Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bloggie

Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Dear Blog,

Four years ago today, I sat on the couch in a yellow fuzzy bathrobe, eating cornpops, and you were born.

In the years since, I've turned to you in times of angst, of jubilation, drunken celebration, naked joy and unemployment. I wrote exams, marked exams, wore a ridiculous graduation hat. I wrote cover letters. I moved, moved again, moved AGAIN...and one more time for good measure, at least. I dated several men whose names all started with the letter J- untrustworthy letter, that J, all loopy at the bottom. Easy to get snagged on, J, much like a fish hook.

Toss them back.

I was single, I was not. I met someone whose name did NOT start with a J. I was bitter, I was blissful. I ate cupcakes, craved butter chicken, gave up Starbucks and bumped my addiction up to six cups of drip coffee a day.

I bought a car, a sofa and a zillion fashion magazines that made me feel shitty about myself.

I've had five different business cards.

I started over, again and again. I failed, I failed better, I failed worse, but at least I tried.

And here we are, blog, four years later and no stupid book deal like that ridiculous woman Julie - all SHE did was cook her way through a collection of recipes! I lived a LIFE!

But here we go again. Year 5. Maybe this year, we'll get it right.

Or maybe not. But what would be the fun in no mistakes?

Hugs and kisses,


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

If you're wonderin'...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Ahh, Christmas. Over for another year.

We drove back from BC yesterday, wearing in those winter tires something fierce on completely dry roads. What a bust- but of course, if I hadn't bought them, we would have gone careening off a cliff somewhere and that would be the end of this blog. Not a fitting end, eh?

Gary's gone back to work, but I'm still off until January 4th, sitting about drinking coffee heavy on the flavoured non-dairy creamer, eating fererro rochers, reading Irish chick lit (sooo the best kind) and back issues of Cosmo and boogie-ing to Weezer around the living room.

This is the stuff holidays are made of.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Wednesday, December 23, 2009
On Monday night, Gary and I went to Earls for dinner, where I ate the most deliciously garlicky chicken caesar salad ever. It was really the perfect chicken caesar salad, crispy and fresh but stinky and tangy. Mmm. Garlic.

This is how I know I'm in a long-term relationship, people - I can eat the stinkiest salad ever, and still get into bed and snuggle up beside someone with no guilt.

I mean, I brushed my teeth and hit the Listerine, but still. No guilt! Amazing. Soon, we'll enter into that beloved sweat pants and no caring about our attractiveness phase!

Wait. Already there. Ooops.

Anyway, while we were at dinner it hit me that there were only a handful of days left in the year. In the DECADE.

I'm staring straight down the pipe into a fresh new decade and I feel...nothing. I mean, I was psyched for the start of the '90s. I was only 6, but my mom's Lady Fashion Magazines proclaimed loudly that the Woman of the '90s was independent, smart and fashionable.

The new millennium rocked my socks, and during the last decade I got my driver's license, went to Europe twice, graduated from high school and university, had four 'career' jobs, bought a brand new car and lived in a gazillion different apartments. I also suffered tremendous heartbreak, epic job failure, broken friendships, bouts of angsty depression and my hair started to turn this awesome silvery colour.

But I can't seem to get worked up for the '10s. While my assistant pointed out that the next ten years of my life are probably going to be the most exciting - the wedding, baby and family years, where I'll really hit home on that career thing and might even buy a home to raise said family in - it just doesn't seem monumental.

Because, honestly - everyone is walking around in leggings, inner-eyelid eyeliner and ripped plaid flannel. Bon Jovi will be here in July. It might as well be 1989 all over again.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Monday, December 21, 2009
I feel like I'm in one of those holiday movies where they flash a constant countdown across the screen. Today I woke up with a "Four Days Until Christmas" in nice red font running across my imaginary screen.

The moral of every holiday movie is the same - cheer, goodwill, blah blah blah, love, kindness, etc. I keep thinking that I'll come around, that I'll wake up on Christmas morning, look out the window at the quiet world blanketed with snow, and be filled with joy.

But after bursting out into tears in the parking lot at Denny's while wishing my parents a Merry Christmas/safe drive, it seems unlikely.

I've been completely unfair to my boyfriend, who is a lovely person who volunteered to go to Fountain Tire, purchase and have winter tires installed, and then walk back to work AND walk back to Fountain Tire to pick up *my* car.

(I'm a bit bummed that all the money I have in the world right now, including my christmas money from my grandmas and my parents, is going to pay for stupid snow tires instead of a netbook and new lip gloss, but at least we won't die (hopefully) while attempting to cross through two mountain passes in BC on Thursday.)

But I've been a total Grinch. I've been in/on the verge of tears for a week, and I keep saying some variation of "Christmas SUCKS." Poor Gary is super excited for us to spend our first Christmas at his Mom's house, together, and I'm ruining it.

I don't know how to suck it up and deal and get over myself and smile, so I've decided that I'm going to cry my little eyes out in the bathroom all I want, but then I'm going to put my big girl santa pants on and try to be merry.

Though honestly...the only thing worse than NOT being Merry is TRYING to be Merry when you are most definitely not.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh, Christmas Tropical House Plant

Friday, December 18, 2009
Gary and I joined Mama and Papa B, my sibling and his lady-friend for dinner last night. We went to Big T's BBQ by McMahon Stadium, where we ate a colossal amount of meat. And hushpuppies. And baked beans. And corn bread. And meat.

The meat was so delicious that I am contemplating driving up there right now for another plate of brisket. Mmmm. Brisket.

Mom and Dad also gave me my gifts for Christmas. They are sitting, wrapped, under our rubber tree plant, because our house is where Christmas Traditions go to die.

I will try my very best not to open them before Christmas, but it's reaaaaally tempting. I mean, who would know? Only Gary.

But the guilt! Oh, the seasonal guilt. What to do?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Things you should not do

Tuesday, December 15, 2009
1. Drink more than 3 glasses of wine at anyone's (including your own) office Christmas party.

2. Drink 3 glasses of wine at your office Christmas Lunch.

3. Go back to work for 4 hours after said Office Christmas Lunch and attempt to actually DO THINGS.

4. Drink a can of Crush Cream Soda in an attempt to 'straighten up'.

5. Spend the afternoon coding invoices. Sorry, accounting department....

Monday, December 14, 2009

There is not enough advil in the entire world

Monday, December 14, 2009
If I was to sum up the last, oh, five days of my life, it would look something like this:

arrrhhhh 2000 exploding snowglobes arrhhhh minus forty four errehhghhh wtf, batman ehhggghhh what do you mean I can't park in the loading dock ghhh why are the bridges in and out of downtown edmonton one way ghhhhhhhhhhh what do you mean you have bronchitis bghwhehdhgheggg RESPECT THE SAFE FOLLOWING DISTANCE RULES HIGHWAY DRIVERS aeasdlkgasd why is it so bloody cold in Red Deer ghghhhhwhhwwwwwwwwwwttttffffff SHIT. BLACK ICE. grrrrr where are the 10,000 playbills I ordered aahh I hate driving to Edmonton ghhhhhhsshshhhssshhh don't phone me at home gooososososssaskjhasdf going to work on Saturday arglkajsddflasdfghhhhhhrrrrrrr Martha Stewart, you are a LYING BITCH.


That felt good.

In other news, yesterday I went and bought myself the biggest fricking cubic zirconium stud earrings I could find. Because I'm a girl. And girls like shiny things they can wear in their ears.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

City Sidewalks

Wednesday, December 09, 2009
This afternoon I felt like a real urban dweller.

I live downtown. I transit or walk to work. We do drive, but I like to walk where and when I can, because it's hella easier than parking downtown.

But the moments when I stop myself and go, Hey, Small-town, You've Made It! are far and few between.

Today at lunch I was running errands, walking through the softly-falling snow, gettin' my business done. I was wearing a grown up lady wool coat, a dress, high heeled boots, a jaunty hat. I was swinging my handbag and bustling and hustling with the best of them, up and then back down 9 city blocks.

I'm livin' the big city dream.

(The big city dream that today screams HAAA, SUBURBANITES, It took me 10 minutes to get home and you are still stuck on the road trying to get out of downtown!)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Lingering Issues that Probably Require Professional Help

Monday, December 07, 2009
When I was in Junior and Senior High school, I played on the basketball team.

(And the volleyball team, and the track team, and the badminton team, and the yearbook committee, and the drama club, and the spirit committee, and the student council. And I worked about 15 hours a week. Idiot, that's what I was.)

But anyway. I was on the basketball team. And I SUCKED at basketball. I was a terrible, pathetic excuse for a basketball player. But every winter, for four to six months, I laced up my sneakers and practiced several times a week. In high school, I had morning practice twice a week, and evening practice two to three times a week, and then played in tournaments almost every weekend from December to March.

And I hated basketball.

I wanted so badly to be part of a team. I wanted to be good at something. I wanted to be liked, to be included, to have friends. Being on the basketball team gave me something to do in a tiny town of 400, helped me get an occasional invitation to a party, and got me out of the house in January. And while my previous statement up above may cause you to believe different, I actually do really enjoy the sport. Watching it, that is. From the sidelines.

And I tried. I tried so hard. I tried, and tried, and tried again. I did my best, and then I kept going. BUT I STILL SUCKED. And I still went home and cried my little eyes out almost every single night after practice, because I just wanted to belong, be better. My feet didn't do what my brain wanted them to, I was bigger and slower and less coordinated than everyone, and I was ashamed of being the laughingstock of the team for SEVEN YEARS.

I played in a grand total of 10 games in my Grade 12 year- and we played close to 3 games a week for 5 months.

So the lesson here that I've learned, almost 10 years later is this:

If something makes you cry and hate yourself and wish you were dead, and even if you give your very best effort, YOU STILL SUCK AT IT, there is no shame in calling it off.

And so, on that note: I am quitting adult ballet classes.


Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year. It's probably my favourite holiday, and aside from a period in my life where I was set on sulking and generally being a bratty teen, I have some of the most wonderful memories of Christmastime.

Yeah. This year I'm totally not feeling it.

I'm not going home for the first time in my life. By home, I mean to wherever my parents are going, because we alternated years between their sides of the family. I'm going to BC with Gary to his mom's, which will be really nice and I'm very excited about it, but it won't be the same.

No zillions of cousins, no twenty kinds of cookies, no stockings, no angry dominoes, super competitive jigsaw puzzling or Bailey Family Shinny/Curling Bonspiel/Snowman Making Contest/Cribbage Tournament/Nature Walk. (By the way, this sounds awful, but those activities are a lot more fun now that I can drink festive boozy beverages!)

Top that off with a seasonal work schedule o' crap, no tree in our tiny shoebox of an apartment, limited ambition to bake more than one kind of cookie (so far I'm at two, but the first batch required 'quality control' testing measures and won't make it past Friday), no time to watch Love Actually and the fact that we are so broke that we are not exchanging gifts with almost anyone, and I've got a serious case of Tinsel Ennui.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Project: Long Long Weekend

Friday, December 04, 2009
Things are crazy at Camp Paysthebills. So crazy, because - well, there's this iconic piece of performing art set to the music of one Mr. Tchaikovsky, featuring rats and crazy dolls and sugar plum fairies.

And it runs for pretty much the entire month of December.

Given that I could probably work from 7 AM until 8 PM every single day, seven days a week, and not run out of things to do, I'm feeling a little burned out. So to avoid going all Jack in the Shining on you and everyone else I love/tolerate/am forced to see on a regular basis, I took today and Monday off before I leave for almost a week in wonderful snowy Edmonton.

I have a gross amount of overtime in lieu, but anyone that works in a kind of organization that actually allows you to bank excessive amounts of overtime (one of my coworkers has SIX WEEKS worth of time banked) realizes that it's incredibly difficult to ever take that much time off, particularly when you're sort of a workaholic/control freak.

So here I am. 7:30 AM on my Friday off. Freaking out, resisting the urge to call the office, pick up my voicemail, check my work email. I'm up way earlier than I get up on a normal workday.

This always happens when I take days off. Woe. Woe is me.