inside-out.

It's going to be a great season. Even though we have to cheer for the Eskimos.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Things that make me happy III

  1. My awesome coworker and friend, who ran off with me at lunch yesterday for a gin and tonic/vent session. Being the boss can be stressful, but a good friend like her makes it okay.
  2. The Boy, Kitty, cribbage and wine on the balcony. Even though I didn't win.
  3. Homemade frappes/iced capps and the lovely Kitty. So delicious. I love going home to her and delicious cold coffee-like beverages over chit-chat and Sex and the City.
  4. The Boy's parents are coming up tomorrow and they're staying for a week. His lovely parents are going to help paint the house among other things. I hate painting so much. They are also bringing some of their homemade wine. And they are just all-around lovely people.
  5. Soccer.
  6. The Boy.
  7. Wine.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I've been a little miserable, just in case you didn't realize this.

I'm terrible at confrontation. I hate hurting people's feelings. I light a match to burn a bridge, blow it out, and apologize to the bridge instead. My angry feelings bubble and brew until it becomes a very angry volcano.

So I'm making changes. I'm remembering the importance of surrounding yourself with positive, respectful friends who enrich your life rather than disrupt it. I'm mentally listing my limits. I'm reevaluating people and their influence. I'm stating my demands. I'm ensuring that with all the stress on the horizon, I'm taken care of first. For once, I'm choosing to satisfy my needs above others.

And it feels good.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"The beauty of the world about us is only
according to what we ourselves bring to it."
Shaker saying

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I take it back

I'd rather the anger than the back stabbing and lies.

working hard to get my fill

I'm not too ashamed to admit that sometimes, when I have a bad day, I turn to Journey videos on YouTube.

I've been pulled in so many directions lately that I was beginning to feel like I was being torn in two (or more). At work, I'm wearing the hats of boss lady, writer and media star, which is surprisingly harmonious except when big boss' pregnancy hormones are raging. I'm trying to find balance between friends and the Boy, and failing miserably. I'm trying to refuel but can't, as any extra time I have is used to satisfy other commitments. I've never really done the me time thing, as any spare time I have is given to friends who make me feel guilty for spending so much time with the Boy, or with the Boy, who has finally exploded in a "but I'm your boyfriend and I'd like to see you sometimes" rage.

The little sister is a shining light in all of this, which isn't helping anyone really. When I was feeling all frustrated to tears, she simply told me to do what makes me happy and screw the rest. Her words helped me figure it out, but then when what typically made me happy became just another obligation to fulfill, she became my default. While everyone else was having a virtual tug-of-war with my emotions, she became my solitude merely because she's just happy when I'm happy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


We discuss them all the time. Talk about how they're too big or too small. Envy the girls with bigger ones, or the girls who don't have to wear a bra with cute tops. We have friends who fall asleep after a rough night on our cushy chest pillows. We drunkenly stumble towards our friends with hands outreached, we do (free) tequila shots from the cleavage, wear shirts that show them off to reel in the boys. Hook. Line. And Sinker. They nourish children, provide a soft resting place for weary heads, and prevent some of us from being very good at running. Our breasts are something that we've become attached to (pardon the pun). We get used to training bras, and boys drooling over them. We say prayers or embrace silly exercise routines to make them larger (or to get them to stop growing). We've become accustomed to our bodies and how to work them. The thought of not having them, or not having all of them, is just reality-shaking.

I'm sending my thoughts and prayers to Aunt J.
I walk by this boarded-up window every morning on my way to work. There seems to have been a movement in the city to cover up these construction-site boards with interesting art. I love it. The thought that people put in to make something so blah more exciting lights up my day even more than the sunny days in the weather forecast.

Almost even more exciting is the fact that I remembered to use my slacks (holy old woman word!) as a grey card to meter the light in this shot. Accurate colours, what.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My mind is officially blown

What are you up to tonight?

I have to go to Leduc to get eyelashes curled.

You can't do that by yourself?
What a princess.

i'm so not like that

You have a personal eyelash curler!
I do too, but it fits in my hand and I always forget to use it.

but i like to get them tinted and permed in the summer (and when on vacation) so i don't have to worry about brining/wearing makeup


my friend does it for me
oh i should not have told you

Monday, May 25, 2009

I may or may not need a vacation. Monday has been painful, part of which is likely due to the fact that my legs kind of want to fall off. Apparently dancing two laps around the track at Relay for Life takes as much out of you as walking all night. That, combined with a complete lack of sleep, have me thrown off my game today. But hey, we raised $5,890 for cancer research, support for patients and their caregivers, and other programs. Not too bad.

Friday, May 22, 2009

"It is never too late--
in fiction or in life--
to revise."
Nancy Thayer

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Things that make me happy II

  1. The baby sister. I love the whole "I have to sleep, but I'll crawl into bed with you and chat for a bit" thing. Especially when it turns into a full out sleepover with hours of talking.
  2. The baby sister. Texting me about meeting up for an impromtu picnic at lunch since she was at a course nearby. Even though the concrete bench made my bum cold, my heart was just overflowing with warmth and happiness (cheesy, I know).
  3. The baby sister. Making me dinner last night before photo class and packing me lunch this morning.
  4. The Boy. Booking plane tickets home for Christmas. About half the price they'd be if we waited a couple more months. I'm so excited.
  5. The Boy. For putting up with me spending all of my time with the baby sister and talking about her all of the time. The thought of only 2.5 months until being with him becomes my default setting.
  6. Raising over $500 for Relay for Life! If you still want to sponsor, see the sidebar.
  7. My soccer team, the Sweaty Balls. Being undefeated for the first time ever (for longer than one game anyway). The improvement of how we play together over the past three years makes me ridiculously happy... and it makes Thursday nights something to look forward to.

Friday, May 15, 2009

“Maybe we’re not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we’re thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we’re thankful for the things we’ll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.” Grey's Anatomy

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Juicy, juicy, juicy, juicy fruit

A lot of our time during summers when we were younger was spent among the rows and rows of strawberries and peas in the giant garden on the farm. This lovely gift from the lovely Andrea took me back to those days... sitting in the dirt on the quest for the most perfectly ripe strawberry. I shall cuddle this little glass jar and whisper soothing words to this little green plant, in the hopes that someday it will provide me with even one deliciously juicy morsel.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pretty in pink

I'm thankful for good friends. For a boss who is so supportive of me and my future. For a co-worker who surprised me with these lovely pink tulips on Thursday afternoon, when I was having a bad day. For the most fabulous boyfriend, who listens to my fears, my worries, my hopes, my desperation and quietly says, "we'll find a way".

The weekend was busy enough. Traveling from downtown to the northeast end and back. Rock Band. Walks and talks with ma petite soeur. Pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream. Catching up on Grey's Anatomy. A barbeque with the baby club, thankful to have the sister who is also not pregnant. Games. Phone calls to mommies. Painted nails. Reading until 10 p.m. on the balcony with a glass of wine. Snuggled up to the one who makes me happiest at the end of the day.

Kitty and I have had such different experiences with the mothership, and I must admit, sometimes I am envious of what they have. I'm envious of the fact that I've been gone for seven years without so much as a visit, but Kitty moves here for the summer and the momma automatically claims this is the summer she'll come. The momma cries because she can no longer call up Kitty and go for dinner, or shopping, or whatever and part of me wishes that she felt that way for me. I wish that she could see me for who I am and be proud of that. Not the money, or the good job, but me. Truth be told, our relationship may just be better from a distance. She's the one person in the world who has the ability to tear down in minutes all the confidence I've taken years to build.

It doesn't matter that I used to be the only one to remember Mother's Day presents, or that I still take a lead role in organizing the celebration of her. It doesn't matter that she doesn't agree with my education, but that I will always use it to benefit her when she needs my help. I hear some of the things she says about me, and they break my heart. I feel like this summer I need to prove to Kitty that I'm not that person.

I wish she could just love me like I love her.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The one in which I bribe you

I've had a bad day. A day where I cried at work. Which is always awesome.

You know what would make me feel better?

If you pledged me for the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life. There's a link on the bar over there at the right-hand side of this page. Or, you can click here.

Any little bit helps, and if you pledge me ANYTHING, I will send you something lovely in the mail. Obviously, the more you pledge, the better it will be (homemade cookies anyone?).

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


It makes me happy to have a reason to watch the clock. The excitement of 4:30 p.m. The take-off for the elevator, the foot tapping impatiently, the quick walk outside to the sunshine and the little one. Even if it rains, even though I am painfully ill still, and even though the only mission is grocery shopping, the anticipation of really getting to know the baby sister is exciting.

Even though we talk via the Internet, and gab on the phone, it feels like I've missed out on a lot not actually being there since she was fourteen.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Best friends 4 evah

I spent the weekend drinking too much champagne in the afternoon, eating appetizers for supper, imbibing in barley and hops, frolicking in the sunshine, and hanging out with two of my favourite people in the universe. The Boy sent me an email this morning that said, "It's good to remember why your best friends are your best friends." This weekend definitely served as a fabulous reminder.

They are two of the only people I can find to listen to country music with me. The only two people would would squeal and jump around with glee to find out that the Road Hammers were opening for Montgomery Gentry after a lot of detective work to find out who the opening act was. Dancing around the house. Watching bad teen movies. Being happy, and positive, and free of eye-rolling. Remembering good times and creating new memories. Meeting each other for the first time and becoming fast friends themselves.

Even though I have no voice, and have spent the weekend trying to push away the plague that has been wracking my body, this was the best weekend that I have had in a very long time. It was exactly what I needed.

I mentioned to the Boy a little while ago that I feel like I'm falling into too much negativity. I'm finding myself becoming an eye-roller. A cynic. A bit of cynicism is good, but it's gotten to a bad place. I made a vow to surround myself with positive forces to balance out my proclivity to the negative, and this weekend was the best thing that ever could have happened. I feel refreshed.

It's good to remember why your best friends are your best friends.