She’s just so mouthy

Part 1.

I like lipstick.

A lot.

Every time I see a lipstick I get a little bit excited.

Every time I see a lipstick I want to buy it.

I want to open it up and smear it all over my stupid face.

I’ve got great lips, and lipstick looks AMAZING smeared over my stupid face.


I prefer a good matte finish (just get out of here with your useless, disgusting gloss-soaked wands) and I’ll never pay more than $9.99 for a tube of the stuff, but that is because I am both a cheap bastard, and because I am apt to conclude that there cannot be THAT big of a difference between my Joe Fresh collection and what’s being shipped out of the Chanel Institute.

I mean, how could you possible justify charging (least of all PAYING!) fifty dollars for a shade of red that exists in perpetuity in every drug store the wide world over?


When I left my last position I was gifted with a very generous gift certificate to a downtown shopping mall and with these funds I purchased a forty dollar Tarte lip pencil. And while this product is darn fantastic and makes me lips tingle and taste of minty freshness, I would never again purchase this piece of maquillage because forty dollars is basically two to three days’ worth of groceries and I’m only ever eating that pencil if and when things get really dire.

Anyway, no matter how much or little I pay, lipstick makes me feel like an absolute super hero.

I put it on five minutes before leaving work and I am immediately transformed from Grouchy Eye Bag McGrimmeister into Kick-Ass She-Warrior McHyphenate.

Sure, maybe I was born with it, but holy hell if this shade of pink doesn’t crank it up a notch:


That’s right.

Those are your nuts in my vice grip.


I never understanding people who say to me, “I wish I could wear lipstick like you!”

And then when I inform them that there isn’t a single thing prohibiting them from taking part in the universal fun that is lipstick, they respond with, “Oh no, I could never do that!”

And to this, I always just want to yell into their faces – WHY!?

Why in the heck would you think that, you weirdo!?

Unless born lipless (and what a tragedy to befall anyone!), everyone is 100% capable of wearing lipstick.

And I urge you, and everyone to try it.

I’ll hold your hand and everything.

But it’ll cost you fifty dollars in Chanel product.

And your nuts.

Part 2.

I don’t like Mark Messier.

In fact, Mark Messier is like the anti-lipstick.

I don’t get excited when I see him.

I don’t want to smear him all over my face.

I wouldn’t spend ANY money on him, and he doesn’t make me feel unstoppable.

And much to my chagrin, he’s EVERYWHERE.

The dude is all over Youtube like some terrifying, leather-clad social media STI.


Every time he pops up, Marc (my husband) asks, “Is this a Cialis ad?”


I don’t know why Mr. Messier grinds my gears to the extent that he does.

Perhaps it’s the ghost of my hard core emotional hangover from the summer of 1994 (combined with the broken heart I suffered in 2011.)

Perhaps it’s the memory of his crappy Lays potato chip ads.

Perhaps it’s because the NHL is such a ridiculous bush league, run by bums, dullards, and hacks, that any reminder of this organization and the garbage it stands for makes me want to ralph.

Basically folks, it could be a whole myriad of things.

But all I really want to say is that NO ONE IS ASKING YOU ANYTHING MARK MESSIER.

You and lip gloss can just get the heck out of here.

Part 3.

Yesterday I bought a homeless person a hot chocolate.

I try to do these things as often as I can, although it can be hard. Living my own busy, silly little life can leave me so caught up in getting from A to B (or achieving A to Z) that I don’t often see the different humanities co-existing right in front of my eyes.

Sometimes I feel like I don’t spend enough of my life with my eyes wide open. That I should be feeling more, doing more – affecting more positive change within my day to day activities.

But then I know I am being too hard on myself. That I work very hard to ensure that I am engaged and making a difference every day, both personally and professionally.

I cannot do everything for everyone, every day and all of the time.

No one could do this even if they try.

Which is why I do.

Which is why I really, really try.

If all else fails, you can count on me

Well, it’s been a year and a day (or three weeks if you will) since I last wrote anything in this electronic diary of mine (I actually like to think of it as a modern day papyrus scroll), and instead of lamenting the ever-quickening pace of time and space as I do at the beginning of all of my ramblings, I will instead just get to THE FACTS.

1.) Gold medal games.

Marc and I woke up at 4am last Sunday to watch the Canadian men take on the Swedish team in the Olympic gold medal hockey match.

I’m not going to lie, I nearly gave up on the entire venture the minute the alarm went off. Four o’clock in the morning is just TOO. DARN. EARLY.

After I managed to temporarily muzzle the buzzing, Marc leaned over to me and whispered, “Is this actually happening?”

To which I replied, “Fifty-fifty.”

But in the end, it only took me a couple of minutes to rustle myself out of bed and get ready to face the still-darkened sky (not to mention the influx of snow that had begun to fall sometime earlier that night.)

The previous day I had bought pain au chocolate for Marc and I, as well as the friends who had so generously offered to host the game, and I grabbed the bag of pastries before heading out into the blackness.

(Marc elected to catch another thirty minutes of shut-eye, explaining that he would meet up with us at the start of the second period.)

My eyeballs nearly fell out of my sockets when I arrived at Greg and Daniela’s place and saw them both in regular clothing. You couldn’t have gotten me to change out of my pajamas for all the cocoa-filled croissants in the world.

But they’re pretty relaxed folks, and know my habits well, so neither were deterred by my lack of formal dress (or really, any dress at all.)

Over the next three hours we drank buckets of coffee, nibbled on baked goods, and cheered as Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, and Chris Kunitz secured our second straight Olympic hockey gold.

And then I went back to bed.

Which after drinking my body weight in coffee was not the easiest of feats, let me assure you.

After I work up, I couldn’t stop thinking about Par Marts, the Swedish coach, and just how much he doesn’t fit the mold of what I imagine a hockey coach to be.

So I made this:


Am I the worst?


But either way, I am totally okay with it.

2.) Lip-synch offs.

So, I’m not a big fan of most American talk shows. As a dedicated, long-standing fan of The Graham Norton Show, I feel that most product offered on this side of the pond is, to put it delicately, sub-par at best.

However, I have to give credit where credit is due, and tip my hat to Jimmy Fallon for all the hilarious things he does with his guests. (Not to mention the fact that he somehow got The Roots to be his back-up band – a feat so nuts I’m like to believe that Beelzebub will be getting a huge influx of souls sometime in the next fifty years or so.)

For instance, this lip-synch off:

Oh. My. Goodness.

Despite the epicness of Paul Rudd’s Freddie Mercury, I am not afraid to admit that I like his Tina Turner better.

Those handshakes?


3.) MY CAT.

She’s up to something.


Though I’ve yet to figure out what.

4.) This darn crazy world.

As I race about daily in my own little self-contained ecosystem, I have such a hard time processing everything that is happening outside of the petri dish that is my life.

Every time I read anything news related my heart just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces.

To combat this journalistic-propelled malaise, I have been running like a running-thing and spending all of the time with my brilliant, inspiring, and totally bonkers husband.

All we can do is focus on doing as much good as we can (starting with the petri dish!) and hope that our efforts will create spill over, and inspire others to affect change.

5.) This guy

And if all else fails?

I’m just going to follow this dude’s lead:

That’s right.


Putting it off until tomorrow

I realized I had a problem when I began reading Battlestar Gallactica fan-fiction on the internet.

I suppose this wouldn’t have been so bad if I had either been  a) a fan of the show or b) someone who regularly enjoyed world-wide ready smut, but as I was neither, warning bells were quick to sound.

(The worse of it?  I actually had to SIGN UP to gain access to the website.)


I always had a thing for Adama and Roslin. I understand that this makes me very weird. But I am okay with that.

It was a Tuesday at two in the morning, and I was mashed into a kitchen chair with my knees pressed up against my chest and my slippers half slid off my feet, feeling kind of turned on, but mostly horrified.   Dressed in my husband’s boxers and an old tank top, I felt chills run the length of my spine – the kind that makes you feel completely clammy,  as though your entire body is blushing.

I stumbled to my feet.

The need to get away from the computer, and its mocking stare was overpowering; I felt nauseous.  As I stepped backwards I tripped over my cat’s overturned scratching post.  Cracking my knee against the desk, I toppled to the ground.

As my face made contact with the carpet, the face of the evil force that had lead to this late-night, lackluster climax (metaphorically, not literally) rushed up to greet me.

This was procrastination beyond anything I had ever known.

It must be noted that I had every intention of writing this post at the last minute –as any piece on procrastination is wont to be, I’m sure – and let the record stand that I did.


I also decided to do a little bit of research.

For instance, did you know that the origin of the word is derived from the Latin pro, meaning “forward, forth, or in favor of,” and crastinus, meaning “of tomorrow”?  And that it can be defined as “to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse-off for the delay”?

Synonyms include: frivoling, idling, dilly-dallying, loafing, puttering and trifling.

Examples of procrastination often cited include: frenetically cleaning, exercising, cooking, baking, watching television, completing crosswords, obsessively checking e-mail and trolling online gossip and sporting websites.

Very true. And also a great way to procrastinate.
Very true. And also a great way to procrastinate.

(A friend who wishes to remain anonymous confessed to once visiting to read the episode recaps of shows she didn’t even watch.)

However this is not to say that there aren’t numerous inventive, creative and incredibly interesting ways to pass the time when you are not doing the thing (whatever it is) you are supposed to be doing.

I once met a guy, a then UBC MFA student who recounted how he makes lists whenever he procrastinates.  I thought this to be rather mundane (everybody makes to-do lists!) and asked him to elaborate.

“No,” he told me.  “You don’t quite understand.  I don’t just make lists.  I make lists and then I memorize them.  For example, the 1987-88 NHL scoring race went as such: Lemieux 168, Gretzky 149, Savard 131, Hawerchuk 121, Robitaille 111…”

I sat there stunned as he rattled off the top ten point leaders as well as their totals.

“There are only so many times you can look at something until it sticks with you,” he told me.  “For a while it was NHL stats.  I pick and choose what I want to learn about I suppose.”

Another friend told me how when he procrastinates he obsesses over bicycling infrastructure.

“Does that have something to do with the actual construction of the bike?” I asked.

“No,” he said.  “It means that I lust after places like Copenhagen and Amsterdam,” he explained.

I didn’t tell him that I thought that was pretty darn weird.  I mean, who was I to judge?

So why do we procrastinate?  There are four main theories on this topic.  The first concerns a fear of anxiety, fear of failure or pursuit of perfectionism.  The conceit being, the more an individual fears the task at hand the more anxious they become about starting.  Therefore, they are more likely to put it off, hence a need to procrastinate.

The second theory is that of self-handicapping.  This is when people place obstacles that hinder their own good performance. The motivation for self-handicapping is often to protect self-esteem by giving people an external reason, an “out,” if they fail to do well.

The third theory concerns rebelliousness.  Certain personality traits, such as hostility and stubbornness supposedly leave individuals predisposed against schedules and authority and are therefore more likely to procrastinate.

The fourth is a theory that purports that we are constantly beset with making decisions among various courses of action, and as such, make decisions based on what we would rather do more.  For instance, should we do homework or spend time with friends?  Do we watch TV or go for a run?  Study for a midterm or clean the bathroom? It suggests that individuals are more likely to take on the task that is both more enjoyable and easier to attain and put off those more difficult with varying degrees of personal satisfaction.

There are of course less academically substantiated hypotheses.  These concern the beliefs that underneath it all there is a fundamental, human belief in the profundity of procrastination.  Perhaps it is both part of a conscious denial of, or rebellion against the linear nature of time and the structured nature of the world that revolves around the completion of assignments, the writing of exams, and the never ending list of projects.

Procrastination is a conscious practice; it is an attempt to move beyond the moving forward; it is an exercise in existing only in a moment and trying to make that moment last forever.

Some academics believe that procrastination is a thoroughly modern invention, due to a move from an agrarian society to urban.  Back in the 14th century, 98% of the population of the Western world lived on manor estates (take these statistics with a grain of salt) and spent their days working on the land of whatever lord, or earl held power.  From sun up to sun down their day was mapped out – there was no time, let alone substantial resources for procrastination.  It wasn’t until the advent of numerous deadlines, schedules and commitments, or ever, the advent of personal choice, that procrastination came into play.

There are a number of tests and scales that allow you to measure your own level of procrastination (just google “procrastination test.”)  On the one I took I came out as a “moderate procrastinator” who “puts things off sometimes even though [I] know I shouldn’t.”

Oh yeah?  What profound insight!  Yeesh.  (Thank goodness I didn’t have to pay money to take the test.)

Also, I couldn’t help but think as I answer all ninety-one questions was how great an exercise in procrastination it was in and out of itself. Which in turn took me back to hockey stats and bicycle paths, because it is interests like those and quizzes like the one I took that make me wonder whether or not procrastination is a bad as we have come to think.

Perhaps it less destructive and more instructive than we give it credit.

The popular adage goes:  “procrastination is like masturbation – either way you’re just screwing yourself.”

I’ve come to consider that this may be the insignia of some puritanical, incredibly efficient sect, because if everyone felt as good after a day of procrastination as they did after a hour (or whatever) of self-loving, school libraries would reek less of desperation and more of quiet satisfaction.

I mean, depending on the day, the individual involved and the specific job at hand, people find themselves immersed in something they’d never before considered important and perhaps still don’t find important – yet are still learning and still growing nevertheless (Battlestar Galactica fan fiction not included.)

But the fact remains the same, we are still doing something.  We are still learning something, or practicing something, or scrubbing something; at the end of the day, we will still have something to show for our efforts despite our lack of progress on our intended project.

Case in point: procrastination can lead to a tidier, germ-free apartment; knowledge about Danish cycling routes; and a windfall realization as to why identical evil twins are so damn popular on day-time TV.

We are all Canucks. But why?

Well, the Canucks lost tonight.

We were all shouting Boo-urns.

And that’s all I want to say about that.

Seriously, I don’t know why I care so much about this stupid hockey club. I am sitting here asking myself how I could possibly be SO BLOODY CUT UP OVER THIS LOSS.

It actually makes less sense than a Ramada hotel advertisement (and those are obtuse in the extreme.)

One of the coolest books I read in grad school was “Imagined Communities” by Benedict Anderson. In his work, Anderson defines a nation as “an imagined political community – and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.”

They are limited in that nations have “finite, if elastic boundaries, beyond which lie other nations” andthey are sovereign since no dynastic monarchy can claim authority over them.

(Anderson’s work is focused predominantly on the rise of European democracies.)

A nation is an imagined community because “regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail in each, the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship.”

The imagined community is different from an actual community because it is not (and cannot be) based on everyday face-to-face interaction between its members. Instead, members hold in their minds a mental image of their affinity, or their bond.

A great example of this is the sensation of “pride of nationhood” individuals share with other members of their nation when their “imagined community” participates in a larger event (such as the Olympic Games.)

Now, I won’t go into too much detail on the entirety of Anderson’s thesis (however, I will encourage you to read it without delay if your interest in the subject matter has been peaked).

But I will say that I am consistently drawn to him every time I find myself sitting here, questioning my (always baffling) relationship with ice hockey.

Do I watch because it’s been ingrained in me to watch? Do I watch because I love sport, and am, at the root of it all, a highly competitive person who gets off on watching excellence?

If I lived in Europe would I feel the same way about soccer? If I lived in the States, would I feel the same way about football?

Where is the dividing line between cultural (or national) assimilation, and personal autonomy? Or are these too, imagined constructs?

And why is it that I loathe so many elements of hockey (and so many other elements of professional sport)? Is this my individuality asserting itself over my imagined nationality? Or do I just hate goonery more than I love winning?

And why the heck am I assuming ownership over a victory that I played absolutely zero part in?


When I’m not thinking about Anderson, I’m thinking about Rome and the coliseum and the gladiators. I think about complacency and apathy and what is enough to keep a society happy and unquestioning?

And what about our appetite for gore, and war, and physical supremacy? Is this somehow manifesting itself in these sporting events, because we are unsure of how to address this need in the every day political activities and actions our “nation”?

I mean, here in ye Old Great White North, we like to advertise ourselves as a “peace keeping” nation, but don’t even think about the fighting out of our national passtime!


Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer to these conundrums.

And I probably never will.

The sky is beautiful. We're all still alive. We'll be okay.

All I know is that tonight the Canucks lost.

But Nadal won. So that brings a big old smile to my face.

Until of course, I start to think, would I feel this way if Djokovic was a Canadian?

Or if I was a Serb?

The best game you can name

I used to love hockey.

Like, A LOT.

For the past eight and a half years M and I spent countless hours together (and apart) watching the sport – curled up together on our couch, pacing the length of our living room, crammed into the booth of a sports bar, languishing in the nose-bleeds – we’ve done it all.

I used to be, as they say, ready to rock it. Vintage Canadian hockey sweater, Olympics 2010

And I loved it.

I listened to sports radio on an almost daily basis, often e-mailing or texting into the shows, with the hosts regularly reading them on air. I liked being a part of their banter.

I really loved going to parties and knowing more than all the dude-bros who were always congregating in the corners of the living room (seriously why only the corners dudes?) discussing the latest scoring stats, and drinking their Budweiser.  Their squinty eyes and slightly open mouths always said (though never out loud): How does a girl know this much about hockey?

For my birthday last year M bought me a beautiful old school Canucks jersey that I wore with pride to every game that I attended (as well as each game I watched from said before mentioned pubs/couches/houses/etc.)

My three favourite teams were (in order): the Vancouver Canucks, Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Redwings.

My hockey husbands were Teemu Selanne and Henrik Zetterberg.

My hockey little brothers were Jonathan Toews and Drew Doughty.

M and I bought sticks and pucks and gloves and tape, and we would brace ourselves against the biting cold of the early (or not so early) Winter mornings so we could go play street hockey together at the elementary school rink, close by to our home.

I cried big, hot, sticky tears and my body heaved with my heavy sobs, when the Canucks lost in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals, on that beautiful summer day, June 15, 2011.

(Heck, I cried big, hot, sticky tears when Patrice Bergeron scored the opening goal, and was assisted by that idiot of a goonmeister known as Brad Marchand.)

(Take my word for it, that human parasite is one giant embarrassment for all of Nova Scotia. Anyone who tells you different is unhinged.)

I once made fun of Sidney Crosby and then came to love him.

I probably watched Alex Ovechkin score a hole-in-one as many times as I watched his many highlight reels.

I loved the mastery, and skill, and speed, and intuition, and love, and passion, and hard work, and magic that hockey could produce.

I lamented over and over again at the lack of sportsmanship of the league, and the violence worship by fans, and the permeation of goon culture, and the destructive and saddening “win at any cost” attitudes of so many of the players, GMs, coaches, spectators and media.

I decried the NHL as a bush league more times than I can count.

And yet.

I loved hockey.

I used to love hockey.

I used to love hockey, but my love has left.

I have not sat down and watched (or perhaps I should just say watched – as those who have ever spent an entire three periods with me would know that I can never sit still for long) more than 30 seconds of highlights since the season began in October of last year.

I feel very much strangely detached from this whole development.

My mother and I were talking on the phone last night and she momentarily commented on the World Junior Hockey tournament, asking me if I was watching the semi-final game between Canada and Russia.

“No, Mom,” I said. “I don’t watch hockey anymore.”

“Oh yes, that’s right,” she replied. “It’s just so hard to imagine. It was such a huge part of your life for so long that I keep forgetting. I keep forgetting.”

The strange thing is, I keep forgetting too.

I keep forgetting that this sport once played such a pivotal role in my life, for so many years.

The one thing I do miss is how excited I would get each Valentine’s Day. I used to pick a sports bar where myself and M would go watch the game, order nachos and drink strongbow (or diet coke) and root, root, root for the home team (in the parlance of our times). It was a tradition that was romantic and brilliant, and most importantly, it was ours.

Now, I don’t even give the game more than a passing glance – maybe if I catch a highlight here or there I will remark on the beauty of that one play, or goal, or pass.

But mostly, I just shake my head, because everything is still the same, and I can no longer protect myself from all the rot that exists inside of the League and still enjoy the game for what it should be:

Athleticism, and art, and respect among players for their ability to create and sustain, but most importantly excel, within these two noteworthy mediums.

Instead, I read about concussions, and fists, and broken backs, and slashes, and elbows, and sexism, and racism, and homophobia, and xenophobia, and I’m just so tired of all this bullshit and it’s propagation and adoration and alienation.

And I truly believe this is what destroys athleticism. This is what destroys art.

I used to love hockey.

Maybe I still do. At some level, I’m sure of it.

But not this.

I can’t love this. Not anymore.