Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Should Have, But Didn't

It can be a struggle to let things go - from friendships to fights, writing ideas to unobtainable goals, and especially the choices we've made. When I find myself with a free moment for some radical thinking, I entertain thoughts of what life might have been like if I'd did things differently. I imagine the domino effect changing one facet of my life might lead to. What if I didn't move out of my family home when I was seventeen, if I went to school instead and ended my first serious relationship three years earlier. For the most part, this is harmless pondering, just a bundle of 'what-ifs' that have no real bearing on the happiness of right now. I know, in my heart of hearts, those choices brought me to this point, and for the most part 'this point' is quite good.

Sure, I have bad days where I am unsure of how I got here and feel unfulfilled and lost, but I'm positive these thoughts are essentially human and pretty common. From what I gather, we all feel unsure, afraid, and confused at times. It's life, after all, and it's pretty baffling. In a lot of ways, it's therapeutic to have these moments, so when you're back on track you can recognize progress and enjoy the forward motion. It's the 'should haves' that really get under my skin, though. It's one thing to ponder what life would be like if you'd made a different choice, it's another to constantly tell yourself you 'should (or should not) have' done something.

Should (or should not) have = regret.

And regrets are not welcome here. 

Don't get me wrong, I 'should have' myself from time-to-time, but I work hard to eradicate the words from my vernacular. I know I've made mistakes, but I can't change them. Regrets are such a waste of time and energy. The struggle is real, but I like to think I am making progress, which is why it's most frustrating when someone else comes along and 'shoulds' all over me. It makes me want to throw up a hand and say, "Stop."

Stop bringing up things I can't change. Stop reminding me of my mistakes. If you think I've forgotten, I haven't. My memory is a steel trap and nothing slips through, even when I say it has. Stop digging up the poor choices I've made. And stop harping about a past I cannot change. Last time I checked, Doc Brown's DeLorean didn't make it off the assembly line, so time travelling back in time to fix what I broke is off the table.

Yes, maybe I should have, but guess what? I didn't.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Not Just A Pet

Sometimes people have a 'dog' and it is only that - a dog. For some, pets don't become a member of the family. They are an object, an inconvenience, something to be moved around and traded in for another model when they become too old, big, or grumpy. Could you imagine if we did that? I wonder how many of us would trade in our kids if they did something wrong. Seems drastic, right? But owners get rid of their pets for ridiculous reasons, like moving to an apartment that doesn't allow pets, or their new boyfriend doesn't like cats. 

This won't happen with my boys. My boys are a part of my family. A part of heart. A piece of my soul. I would, quite literally, throw myself in front of a bus for them. While it seems entirely stupid thinking back on it, I actually once put my hand in the mouth of a dog who was biting Dixon's neck, just so I could get him off. I call them my boys, because referring to them as 'pets' belittles the relationship I have with them. 

Here's a story for you. 

The other night I received a text from my ex, we're friends and share Oliver so it wasn't unusual. He mentioned in his message that it was his dad's birthday. This caused my eyes to well with tears instantly. You see, I love my ex's father. I always will. And the night we lost him will forever be one of the most gutting moments of my life. So, here I am, crying, because I was sad and that's expected and the correct human emotion to have, and over comes Dixon. He crawls up onto the chair with me and starts licking my face, but then he does something he's never done before. He starts rubbing his head against mine, like he's nuzzling, and he keeps doing it, over and over, until I stop crying and am laughing. Then, he settles in beside me. 

There will always be those skeptics who doubt the relationships animals can have with people. Naysayers be damned. I feel sorry for those who have never had a dog as a best friend, who have never felt how rewarding it is to love and be loved unconditionally in return, to never have felt the healing power of animals.  

Sure, I might just be anthropomorphizing (giving human qualities to animals), but every time I come home Oliver is happy to see me. When I go to bed, he comes with me. And when he is sick, he wants me to hold him. When they are scared, they seek me out for comfort. I give, they take, but what they return to me is love. It's unconditional, no strings attached, heartwarming love. 

Which is why I am putting my boys on me for the rest of my life. Because they aren't just pets. And thanks to the Sidekick, Oliver was finished today. Just between us, I can't be happier. Now for Dixon on my other thigh!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Running On Empty

By the end of the week, I am running on empty. The exhaustion hits around Thursday, right smack dab in the middle of my week, and it's a fight to get past it. It's as if my brain juices turn to tar, making moving and thinking more difficult, until eventually the tar hardens and the gears stop turning completely rendering my mental functionality a big fat zero. *Insert awesome robot powering down sound here*. Okay, but why am I so tired? 

Well, my mother would probably ask me if I am depressed. The answer is 'no'. I am not now, nor have I ever been depressed. Sure, I've had some really good cry fests and self pity parties, but incredibly sad doesn't mean depressed. Not in my world, at least.

The simple fact is, my job is too much for my brain, and it isn't difficult. Actually, that makes it sound as though it is easy. It isn't. Not really. But what I mean is, I'm not a rocket scientist or mathematician. I don't crunch numbers or solve crimes. And there isn't much heavy lifting or hammer swinging involved. Even worse, it isn't because I am conjuring up the magical formula to cure world hunger, and I am not toiling over ways to create world peace. Trust me, if I had either I'd be handing them over pronto. So, if I don't have a physically or mentally taxing job, then why is getting through a five day work week so tedious? I mean, millions of people the world over work full time hours and still manage to have a social life, get chores done, and raise children. 

What the hell is my problem? 

Well, this might sound weird, but it's because I talk to people. Every day, I interact with over a dozen people, sometimes more. This is a lot of work for my poor, little, introverted brain. Sometimes people disagree with me when I tell them I an introverted. It's as if they expect introverts to be unable to function around people, but that isn't the case at all. In fact, we actually like being around people ... just not all the time. Certainly not every day. For hours at a time. Conversing. Engaging. Canoodling. 

Okay, I don't canoodle with everyone, I've been wanting to use that word for a really long time, though, and it never comes up in conversation. 

Back to the point of this post. For over a year now, I've greeted, chatted, and helped hundreds of people. Every client that comes through the door interacts with me in some way. At the beginning of the week, my battery is full, but throughout the day each of these encounters with people zaps a little life out of me. At the end of the day, I go home with every intention of recharging, but I never get enough alone time to fully reboot. When the next day arrives - far too soon, I might add - my battery is a little less powerful than the day before. So, by the time the end of the week comes, I'm starting my day virtually on empty. And I am ending the day 100% drained. Think about your smartphone and how wonky it starts performing when you're only at 10%.  

I am grateful that I know myself well enough to understand what I need to exist happily and healthily in this world. Unfortunately, I am an introvert doing an extroverted job. It is one thing to be aware of such things, it is another to not be able to do anything about. For the most part, I like my job, at least at the beginning of the week, but just because I like it doesn't mean I can do it long term. I do worry what may happen down the road and wonder if I am journeying towards burning out.  

Now, don't misunderstand what I am saying. When I come home at night, though tired, I am happy. I am grateful to have a Sidekick who understands what being an introvert is all about. I revel in my little slice of quiet rural living. The reason why I am putting this out there is because I worry there are people like me, who are in the same energy draining boat, who might be thinking there is something wrong. Sometimes we feel alone and it's nice to know there are others out there like us, with the same sort of struggle. You aren't shy or anti-social, you aren't depressed or unhealthy - all you need is time to recharge. 

You're just an introvert in a world that won't shut up. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Outlander - The Beginning Of An Obsession?

So, I started the first novel by Diana Gabaldon. Not just because ninety percent of the comments and messages and tweets I've had in the last couple of days have been incredibly supportive, but they also made it very clear I owe it to myself to read the Outlander series. And I suppose it's a bit odd for me to be part of an Outlander group without having actually read the books. Fiddle-faddle, I march to the beat of my own defective drum.

I've only read the first chapter, but I wanted to let the world know I'm diving in feet first. Well, technically head first, since I read with my eyes and they are located on my face, which is on my head. Don't worry, I won't be writing a post about every single chapter, but the first one is important and for some reason it's turned into Outlander Week here on my wee little blog.

Here are my thoughts in no particular order:

Partway through, Frank and Claire are talking and Frank mentions giants. It reminded me of when I went to Ireland and my girlfriends and I took a day trip up to Northern Ireland to see the Giant's Causeway, which are these truly amazing interlocking columns of basalt rock. Absolutely stunning to see in real life. Anyhow, as legend says the columns of rock are the remains of a causeway the giants built. The Irish Giant Fionn MacCool (his last name was more Irishy in Gaelic) was challenged to fight Benandonner, a Scottish Giant. They built the causeway so the giants could meet in the middle to battle.

There are two versions of the story, one where they fight and Fionn wins, but their wrestling destroys the causeway. In the other version, Fionn sees the size of Benandonner and decides to hide. His wife dresses him up as a baby and tucks him in a cradle. When Benandonner sees the massive baby, he figures his father must be the biggest giant ever to walk the earth and he flees back to Scotland, destroying the causeway in his wake so Fionn could not follow. I remember standing on the basalt columns and looking out across the water, thinking how one day I will visit the Scottish isle of Staffa and go to Fingal's Cave to see the columns on the other side.

No, there is no point in my sharing this story with you. Just thought it was an interesting sort of tie in.

Oh, that's just me sitting on some basalt rocks in Northern Ireland. 

The author can certainly spin a captivating yarn. Her wordsmithyness (no, that isn't a real word) is astounding. Truly. Sometimes you read books other people are applauding and your brain would rather shut down than read another word because the sentence structure and paragraph composition is appalling. (You can probably piece together two such books on your own, so I won't give you any examples.) That being said, Mrs Gabaldon is not just a good writer, but she's leading the pack. Already I know this novel is going to be well-researched and intriguing. This actually means a lot coming from me because I happen to be super picky and critical. Mostly because I have a hard time turning my editor brain off when reading for enjoyment. 

Claire seems to be a spitfire, something I admire in a woman, and I enjoy that. Also, she cussed when she burned herself with the tea, and rest assured I'd do the same thing, so I can relate to her. I know I will learn more about her relationship with Frank, but I'm not sold on it. Mostly because ...

... I don't like Frank, and I'm not sure whether I am supposed to or not. For one, I didn't like his reaction when she swore. Fine, it was in front of a professional man, but she burned her bloody hand. The way he acted afterwards made it seem as though he considered Claire uncouth and her behaviour unacceptable. The entire chapter, I kept thinking him pompous. There were moments where he was nearly endearing, except the way he became so enraptured by what he was thinking and saying annoyed me, as if he couldn't spare her any consideration. Then, he questioned her faithfulness, which gave me the impression he himself had strayed. Yes, I know this is only the first chapter, but I already am not a Fan O' Frank. 

Lastly, (spoiler alert) I know the ghost is Jamie. 

14% of the way through!

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Art Of Terrible Internet Moderation - A How To

The other day I wrote a post called 'Outlander, Breasts And Being A Judgmental Asshole'. It came into creation after a friend of mine was booted out of a Facebook group after she spoke up about the hypocrisy of tolerating, if not encouraging, the bashing of an actress, but deleting comments, threads and people for being far less negative and cruel. This little blog of mine actually ended up being posted in the Outlander Series group, more than once, and spurred some deep, thoughtful and encouraging discussions about body-shaming, moderation, and the less than favourable side of fans and fandom.

But the post was removed from OS. The admins of the page didn't like the blog because they thought it painted them in an unfavourable light. Okay, I might have made a comment about there being control freaks at the helm of the ship with their whips of censorship lashing out at whoever disobeys their commands. It made for colourful writing, but it was a side point to a much bigger issue - body-shaming, both doing it and condoning it. After over seventy comments on my blog, I came to realize a lot of people felt the way I did, and I was pleased to provide a platform where people could openly communicate without suffering the consequences of warnings or being banned. 

Now, I could be irritated about having my blog removed and an important discussion being thrown out because of someone's ego, but that isn't how I roll. Instead, I've come up with a how-to for anyone interested in perfecting the art of terrible internet moderation. 

So, here they are, five steps to being an atrocious administrator, as learned by a couple of the Outlander Series moderators: 

1. Make it personal! 

It is unacceptable to allow comments, posts or people who disagree with the admins. If you don't like it, delete it! This is a dictatorship, after all, and the only thing that matters is the opinions of those in charge. Discussions are only healthy and encouraged if they aren't showing you in an unflattering light. Instead of fixing the problems and striving to resolve issues that crop up, it is best to ignore, ban, and block. Appeal to the masses, remind them how much 'crap' you put up with, and ensure they stay in line. If they step out, eradicate the weed before it spreads. 

2. If you are having a bad day, take it out on unsuspecting strangers. 

Long week? No patience? People annoying you? Just delete them! As an admin, it is your God given right to delete whoever you want, whenever you want. Someone is arguing with you? Remove them. Don't like someone's comment? Delete it. Patience running thing? Ban the next person who talks back to you! The beauty of being in control is you can do whatever you want, no repercussions!  

3. Be deceitful.

It is perfectly okay to lie, cheat, and participate in trickery. First, start out by asking people to come to you if they have any problems or concerns. When they do, disagree with what they tell you, and ban them. Then, ask other people if they have the same issues as the person you banned, try and trick them into being open and honest with you, when they fall for your trap, give them the boot! This way you can eliminate anyone who doesn't think and feel as you do. They say variety is the spice of life, but when controlling the masses you want everyone to obey and conform. Don't worry if this seems like a childish antic, in the end you will be more powerful.

4. Reiterate the rules. 

There are rules for a reason, to make your life easier. These rules are subject to change at your whim. It is not okay to talk poorly about an admin, but body-shaming a celebrity is perfectly acceptable. Make it clear who is in charge. The minions are nothing. Keep them underneath you. Bowed and broken is the only way you will successfully manage a group of heathens. Remove anyone and anything that contradicts the rules of the group and your own personal rules. If you let one person stand up to you, they all will stand up to you. The first warning should always be the last as well.

5. Restrictions. Restrictions. Restrictions. 

The last rule of Moderators Club is to not let anyone talk about ... well, anything you don't want them to. Restrictions are the key to a complacent crowd. Discussions should include limitations on things that annoys you, opposing opinions, disagreements about the way your page is being run, off topic remarks, hijacks, cute animals, weather reports from Wisconsin, Outlander drinking games, uncertainty and past members. Once a member is booted or banned, they are basically dead, so you must ensure they are never brought up again. Ever. 

All kidding aside, when you opt to become a moderator or administrator, all personal beliefs and thoughts should be put to the side and governing should involve a modicum of rationality. There is a certain objectiveness needed to fulfill your all and powerful duties. Take my blog for example. Yes, this is MINE, but I encourage people to discuss and interact, I like others to disagree with me, because Devil's Advocate is my best friend, and sometimes I want to be proven wrong. Yes, OS has a fan page of over thirty-four thousand people, but out of all those followers there are only a  hundred or so who are regularly active. For the most part, the majority doesn't interact, which is probably a relief for them right about now. 

Still, there are those who considered this place a community,who were there from the very beginning, and were mistreated by those 'in charge'. They suffered abuse, then were booted, often for nothing more than disagreeing with someone or voicing their concerns. When it comes to the management of the OS page, it's clear at least two of those in charge are suffering from a mad case of the power hungries. But why am I saying this? After all, I am not in the boat, I don't want to be in the boat, and I will, most likely, never be accepted into the OS boat. Because I am tired of seeing people abusing the system and mistreating others, especially when they are supposed to be setting an example. I am saying this because a friend of mine has been punished for being a good person. Because this sort of controlling behaviour is ridiculous and unacceptable. Keeping people in line by threatening to get rid of them is a fear tactic. 

Granted, this does bring up one interesting question, what can you do when the moderators become the trolls? 

Laugh. Shrug. And leave the group, I suppose. In the end, you can shout, complain, and bitch, but it's all up against a brick wall, and the brick wall just doesn't care. Always remember, everything you say is saved on the internet. Just because you delete it doesn't mean it goes away. Between caches, screen shots, and transcripts, you truly can't get rid of the stupid things you do, drunk or not. The internet is public domain.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


This is a Tufted Titmouse. 

I am sharing it with you because everyone needs a little cute in their life. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

An interesting (or maybe not-so-interesting) fact about myself - I enjoy words I can add suffixes to. 

The word: Ballyhoo

This week's selection is doubly satisfying because I am able to add 'ed' to the end to make ballyhooed, or 'ing' to create ballyhooing. It would only be that much better if I could add 'er' to the end and call someone a ballyhooer. Sadly, some words simply don't exist yet. 

I would be lying if I told you I didn't choose 'ballyhoo' mostly because of the way sounds. Go on, say it. Out lout. Now, tell me it didn't make you smile. Every time I say it, my brain conjures up this extravagant scene of a big top circus with bears in bowler caps and monocles juggling Chihuahuas and pineapples as intoxicated ballerinas dance for portly penguins. Wild and extreme. 

Here's the interesting part that actually makes me feel a bit like a numpty. I only 'kind-of' knew what the word meant. Yes, I understood it was a clamour or extravagant exhibit of sorts, but I didn't realize this ruckus was created on purpose for promotional purposes to gain clients. The most common cases of ballyhoos are when directors and actors create media stunts in order to promote their movies. Like when the footage of Deadpool was leaked at Comic-Con and the internet went crazy. 

Now I am wondering if I was simply interchanging hullabaloo and ballyhoo. The two words are closely related, cousins - if not siblings.

Another word in this chaotic family: hoopla, which also happens to be a really fun Cranium game. 

And don't even get me started about brouhaha. 

On a side note, ballyhoo is also a fish and a punk/reggae band.

If you ask me, the fish is cute. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Outlander, Breasts And Being A Judgmental Asshole

There's a group on Facebook I'm in, mostly because I can be offensive and my offensiveness is appealing to some. Everyone in the group has something in common, they are all avid fans of Outlander, the books and television show by Diana Gabaldon, and used to be part of another group called 'Outlander Series', which has a following of like thirty-four thousand people. I'm not a member of this OS group, but I've heard a lot about it and feel I probably wouldn't fit in. From what I gather, there are a couple of control freaks at the helm of the ship, exercising and abusing their admin 'power' to censor, delete and ban whatever and whomever they please. The issue is, they aren't actually moderating everyone, just the people they don't seem to like.

As someone who has been on the receiving end of ridiculous moderation before, I know it's a losing battle. In the end, you have to shrug and let the narrow-minded admins wield their swords of hypocrisy and ignorance, and laugh if you get cut. This blog isn't actually about Facebook fan page wars, but it seemed like a good jumping off point. Now all I have to do is tie this in with ugly boobs. This seems like a feat all in itself, but there is actually a direct correlation between Outlander, Facebook fan pages and overzealous moderators. Here it is: 

Apparently one of the threads posted on the Outlander Series page was a statement about Cait's breasts. For those of you who don't know, Caitriona Balfe is the actress who plays Claire Randall, the most important character in the entire series, if you aren't counting Jamie, the handsome Scottish-man with a shock of auburn  curls you want nothing more than to run your fingers through. Anyhow, there has been much discussion over the steaminess of the show, but a lot of terrible comments about Claire's body. Not Jamie's, no. The male lead is, of course, perfect. Unfortunately, there are a lot of women (why do we love tearing our sex to shreds) bashing Cait - her breast size and unevenness, her body type, lack of curves, imperfect teeth, face, eye colour. You name it, someone is saying something negative about it.

Now, the OS page has a new rule about being mean. Basically, you aren't allowed to instigate fights, bicker, bait or say jerky things. The problem is, when a friend of mine commented about how the bashing of Cait's breasts was body shaming and letting the post stand was hypocritical she got a virtual slap on the wrist, and her comment was deleted. Gasp, right? How could she be so, so, so ... wait a second, she wasn't being argumentative at all and was really only stating the obvious. As it goes, apparently it's okay to lambaste a celebrity. After all, it's only an opinion.

So, when you make nasty comments to your peers it's considered bullying, but if you do it to celebrities it's just having an opinion? Bit confusing, no? The thing is, tearing apart someone's physical appearance is the weakest form of insult. It lacks creativity and, in this case in particular, reeks of jealousy. Whenever I see these sorts of lowbrow critiques, I shake my head and curse the internet for what it has become - a breeding ground for negativity and impossible beauty standards, a place that perpetuates the unrealistic expectations women are already trying to live up to.

Now, let's look at Cait:

Um. Yeah. So, if this woman is ugly, mousy, or unattractive, then I am down right hideous. Let's drop the absurdity for a moment and face the fact, this woman is gorgeous. A classic beauty. Perfect cheekbones. Wry smile. Shapely lips. Blue eyes as deep as the ocean. Still, it doesn't seem to matter how attractive a woman is in this world, there will always be someone who has something mean to say. There seems to be this aggravating desire to put females down, to keep them under thumb, and ensure they know their place. Instead of celebrating one another, we (being women) appear to be going out of our way to bash and wound each other. Yes, men certainly receive criticisms, but they never seem to be so hurtful, personal, or abundant.

To nitpick the evenness of breasts is so mind-numbing and ridiculous. The last time I checked, most of our boobs aren't the same size. In fact, a lot of women are a whole cup different (I actually know a girl with an A and a C!). The sad part is, even if Cait's breasts had the symmetry to make a geometry aficionado swoon, then there would just be something else to complain about. Nipple size. Weight. Colour of areola. Heft. Amount of downy hair. Angle of under boob curve. Because if it isn't one thing, it's another.

If you ask me, we put far too much stock in appearance, especially when the course of all our roads is one that leads downhill. Eventually, we age, get wrinkly, spotted, have every part of us sag and dimple. This is why I am so baffled by those who are making these superficial observations, do they honestly feel they are so attractive, so put together and presentable, so striking and flawless that they can rip apart someone else? Do they really feel they have the right to criticize? All these put-downs and judgments aren't just opinions, either. They are malicious and hateful, bullying on a global scale, and condoned by those who laugh and agree.

These behaviours are so often excused when directed at celebrities. As if the rich and famous have ceased being people with feelings, who hurt and battle body issues of their own. We've all heard it before, to treat others the way we wish to be treated and if we don't have anything nice to say, then we shouldn't say anything at all. And yet, the callous comments keep on coming. Whether it is the mask of anonymity the world wide web provides, or the illusion of sneaking by unnoticed, I can't honestly say why people feel it their place to judge others, famous or not. All I know for sure is, these sorts of criticisms are petty and boring, unimaginative and lacking in substance - not to mention unfounded. In the end, they reveal more about the person spewing them than the target they are intended for.

Even more confounding are the people moaning about the series and actors they supposedly love. I mean, why complain about something you like? All the so-called 'fans' of this Outlander series who are griping and whining about authenticity, deviations from the plot and how the actors are different from the books. If you don't like it, don't watch. It's unrealistic for a movie or television show to be identical to the book. Trust me, I'm an avid Game Of Thrones fan and actually enjoy it when plots and characters differ from the original. It keeps things interesting.

No one asked my opinion, but I feel the need to share it freely. It's time we dropped the body shaming (big, small, curvy, skinny, old, young, black and white) and stopped the moaning. Whether it is done unintentionally or not, it's getting tedious and I am so over it. None of us are perfect, so it isn't our place to point out anyone else's imperfections. If you don't want your breasts judged by the world, then don't judge other people's. If you aren't enjoying the show, stop tuning in each week. Always keep in mind, these characters aren't real, they are all made up. You can't marry them. They don't love you. And while I can appreciate escapism and being enamoured with a book or particular beau, fiction should never be substituted for real life, if it is you're heading into unstable mental realms.

For a show I don't watch and books I've never read, the Outlander Series has seriously got me riled up.

Tell me you don't want to run your fingers through those curly locks?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Down Island

Since moving to Vancouver Island, I have done a lot of exploring and had many day trips. I have gone to beaches, walked through mountains, scavenged, adventured, seen wildlife, picked berries, and taken a bundle of pictures. Despite my travels, there is one trip I look forward to above all the others. The one when Oliver comes home.

As you may know, I have joint custody of my dog. A lot of people have a hard time comprehending how this works. Well, my ex and I both love Oliver so much that neither of us have the heart to never see him again. Not that it would happen like that, anyhow. Truthfully, I love my ex and consider us to be friends. Good friends, in fact, if not great friends. How he feels is a different matter altogether. It's hard ending a relationship and I think we are incredibly lucky we've come out the other side able to hangout, share a dog, and poke fun of who we were, are, and who we will become.

It's amazing to think there are people out there who can't get their act together enough to be civil for their children's sake, let alone their dog's. Alas, I am a different sort of person, and clearly so is my ex. While joint custody of Oliver is great, because it shows there is an ability to love after loss and not be a childish ass, it's also really hard. When he's not around, I'm slightly off. I mean, I have the Big Guy, and he's amazing to be with. He's clumsy, makes me laugh, and is the biggest Mama's boy you've ever met. We have great moments together, are the best of friends, and consider each other family.

But he's not my first born. Yes, I love them both unconditionally, but Oliver holds the softest of spots in my heart. I held him as a puppy. Named him. We have been through tough times together. He's grumpy and hilarious. Endearing and annoying. A huge attitude with the most velveteen ears. No, really, the Little Guy is made of silk. Anyone who pets him has to comment on how soft his fur is. And I really miss him when he's not here. Because for small dog, he takes up a seriously large amount of space in my heart.

Anyhow, today I went down island and got the Little Man. He's back home. Right this minute his fuzzy little bottom is nudged up against my arm and he's snoring away. So, yeah, I'm pretty happy right now.

Saturday, September 20, 2014


A Deadpool movie.


No, really?

You aren't joking?

So very stoked. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

My Father's Pyjama Pants

Years ago, I stole a pair of my father's pyjama pants. Here they are:

I can't actually say what year it was. Process of elimination tells me the theft happened after 2000 and before 2004. Needless to say, I've had them for a pretty long time. Over ten years. They've moved with me eight times. Other than the little box of baby clothes I have from my much smaller days, these pants have been with me the longest. Many dresses and t-shirts have come and gone, a vast abundance of jeans and bags and scarves, but these have stuck around.

What's so special about them?

Not much. I mean, they're your classic man pyjama pants with a traditional drawstring and stripped pattern. They are a couple sizes too big for me and the fabric is a pilling a little. Maybe I love them so much because they used to be my dad's. Regardless, they are my go-to comfort pants.

Sometimes I wonder if my father ever spent time looking for them. Did he have a pyjama shirt floating around for years? Heck, maybe he still does. I wonder if they will ever be reunited. Probably not.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Exquisite Disaster

People seem to be so concerned with what others are thinking. They are consumed with the opinions of minions. Worrying over thoughts and ideas they can't change. What a waste of energy and life. A completely useless task - fretting. To squander the most precious gift of time by stressing on the conclusions those around you are drawing. Let them assume and ponder. Let them wonder and whisper.

Concern yourself with only the thoughts of one. Yourself.

This is a mad world and we are mere mortals sentenced to a lifetime here, whether it be a blink of an eye or one hundred years. As humans we are fallible. Broken. And lost. We are, as a unit and individuals, hopelessly trying to find our way through the darkness. Mistakes will happen. Indeed we will fuck up. Hearts will be broken and harsh words spoken. Tears will fall. Cruel streaks revealed. Some will revel in their wickedness. Other will be swallowed by guilt. We all do things we are ashamed of. We all fall down and scream and give up. There is no magic marker to erase the choices we've made or hurts we have caused. This fallibleness is our armour and we can wear it proudly and say, "Why yes, I did mess this all up, but alas I will try again tomorrow."

One day I hope you may wake up and realize the bullshit of others need not apply to you.

Shake the poison from your hair and expel the negativity from your lungs. Greet every morning with hope and allow contentment to seep in as you close your eyes each night. Take note of the stars. Listen to the gossip of your peers and know it comes from a place of curiosity and concern, then let it go and reassure the world there is a point to this exquisite mess. Don't be afraid. Be proud and broken and free. Evolve or devolve. Move backwards. Drink. Smoke. Stay up late and play Tom Waits. Red lipstick. High heels. Stop mincing your words. Play pretend. Wear black. Draw hearts on fogged windows. Dream big. Be nothing. Dance naked. Hold the moon in your hands. Sip water from the river. Dip your toes in the ocean. Eat sweets.

Own your mistakes. Forgive your trip ups, let downs and back stabbery. Work through your own drama. Rifle through the hectic chaos of your soul. Confront your fears, doubts and desires. Battle your own demons and shove the skeletons back in your own closet. Come to terms with the person you were, the one you are and who you are striving to be. Accept yourself, and set everyone else free.

And embrace the exquisite disaster that you are.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

This next word has been one of my favourite for a long time, but I only recently realized I'd been using it incorrectly. How embarrassing.

The word: Persnickety

While I used to think the word meant being a jerk, or snarky (which apparently isn't even a word), it actually means to be particular, fussy or liking things a very specific way. Sure, it can also describe someone who has a snobbish air to them, but it's more often used to define someone who is finicky over details.

There are many reasons to enjoy the word. For one, it reminds me of Lemony Snicket. Another, it encourages my mouth to make a bit of a sneer when I say it, making it pleasing for my lips to speak. It sounds a bit like a game of sorts. Maybe one in which you have to pay close attention in order to win because there is a rogue and the rogue lies and cheats and steals, and if you aren't paying attention you'll lose everything you have.

Okay, I may have spent far too much time thinking up the retro British game Persnickety, great family fun, up to eight players. Or a Scottish game, I suppose, since that's the origin of this fabulous word. Except, I can't imagine kilts to be the garment of choice when trying to steal your Grandmother's loot. Perhaps I opted for the game to be British because I am thinking snobbish and aren't the English notoriously snobby?

Ah, stereotypes, we want none of them here. Some of my favourite blokes and lasses are of the English variety.

Being on the receiving end of persnicketiness can sometimes come across as dealing with a person who is hard-to-please, or even overcritical. In truth, it comes down to them knowing how they like something done - like clothes, hair, or a way their document is typed up. Mircro managers and OCD suffers certainly are the most extreme version of persnickety, don't we all have a bit of this trait in us?

For example, I really prefer people to spell out 'you' and 'be' instead of using net speak. If I could, I'd correct everyone on the internet. It's enough to drive me mad.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Be A Good Bra

Support is a tricky business. Most women understand the importance of a good bra, they also know how hard it is to find one. Those of us who do find something that works may by three of the same bra knowing it might be eons before we stumble upon on that actually does its job and isn't too terrible to look at. The issue with bras is they are all different. Sometimes the lace is itchy or it holds your breasts too high, it cuts in around the sides, or when you lean forward you nipple slips out, causing chaffing.

Like the great search for the perfect bra, sometimes you find a serious lack of adequate support in your life as well. It's tough because those people who are supposed to be your emotional or mental bra are completely incompetent when it actually comes to offering the encouragement you need. Instead of being an integral part of your foundation, they end up being the crack in the wall. The bra you've washed too many times and the shoulder straps are shot causing your boobs to sag.

Even worse, they might start off as the most amazing brassiere you've ever owned, but after only a couple of wears the under-wire begins creeping up the side, digging into the most sensitive skin of your under-boob. What once was a cornerstone of comfort swiftly becomes an annoyance, which can prove to be an issue, because you tend to want to hang onto these bras, imagining how one day they will be fixed and give the lush support they once gave so willingly. Maybe you even try to take the under-wire out completely, thus making one breast drop lower than the other and turn it into a more horizontal oval shape. Not very pleasing.

Finding an emotional bra to hold you up and keep you going when you are unsure or scared is hard. Bras (of the fabric kind) are finicky and intricate, much like the people we let into our lives. And bras (the human variety) are sometimes clueless to the type of support needed. Also, there is sensitivity. It's hard trying new things, stepping outside our comfort zones, striving for things we might not feel we even deserve.  Sometimes all we want is for someone to say, "You can totally do that." Even if what we want to do is completely ridiculous, or exceptionally silly.

There is something to be said about offering unconditional support. I know I try to be encouraging and optimistic when it comes to the people I love, offering help wherever I can. In truth, I want my friends and family succeed and be happy.  This is why it's so hard when the help, encouragement, optimism and hope of success isn't reciprocated. Maybe I just don't understand this desire people have to be realistic, especially when it comes to dreams. Someone once said, go big or go home. This world is too scary and cruel and defeating not to reach for the stars.

Life's too short to shake your head and say, "Do you know how hard it's going to be?" to someone else. There's no need for anyone else to be hard on us because we're already doing a bang up ourselves. Adding another person's doubt to our own apprehensions will only guarantee failure, or even worse, complacency.

Even if there isn't any follow-through, of if there is and it results in failure, isn't it better to be the most amazing bra for someone else on the off chance they do follow-through and actually win? I don't know about everyone else, but I want to be a part of that success. Part of the celebration. I don't want to be the person who deters someone away from fulfilling a dream. I want to be a good bra and offer support no matter the day, weather, or impossibility of the goal.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Leave Me Alone

Some days I wish I had a 'Do Not Disturb' sign that I can wear around my neck.

People don't like it when you tell them to leave you alone.

You can even explain that you're having an off day. Still, they get offended.

Just go away. No need to be upset. I simply don't want to interact with anyone other than my dogs.

The issues with being an introvert. Or maybe being a human. Because don't we all have these days?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Strip Clubs Make Me Uncomfortable

The Sidekick revealed to me this evening that strip clubs have always made him uncomfortable. When asked why, he kind of struggled for an answer. Isn't it funny how you have feelings and sometimes aren't exactly sure where they come from. He said he was always the guy at the back of the room playing pool. Gynecology Row, as he calls the front row, has never appealed to him. I tried to help clarify the situation and swiftly discovered the issue wasn't really a moral one. He doesn't feel going to the strippers is wrong, per-say. They just make him uncomfortable, okay?

Granted, he did tell me he doesn't find strippers attractive.

"Too skinny?" I asked, all hopeful.

No, that wasn't it.

Too naked? Too cheap? Too easy? All of the above?

The conversation went deeper and he told me how the strippers would gyrate and take off their clothes, then go backstage and get dressed only to come back out and chat with the men who were just ogling her. So, was it having to look her in the eye after looking into her vagina? Or was it the lack of relationship? Being so close to a naked woman, having those lustful feelings, but not knowing her name, favourite colour, or star sign?

This could have rang true if he hadn't already said he didn't find strippers attractive, thus taking away the lustful feelings most men probably have when looking at breasts, areola and all.

Then he said, "I don't know. I'd go in with a couple guys and we'd sit up front. Everyone seems so into it and I'm just sitting there," mocks sipping his drink, "and feeling weird."

"Is it because you're with guys? Like you're watching a lady dance around naked and it seems more like a solo sport?"

This might be it, but we haven't yet confirmed. In the end, it's almost as though he doesn't like strip clubs without really knowing why he doesn't like strip clubs. And all the while I'm making him run circles because I completely understand and am simply enjoying watching him try to explain it. The truth is, I also am uncomfortable with strippers and strip clubs. I don't look down on anyone else who enjoys them, or goes, but it simply isn't my rodeo. The objectification certainly bothers me, as does doing it with a crowd, then there's the fear of losing an eye. Also, I know these men are supposed to be sexy with their waxed chests, rippling muscles and aggro sexuality, but they aren't. So, in the end, I really do get it.

And so ends another after dinner discussion with the Sidekick.

Friday, September 12, 2014

It's Too Much For Me

The last couple weeks I've been growing increasingly disenchanted with the things I'm seeing in my social media feeds. If it isn't a post about how police officers are mistreating the very individuals they are sworn to protect, then it's an article detailing how easy it is for kids to get their hands on guns and kill each other. There is a never ending succession of stories to prove homophobia is thriving, that babies are dying, and politicians are lying. Hate crimes are being committed. The poor are being mistreated. And animals are suffering abuse at the hands of sociopaths.

There are so many bad things.

Today I read a story about how children at a daycare were accidentally given water with bleach in it to drink. An article proving that 'rape culture' is alive and well, if not thriving in this day and age. A horrifying account of the medical system in America and how much it cost one woman to give birth by C-section ($42,000). The disturbing tweets from a teacher who talks about killing her students and how much she hates them, talk about professionalism. How the ebola virus is moving faster than the capacity to manage it. That Paris Hilton bought a dog for thirteen thousand dollars (like really?). How a suicide bomber kills 16 in Somalia. The Syrian Civil War is raging. That Iraq is under siege (again? Or still?). About the Antarctic shelf collapsing. And how Nestle thinks water shouldn't be free.

There was more too. A lot more. So many horrible things happening. And everyone is sharing it. Yes, it's good to be informed and to understand the situation all of us are in.

But honestly, it's just too much for me.

I need a little kindness.

Lately, I've been sitting here wondering if there is anything nice out there. Can anyone remain positive in the face of so much disaster? If what Bill Hicks says is true and this is all a ride, it's the most terrifying one I've ever been on. No one is learning their lesson. The wheels are coming off the cart. There are definitely no safety belts. Who the hell is controlling this thing? It certainly isn't me. And that's what's scary. We aren't in control. No, not you. Nor I.

For the most part, we are good people. So why is there so much misery? How can this place feel like such a soul draining black hole? If we genuinely care about one another, then how is everything going to hell in a hand-basket? It hurts my head to think about. It hurts my heart to keep existing in such bleakness. And yet, we keep going. We plough our fields. Tend our flock. Try to eat healthy. Exercise. Pay the bills.

And in silence, we hope it will get better.  But we keep sharing the misery and grief. Can we at least have just one day where all we share with each other is love and kindness and good positive energy? Is that too much to ask? Probably.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let Me

Let me keep you safe inside.
So you don't have to hide.
All those tears you cried.
How you tried. And lied.
Together we will navigate this ride.

Let me five you my hand.
To help you sit or stand.
And ignore what others demand.
I will understand. This grief unplanned.
Perhaps we can run away to a distant land.

Let me give you the moon.
Allow you to sleep until noon.
Act like a total buffoon.
Sing every tune. Make you swoon.
Be the fork to your spoon.

Let me brush your hair.
Agree this life is quite unfair.
Take on what you can't bear.
Show I care. Always dare.
Tell the onlookers not to stare.

Let me walk you home.
Write you a useless poem.
Talk about how we've grown.
How we can roam. Never again alone.
Venture forth into the great unknown.

Let me build you a ship to sail.
Inhale the salty air, then exhale.
Just imagine the tall tale.
Of how you'll prevail. How you drank all ale.
How you found your white whale.

Let me make you smile.
Turn away everything evil and vile.
Sit and talk to you awhile.
Walk a mile. Turn your dial.
Defeat both of our denial.

Let me validate your fears.
Bat away the danger when it nears.
Be there before the storm clears.
Wipe away tears. Unstick your gears.
Whisper the truth in your ears.

Let me be your friend.
Your broken heart I will mend.
Always be quick to defend.
A hand to lend. A letter to send.
And be there until the very end.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wordy Wednesday - And A Recipe

Rough days can only be resolved by something delicious. I bake to relieve stress. Not to excellent for the waistline, but it keeps the Sidekick happy ... ish. Before I've even had a chance to type this post he's already downed three of my new creation.

The word: Heavenly

This could even apply to the band (the British one, of course) and their twee-pop-alicious melodies. But alas, I am actually talking about the delectable recipe I crafted this evening. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups. No, not quite like Reese's. Some might even say they are better. Some being me, and the Sidekick. He has to agree with me or else the deliciousness will stop.

The word 'heavenly' is enjoyable to me, especially when describing things I love, like hot baths, cool beds, and edibles that make my thighs bigger.

Because I am a sharer, here is the recipe for these (vegan) treats.

Heavenly Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Makes 12

Preheat oven to 350


1/2 Cup - Melted margarine (Earth Balance for the win!)
1 Cup - Sugar (white)
1 Tsp - Vanilla
1 - Flax Egg (1 Tbsp ground flax to 2 Tbsp warm water)
1/2 Cup - Peanut Butter (creamy or crunchy, it doesn't matter)
1 1/2 Cups - Flour
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp - Salt 
3/4 Cup - Chocolate Chips 

1. Before you start, spray down a muffin tin with cooking spray. Melt margarine, then combine with peanut butter, flax egg, vanilla and sugar. Here's where I always dip my finger in to taste. It never disappoints. 

2. Add salt, baking soda and flour. Combine, but don't over mix. Over mixing is bad. Not sure why, but that's what I've gathered from all these years of baking. 

3. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. Divide the dough evenly and put into the muffin pans and pat down.

5. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Watch them, though. Ovens are finicky creatures and if yours bakes faster you might burn them. Take them out. Cool them for ten minutes, then remove from the pan. If you are having troubles getting them out, just slide a knife around the cup and dump it upside down on a cooling wrack. 

Here's a secret that I haven't shared before. Put all baking into a container right away and put the lid on. It will prevent them from getting too hard. It's a little trick I always find helps in the quality of my baking. 

Now eat them. Tell me they aren't heavenly. I dare you. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Not Funny

There is nothing more painful than listening to a comic who isn't funny. It's common knowledge that I'm all about the laughter. I can find a chuckle even in the most disheartening situations. Tonight, was something else completely. Tonight, I sat through the worst comic routine I have ever witnessed before. I didn't laugh once. Not once. This was only made more terrible by the fact this was the headliner.

Right from the get go, I was unimpressed with the underwear act. It felt cheap and forced. Not to mention, the faces the man made grated on my nerves and his mere presence made me uncomfortable. My discomfort didn't come from the light he was shedding on the harsh truths of the world, or forcing me to confront my own demons. No, there was no harsh truths or demon confronting. In fact, he didn't tell a single new joke. Don't even get me talking about his impersonations. Horrible. Just horribly hopeless. And a waste of my time.

This was a free show, so I'm not going to rant too much, and the fact I didn't pay probably means I can't complain, but here I am. Disgruntled and dissatisfied. Because the first two comedians were actually very good, the situation swiftly turned unbearable. I expected laughter. For tears to stream down my face. I coveted the ache in my side. I wanted the gasping breaths and sigh of contentment after I ran out of chuckles. Alas, they did not come.

What is more confounding is that other people seemed to be enjoying him. Sure, the lady on my left, Miss Tiff, was in the same boat as I, but the sounds of merriment surrounded us. Baffled, I listened harder, my confusion growing by the minute. Maybe even second. Perhaps I was missing something. Maybe I simply wasn't getting the jokes. Could it be I was too tired to understand? Too cynical to find the hilarity? Too smart to enjoy the stupid?

Okay, fine, I do have a history of hating stupid humour. From Anchorman to Carrot Top, fart jokes to the Scary Movie movies, I can't stand cheap ploys for laughs. These slapstick, flat, boring characters who rely on loud noises and props to amuse only succeed in irritating and angering me. Bill Hicks and George Carlin didn't need such ploys to garner laughs. David Cross and Denis Leary have this down pat. There are even young up and comers, like Jeff Jefferies and Aziz Ansari who are delivering the gold, and amazing chicks like Wanda Sykes and Anjelah Johnson.

The childish, schoolyard jokes put the real art of stand-up to shame. Or maybe it's just not my cup of tea.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Visual Update

Words are failing me this evening, so I am posting these pictures for you to look at.

My backyard/view

There is no filter on this

Sand dollars.

3 minutes from my home.

Bruce's new hangout.

Birds at the beach.

A random egg I found that was literally the size of my hand.


Not overcast


Funny face.

I love this colour.

Can I get on the bed now? 

Purrfect timing

Sunday, September 7, 2014

You Can't Start A Fire Without A Spark

Bruce Springsteen clearly has a lot to teach us. Okay, he might have been talking about love when he sung that line from Dancing In The Dark, but it's a pretty apt observation. You certainly can't start a fire without a spark. Not only is it applicable to love and life and adventures and happiness and new starts, but it coincides with writing.

At this very moment, I've sat down to write a short story, just to get into the habit of writing again, and I need the spark. I can't start without it. If I do, I will remain uninspired and the words will dry up, dwindle, and fade away, then I will have another beginning without a middle and end. The creative juices shall not floweth until I get a flicker. A bit of heat. Some sort of combustion would be nice. Something that will turn into an all out inferno.

It's hard to know when it will come. What will feed the fire. If the spark will fizzle due to lack of oxygen, much like every spark I've had in the last couple months. The best is when you do get the spark and a decent flame going, you're putting kindling on it, stoking it, blowing, and it catches! Oh, it's a glorious feeling to watch the fire build, then you need to put something bigger on it, so it can heat the whole house and not just the living room. This is where it turns into a real challenge. What if the bones aren't dry enough? What if it starts raining doubt and uncertainty? Sometimes a huge gust of negative wind will sweep through and threaten to extinguish the fire of creativity.

Sometimes it does, and you feel so angry that you spent all that time trying to build the fire. You're frustrated because you didn't get to put it out yourself. There are times you kick at the depressing ashes. Other times, you crouch back down and blow on the coals, hoping against all odds you can revive it. The joy that comes when you succeed is exhilarating, nothing compares, but so many times it simply burns out. You promise to come back to it later in the day. Days turn to months. Months to years. Every now and then, you revisit it.

All of this glorious work and frustration and excitement doesn't happen if not for one little thing.

A spark.

So, we wait.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

To My Mum

Happy Birthday, Mum.

Sometimes, as we grow up, we forget our parents are real people. When you get older, and hopefully wiser, you see them in a new light. They are human beings and they have thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams, ideas and expectations, disappointments and blessings, hurts and comforts. When you first realize this, you have to sit down, especially when you start recounting all the stupid things you did and said, how uncaring your teenage years were. How you never really stopped to think about what your parents may have wanted out of life and how you may have messed up that plan.

If you're lucky, your parents become your friends. Sure, they are still that authority figure you hated having as a kid and love having as a grown up. Someone to turn to and count on. A person who will, even though you hate it, tell you you're being dumb, even when you think you're being smart. As you get older, you turn towards your parents, like I have. I go to you when I am lost and confused, broken and beaten, but also when I have joyous things to report. You are my friend, mum. You are the one I want to talk to when I discover a new truth about life or when I have debunked an idea I thought to be true.

I am lucky to have you in my life. A person who cares unconditionally for me and wants me to be happy. That's truly a wonderful thing to me. To know, no matter where I go or what I do, that there is at least one person in my corner, rooting for me, on my team. It's nice to know I have backup, who will listen, and defend, fight if need be, and if not, then send Dad to do some dirty work.

Life is complicated and weird. Sometimes I don't know up from down, but through all the complicated weirdness, I know you are there. To offer what advice you can. And when you have no advice, to simply say, "I don't know what to tell you" and it's funny because even that feels good, because at least we have no idea together.

There is beauty here on this Earth, despite the complications and weirdness. While I certainly inherited your introverted quirks, your misanthropic tendencies, I also won your love of nature. Your ability to cherish creatures big and small. And I am cultivating your respect for Mother Nature and all she holds, teaching anyone who will listen how important it is to listen, watch, and feel the sun, moon and stars. I take notice of the dew glittering like diamonds as it clings to the blades of grass in the morning sun. This is your imprint on me.

When I am walking along and I am dumbstruck by the beauty of what surrounds me, I think of you. It happens daily. And we hold a connection that vibrates through this earth and will always exist, no matter what. This gives me comfort. It gives me peace.

There are many things I want to thank you for, but there are not enough words or time to do so. We'd be here for hours. Days. Months. This is a blanket thank you. A blanket I love you. And a blanket, I'm thinking of you.


Friday, September 5, 2014


The big guy Bruce went to the vet today. It's hard with pets. You love them, want them to be happy and healthy, and have no way of telling what's going on with them. A big gaping wound on Bruce's tail told me he needed to see a professional. No amount of salt baths would reverse the damage done.

The night before last, I noticed he was off. Sleeping inside. Generally looking a little pinched faced. I checked him over, but I missed the injury. Makes me feel like a bad parent. The bill was terrible, but we pay because we love these creatures and we want them to be okay. Sadly, I do believe our love is exploited.

Anyhow, he's home, and he's going to be just fine because he's strong. He's tough. He's tenacious. He's the Captain of the football team and he keeps all the other players in line.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

To Hell With Positive Thinking

You know, the thing about positive thinking is, in order for it to be effective you kind of need a sign every once in while that it's actually working. I mean, I'm not a scholar or whiz kid, but I'm pretty sure in order for us to stay on the 'you need rain to make a rainbow' train, you actually need to see a rainbow. Right? Like a little break would be nice. A small one. A teeny tiny sign that good things are on route. 

The truth is, it's exhausting trying to look on the sunny side of things. Keeping your chin up is hard work when a metric ton of stress is bearing down on you. It's virtually impossible to have a stiff upper lip all the time. Sometimes you don't want to keep swimming. Sometimes you want to shuck off your water wings and give in to the riptide of negativity. Allow the sea of annoyance and grumpiness to wash over you. Submerge in anger. Wallow in melancholy. Drown in pessimism. 

Instead of smiling and saying things like, "It can only get better", which is an outright lie because it actually can get worse, you want to snarl, snap and shout a big eff you to the big blue sky, maybe even throw a middle finger up, just in case someone is watching. 

Of course, there are hiccups for all of us on this road to life, for sure. Troubles are not unique to me, nor are they to you. Yes, it is always optimal to maintain your hopefulness and to remain cheerful in the face of strife, but sometimes that's just not feasible. Sometimes smiling and saying 'everything happens for a reason' is downright impossible. Once in awhile, it's okay to get mad. To be agitated and enraged. You don't always have to be pleasant. Sometimes you have to let the world know you aren't happy with the way things are working out. In fact, you're utterly unimpressed with how the situation is unfolding and would like your time and money back, if possible. 

Sure, it's important to remain upbeat and carry on, to struggle through the rough times and remind yourself 'this too shall pass'. That doesn't mean it isn't equally important to slam the door to your bedroom and hide under your covers for a couple days. To eat a pint of ice cream. Dodge your mother's phone call. Or write a snarky post about giving up on positive thinking and embracing the negativity you've been beating away with a stick.

It's warm and familiar in this cocoon of discontentment.

As the elevens grow deeper on my forehead and my face slips easily into a mask of dissatisfaction, I relax into my 'this sucks' attitude. For tonight, I stew, immersing myself in irritation and pulling up the 'leave me alone' blanket. I will turn inwards and question why I even bother, feel foolish for caring, and mock all the eager, go-getter thoughts I've had through this worrisome week. The loveliness will be put on the back burner, the hold button pushed, and I will be a ball of irate wretchedness. 

Tomorrow I will wake up and return to the positive, but tonight to hell with it.