Chillin’ out maxin’ relaxing all cool

Tonight I am exhausted.

I have my health regime down to a tea.

Having been quite sick for most of the last week, my energy is at an all time low. Normally I can kick it pretty well after about a day or two of an illness, but this blasted flu has really dug its claws in deep.

I feel as though my sinuses are in a vice that has been set on “death grip.”

That, and the fact that my nose is dripping for all of Canada. It’s like I have a leaky tap attached to my face.

I really hope my cat doesn’t start to hydrate herself from my nostrils as I sleep (uneasily at best), thinking that I actually have transformed into some kind of human-malfunctioning-faucet hybrid.

(If you’re reading this Uwe Boll, I don’t give you permission to take this idea and turn it into a movie. Just walk away now.)

Our kitty doesn’t do well at the vet at the best of times and I really don’t want to have to take her in due to massive mucus ingestion.

The embarrassment of the explanation alone might destroy me.

So as you can imagine, all in all, this whole sickness experience has been, for lack of a more poetic term, bloody lovely.

(Let me assure you.)

(Erm.)

Anywho, despite my all-encompassing-entire-body lethargy, M and I went and had dinner with some brilliant friends this evening.

My sister in-law is in town from the Big Apple, and we had dinner with her and her parents, and her three nephews.

At one point every single person in the house, save for me, was playing (re: wailing on) an incredibly random assortment of musical instruments. For serious, we had the bodhran, the maracas, the violin, the bagpipe chanter, the recorder, the auto harp, and the piano all going at once.

I just laughed like a loon, giggling myself into a tear-streaked stupor.

It was like that scene from Mary Poppins that features Bert’s one man band, just without the – you know – talent and musical prowess.

Not that I’m complaining. It was sheer brilliance.

Now that I have arrived back home, I am in the process of rehydrating. It is imperative that I replace all that vital fluid I lost through my laugh attack induced tears – plus my throat is like the mother fracking Sahara here dudes. DRY AS CRAP.

The way that this this blasted sickness has set up camp in my chest, it’s like Occupy fricken Wall Street in there.

Though Occupy Respiratory System doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…

(We’ll also have to wait and see if Kanye manages to show up or not.)

Okay, enough now. I’m all over the place tonight.

What I’m trying to say here is that I am making a concerted effort to just chilling out.

FOR REAL.

This is especially true due to the fact that I always find that it’s a bit of an adjustment period heading back to work after an extended period of time off. You have to find the right rhythms, get used to the crank of the gears, and the ebb and flow of the, well, flow charts.

(Let alone the challenge of accomplishing all this when you have an accordion in your lungs and nasal cavities with the proportions and capabilities of a water hose.)

It’s discombobulating! But heartening to acknowledge that at least everything will eventually return to as it once was, all in good time.

In the interim, I am going to sleep like a sleeping thing, and drink like a drinking thing, and eat as much lemon meringue pie that I possibly can.

When life gives you lemons - blow your nose and eat pie.

It’s probably not the best thing to be eating while still fighting the flu.

Can I write it off as part of my daily citrus-Vitamin C intake?

Because that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Please shine down on me

Hi friends!

I am writing to you from balmy and beautiful Palm Desert. Here the sun dances across the sky, all day everyday, the lemons taste like candy, and the cacti will jump up and bite you (if you don’t take care to treat them nicely.)

Palm trees at night, Ethel's delight!

It’s been a pretty excellent experience so far, and since we’ve only been here for a day, I am apt to believe that the trip is just going to keep getting better and better.

This morning we hiked the three-mile “Randall Hendersen Trail”, marvelling at all the different vegetation that was on display (so very different from that of our temperate West Coast rainforests) and giggling at all the little critters that would scurry about, looking for a rest stop, or perhaps shelter, from the strong, relentless sun.

The sky here is so blue, it is difficult to describe. It has an almost thickness to it – a blue that shouldn’t actually exist, save for in crayon packages, or on Caribbean beach fronts.

After our hike, M and I walked to the pool, where we swan the early afternoon away, alternating between the tepid waters of the pool and the searing warmth of the hot tub. Then we stretched out on the deck chairs and read our books until our skin began to blush pink and our eyelids grew heavy.

Orange you glad I didn't say banana?

Walking back to the house I picked some oranges off of one of the many fruit trees that populate the golf course. It was a pretty surreal experience. I don’t think that I have ever imagined a day when I would just reach up and grab an orange right off a branch, simply at my own pleasure.

I will need to see, but I think I can wager a guess that there might not be anything quite like looking out your window, only to see grapefruits hanging low off of a tree so close, you could probably reach and out touch it if you really tried.

I will have let you know.

One strange thing that I have to say about Palm Desert is that I don’t think that anyone here walks, you know, to a destination, therefore making it an extremely rare, and perhaps perplexing sight, to actually see two individuals who are going somewhere on foot.

M and I decided to stroll (who am I kidding – we don’t stroll anywhere – in fact we motor places. Seriously, we have Barney and Fred feet here.) over to the Westfield’s to try to find him some shoes and maybe a treat or two.

We received a few confused stares along the way.

Luckily, we managed to make it there in one piece and found both treats, shoes, and SO MUCH more.

M scooped up a sweet pair of Steve Madden’s for a great deal, drank some Jamba Juice and I got to eat my fill of Tutti Frutti.

(All I have to say about that is we NEED serve-yourself frozen yogurt in Canada and we NEED IT NOW. SERIOUSLY HARPER, GET ON THAT SHIT.)

After shoes and treats we stumbled upon one of the craziest things I have ever seen. Seriously folks, let me introduce you to the magic that is: Lipo Illusion!

ERM...

Holy frick.

WHO WOULD WEAR THIS!? This is why humanity is in a decline. NO ONE needs this. PERIOD.

Well, if you thought that the 19th century girdle would never make its long-awaited triumphant return, heck, you thought wrong!
I can imagine the advertisement now, voice over and all:

Have you never wanted to be your natural shape and are desperate to try to mold yourself into a new person? Spanx not working? Actual Lipo too expensive? We thought as much! Come to Lipo Illusion where we will outfit you with industrial strength spandex, that will not only make sure all your fat pools in your shoes, but ensure a streamlined, thinner you! Because remember folks, while everyone likes you – they’ll like a thinner you EVEN MORE.

Yeesh.

There is good news however, because after seeing that grim fandango of a display, we encountered a Forever XXI and I learned that

To keep the homesickness at bay...

they use the same models as the one at Metrotown.

Excellent show you crazy bastards!

Man, I need to find out where they purchase these mannequins and get a couple for our house. I can only imagine what the neighbors will think once I start to outfit them with my wackiest clothing and display them in rotation from our guest bedroom window.

Instead of a PhD, THIS will be my next project.

Oh, and one more thing.

Do you have a football fanatic in your life? Do they also love blankets, warmth and the word “COMFY”? Are they willing to try anything once? If you have answered yes to all three of these questions (or just have someone you kind of want to screw over in a secret santa), then friends, have I found the buy for you.

Introducing – THE NFL SNUGGIE.

YES.

Seriously dudes, DISCUSS.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Do you ever get the feeling that, no matter what, you’re just going to have a good day? And while you cannot quite put your finger on it (whatever it may be), somehow you know that everything is going to work out in your favor?

This happens to me.

At least sometimes.

Erm.

You see, I have many small idiosyncrasies and quirks (to be fair, I have many BIG idiosyncrasies and quirks, but let’s leave a thorough exploration of those for another day, shall we?) that have a peculiar way of letting me know (or at least, making me think I know) what the morning, noon and night has in store for me.

It's a new day! It's a new life! SING IT BUBLÉ.

Seriously, these strange twists of character probably aren’t the best barometer for the day’s happening (aka I give them WAY too much credit), but no matter how hard I try, I cannot rid myself of them.

For real, it’s mostly just me believing I have an uncanny affinity for zeroing in on my rather random or mundane early-morning events, and then ascribing to them crazy superstitious qualities, or even worse, horoscope-like powers.

In short, I’ll pick up on little things that happen once or twice, and then before I know it, I’ll have weaved them into own personal mythology as stand-ins for whether or not I think the day will bode well in my favor, or (more pessimistically) come to the realization that because these events have occurred, the whole world is doomed.

DOOMED!

Luckily I haven’t had any nuclear fallout premonitions as of yet.  But I’ll keep you posted.

I do, however, experience this phenomenon on a much smaller scale, and weirdly enough, almost daily at that.  For instance, today on my way to work I finished two Metro Newspaper crosswords in the time it took me to travel from New West station to Metrotown.

Now, this in itself isn’t some awe-inspiring feat.

PWNAGE!!!

I mean, it’s the Metro News.

Yeesh.

Also, if you do enough of them (as I have), you come to pretty much memorize the rotation of clues, so it’s more of an exercise in filling in the blanks AS FAST AS YOU CAN, and not, you know, actually working out the appropriate number-of-letters synonym.

BUT! Today, I took it as a sign.

You see, I have come to assume, that anytime I manage to complete multiple crosswords on my way to my job that whatever the day holds for me, the scales are sure to come out weighted in my favour by day end.

And annoyingly enough, I actually had a darn good day.  I was super productive at work, met up with a lovely friend for lunch, had a terrific work out at the gym, and ate a hearty, healthy dinner.

Bliss my friends. BLISS!

Now, while some of you may think that this is actually a healthy process, in so far as I am easily, albeit, inadvertently, setting myself up for a day of magic, because I have unconsciously ensured a day-long good mood, I cannot help but give myself some major side eye.

Sure no one likes to laugh at the crazy superstitions of anyone (take professional athletes for instance) especially because most people brush them off, thinking what harm can these little beliefs do, especially if they seem to work for the people involved?

Yet for me, more and more, these little oddities of mine are making me feel less Sidney Crosby, and more Sidney Crosby’s mustache.

(I cannot make fun of the lad too much though because 1.) his brain might be broken and 2.) because of said broken brain, may have to work the rest of his life at SportsChek.)

Take, for instance, my behavior during the two-week long process of applying for my (now) job: on my first day of interviews I walked by a neighborhood park that was COMPLETELY overrun my ducks.

Now, as many of you know, I am a deranged waterfowl fiend, so I somehow got it stuck in my head that as long as the ducks were in the park every morning, the job for sure would be mine.

DUCK UMBRELLA!

You should have seen the sweat I broke out on the morning of my final interview when I arrived at the park that day and there wasn’t one little mallard to be found.

I was sure that I was hooped, and the new suit I had purchased would be all for naught.

(Least of all because I certainly did not have the sweet cash dollars to pay for the blasted suit in the first place. Though to be fair, it’s probably one of the hottest outfits I have ever owned.)

I mean, starting your day off on the right foot because you managed to complete a crossword is all well and good, but when you’ve freaked yourself out about your employment prospects and gotten yourself into a worrisome mindset, isn’t doing you any favors.

Least of all because actually thinking that a park’s lack of ducks would be the cause of my not getting a job is COMPLETELY BATSHIT CRAZY.

That’s right folks. I, like our one dollar coin, and a complete loonie.

Although I can’t help but wonder, dear friends, what I am to do with this information?

I mean, I’m definitely working on it. And I’ll keep you abreast of my progress.

But in the meantime, if someone would just pass me a bag full of stale bread, there’s a park close by that probably holds the answer.