On the road, again

1. Fly from Halifax to Philadelphia. For 2.5 hours read Tempest Tost by Roberston Davies and laugh like a drain.

2. Wait in PHL for 45 min for your connecting flight to Seattle. Scarf down a salad with tuna but no dressing.  Lament this dearth of dressing. Wait in line for 10 minutes to purchase peanut M&Ms and yogurt covered blueberries, but abandon both when you hear your flight’s boarding has started.

3. Fly from Philly to Seattle. Sleep restlessly for most of the six hour flight. Eat a massive cinnamon bun, a bag of Chex Mix, and a very limited 100 calorie Pepperidge Farm cookie snack pack. Read more Robertson Davies. Doze.

4. Feel like a creeper, because as you try to look out the window – to watch the beautiful night lights as you descend into Seatac – you realize that you are leaning just a little too close to the man sitting to your left.

5. Exit the plane, and head straight for the Park N’ Fly pick-up station. Embrace the cold as it hits your recycled air drained skin. Breathe deeply.

6. Board the Park N’ Fly shuttle. Bounce along the highway until you reach the parking lot. Decide who will drive the first leg of the excursion home.

7. Pay for 9 days worth of car storage.

8. Settle into the passenger seat. Tell your love that even though it’s 11:30 at night, and you have quite a ways to go just to get home, it still feels like a grand adventure. Also let him know that you will switch as soon as he wants a break.

9. Get on the I-5.

10. Relish in the late-night beauty of it all. Talk little. Feel close.

11. Encounter fog. A lot of it.

12. Pull off for gas. Despair about the fact that the closed gas station doesn’t have a bathroom. Pee in the bushes. Fear that someone is either going to come grab you, or, alternatively, take damning photos of you squatting in the bushes.

13. Get back on the freeway.

14. Start to feel drowsy. Will yourself to stay awake for the sake of your husband. Laugh a little when he tells you that he wants to switch because he too is getting tired.

15. Suggest milkshakes. They will, of course, quell hunger pains, and provide a much needed sugar rush.

16. Feel elated by how excited your husband is about the idea of milkshakes.

17. Take the first exit with fast food signs. Pull into the Wendy’s parking lot. Switch positions, and then drive into the drive-thru. Order a chocolate frosty for you, and a caramel frosty shake for your husband. Wonder what’s the difference between a frosty and frosty shake. Pay.

18. Get back on the freeway. Understand quickly that frostys were not meant to be eaten through a straw. Really flex those sucking muscles.

19. Get to the border. Literally pull up to the first (and only) agent because no one else is there. Answer three questions. Keep driving.

20. Try not to speed like a demon now that you are in your home country and so, so close to your home home.

21. Make a left, and then a right. Push the garage door opener and pull into your parking spot. Grab all your luggage and garbage and head to your front door. Wonder if the Christmas lights have been on all week. Insert your key into the door and greet your adorable cat who is prancing about your feet. Drop everything, pick her up and smother her in pats and kisses.

22. Remark that the house is freezing.

23. Ascend the stairs to your bedroom, jump into the nearest pair of pajamas. Floss and brush your teeth. Realize you left your mouth guard back at your mother’s house.

24. Wash your face.

25. Crawl into an absolutely freezing cold bed. Feel your husband’s arms around you. Tell him that your hair smells like an airplane. Feel his whole body laugh. Smile.

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The usual, please

This Christmas I went running.

It’s tradition.

I don’t know when exactly this custom of mine started, but for the past five or so odd years I have found myself pounding the pavement – sometime betwixt the hours of nine and five – come the twenty-fifth of December.

And I love it.

Many of you who read this blog know that I am a bit of a nut when it comes to running.

For those of who don’t, running is my meditation, my calm. It allows me to bring focus and clarity to the busiest (and most bonkers) of days; it allows me to both greet the morning sun, and to bask in the late afternoon dusk.

When I run, I am life.

I am love.

And on Christmas –  a day that marks so much love and life, that is chock-a-block full of bustle, and laughter, of wrapping, and lace – I like to sneak away for a half hour or so.

I lace up my runners, and slip on a toque, and run, run, run, until my lungs fill with fire, and my eyes cry wind-swept tears, and my cheeks burn from the sun, and the fine sea salt spray – and I can feel my blood rushing from the top of my head, to the tips of my toes.

And with each stride, with each step, I feel this love and life.

So yesterday I ran.

From my mother’s house I flew – across park, road, and path, buoyed (or blasted) by strong gusts of wind, I raced up to the top of the Halifax Citadel.

My breath strong, yet steady, and my legs felt weightless (although that could have been the cold.)

And there, at the top, overlooking all of the city –

I felt on top of the world.

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A real stand up kind of gal

Hey you crazy cats!

Phew.

Let me catch my breath here.

So much has been happening on this side of the cosmic kitchen that I am having a hard time keeping my head on straight.

I mean, where exactly has October gone?

This weekend was a blur of magic and marvel  – my mother in-law’s birthday, dogsitting, a fashionista charity event, a Cory Doctorow reading, runs in the rain, hang outs with friends – I am exhausted and giddy, and wistful just thinking of it all.

Meanwhile, the outside world’s bonkerdom continues apace.

Seriously, the news these days is pretty much at crisis saturation point and so every time I read the newspaper or fire up ye ole’ internets, I start to feel much the same way.

It order to keep the information-based malaise at bay, and a smile firmly etched on my face, my mother has been phoning me regularly, regaling me with all the east coast gossip I so dearly miss whilst keeping hearth and home 6,000 kilometers away on the western seaboard.

Whilst she has me on the blower, she also updates me on Halifax’s on-going mayoral race, and the continued success of this year’s dark horse (erm, dark cat) candidate – one Tuxedo Stan.

With his recent endorsement by Ellen DeGeneres, Mr. Stan’s candidacy (catdidacy?) is looking strong indeed. I don’t want to say that he’s a shoe-in, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he manages to pounce on a large percentage of the vote.

I mean, say what you want, but that cat doesn’t spin any yarns. He just plays with them.

(I promise I’m done.)

But T.S. certainly is a cutie pie. Plus he’s always, always dressed for the occasion.

Anywho, all of this activity of late – both on the phone, and off – has left me feeling pretty darn knackered.

No word of a lie, this morning when the alarm went off it took a heck of a long time for my brain shift gears from “ZZZZZZZ” to “ACHIEVER” and doubly long for my limbs to make their way out of the warm and cozy mess of blankets that M and I call a bed.

I always say that on mornings such as these, I feel as though I have to steam my eyelids open in the shower – as if the day is a secret message I was never meant to see.

Can you tell that I can get very poetic and philosophical whilst I wash my hair?

Side note: do you cats take the exact same shower every day?

I do.

Anytime my routine is mucked up it drives me absolutely batty.

As I’ve said before, showering is very, very important to me. I do some of my best thinking behind that curtain.

First – I wash my hair. Then I put in the conditioner, but don’t wash it out right away. While my hair is “conditioning” I scrub my dermis within an inch of its life.

Then I wash my face with my magical NO ACNE 4 U cleanser.

Once this is finished, I rinse the conditioner from my hair and skedaddle like a maniac. One towel for the bod, one for the head.

I like the Queen of Sheba look.

In short, I love quick, hot, organized showers.

NO MESSING AROUND ALLOWED.

Anywho, back to what I was saying before that insane sidebar – just looking into the next month, my ride on the barmy train will continue chugging along, as besides work, I have at least six more talks with the United Way, a radio gig, my regular big sisters work, a romantic cabin getaway, a visit from the pater familias, and I’m still trying to figure out if I’m going to run the Fall Classic 10k.

I’ve also been reading all of the Mordecai Richler.

I cannot stop. It’s just too good.

Oh, and the piece de resistance?

 I signed up for stand-up comedy classes!

YES.

This is the most exciting thing ever.

I have wanted to try stand-up for pretty much the last bagillion or so years. Having done a ton of improv and acting in years past, I always thought of this – in the parlance of Picard and Kirk – the final frontier.

I am still too chicken to just sign-up for an amateur night cold turkey, so I figure if I take a few classes (which has a live show as our final project!) I will be much closer to racking up the required courage.

Wish me luck (or wish that I break my leg).

I will keep you posted as it goes.

But first sleep.

I have a pile of blankets with my name on it.

Little women

“We’ll all grow up one day, Meg.  We might as well know what we want.” – Amy March

I am currently on vacation back east. My sister recently moved back to Halifax and is in the process of starting her first business: a catering – culinary school + general store (she will be a purveyor of all things local and organic in the Metro area). It’s really extraordinary to witness first had what running a company encompasses. While our house at the slowest of times is always powered by an interesting and eclectic electric current – somewhat calmed by its poesy and pastel painted walls – at present we are operating at full speed ahead. We are living in ye olde “house of small business 101” and the kitchen is fully stocked to the gills with gourds, grains and game. Hands down she is doing a remarkable job. Booking jobs, making connections, marketing, networking – she has it all under control, cool as a cuke.

And as the always awesome Aretha and Annie are ones to say: