A tale to haunt your days and nights

Tomorrow is Halloween, and I am going to be dressed as Tinkerbell.

Seeing as though last year I was the girl from The Ring (demon-spawn Samara herself), I figured this year it would be nice to bring a touch of levity to the holiday.

My decision was also supported by the fact that I must fulfill both an obligation to dress up at the office, as well as attend a number of business meetings throughout the day (in an appropriate, non-Tinkerbell specific outfit.)

My costume lends itself to these disparate requirements tremendously well. You see, I get to wear one of my favourite work dresses (please see below), and with just the simple addition of some wings and a wand I will be fairy dust ready!


Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

This year Marc and I aren’t doing anything specific to celebrate this spooky day.

October has been such a gongshow of a month (I recently calculated that there hasn’t been one post-work evening in which I haven’t had either a work or social function to attend), and I am running the Boundary Bay half-marathon on Sunday, so we both just want to stay inside and hand out candy to all the little masked munchkins running about the neighbourhood.

Yesterday night we carved our pumpkins, and sticking to true Marc and Vanessa fashion, here are the results:


I don’t think I will ever be able to carve a non-happy pumpkin, and each year Marc’s just keep getting scarier and scarier.

Speaking of all things frightening, and to remain firmly entrenched in the spirit of Halloween, I would like to share with you a story that Marc made up this summer.

We were camping with a bunch of friends and we decided to all share spooky stories.

He came up with this doozy:

Once upon a time, there lived a poor farming family that lived in a small isolated hamlet. Their land fell within the boundaries of a large, and very rich duchy, but they rarely met with anyone in their day to day lives.

The wife bore a set of twins – a boy and a girl. The boy was born blue eyed and fair haired, while the girl had olive skin and hair as black as a raven’s wings.

They came together into the world, one right after the next. He first, and she right behind him, clutching his ankle tightly in her newborn fist.

They named him Day, and her Night.

Each day following, the two were inseparable. Time spent roaming the vast expanse of the farm, and the nearby forest was filled with laughter and mirth.

But when the sun settled, and a deep darkness spread over the land, Night would bid goodbye to her brother, and climb out of their bedroom window, into the black.

Every time she’d leave, she’d remind him to keep the window open and unlocked, so that she could return.

Every night, Day would watch her slink out beyond the frame, ensure the latch remained undone, and then crawl back into his bed.

He would wake to the sound of a soft tap at the window, and he would get up and open the window and help her back into the room.

One day, the two were out in the orchard picking apples, when they heard the heavy clomps from the hooves of a fast approaching horse.

Night ran out from the shade of the tree to see who it was, while Day scrambled to keep up.

It was the Duke, riding one of his hunting steeds, with a party of other noblemen.

Startled by the small child, his horse reared, and struck Night in the head.

“Dirty peasants!” shouted the Duke, as he continued on his way.

Day ran to his sister, who lay so still and pale on the ground. Besides a small trickle of blood that ran from her temple to her eye, it looked just as though she was asleep.

He and her parents buried her the following afternoon.

That night, as Day struggled to fall asleep, he heard a soft taping at the window.

Convinced he was hearing things, he ignored the sound and eventually fell asleep.

The next night he once again heard the noise, only this time it was louder. Still convinced he was making it up, he put his pillow over his head and tried again to fall asleep. Eventually, he fell into a restless slumber.

On the third night the sound was no longer a tap, but an urgent knock.

Day could no longer pretend it was inside of his head.

He slowly got out of bed and walked towards the window. The pane rattled slightly with each thump.

He quickly reached out and undid the latch. The window swung open, and the cool night air rushed into the bedroom.

Cool night air, and nothing else.

Day paused a moment, before making his way back to his bed.

He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

As he did, he felt a small hand wrap its fingers around his ankle.

And in the morning, when his parents came to wake him, he was gone.


I hope you’ve enjoyed the tale.

Happy Halloween you boils and ghouls.

Lock up those windows tight.

Trust in the unknown

This past Monday I began a new adventure, at a new place of work.

As it is anytime you start a fresh assignment in life, the transition has been exciting, and a little nerve wracking, overwhelming, and just downright fun.

I am someone who never really likes to do anything without being, well, incredibly versed in whatever it is that I am doing (aka I am a foolhardy perfectionist), so starting out as the new gal is always a bit of a learning curve for me.

It never really does get easier, but my belief in myself and my abilities has grown as I have also grown (older), and so I do have an easier time coping with the pressure that I put on myself.

But I have a confession to make.

Perhaps not exactly a confession, but an addendum (or perhaps the opposite of an addendum?) to this tale –

I quit my old job before I had secured my current position.

I’m not sure if any of you remember, but about five thousand years ago I wrote about the fact that I had “a secret” – something that I desperately wanted to share with all of you, but couldn’t for reasons (annoyingly) that I couldn’t divulge.

My plan had been to put in my notice with my old employer, take the summer to both spend time with Marc, and finally take a moment to think about what it was I wanted to do in the next phase of my career.

I had tentatively been putting together a project plan around starting a non-profit focused on providing writing and theatre opportunities for young women here in New Westminster, and had also planned on doing public speaking for Big Sisters through the United Way in the fall.

However, nothing had actually been set in stone.

I would be throwing caution to the wind, jumping into the void, and using all the other available clichés I could think of, to take the biggest (professional) risk of my relatively young career.

Many people sought to tell me that handing in my notice with no concrete job prospects, or guarantee of income was more than a little scary.

But despite this, I knew that leaving my old position was the best thing I could do for myself.

Sure, what they were telling me was, for all intents and purposes, correct. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I had some trepidation thinking about the unknown – but I also received an incredible amount of energy, excitement, and giddiness thinking about it.

In the end I trusted my abilities to succeed far more than I did my occasional stomach twinges of anxiety.

I knew that something would come up.

And in the end something did.

Just five days after handing in my letter of resignation, my current job was posted.

Nine days later the position was mine.

I am still incredulous at the serendipitous nature of the whole process – but hey, in the end you’ve got to just trust your instincts, right?

Because in the end, you are the only one who knows what will make you the happiest – whether that means staying until you find your next step, or jumping out of that plane knowing for certain that the parachute will unfold – it’s best to follow your head, heart, and gut.

(But just check to see if the parachute is indeed there. That might be good too.)

Contemplating jumping off a cliff. JUST KIDDING! (Hiking in Oregon – more on that this Friday!)

I can find out no rhyme to ‘lady’ but ‘baby’

I have a question for all of you beautiful people:

Do any of you nutters have kids?

Full disclosure: I am not with child.

I’m just curious that’s all. You see, there is a kid, currently located just outside of my kitchen window, who has been crying and screaming its absolute head off for say, the past fifteen, twenty minutes.

And this is not a baby, we’re talking about here. We are talking a legitimate, walking, talking human being – one who is weeping for all of Canada. He probably has a full set of teeth, takes trips to the loo solo, and can choose his outfits in the morning.

Having listened to him wail on and on for the last little bit, I just want to lean out of my window and holler, “WHAT’S THE PROBLEM KID? THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL! THERE. IS. NO. CRYING. IN. BASEBALL!!!11!!


You whipper-snappers!

I mean, that’s pretty horrible of me, is it not?

I know.

I am definitely the worst.

And it is reactions of mine – like this one just described – that make me fear for the day (should I be blessed in the properly functioning uterine department) that I become a mother.

I just can’t imagine that scenario working out all too well.

For one, I have zero maternal instinct.

No, minus zero.

I have never, ever, had that “twinge” – when, after having glimpsed some beautiful scene where a glowing mother cuddles here gorgeous offspring – something inside of me says “I want that.”

To be honest, most of the time everything inside my entire being begins screaming, “DO NOT WANT. COMMENCE THROWING UTERUS IN GARBAGE DISPOSAL.”

I mean, sure, there are moments where I concede that it wouldn’t be so bad. In fact, the people I know and love who have kids make it look downright phenomenal. There are tons of great children out there, and seeing how many of the cool cats in my life love their kids is darn cool.

Plus I keep telling myself that I probably wouldn’t feel the same way about my child as I do about many of the random children I come into contact with – that being mostly terror, confusion, and incredulity.

Deep down I know I would definitely love the crap out of them.

But I still worry.

I worry for a number of reasons (above and beyond the fact that I seem to have pawned off my biological clock sometime in the early 90s for two Kitkat bars, some sour keys, and a copy of Kirby’s Dreamland for my Gameboy.)

The first and mayhaps the biggest?

I just don’t get babies.

I made it through about 4 minutes of this movie before turning it off:

Like seriously, people go absolutely bat shit CRAZY over babies. Not only that, but they go bonkers over baby paraphernalia.


It makes me think that babies have some magical power to get you stoned. (Just think about it -marijuana gets you high, and potheads LOVE them some weed leaf stickers, Bob Marley posters, and giant decorative bongs – so I’ve come to the conclusion that it must be the same for those crazed baby-lovers.)

And if it isn’t for their ability to get you high, how else could people possibly care about a tiny pair of socks or a facecloth with a frog on it?


And in terms of the baby itself – I too need this explained. Babies are small, foreign, angry old men or women, hell bent on breaking your ear drums, defecating mustard gas, and peeing all over every square inch of your life.

This is terrifying!

Seriously, their catchphrase could be – “BABIES: POOP GRENADES ONLY NOW WITH MORE POOP.”

And yet people think they are the bees knees.

And don’t tell me it’s because of their new baby smell.

I’ve smelled me some babies in my life and I know for a FACT that it’s not all cake and roses.

I worry that I’ll have a baby, and the baby will all be “I’m a baby SCREAM POOP PEE EAT SLEEP HAHAHAH JUST JOKING I’M NEVER GOING TO SLEEP SCREEEEAAAAAMMMMMM” to which I’ll just be like, “You, sir, are an arsehole, BUH BYE.”

I worry that I’ll have the baby, and the baby will all be, “BABY” and I’ll be like, “That’s all you got? Where the frick is the rest!? I JUST SPENT NINE MONTHS MAKING YOU – ENTERTAIN ME SPAWN!!!”

I worry that I will be the worst mother ever.

The first baby I ever held. I was sweating like crazy I was so nervous.

So what I guess I’m saying is that I worry.

I worry that I’ll give my kid the eating disorder that I struggled with for years; that I’ll give them the anxiety that I deal with on a daily basis; that I’ll make them think they need make-up to be beautiful because I too like to wear make-up; that I’ll drop them on their head the second I get home.

I worry about the unknown – what about my job? What about my relationship?

What about my body?

I worry about worrying about my body.

But throughout it all, I have one ace in the hole that makes all of these questions seem not quite so daunting.

That one person who makes me worry just a little less.

And that, of course, is Mr. M.

My freaking knight in shining armour.

Because somehow (and I have no idea how) he doesn’t have any of these doubts. He just knows. He has confidence in not only himself, but in me, and it is through him that I have started to believe, little by little, that one day, if this happens, it will be just grand.

And while I’m not necessarily at the same level of belief that he cooly-as-a-cucumber maintains, I have the belief that I will get there, eventually.

Because when I see him with children? That’s when I feel something flicker.

I imagine him and I giving piggybacks, and leaping through sprinklers; teaching small, wild haired munchkins about tidal pools and earthworms, making mud pies, and reading storybooks by flashlight.

And it gives me pause.

But who knows – maybe one day all of what I currently feel about myself, and my relationship with my yet-to-be-born babies will change. I will wake up, flick on the internet and order the newest poo grenade and pay extra for the express shipping.

But until that day, my questions remain.

As does my love.

Unlike, thank goodness, the echoes of the crying child, outside of my window.

Which means that he too, is happy.

These close encounters

I. Am. Officially. Exhaustified.

I understand that this photo is darn weird and sort of Jawa-esque, but this all has a purpose...

If today wasn’t enough to erase any remaining vestiges of the weekend from my mind, I don’t know what possibly could.

Stress was had, and I had all of it.

I would also probably argue that the dice (that were to determine this fate of mine) were loaded from the start – this fatigue did not stop and start with my workday, but much, much earlier.

You see, it began with a truly crap night sleep (especially when it definitely should have been an excellent, dead-to-the-world type repose what with how wonderfully busy, and chock-a-block full of whimsy and weirdness, the weekend turned out to be).

However, yesterday afternoon Mr. M and I made the sleep-altering choice to go see The Woman in Black.

Looking for a good five-word review of the movie?


Yeah, yeah, the film wasn’t the best that I’ve ever seen, and you can’t help but ask a million and one questions about X plot holes or Y character motivations – but gosh darn it – I spent the majority of the time either watching through my fingers or crammed into M’s elbow and, or armpit.


Why the flipping heck do old Victorian toys have to be so bloody scary? Who, in their right mind, would actually give their child a toy that looks positively possessed?

Repression must do terrible, terrible things…

Including, for one: scaring the ever living daylights out of me.

Ooof. Just walking around Metrotown after the end credits had rolled, I felt completely off kilter – as if the film had knocked something loose inside of me that I couldn’t quite put back into place.

There is something to be said about horror movies that explore psychological ills, or metaphysical (paranormal?) phenomenon, versus the old slasher, teen-virgin, never say “I’ll be right back BECAUSE WE ALL KNOW YOU WON’T!” trope.

Ghosts are simply scarier.

I think the most frightening movie I’ve ever seen is probably The Ring (or Ringu – it’s Japanese predecessor), with the Exorcist as a close second.

I was in grade eleven and two friends and I went to the Friday night midnight show; it was playing at the old Varsity movie theatre (a little freaky on its own, with or without the introduction of tormented, well-dwelling psychopathic spirits). I lived ten blocks down the street from the theatre and walking home at two thirty in the morning was probably one of the creepiest sojourns (or you know, ghost tour) I have ever taken, or hope to ever again undertake.

I actually do a pretty good "Ring-girl" impression. You should see me crawl out of a TV screen.

It probably took me an hour to finally make it to my front door because I was moving so slowly (also, I was walking smack dab in the middle of the street, for fear that if I strayed too close to the property line hedge growth, invisible hands would grab at my flesh, tear at my hair, and suck out my soul – imprisoning me until the sky burned red, and the seas ran dry.)

Or something equally as brutal (you get my drift, I’m sure.)

Zero winks were caught that night. ZERO.

Any time where you can think to yourself, “It might be true” is just a recipe for disaster for not only myself, but for the man for whom I’ve pledged my troth.

M can drive himself (and therefore, by proxy ME) completely bonkers, working himself into a frenzy, mulling over the one million maybes he and I attach to this genre of storytelling (or reality? That’s the problem, we can’t ever just tell ourselves its fake, and magically make it go away.)

The Japanese version of The Grudge is called Ju-On (very scary, not to be trifled with – watch only with all your lights on, in the daylight with a minimum of one other person, whom you can be sure will not leave your sight for the next twenty-four hours. What’s that you say? You’re a fully functioning human being who isn’t affected at all by this silly stuff? Carry on then. You lucky bastard.) and this word has actually become a permanent fixture in M’s and my vocabulary.

Something a little creepy happening? Unexplained phenomena making you paranoid?

That’s some crazy ju-on shit right there.

It has a two-fold effect. 1.) It’s a very accurate way of assessing and describing the situation, and 2.) It brings some much needed levity to the occasion, making it much harder to find a need to jump under the covers of your bed for the long-term foreseeable future.

Or something like that.

Cats are really good at warning you about evils spirits. And snuggling. They're good at that too.

So as you can see, last night (or should I say early this morning) I wasn’t channelling Rip Van Winkle, but instead refusing to look in the bathroom mirror as I re-filled my water glass for fear that alongside my reflection would be a pissed off widow, ready to banshee shriek my eardrums into nothingness.

Ugh, even just typing those words makes my heart pump a little faster.

So, the million dollar question is: why, if these movies make me feel as though my lifespan has been drastically altered (for the worse), do I watch them?

Why indeed?

I’ve always liked horror movies. Even though they scare the ever living daylights out of me, I’ve never shied away from watching them.

I suppose I like the adrenaline rush. I like to ask myself what I would have done in those circumstances, in comparison to the characters on screen. I like cramming myself into Mr. M’s arms one second, and then jerking away (or jumping under a blanket) at the very next.

It’s in its own way a sort of feat of endurance. Similar to a day at work, when you are stressed and under the gun, and the need to perform is palatable – all your senses, your brainpower, your problem solving capabilities are working in overdrive – you feel alive, you feel accomplished, you feel drained, and exhausted when it’s over.

You may even feel a little out of sorts.

And all you need to put yourself together again is a good night’s sleep.

I know I’m going to try again tonight.

But then again…it could be real.