Thursday, July 31, 2014

Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

It may have been a coincidence, but I think it was kismet. Today, this adorable kid was in getting his hair cut. His name was Jacob, he wore glasses and had a spray of freckles across his nose. After he was all finished up, I grabbed his shirt and held it out for him to put on. This is when he spotted my necklace.

And he said to me, "Your necklace is like Bellatrix's."
I replied, "Lestrange?"
"You know Bellatrix?"
"Of course I do, she's one of my favourites."

He seemed stoked. Not only because my necklace looked like Bellatrix's but because I knew who he was talking about. If there are people reading this who don't know what or who I am talking about, Bellatrix is a character from the Harry Potter books/movies. She's both fabulous and infuriating.

It's funny how this encounter happened this afternoon. Just this morning I learned today is Harry Potter's birthday and, probably not so coincidental, also J.K Rowling's. Of course, I had to pass this piece of information along to Jacob, who seemed thrilled to find out. And as conversations normally go with Potterheads, we quickly began discussing our favourite characters. Then, this happened:

"I also love Luna," I told him.
To which he came back with, "Malfoy's my favourite."
Words would not form. I mean, they literally would not form. Who likes the snivelling, evil, pale faced Malfoy? No one with a good head on their shoulders. Finally, when I managed to compose myself, I got out, "You like Malfoy?"
He nodded, grinning a tad bit wickedly.
"Well, I'm speechless. I've never met anyone who likes Malfoy."

His mother added something about how Jacob marches to the beat of his own drum, but I was too dumbstruck to tell her this was probably a warning sign. Oh, I'm just kidding. But I would like to say Happy Birthday to Harry Potter and J.K Rowling. Without the two of them moments like these wouldn't be possible.

It makes me feel both old and young to know Harry Potter was born in 1980. He's older than me, but it ages me to think he is 34 this year.

Next we will be talking about overachievers, like the one who made this bloody cake!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

As soon as you all take your seats today's lesson will begin. 

Alright, this evening we are talking about the word Agathist - derived from the Greek word 'agathos' meaning 'good'. More specifically, an agathist is a person who believes all things in general, the world included, are heading towards ultimate good. Hold on, does this sound familiar? Surely these people must be long lost cousins to our rosy-cheeked friends the optimists, right? 

Well, sort of. Unlike optimists, who see the best in the present, always looking at the positive, agathists are less content with the now. An agathist sees the bad things that happen in the world and confronts tragedies such as earthquakes and wars, while maintaining the belief that all things will inevitably turn towards the good. They also understand the road to goodness may run straight through a lot of trouble. 

For a long time, I didn't know how to categorize myself. I never considered myself an optimist, because I saw the utterly terrible things in this world and felt the weight of them on my heart. So, I thought myself a realist. Practical. Levelheaded. Reasonable. And yet, I've always had this inexplicable feeling that everything will be alright in the end - something a lot of realists don't have. I've always figured that somehow this crazy plot will work itself out. That despite the evilness that resides here, eventually good will triumph. 

Just call me an agathist. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Do These Words Count?

These days, I can't be arsed to write. The creative juices aren't dried up (that sounds really wrong). In fact, I come up with wonderful ideas for novels and short stories all the time. It's the actual act of sitting down at my computer and hammering out a few thousand words that seems so tedious right now. 

The only writing I've been doing are these posts. Do they count? Since January, I've published at least a hundred thousand. I'm guessing. I really can't be certain how many words I've actually typed out here. More, maybe? Certainly not less. We are over halfway through the year, which means I'd only have to average five hundred words a day in order to make a hundred thousand of them. Now, some of my posts aren't very wordy, but I have been known to get ranty, or wordy. Yeah, wordy. It sounds far more pleasing to my ear. 

Anyhow, they say you need to make room for what you love. There's one of those motivational Facebook posts everyone is sharing and no one is following. Something along the lines of doing the thing you love for at least fifteen minutes every day. The conclusion being you won't believe how life-changing only fifteen minutes a day can be. 

So, I love writing. Creating is exciting for me. And when I set out to do a blog-a-day for a year, I thought it would be a great way to stick to writing every day. This was supposed to be my fifteen minutes, I guess. Except, these take way longer than fifteen minutes. But the thought was there. This was me making room for what I love. 

The problem is, most of all my other writing has ground to halt. This makes me wonder, has this blog-a-day for a year been detrimental to my other more creative writing? Is making time for blogging cutting into me penning the next great Canadian masterpiece? I like to think I have it in me to write more than a blog a day. There was a time when I was churning out books every other month. Ah, the good old days when I used to write at work. 

There are excuses. It's been a less than stellar year. I'm moving. The job takes up a lot of my time. I'm working hard to keep my relationship with the Sidekick healthy. Two dogs are more time consuming. I've been trying to be more healthy and active. 

But it really comes down to inspiration. I suppose I am uninspired lately. And tired.

So, tell me these words count, because if not I'm going to be really displeased. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Intimidation Tactics - Just Having A Good Time

Despite how squirrely I may come across, I'm actually a fairly levelheaded person. I don't scare easily and I don't often find myself worrying over situations. Walking late at night doesn't bother me. I maintain my wits in stressful situations. And I love men. I mean, they are a great group of people with lovely assets and many even having winning personalities. I know several amazing individuals who are literally the best people I have ever met. While this all may seem pointless, I do have a reason for stating these obvious things. It's to remind you I am not a timid, easily frightened man-hater.

This morning, I decided to take a walk down to the lake. It's about five kilometres away and takes about forty minutes to get there. There are two ways to go, the roadway, which I usually run and the trails just over the bridge of Perseverance Creek. I decided to go the latter, because I needed to reconnect with some old growth foliage. As soon as I hit the treeline, I pulled out my earphones and listened to the nature around me. Not only because I love hearing the birds, but because this is cougar and bear territory. If I'm going to be eaten, I'd like to have a fighting or fleeing chance. There were a couple concerning noises in the thick underbrush, so I found myself a good poking stick. Granted, a stick isn't going to do much against a hundred and thirty-six pound kitty, but I felt a bit better having twig in hand.

When I emerged from the trees and set eyes on the lake, I noticed three guys off to the side packing up their stuff. As soon as I stepped forward, they all turned to stare at me and watched intently as I made my way down to the water. Turning my back on them, I heard one say, "Like that stick will help you." And laughter. The comment irked me because I didn't understand the meaning behind it, or why the other guys thought it so hilarious.

At this remark, hellos were out of the question, mostly because I was instantly uncomfortable. I veered to the left, figuring if they were getting ready to go, I could poke around the lake for awhile, take some pictures of the breathtaking scenery, then head back home without being under their scrutiny. I ventured around the bend in the lake and took in the expanse of water and trees.

Except, knowing I had to go back the way I came put a damper on the amazing fact I live in such a glorious place. As I retraced my steps, I had a sinking feeling the guys were still going to be there. Coming around the corner, some twenty minutes later, my sinking feeling was confirmed. There they were. All three. Just standing there. Waiting. Hoping to go unnoticed, I slipped into the trees, but they were paying attention and followed close behind.

Because I'm a fairly speedy walker, I managed to get a fair pace ahead without all out running away from them. Here's when they started yelling at me. Calling out to me. Taunting me, really, even though it seems dramatic to use the word. Cat calls. Asking if I was alone. Whistling. Screaming at the stop of their lungs. Demanding to know where I was going. Why I was walking so fast.

Remember the part where I told you I am a levelheaded person. Well, I am, which is why I found myself reasoning their behaviour. They were probably harmless. Probably just having some fun. They were probably nice enough guys. Except, I didn't really like how discouraging the word probably felt at the time. I didn't want to count on probablys. Bad things happen and it's my responsibility to keep myself safe, right? Wait a minute, how could I jump to such crazy conclusions? Surely these guys were only joking around. They weren't going to hurt me. They were just giving me a hard time. Acting foolish. Heck, they probably didn't even realize the sickening feeling in my gut, or how intimidating three guys are to one girl who is in the middle of the forest alone.

But we've all seen enough horror movies to know how terrifying that particular scenario is.

I did the whole glancing back over my shoulder. Second guessing my decision of going to the lake. Kicking myself for not bringing Dixon. Worrying whether I was walking fast enough. Contemplating hiding in the bushes until they passed. Instead of sticking to the main path, I decided to climb the embankment and take the logging road, figuring my knowledge of the forest would benefit me, and I ran right out of there. Not stopping or slowing. Feeling relief as their shouts and laughter faded.

And it all seemed crazy and weird. Crazy to feel that fear and weird to be worrying over the choices I'd made.

When I reached the main road and slowed my pace, I felt stupid. Silly for blowing the whole thing out of proportion. Except, the staring, watching, following, shouting were all intimidation tactics and not just a good time. Sure, they might have been 'goofing off' or 'being boys' but there are repercussions to their actions, ones I highly doubt they even considered. Yes, I am rational and know the forest, but I worry about how the same situation could have afflicted someone else. Let's say someone who had been sexually assaulted in the past. What kind of emotions would they have felt? How would they have reacted?

The simple fact is, we don't live in a day and age where rationality pays. Yes, I told myself these men were probably good guys  out for a morning swim and were just harassing me a bit, but I still got myself out of there. Because one against three isn't good odds. I didn't slow my pace to see if my levelheadedness was accurate. And honestly, even a bit of harassment isn't an acceptable amount.

If a man emerged from the forest alone and saw three women at the lakeside, would he feel the same way? No. Would the situation have unfolded the same way? Probably not. Chances are those girls wouldn't act the same way. This was a strange situation for me. Entering the forest worrying about being eaten by bears and cougars, only to leave frustrated over the excuses we make for guys, claiming 'boys will be boys' and not taking intimidation tactics seriously, when they are seriously worrisome.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


There is one good part about moving.

Getting rid of crap. Downsizing my life.

Out with anything I don't need. Don't use. Don't want. Don't even know where I picked up.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

New Shoes

I bought myself new shoes today. Then I walked home in them. 11 Kilometres. 

Rookie mistake. 

When I got home, Dixon stepped on them with his dirty feet. 


Still, new shoes! 

And Vans, nonetheless. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

I Love You

Just over two years ago, I realized I love you. Yes, you. You reading this. Maybe even you sneering at this.

For the longest time, I was a backyard person. Someone who tends to their backyard, never looking beyond their own fence, worrying about my family, my friends, what is going to happen to me and my own. A twist of fate drew me down a dark path, severed me from a few people I thought would always be there for me, and forced me into a solitary journey. This sounds hard and cold and scary, but it was actually a stroke of luck, even though it was in fact hard and cold and scary. It felt crushing and heartbreaking at the time, but the longer I walked, the farther I went, the more time that passed, the less daunting the darkness became.

The denseness of my emotions let up. Finally, I saw a sliver of light. This, of course, is a figurative sort of light. The lightness of my heart, if you will, even though it sounds corny and self-helpish. It's the truth, though. I felt lighter. Freer. And I dismantled the fences around my backyard. Now, they no longer exist. There are no fences here. The world is my backyard. You are my friend. You are my family. And we may not have met, not yet at least, but I do care what happens to you.

And I love you.

I love you in the way I love every single tree and animal. I can't love your personal quirks. I don't know the cute way you say words or the frustrating opinions you have on political matters. We may be miles or countries apart, but not worlds. We are both here. On Earth. Living. Trying to exist. Most of us aren't scheming. The majority aren't bad. A lot of us are struggling. And sometimes we feel alone. But we aren't. We have things in common, even when it seems as if we are so different. We breathe and laugh and cry. There is this thread connecting us. It makes us a part of each other and joins us, not only by our base human instincts and genetic makeup, but our souls. Our hopes, dreams, and wishes. We are chemical and organic and made of the stars.

I understand these thoughts might seem radical, or ridiculous. Ridiculously radical. Radically ridiculous. It is easier to be a backyard person. To love your own. Sometimes it seems a tedious task to love those who seem undeserving, but aren't those the ones who need it most? In the end, I care about you. I want you to be happy and for good things to come to you. Sometimes I think about you. Think about how hard your day might have been, how far you've come from the person you used to be, and where you want to get to. These thoughts give me comfort, especially in my lowest of moments. Because if I am thinking about you, then maybe someone is thinking of me, and that means I'm not really alone. And I never will be.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

For The Love Of Fonts

Today my friend Reb Rebs contacted me on Facebook with a very important question. You see, there's this project she's interested in recreating. Of course, she's pinned it to her 'I'm so crafty' board on Pinterest (really, it's the home decor one). The project is totally doable. A couple pieces of driftwood with places painted on them and how many miles away they are. When she does this project she will choose places relevant to her, instead of Nantucket she might pick Tofino, and she will use kilometres, not miles. (Because she's Canadian).

Personally, I'd choose really far away place just for humour's sake, like Weeks Bay in Alabama. Only 4837 KM away.

Back to the very important question and the point of this post. She needed my expertise in deciding what the writing font on the signs was. After much consideration, I went with Calibri, but swiftly changed my mind to Arial. Then, the conversation took an even more nerdy turn. 

Sometimes there is no doubt who your real friends are. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

It's only the second installment of Wordy Wednesday but I am already in love. 

This one is a treasure for me. If I didn't have to work, I would stay up all night and sleep the mornings and early afternoons away. There's something exquisite about the darkness of night. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

So, I'm Sitting Here

Trying to come up with something to write. Some days are harder than others. A blog a day seems like a good idea (not really) but on those bone weary dog tired days it's hard to come up with a subject, let alone write anything worthy of reading. Just between the two of us, I sometimes half-ass things. I don't really know what that means. No, really. What's the difference from half assing and full assing. I mean, I know it comes down to the amount of effort put in, but where did this colloquialism come from?

In regards to blog topics, many a things are running through my head. Mindy Kaling. Hitting the proverbial wall. Snacking. Powering through a less than stellar day. Knitting. Being appreciated. Crappy gifts. These all could be good, if I were in the right frame of mind, feeling witty and whatnot, but these topics aren't really striking my fancy. (What is a fancy? And why does it need striking?)

This is when I notice I'm not alone in this room. Dixon is with me. And he's up to no good. He's half on the coffee table and sitting on the couch. And he's pulling a box of Hot Tamales closer to him, inch by inch, ever so slowly. His little teeth and flappy gums have the edge of the red box. There is such concentration on his face.

I am sitting right here. Does he not see me here? Am I invisible? Does he think this is okay? What is his next step?

Last time I checked he wasn't allowed on the coffee table and we never let him eat candy. In fact, I am pretty certain the last time he ate a bunch of food off the coffee table was a year and a half ago when he overindulged on a bunch of Christmas goodies when no one was looking. Mostly chocolate. But there was some severe scolding.

I thought he learned his lesson.

When I asked, "What exactly are you doing?"

He jumped. Like he hadn't factored into the equation getting caught. It kind of seems as if he forgot I was sitting here. I have no doubt in my mind he would have eaten the whole box. Chances are I would have been waking up at four in the morning to let him outside.

Dogs are the best.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Elusive Runner's High

This will be my last post about running, until I get desperate for something to write about and cave only to talk about corns or proper shoes or how to place your hands. Actually, if you are looking for advice, don't read on. I literally have zero help for you. I cannot tell you how to run properly, what shoes to buy, whether you should bend your knees or not. The reason for this is, whenever I am out there, hitting the tarmac, I'm pretty sure I'm doing it wrong. It doesn't come easy. In fact, if you're planning on starting, be forewarned, it isn't fun and it sucks more than it rocks. At least for a little while.  

The endorphins come later. Much. Much. Much. Later.  

There's this thing you hear runners talking about called the runner's high. I always considered it a mythical thing. Like heaven, it's a place where you no longer hurt, breaths come easy, the cramp in your side disappears and you think you can go on forever. When I was running on a treadmill, I could go for hours and I mistakenly thought this was in fact the 'runner's high'. In reality, I was in fact doing it wrong. Turns out you're not supposed to have it on the lowest setting. This simulates a slight decline, meaning you're in fact running downhill, and we all can do that forever. (Only a slight hyperbole) The professionals and die hards say you're supposed to put the treadmill on a one to three percent incline. So, oops.

Outdoors is a completely different matter. When I first started running outside, I noticed it was a lot tougher on ever part of my body. Meaning I worked much harder. Suddenly those hour long running sessions were a thing of the past. Five kilometres was where I drew the line. Except, I've been getting stronger. Not skinnier. No, my thighs are the same hammy girth, but I can walk farther. Jog longer. Move faster. And it isn't so hard anymore. 

So, I decided to run down to the lake. It's only five kilometres there, but when I arrived, I decided to run back. Ten kilometres. This was the farthest I've ran outside on the rugged terrain. Sure, I've done fifteen and twenty on my adventuring, but never running the whole thing. Truthfully, I walk a lot. But I did run the entire way there and back. Not walking once. I am proud, even though it is a drop in the bucket for those nutcases who actually run half marathons, marathons and ultra marathons. And about seven kilometres in, I hit the runner's high. My stride was strong, my posture perfect, breathing easy, and I felt good. Strong. Healthy. Unstoppable. Just between the two of us, I actually contemplated adding more distance! Of course, this was insanity and I snapped out of it and went straight home and into the bath. 

As it turns out, the runner's high does exist. It just doesn't happen for awhile. You have to put time and distance in before you can push back the 'Gee, this is terrible' part of your run. Of course, this is all coming from a woman who's thighs get separation anxiety when in the cobbler pose because they aren't used to being apart. So, take it for what it's worth. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014


Remember that episode of Mad Men where the Draper family has a picnic in the park? After they are finished eating, Don finished his beer and tosses the bottle into the grass. The ever-dutiful Betty shakes off the trash from their meal and off they go, leaving behind their garbage. That sort of complete lack of respect for the world we live in was not uncommon in the sixties. If littering wasn't a huge problem we wouldn't have needed laws and fines to try and stop it.

But that was the sixties. Surely things have changed. I mean, we've been bombarded with advertisements, jingles, slogans and signs, all of which work tediously to drive home the fact that it is our duty to keep the world clean. Keep it clean. Keep it green. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse. Don't make excuses. Make a difference. Give a hoot. Don't pollute. Don't be a litterbug.

We all know it's bad to litter, right? It has to be general knowledge. I want to believe no one tosses sandwich wrappers out their car windows anymore, but this is just wishful thinking. The proof is there, all around us. As some of you may know I've been running/walking/jogging in the morning and at night, in hopes of clearing my head and centring my chi, whatever that means. Today, I ran down to the lake and along the way, I was saddened to see the trash at the side of the road. Booster Juice cups. Take out containers. Pop bottles. Tissues. And an abundance of cigarette butts.

How heartbreaking.  

On the way back from the lake, I found myself wondering what kind of people still litter. Of all the answers I came up with, from teenagers to rednecks, the only one that encompassed everyone was ignorant people. Dummies who clearly don't care about the world they live in. I live in an incredibly rural area and one might assume the people who chose to live in this glorious natural wonderland would appreciate it enough to use a freakin' garbage can. Apparently, not all of them do.

Here's a bold statement, but desperate times call for desperate actions. If you litter, then we will never be friends. There. I said it. Just trying to do my part to keep the world green.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

An Affair With Art

Today my father posted a link to a video about Vivian Maier. Up until today, I'd never actually heard about her. Turns out, she's a fabulous street photographer who spent the majority of her life documenting the world around her. As I watched the video, I was amazed by this unique woman who to this day has remained a virtual mystery. This artist captured thousands of moments through her camera lens and yet she died without anyone knowing about them. The negatives were only discovered when a storage locker was being auctioned off when she couldn't keep up the payments on it.

Determined to find out more, I turned to the internet. Really, the whole scenario fascinated, not just because this woman kept her passion a secret, but because her creative eye was so clearly a part of who she was and so many people who shared a piece of her life insist they didn't have any idea how extensive her catalogue had grown. Sure, they saw her with a camera, but they didn't see how important it was. It doesn't make sense. I mean, she had a hundred thousand negatives. Who doesn't notice that?

Anyhow, both the article and video detailed how solitary Vivian Maier was, how she had these introverted tendencies, and this desire to be anonymous. On the other hand, she was also a liberal woman who freely gave her opinion to anyone willing to listen. These two sides of her personality only intrigues me more. As I read the article and watched the short film, I became bothered by how people viewed her. This woman who amazed and captivated me, who I saw as a creative genius and someone to admire, was coming off very different to others.

They called her pitiful. Lonely. Sad. Alone. They talked about how terrible it was that she kept this hobby to herself. How she hid who she was. One girl talked about how heartbreaking it was that she could capture these relationships with her camera but never was able to have an intimate relationship of her own. No children. No husband. No family. No close friends. What a tragedy her life was!

Except, this wasn't how I saw it. Having these people talk about how unfulfilled Miss Maier must have been aggravated me. They clearly missed the most beautiful relationship she had.

We glorify human affection and grow up thinking getting married and having kids are the most important goals a person can have. We are supposed to spend time with our friends and family, to miss them when they are not around, and to covet hand holding and soft kisses. The problem with this is: we are all different. Some of us don't thrive on human interaction. Some of us are quite happy alone. Some of us seek peace of mind through other channels.

To me, Vivian did have an intimate relationship ... with her camera. A love affair with her art. This was her passion, her pleasure, something she thrived on doing. By not sharing these pictures with the world, she is telling us she loved her art, adored seeing the world through her viewfinder, and searching for the perfect frame. She needed nothing in return and was content to walk the streets and witness what other people passed by, these things people were too busy to notice. Vivian Maier captured tender human emotions and documented history, dictating which moments were to be immortalized through the lens of her camera. It saddens me that people have so grossly misunderstood her.

More than her camera and her art, Vivian had a relationship with herself. It baffles me that these people don't see how gorgeous and unique this woman was. She is not defined by a husband or children, friends or family. She is defined by her passion and the most important relationship in her life - her art.

I highly encourage you to check her out. She's beautiful.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Moving On

Since I moved out of my childhood home at seventeen, I've lived in seven places, including the one I am currently in. That number is about to grow again. Eight moves pretty much makes me an expert on relocation. I think of all the boxes I've taped up. All the random things I've broken. And the anxiety over having to get out of the last place and into the next one. The time frames never work out right, do they? 

No matter how often you pack up your belongings, only to unpack them later, it doesn't get easier. In fact, it gets harder. More tedious. A little piece of your soul blackens each time you have to place your life into cardboard boxes. The downsizing, donating, and cleaning. Ugh. The cleaning. Worrying if you'll get your damage deposit back because you accidentally chipped the tile in the kitchen when you dropped your frying pan. 

I remember my very first apartment and how excited I felt to be moving out of my parents' house, how fun it was acquiring new furniture, dishes, and all the little things you need, like a toothbrush holder and silverware. The first time around, I lived with my sister, I painted my room blue and she painted hers a ridiculously dark colour. We didn't get our damage deposit back. 

Needless to say, I've learned a couple of things. Here are my seven tips for anyone who is moving: 

1. The fifteen day overlap. Yes, I know we are not made of money, but it is totally work it to find a place for the fifteenth and have have a month to slowly move it. It allows you to prime and clean the new place before you move in, and the old one after you move out. The cost certainly bites the big one, but trust me when I say you will be thankful for the extra time. 

2. Newspaper is not needed. So, you have breakable things and you want to ensure they are packed into boxes so they don't get all smashy-smashy? Use your clothing. Put glass knickknacks in tube socks! Clothing works better than paper and it also allows you to cut down on boxes and bags of clothes. 

3. Don't buy boxes. Go to grocery stores. They love giving them away. Free stuff rules! Even if it is only cardboard. 

4. Check for ants. Out of all the places I have been in, only one of them didn't have an ant problem. One of them! ONE! Can you believe that? Apparently, it's a huge problem, which is evident because 87.5% of the places I've rented/owned have had a problem with them. So, keep your eyes open and check for any signs of these diligent workaholics. 

5. Something is going to break. It happens. Every. Single. Time. Sometimes it will be a mirror and bad luck will ensue. You can't change this simple fact. It's impossible. Trust me. I've tried extremely hard not to break anything and something always cracks, smashes, or gets all busted up. Don't waste time worrying about it because it's out of your control. 

6. Oh, it's nice to hire professionals. At least, I imagine it would be. Since I am the poorest of the poor, I've never had the luxury. I've always depended on friends. If you're like me and have next to no money, you too may rely on the kindness of others. While they are amazing for even offering to lend you a hand, do not be foolish. Never feed them until after you've done the moving. If you make the mistake of giving them pizza and beer beforehand they won't work as hard. Chances are some of them probably will even cut out early. They may not mean to be jerks but without the proper motivation they will be.  

7. Whatever happens on move day doesn't count. It's a high stress, ridiculously tense day and nothing said or done can be held against you or the ones you love. Everything is forgiven because every muscle in your body is sore and you're brain is so fatigued the idea of signing your name seems impossible. So, be gentle with yourself and those around you. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Is A Terrible Blog

Isn't it amazing how people act when they are faceless and nameless. Behind a moniker, handle, and secret avatar, we can be anyone, do anything, and say whatever we want. We have the freedom to be kind or mean - and it's always interesting those who lean towards mean. Of course, if you're being nice, there's no need to hide behind anonymity, is there? No, of course not. It's only for snarky comments and insults that people hide their identities.

This evening I received a comment on my blog. Two sentences. Ten words. Five words to each sentence. Very clearly meant to be insults. Truthfully, they have a stark sort of honesty to them. 

This is a terrible blog. You are a horrible writer. 

While I suppose I should be upset, or at least feel as if I've been virtually slapped in the face, I actually laughed when I read it. Not because it isn't mean, because it most certainly is. I laughed because I instantly thought of the age old saying 'consider the source'. When I was young, I used to get upset by names people called me. Believe it or not, I was very sensitive and these insults hurt. They bothered me. As I grew up, I learned the importance of considering the source, and eventually confronted the fact that I really don't care what most people think of me. Caring about such things is a waste of time and energy, two things I don't have unlimited resources of. 

Fat. Ugly. Dumb. Manly. These opinions didn't matter to me. Not because they weren't valid, certainly the other person perceived me as such (maybe - the art of name calling is such a fickle thing. Sometimes the individual being a meany pants doesn't actually believe the things they say. Sometimes they are just trying to get a reaction.) Actually, the reason these opinions didn't matter to me was because the source was an untrustworthy one. They weren't people I knew, talked to, or cared about. So, why should what they say affect me? Why should I lose sleep over the opinions of sheep? (That being said, I quite like sheep)

That was in real life, though. How does this apply to the internet? Well, when I saw this comment on my blog, I laughed because I can't even consider the source. The source is anonymous. Sure, I can go to stat counter and see where it was posted (the Vancouver Public Library), how long they spent on my blog (a minute and a half), where they came from (Facebook) and what else they viewed (just the Wordy Wednesday blog). So, not as anonymous as one might hope, but enough for me to not actually know who this person is. Not really.

They are in fact faceless and nameless. A nobody. An insignificant piece of fluff in a virtual universe they probably can't even comprehend. They chose to be anonymous and in doing so rendered their opinions worthless. Weightless. Insignificant. Because they are the opinions of nobody. And who is bothered by the thoughts of no one?

Except, then I got to thinking, which is never a good thing. Is this anonymous run by commenting a random act of insulting? Or is it more personal? Does this person know me? Or not? Did they come from my personal Facebook? Or my writerly page?

These are things I can't answer, but I've come up with these two scenarios:

Scenario 1: This is someone I know. Who came from my personal Facebook. A once upon a time friend, who hates everything I've ever penned, who  came to their breaking point tonight after suffering years of my blogs. So, at 7:40PM on a Thursday night, they head out to the Vancouver Public Library and craft the most honest two sentences they will ever say to me.

For sure, I hope this isn't the case. After all, I'd rather they just remove me from Facebook and ignore my blog. That being said, now I kind of feel bad for laughing at their comment. I mean, maybe it's more valid than I initially gave it credit. Still, I picture them hunkered down at that public computer, punching down on the keys, and I hope they got at least a little satisfaction when they posted it.

Scenario 2: Some stranger is biding their time at the VPL this evening and stumbles upon my blog. After a quick minute and a half, they come to the conclusion that the blog is terrible and I am horrible. Instead of simply keeping their thoughts to themselves, they decide to hide behind anonymity and try to insult me. Sadly, it doesn't work, not only because they are a nobody to me, literally because they didn't even put in their first name, but because their conclusion seems unfounded. Okay, I might be a bit bias because I actually like my writing, for the most part, but they spent a mere minute and a half on my page. With a 371 word blog, they'd have to read 4.12 words a second. Now, that's not unheard of, after all speed readers can read even faster, but I highly doubt ninety seconds is enough time for this particular individual to read and absorb the genius of my last post.

Thus, in conclusion, if you put anonymous on something, be prepared for there to be no power in your punch. These blogs are mostly for myself, still I understand people sometimes swing by for a gander. I apologize if they aren't up to your standards, but I seriously try my best. Except on Wednesdays, obviously. In the end, I feel bad for this VPL reader. Kind of like, I wish they had something better to do on a Thursday night. I am under the understanding that happy people don't do things like this. Happy people spread kindness. Not meanness.

As I sit here, I wish I could give this person a hug. Because I think they might just need one.

Wise words by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

If you're one of my privileged readers who have been with me since the beginning, you may remember that I used to have regular features on my blog. For a long time, there was Melodic Mondays, where I posted songs I love, or have loved, or will love. This went out the window because YouTube kept removing videos from their site, thus rendering my posts obsolete. After that, or maybe around the same time, I posted Wilde Wednesdays, where I paid hommage to the inspirational and treasured Oscar Wilde. I didn't keep up with this, because the man only said so much and I hated feeling limited to only posting about Oscar Wilde on Wednesdays. 

While neither of these endeavours lasted, I did enjoy the idea of know what I was going to post on those days. It made the week go a bit easier. And that was back when I was only posting once or twice a week. These days I am blogging every day, because I am doing a challenge, which you can read about here. So, now I need the help more than ever. 

Inspiration struck in the form of a post on Facebook made by a friend. A new word I'd never heard of. Here I am thinking about how much I love words, this new one in-particular, and how I would love to share the new words I find with the world, especially the readers of my blog. I imagine most of you who tune in here are readers and word lovers in your own right. That you aren't just here because you love my face or think I say witty things. 

This love of words may be our common denominator, so why not nourish it? In the end, it can only bring us closer together. Welcome to Wordy Wednesdays, where we will learn together and grow fonder of each other. Maybe. 

Today's word: Petrichor

Definition: The lovely scent that accompanies rain when it hits the parched ground. You know, when it hasn't rained in forever and the sun has baked the earth, then the sky breaks and the droplets hit the sun-kissed ground. The aroma that arises from that. 

So fresh. So clean. So invigorating. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Get Lost

Remember when 'get lost' was a popular saying? It was right around the time 'get a life' was making headlines. Now, they weren't really very insulting. We took them in stride. But after actually getting lost in the forest today on my way, I can safely say, being lost is not something I would wish on anyone, not even my most devious enemy.

There's a panic to getting lost. At first, you remain calm and collecting, you're rational, but as the foliage thickens and the trees grow denser, that levelheadedness gets left behind. Then you're traipsing through the forest, with no path in sight, silently cursing yourself for being so ridiculous and seriously doubting whether you're going to make it out alive. After all, there are bears and cougars in these woods and - wait, what's that? Did you hear that noise? Something's following me.

It goes from 'nice walk in the woods' to 'I'm going to die out here' pretty quick. I was foraging my way through ferns and shrubs and trees and stumps for about twenty minutes until I found a massive rock. Upon this rock, I searched for a break in the trees, a path or road, something to tell me what way to go. Since I'd climbed up, I figured climbing down was my best bet, but there was a cliff involved and I wasn't dressed for rock climbing. From here, it went downhill, but not literally, even though that was my plan. Images popped into my head. Ones of search and rescue, cadaver dogs, and a bear dragging me off by my ankle. As my body temperature went up and dehydration started hurting my kidneys, my thoughts only worsened.

Now, I don't ever plan to go off path. It's happened once before, the scenario similar to this one, but that time I had Dixon and my phone. Both worked as a blanket of comfort in a somewhat trying moment. This time, though, I had nothing. No phone. No dog. No water. No composure. Don't worry, you don't have to lecture me. I know how stupid the whole situation was, but I didn't get lost on purpose.

So, how did I get there?

The path ended. It simply stopped. There I was, in the blistering heat, already having ran/walked over six kilometres, hungry, thirsty and tired, determined to get home. Up the path I walked, and walked, and walked, until it just stopped. Well, stopped isn't accurate. A bunch of trees had fallen in my way, causing me to think a landslide must have happened and the path surely must have picked up on the other side. It didn't. And when I turned around to go back, I must have been discombobulated because I seriously couldn't find the path again. Thus began my great adventure into new territory and what happens when you have an overactive imagination.

In the end, I didn't die. But I will never say 'get lost' to anyone ever again.

No Thank You.  

Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Sweltering Hot - Part 3

Since this is my third instalment on letting go, I thought I would touch on the only thing on my mind right now.

The heat.

It is literally so hot I am sitting in a pool of my own sweat.

Makes everything else seem insignificant when you can't move for fear you'll slip in a puddle of your melted face.

Today is better. Probably because it's too hot to think.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Tears Cometh - Part 2

It's a tough thing saying goodbye. To friends. To memories. To the person you once were. And to a home.

Once upon a time, I was lost. There are blogs to prove how far astray I deviated from the girl I was supposed to be. Those posts will show an emotional battle worthy of the history books. Still, I worked through my issues here - most of them. Some of my issues aren't meant to be worked through. Really, they're character flaws and part of who I am as a person. Still, this is where I battled my demons publicly. Not because I think anyone wants to read about the skeletons dancing out of my closet when I accidentally leave it open, but because it is therapeutic for me to write out the troubles that plague my mind. Catalogue. File. Close the drawer.

The funny part about the things I wrote through 2012 and 2013 is that are were written in my big girl home. The home I moved into thinking I would never date anyone again. The place I bought when I was scared and sad and the most broken I've ever been. It's the place I hunkered down and confronted my part in the demise of one of the most important relationships I've ever had, or ever will have. Even more, it's the home I lose forty-seven pounds in. It's where I stopped wading through the darkness and found the light. And I fell into my stride again.

Many nights were passed writing and dreaming and laughing - and maybe even crying in this place.

So, as I stood in my living room today, staring at the emptiness, I too felt empty. The tears came. Uncontrolled and perhaps even a bit irrational. But they are important. They are a goodbye. A goodbye to what was said and done there. To the chapter I never thought I'd have to start. The part of the book that hurt at first, but turned into such a pivotal section of my life. Honestly, I doubted it would ever end. In the beginning, I thought I would be there forever. But forever is a lengthy amount of time. And it did end. It's over. And the new chapter has started.

And as I took one last pee on the toilet I once owned, I let go. I didn't have to be strong or pretend.I don't have to smile. Today, I can be sad. It's okay. Because this was my home. It is important. And it can be hard saying goodbye.

As I finally breathe out, I realize I have beautiful people in my life. Friends who are generous and caring. Family who love me, no matter how weird my decisions seem. Beautiful boys to keep me warm at night. And the memories I created in my big girl home.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mainland Bound - Part 1

This weekend I am heading over to the mainland to clean out my storage locker. 

I will let you know how this emotional overload goes. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Just A Tiny Little Message

Lately, I've been doing a lot of walking. One never knows what they are going to find while exploring the Vancouver Island. It's a wondrous place full of mystery and surprises and love and greenery. Once you start adventuring, curiosity is tickled, and you search for the unexpected, unknown and unbelievable. Sometimes you run across mushrooms that are meant to shelter gnomes, or flowers worthy of a pixie's dust.

Most of the time you find little reminders that amazing people exist all around you. Sure, you might not know them, but they are brushing shoulders with you. It's noticeable in the messages they leave behind. A carving on a bench, a drawing on the ground, a knitted heart hanging from the limb of a tree. And the notes. They are everywhere. It's almost as though once you really start looking you are finally able to see.

The truth is simple. You are never alone here. You matter.

A message from the Earth and the people who live here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Crushing Hard

Do you remember when people used to say they were 'crushing hard' on someone? I do. It always made me laugh, like were there people out there crushing soft? Does it make the crush that much more intense if you add the 'hard' in there? If you weren't crushing hard, did it not count? Was just a regular old crush not good enough?

Yes, these are the things that go through my head.

Speaking of crushes, these are my top seven celebrity crushes. Celebrity because I'm never going to tell you who my poor or working class crushes are. Celebrity seems safer. Harmless. Fun.

And here we go:

1. Emma Stone - Not just because she has that adorable little lisp but because I have never seen her in the tabloids flashing her gash. There's something about the smattering of freckles on her nose. The lip-sing off she had with Jimmy Fallon. Easy-A. Her part in Crazy Stupid Love. And the red hair. I've always liked girls with red hair. Not really boys, though. Strange how girls with red hair come across as spitfires and boys a little creepy. That being said, some women with red hair actually exude a very standoffish vibe, but for the most part, I really appreciate a tinge of ginge. Some of you may not know that this is actually who I always saw playing Eleanor in my first novel Seeking Eleanor. Now you know.

2. Andy Samberg - They say women like funny men. This is true, but more so if the funny men are attractive. Actually, the irony with this is that a man can be fairly average looking and if you add a great sense of humour to them, they gain two points. Two whole points for the ability to crack jokes! Crazy, right? Also, two points if there is an accent. Andy Samberg has been on my radar for years. No, really. I think I wrote a blog back in 2006 about how I wanted him to marry me. Apparently, he didn't want to.

3. Mindy Kaling - I shant draw the line at funny men. After all, I am an equal opportunity type of gal, and Mindy Kaling is one attractive mama. She's got hips that don't quit and sharp wit to match. Sign me up. While I didn't entirely love her character on The Office, I truly admire the fact that she co-wrote and produced the show, which most people don't know. She also the creative genius behind the Mindy Project, a totally hilarious show I truly appreciate. Oh, and her book is fantastic. Some of her observations on life and love and existing are simply brilliant. Obviously I'm crushing hard on this one.

4. Ryan Gosling - Not my usual cup of tea, but it's Ryan Gosling. 

5. Emma Watson - Clearly, I have an affection for Emmas. This one is too plain and simple, it's Heromine Granger, and everyone loves her. My crush only grew stronger when she cut off her hair and started saying brilliant things about short skirts and femininity. That being said, she's just adorable. Absolutely adorable. Haven't seen a single movie I've disliked her in, then again, I haven't seen Noah yet. Yikes. 

6. Bruce Springsteen - Yesterday. Today. And tomorrow. Forever. It's just been an ongoing thing and I don't see it ending anytime soon. I swear he just gets better with age. 

7. Zac Efron - You can read my thoughts on this cyborg here. Yes, it's a blog from 2009. And, yes, it is still applicable. Although, I do have a few things to add. One - he makes a white t-shirt look good. Two - I watched Neighbours and laughed my arse off. And lastly, I am pretty sure he is James Dean incarnate. 

Terribly beautiful people. Other notables that I simply just ran out of space for: Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Zooey Deschanel, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Ian Somerhalder (don`t judge me), Tina Fey, Aziz Ansari, Hugh Dancy, Norman Reedus. Oh hell, I have hard crushes on everyone. 

And who is tickling your fancy these days?  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Smooching Out Front A Pizza Joint

So, the Sidekick is telling me this story about one of his friends. The details aren't important. It's another cheater tale, you know the kind. Drunk guy meets a girl and can't keep his tongue in his mouth. And Sidekick tells me, "He gets drunk and is smooching a girl out front of a pizza joint."


Sometimes word choices make me love someone even more.


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Too Tired To Rant

Don't you hate it when there's a massive rant in you and you're too drained to type it out? It's so defeating to have something to say and not have the energy to say it - or type it. And I actually type faster than I speak, and think. That's why my blogs sometimes don't make any sense until the end when it all ties together in a nice neat package. Sometimes they never make sense because my brain never catches up to my fingers. 

So, I have a rant, but my feet and hands and face are tired. Have you ever been there? To the point where your face, even in its most lax state, is exhausted? Your hands are cramping. The brain you rely on to get you through the day is spinning, but it's the fattest laziest rat in the thinking wheel, and he just wants some cheese.

It's been a tough week. Please don't remind me it's only Tuesday and Tuesdays are actually the very first day to the start of my week. I know this. No sense beating me with the miserable fact. I cried today. In front of people. Yeah, not the highlight of the last twelve hours. These emotions are running high. Funds are running low. And I feel as if I never get a second to breathe. 

Then, there's this voice at the back of my head that asks, "Why do you even bother?" Because sometimes trying and striving to do good and be good is so weakening - spirit, mind and body. I'd go on but my hands are aching. Even if my brain was functioning at it's normal level of awesomeness, my hands are staging a strike and saying this needs to end here or they will start picketing until I provide them with better working conditions.  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Green Apple Gelato

For your information, it's the best thing I've had in a very long time. I delighted in a scoop today on my date with Tiffiny. We walked down to the boardwalk and back. I'm pretty sure the walking counteracted the deliciousness of the green apple bliss in gelato form.

We talked movies and television, boys and more movies.

Speaking of movies, I watched three this weekend. Here they are and my two sentence reviews:

1. The Wedding Guest - also called Barefoot. Trying too hard to be hip Indie with very little plot and endearing characters. Not a terrible movie, but Scott Speedman's cuteness wasn't enough to save this floppy fish.

2. Thanks For Sharing - Despite my apprehension over Pink being in it, this turned out to be really very good, even though I really didn't like Paltrow's jealous character. We love Mark Ruffalo - we meaning me.

3. Red State - Not too sure why this is categorized as Horror, when in reality it isn't scary at all. Didn't really love it but John Goodman is the man so I am not sad over the time I spent watching it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Subjects Removed

It's been a long year so far, and we are only halfway through. As some of you know, I put my condo up for sale back in February. I thought it would sell quickly. It didn't. After much waiting and fretting, it is now sold.

While I thought the weight of stress would finally lift off me, leaving me with nothing but an overwhelming feeling of freedom, I'm actually suffering from a unique sort of melancholy. Yes, this is what I wanted, to be rid of the burden, financially more than anything else. And yes, this does represent being able to move forward. For the last year, I've felt stuck in a sort of limbo with very little to indicate I am actually moving in the right direction.

Still, there's this sadness. A grief. For a loss I am responsible for.

Don't get me wrong. This is a happy occasion, but I am still saying goodbye. To a place I bought at a very difficult time of my life. A home where I did a significant amount of growing and an equal amount of healing. In saying goodbye to this place, I am letting go. Letting go of myself, of parts of my past, of people and moments and love and losses I never thought I'd let go of.

Sure, I moved out awhile ago, but as long as I owned this apartment, I had an umbilical cord to the girl I once was. The sad one, who was so lost and broken she never thought she'd find her way. The heartbroken one. And the one who learned much and stopped feeling bad and started breathing in the trees and ocean, breathing out the doubts and anger. As long as I owned that apartment, I had an attachment to my friends, the people I love and miss. By selling it, I am acknowledging how much I miss those people. How detached I sometimes feel over here.

And I am saying goodbye to my ex. This sounds bonkers, doesn't it? I mean, we haven't been together for three years and have both been with other people for quite some time, two years and counting on my side of things. Still, this is where I went after us and it's where we worked diligently to form a friendship. That friendship still stands, I like to believe it always will, and I consider myself lucky to have it. It takes unique individuals to salvage a friendship from the wreckage of love, but it can happen, if you aren't both complete dicks.

It's weird. How a building, a five hundred square foot apartment, can represent so much of who you are and what you've been through. I understand those memories will be with me forever, but I didn't except this overload of emotion. Honestly, I thought there would be dancing and merriment. Don't think this is a regretful thing. It really isn't. That is not one of the hundred emotions storming through me.

And I am happy, but also sad too.

Funny how things are never quite what you imagine them to be. But at least this is a little forward movement. I think.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

For The Love Of Dogs

It isn't like me to seriously get serious. Not often. There are a lot of posts on this old blog that touch on serious subjects, but there's always a hint of humour, a scoop of sarcasm, and a little lightheartedness. Unfortunately, there isn't anything funny about the subject on the docket today. I've been mulling it over and there's no kind way of saying it. So, I must tackle it with facts and heated passion alone.

I fucking loathe people who leave their dogs locked in a car on a hot day.

The other day, I watched a dog panting his little lungs off while the owner dined at the restaurant next door. While he (the owner) was indulging in eggs Benedict and a nice cold glass of orange juice, this little dog went from alert to lethargic. And it wasn't the hottest day, either. There was a cool breeze. The windows were rolled down a crack. He had food and water. But this isn't enough. Even if there is a breeze, the sun is pounding down on that metal car.

This went on for an hour. When the dog went from normal panting to the harsh open mouthed panting of a dog on his way to expiration, just watching wasn't an option. Except, this was when the owner came out. He didn't want to listen to me. He didn't want to give me the time of day, until I told him I had his license and would report him for animal cruelty if he didn't listen.

Here's what I told him:

  • Dogs regulate their body heat differently from humans. If we sit in a car hot car for ten minutes, we may just be 'uncomfortable' but a dog could die in this short amount of time. 
  • A dog pants in order to cool down and sweating through their paws, not over their body. The harder they pant in the car, the more oxygen they use. If your dog doesn't suffer from heatstroke, they can and will likely suffocate.
  • If the temperature outside is 22°C/72°F, then the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C/117°F.
  • Some dogs are more prone to heatstroke, brain damage and death than others like dogs with short snouts, muscular dogs, really young puppies, very old dogs, long haired breeds and dogs that are on medication or are sick. 
  • Leaving a window open isn't enough. Research has shown cars with windows cracked still reach the same deadly temperatures. 
  • Laws are changing and leaving a dog in a hot car is now considered animal cruelty. 
I asked this irresponsible owner why he didn't use the outdoor patio at the restaurant and take his dog with him. He said he didn't know there was a patio, but it was right out front. I suspect he didn't want to sit out in the muggy heat and eat his breakfast. The owner said he lived on Hornby and what was he supposed to do 'leave the dog at home'? Yes, I told him. I think the dog would have been better off at home than suffocating in his car. 

In the end, I said, "What's the worst that could have happened?" 
He said he didn't know. 
So, I answered for him. "Your dog could have died. Would your breakfast have been worth that price?" 

No. He said it wouldn't have been worth it. 

There is no excuse anymore. Everyone knows not to leave their dog in the car on a warm day. Still, thousands of people do it daily. They can't leave their animal at home. It's part of their family. But I don't think there's anyone out there who loves their dogs more than I do and I don't bring them with me if I'm going into a shop or out for lunch. Why? Because I'm not a complete moron. 

So, yes, I fucking loathe people who leave their dogs in the car on warm days, let alone hot days. Actually, I don't especially like anyone who leaves their dog in their car for extended periods of time at all. There, I said it. Personally, people who do this aren't fit to be animal owners and should have them taken away, along with their kids, because if they don't know how to properly treat a dog then they certainly don't have the know-how to raise a child. 

Friday, July 4, 2014

Top Ten Most Awkward Model Poses

Today at work I was sifting through the internet trying to find inspiration for an upcoming photo shoot the ladies plan on having. Don't worry, this world wide webbing was done with the boss' approval. In fact, I was doing it to help out. So, while I was trying to find amazing photo shoots with a rustic chic, rural beachy, driftywood noir feeling, I started noticing something.

The internet is a very big extensive place and it takes time and a lot of wordplay to find anything close to what your vision is. I am not going to share the good photos with you, though. No. I am going to show you the top ten most awkward model poses. These are reoccurring too, not just one offs that models pop out with. Some of them are even high fashion go-tos. Things models are taught. Learn from other top models. It's almost as if they don't actually know how ridiculously awkward they look.

I have also named them, so they will be easier to identify when you see them in your day-to-day life.

1. Damn These Bags Be Heavy

Occasionally when given a prop, the model may realize it's too heavy for her to hold up. She can then resort to stooping or crouching in order to display the item appropriately without having to collapsing onto the ground. 
 2. The Broken Leg

Often used to show off a shoe or pair of jeans. The Broken Leg is a must have pose for any aspiring model. It takes talent, and flexibility to ensure the limb actually looks dislocated or fractured. 

3. A Titch Too Far

Popular among many high fashion models. A Titch Too Far is usually snapped seconds before the model topples backwards. Can be used to showcase skinniness and heaviness of accessories. 

4. Flamingo 

It is not uncommon for models to draw inspiration from the animal kingdom, such is the case with Flamingo. This is ideal for showing off the versatility of a cocktail dress.

5. Backwards Arms 

A go-to move for nearly any model, this move has two names depending on the placement of the arms. As you can see from above, this is backwards arms. This is when the palms of the models hands can be seen, giving her the appearance of having her arms on backwards.

6. Not So Backwards Arms 

Very similar to Backwards Arms, you can see the difference with this one is the placement of the hands. Unable to see the palms, the arms look to be on the right way, thus the name Not So Backwards Arms. 

7. Burger Eyes

Burger Eyes is a must for any model, except they usually call it Vacant Stare or Dead Gaze. Models feel better about being void of emotion than wanting to eat a burger. Regardless, you can see in the stare a need for sustenance, that's what makes the look so powerful. 

 8. This Isn't Safe

A great pose for anyone who really wants to show off how tangled up they can get if left to their own creativity. Not too sure what this would be best for. You mostly see it when a model is nearing the end of a shoot and starting to grasp for poses. Caution must be taken when exiting these poses. 

9. What Posture? 

This pose can be a little tricky to identify because some people will mistake it for A Titch Too Far. The main difference between these two vastly different poses is that this one has a more slump or stoop to the shoulders and A Titch Too Far maintains a very firm back and neck, like a straight line. 

10. Oh, Crap! 

Who better to showcase Oh, Crap! than Tyra Banks, the Queen of Top Model. This pose is hugely popular with couture models, despite how baffling it is to the rest of the world. I mean, it really does look as though they are squatting to take a massive crap (hence the name). But maybe that's why it is so often used, to remind us of that one great common denominator - going to the bathroom. 
We all have to do it. Creatures great and small. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Morning And Night

So, I have decided to get out of the house more. I find there are a lot of excuses as to why I can't, especially on work days. In the end, those are all bullshit. The harsh language only shows the seriousness of the statement. If I leave it up to myself, I will come up with reasons why I can't get out and breathe the fresh air.

As of July 1st, there have been no excuses. Yes, it's only July 3rd, but that's three days and we don't sniff at successes. We celebrate them. Because there is enough negativity and a little positive thinking goes a long way. In fact, it might just get me out of bed tomorrow morning.

They say routine kills you. I mean, I don't know who they is, but one of them is Paulo Coelho. He's responsible for the quote pictured below.

And it isn't that I disagree with him. No, I think adventuring and exploration, of mind, body and nature, is important. But I also think routine can help you out of a rut. If something is truly important and you make a habit of doing it, then maybe it transcends routine. Maybe then it becomes living.

I've decided to make reacquainting myself with the world part of my routine. Twice a day. Morning and night. 7AM and 7PM. I will be out in the world, breathing the air and moving my limbs. Right now, this is almost a chore. Don't look at my like I am lazy. It takes energy to tie those sneakers up. But I feel the benefits already. This is a nice way to start and end my day. It gives me time to gear up and down.

Okay, so this is routine right now. But I suspect by the end of the month, it won't be routine. It will be something I look forward to. Something I love. Moments I cherish because I am alone and reconnecting with Mother Nature. Eventually, I will only have one routine and it will be this:

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

This Is What Exercising Looks Like

Instagram is riddled with pictures of slender girls in workout clothes taking selfies of themselves with the hashtag 'getting fit' or 'working out'. For a long time, it was a conundrum to me. I mean, they aren't sweating. Their hair is perfect. Makeup in place. Fresh faced and fancy free. Have I been working out wrong? Because when I go running I can't do it without my face running down into my cleavage.

Then it dawned on me. Those perky, smiling, carefree girls with the expensive cross trainers and colour coordinated sports bra and stretchy pants aren't actually working out. Not yet. They are thinking about working out. Or they are standing in the gym. This is what 'before' looks like.

You know before. You've been there. 

Before the cramp in the side. Before the panting. Before the sweating and red face. Before the 'I'm so tired and I still have a mile to go' stage sets in. Before the lazy feet happen. And before the doubting. You know the doubting. It's the part of you that says you don't mind being unhealthy and maybe being fit is overrated.

Truthfully, there is nothing attractive about exercising. At least, there isn't when it comes to me. I get lobster faced and so sweaty someone passing by might actually wonder if I've just been swimming. Well, I haven't. I simply inherited my father's sweat glands. And my jaunty stride I had during the first kilometre gradually gets slower and more pathetic the farther I go, until it might actually be faster for me to crawl home instead of continuing to do this abysmal thing I'm calling running. . 

Because I am all about being honest, with myself and the world, this is actually what working out looks like: 

Actually, that's a pretty good picture. Look at my healthy glow! Here, this one is more accurate:

There's sweat in my eye! It hurts! And I stink. Like super bad. 

Anyhow, this is what exercising looks like. In my world. From the waist up. The waist down will never find its way onto the internet.

Hey, remember when we used to be told not to post any personal information on the internet, then we ended up posting everything on the internet. Weird how things change. 

Anyhow, if you're a girl like me that doesn't find themselves the most attractive, or even a fraction attractive, while sweating it out on the treadmill or while lifting weights, please understand you aren't alone. Working out isn't an attractive thing, but it makes us feel better in the end. Hopefully. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Live Clean

This has and never will be a beauty blog. Mostly because what my idea of beauty isn't exactly what the world thinks. Individually, we are more on par with one another, but most people Google ways to lose weight and ways to apply eyeliner. I don't really have any tips for those things. Eat right and exercise and you apply it to the lid of your eye. See, if I was going to talk about beauty things my posts wouldn't get past a couple sentences. Unless I get ranty, then things would spiral out of control quickly.

As you know, I am vegan. This means I am always on the lookout for amazing vegan products, both edible and non-edible. Meaning beauty things.

A couple years ago, I stumbled on a company called Live Clean. It's a wonderful Canadian company that specializes in producing vegan friendly beauty products. Back then, I could only find shampoo and conditioner and hand soap, but these days you can get body lotions and washes as well. In fact, today, I just discovered they sell a facial cleansing/moisturizing line. The truth is, I actually went out in search of these products. I figured they *had* to have a line for skin care. And they did! Imagine my joy. I almost walked out without it too because it was hidden on the bottom shelf. Because I am on a very tight budget, I only picked up the cleanser and toner, but I really want the moisturizers.

Things only get better too! The products this company develops are actually available at boxy stores like London Drugs and Shoppers Drug Mart. This is awesome because these types of stores don't actually sell a lot of vegan-friendly items. Don't get me wrong, they are getting better. As the years go by and people become more conscious of what is in their face creams and the testing involved, more of these animal friend products are popping up. And, from where I stand, if the product says it has never been tested on animals, then it is a step in the right direction.

But a lot of these 'against animal testing' products aren't actually the best for you. They have parbens and sulphates and terrible packaging. But the Live Clean brand is leading the pack in sustainability and renew-ability. They are plant derived, hypoallergenic, sulfate free, parabenfree, silicone free, and free of dyes ... well, instead of my typing it all out for you, why don't you just read the box for the cleanser yourself?

Long story, short. I love Live Clean. They have great packaging, a wonderful clean smell and represent everything I want the world to be. These are products you can use without feeling guilty. Right now I am using the body wash with the Argan oil and the scent is amazing. I also have the hand soap. And, on the upside, they are actually affordable. I have bought a lot of specialty skin care products from organic grocers that have run me upwards of twenty dollars, which isn't something I like to admit.

You can pick up the body wash and hand soaps for under ten, as well as most of the shampoos and conditioners. The facial products are a bit more expensive, but no more than $15. And I just used them and my skin feels fabulous. So does my conscious.