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:

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Am I the worst?

Perhaps.

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?

Brilliant.

3.) MY CAT.

She’s up to something.

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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.

SUPERGEIL.

Close your eyes and make a wish

In one week I will turn twenty-nine.

Holy smokes.

That’s, like, super grown up isn’t it?

I mean, I’m by no means a proper Old or anything – goodness knows.

But! Growing up I always assumed that once I neared an age that had both a three and a zero it would mean that THINGS would be SERIOUS and that I would be MATURE and, oh, I don’t know, WISE.

(Or something.)

Now, it’s not that I think I’m none of these things.

I am, of course, properly wise.

(Or something.)

But mostly, it’s so awesome to realize that age really means nothing.

Nada.

Zilch.

Bupkis.

Nothing will ever be as inconsequential, fleeting and intangible as those four little numbers littered about your birth certificate, drivers licence, passport and all other personal identification pieces you have littered about your purse (or wallet, or fannypack, or what have you.)

And I mean, who actually wants to relive their early twenties?

(If you do – WHO ARE YOU? And WHY?)

Despite the fact that I spent these years with the massively excellent man to whom I am now lucky enough to call my husband (or permanent life partner in crime) I was pretty, deeply unhappy for a good portion of this time.

I was incredibly ill (suffering as I was from both anorexia and bulimia), and completely neurotic about school, and work and my constant quest for perfection in every, and all areas of my life.

It was exhausting.

And now?

I cannot even begin to explain how good it is to be able to walk by a mirror, or window, or any semi-reflective surface and not feel compelled to look at myself.

It has got to be the most freeing experience in the whole wide world, and I wouldn’t trade all the anti-wrinkle cream in the world to go back that time in my life where, like Narcissus, I was just drowning all the live-long day.

Of course I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t still struggle with perfectionism (daily), because I do (and probably always will, in some iteration or another) but I am no longer sick, and every day I get better and better at giving myself a break (or the many breaks that I deserve.)

And how awesome this that?

And you know what is more awesome?

I am finally getting to a place where I am comfortable celebrating myself and all the cool things that come along with being me.

Because dudes, I have accomplished a lot of really cool stuff in my relatively short time here on planet earth and for the longest time I refused to even acknowledge them, let along celebrate them. As a young women that just always seemed SO gauche, and I didn’t want anyone to think that I was stuck up, or a braggart, or just an insufferable jackass.

(I might be that last one, but that’s only when playing Ticket to Ride after too many glasses of white wine.)

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Not quite the right photo but one that really, really makes me laugh.

And no only that, but there are so many amazing and brilliant things coming down the pipe in the next few months which leaves me with ever more reasons to celebrate: work adventures, incredible public speaking opportunities, radio show hosting gigs, half-marathons, Tough Mudder, trips to the Okanagan, Chicago, and Hawaii, and so much more!

PLUS –

Five years ago, Marc and I bought our first home (our exquisite town-home that I love very, very much), and very soon we will be moving to our first real house-home!

Not to mention the fact that I have the most amazing, life-affirming and life-enriching friends, many of whom will be coming over to have a massive dance party with us next Saturday.

And even though they live so gosh-darned far away,my family are my rocks, and they make all the beautiful diamonds and gems of this world shimmer just the more.

Finally, I am married to my best friend, the greatest man I will ever know.

Man.

The simple act of just typing out those words makes me SO excited for not just the next season or two, but for the bloody next twenty-nine years!

Twenty-nine mirror free years.

Won’t you join me?

Underneath it all

Well, is January 18th.

JANUARY 18th!

What the what.

It’s January 18th and I am here to talk about underwear.

Yes, underwear.

UNDIES.

The whites.

Bras.

Panties.

(I actually shudder at the word “panty.” Whoever coined that term should have been exiled immediately and fined all of their underwear, sentenced to roam the netherworlds (hehe) forevermore without the comfort of a protective layer of cloth to separate their genitals from their clothing.)

Just imagine the chaffing!

AHEM.

Back to the task at hand.

As a young, nubile woman I find the whole “underwear/lingerie” thing absolutely confounding.

Now don’t get me wrong here – I find nothing wrong with the concept of a beautiful undergarment, nor do I begrudge absolutely anyone who chooses to spend their hard-earned cash dollars on fancy, frilly brassieres and garter belts (or the what-have-you.)

It’s just for me – I cannot even.

I’ve believe you me, I’ve tried.

This past Christmas, I walked head-on into the new Victoria’s Secret megastore (the twinkling, garish purple and pink disco – cum – bordello that now takes up real estate on Robson and Granville) with the express intention of purchasing some new duds.

The problem being that I lasted approximately thirty seconds inside of the store.

I just couldn’t handle it all – the entire building seemed to be grotesquely pulsating: the too-loud pop “music” remixes blaring from every speaker; the raucous crowds of women careening about the “2 for 40” bins; the scattered detritus of disinterested boyfriends and husbands glued to their smartphones or desperately looking for a quiet corner in which to sit; the too-interested boyfriends and husbands, hovering about the change rooms with “their choice” bras clenched tightly in their fists –

IT WAS JUST TOO MUCH.

(Also, I’ve got to say – having some non-descript teenage boy wail on about how much he will love me no matter what while I peruse racks and racks of padded bras is a very strange experience indeed. I would recommended all lingerie stores employ string quartets to entertain their patrons whilst they shop.)

But I also have the tendencies and tastes of an eighty-year old, so they should also take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

Or Werther’s Original.

Okay, once again I am all over the road here.

What I’m trying to say is: underwear, for me, serves a function, and as long as that function is served, I am happy.

There are too many things I would rather do with my money then spend gobs of it on fancy-schmancy undies.

Because at the root of it all – I feel totally hot, (and awesome! and strong! and gorgeous!) without them.

I know I look great in my fruit of the loom, unpadded, unadorned plain underwear.

Also – if you’re using that stuff to present yourself as a sexy minx/naughty schoolgirl/lion tamer/etc. – all of that stuff just comes off anyway, doesn’t it?

(Doesn’t it?)

The dollar to time spent wearing the garment ratio is totally off!

Now, I’m sure there are many people out there who would (and probably will) tell me that if I ever gave lingerie its fair shake, I would feel completely different (and yes, I concede that they are probably correct).

But until that day – until I properly gird my loins (harhar) and make it into a store unaffected by all the glittery pomp and sexy circumstance, I will continue on as I do.

Wearing my whites.

Polar Bear Swim
Polar Bear Swim – 2014. In the whites.

Plainly.

Put your hands on my body

“Use up the rest of your benefits,” they said.

“Go and get a massage,” they said.

And get a massage I did.

Ooof.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the one hour I lay prone on that table as a very kind, and incredibly petite woman lay waste to my internal organs.

I mean, who doesn’t LOVE a good deep-tissue muscle scrub? Am I right or what?

Massage are great!

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They’re GREAT! (Also, look at my giant hand!)

Seriously, there is no question at all about that.

But, let’s not pretend that the best ones don’t hurt like heck, and as such, force you to perform your yoga-breathing for the entire sixty or so minutes that you’re engaged in one.

I went to my local RMT this afternoon because I’ve been having some tightness in my shoulders and upper back. I haven’t been running as much these days, what with the sun setting at 2:15 in the afternoon, and temperatures hovering around -1 degree centigrade, so instead, I’ve been doing quite a bit of body resistance work and strength training.

This is great, because I can now do sixty push-ups relatively easily during one workout (but not in a row alas. At least not yet. However, my plan is to be Linda Hamilton circa T-2 by the time I do Tough Mudder next June.)

This is not great because it leaves me very sore.

And to combat this soreness I go and get massages that just make me even more sore. (Sorer? Sauron?)

Ahem. Moving forward.

While I was getting massaged today, I started thinking about all the good things and all the bad things about the process, and because I was having so much fun mulling over these things in my head, I decided it was high time to dust off this old, but always popular, Rant and Roll chestnut:

I LOVE I LOATHE – MASSAGE EDITION!

Things I love about getting massaged:

The lead-up to the actual act. How great is it telling others that this coming Friday afternoon you have an appointment with an RMT?

SO GREAT.

People are always so darned excited for you, and then they’ll say something like “I should totally get one too!” And then you’re all “OMG YOU TOTALLY SHOULD” and then your friendship is bonded even harder over your shared love of upcoming massage visits.

Things I loathe about getting massaged:

That weird minute or so when you’re in the room with your massage therapist, and they’re all asking what you want worked on, but it’s awkward because you’re thinking about taking your clothes off, and you’re also kind of like, “IS THIS CUTTING IN MY ONE HOUR LADY? BECAUSE I PAID FOR AN HOUR!” and then once they’re gone you get undressed (always vaguely alarmed that there just might be hidden cameras) and then you lie there for what seems like forever until they knock on the door and you’re all “YES!” in a voice that is much, MUCH too enthusiastic.

Things I love about getting massaged:

Those moments after they’ve absolutely massaged the crap out of one spot on your body (so much so that you briefly think you’re going to pass out from the pain) and then they just rub lightly in circles around that point and everything in the world feels like it’s right again, and you also think you might be a superhuman because of your insanely high pain tolerance and would you exist in the Marvel or DC universe?

Things I loathe about getting massaged:

I am a competitive bastard, and I hate the thought of losing at ANYTHING. As such, whenever an RMT asks me if the pressure is too much, I cannot bring myself to say yes, despite the fact that I’m pretty sure that I can feel her fingers inside of my kidney(s).

I just keep deep breathing and telling myself that “this too shall pass” while the pain in my head hollers indiscriminately “HAHAHAH! NEVER. YOU SHALL NOT PASS!!!!”

Good grief.

One day I will be mature enough to say “less pressure please!”, but until that day, I suffer in silence.

In silence!

Things I love about getting massaged:

Afterwards.

All hail the rest of the day following the massage.

Seriously, I feel like I’m floating on air.

Add to this a piping hot shower, a lovely comfortable outfit, a good book and a glass of tea?

HEAVEN.

If the insane pain of the actual massage didn’t manage to kill me, this definitely will.

I am definitely dead by how fantastic I feel having come out the other side.

And it’s because of this that I will never, ever stop getting massaged.

Whether I mature, or not.

(Or not.)

Love Actually, is, all around (can we move the Japanese Ambassador to 4pm tomorrow?)

Well, it seems as though the Christmas season has officially arrived here on the West Coast of Canada.

Which means, it’s only a matter of time before I watch my three favourite holiday movies:

Muppets Christmas Carol

Home Alone

Love Actually

It’s actually the third film on this list that was the impetus for me writing this post.

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I was thinking about when would be an appropriate time to sit down for our yearly viewing of this masterpiece, before asking myself (for maybe the millionth time) – DID ALAN RICKMAN REALLY CHEAT ON EMMA THOMPSON?

This questions has been plaguing me for the past ten years.

Common consensus would say, yes, Harry and Mia did in fact engage in coitus (hence why we see her putting the necklace on in her undies, with an unmade bed in the background – I HAVE SEEN THIS MOVIE MANY TIMES) but I have such a hard time accepting this reality.

But most likely this is because of my all-consuming, and always growing love for Ms. Thompson.

Ya know?

EXACTLY.

Anyway, even though to me, this movie is perfect (to paraphrase Rick Grimes and all), here are a few other problems that always arise upon every viewing.

*holds up sign of mummified human being*

Too much?

ONWARDS!

1. I don’t believe that Colin Firth’s (Jamie’s) wife would cheat on him with his brother. I mean, THAT GUY? Really? HIM? Could they not have cast some crazy, smoking hot dude (a real Carl if you will!) to play this part?

And why is everyone so disappointed that Uncle Jamie isn’t staying with the family for Christmas? HIS BROTHER WAS SEXING HIS WIFE BEHIND HIS BACK! The fact that his entire brood of blood relatives is willing to excuse that horrible behaviour, but is insanely upset that Jamie won’t carve the bloody turkey is WAY COLD. And I’m not buying it!

Although “I HATE Uncle Jamie!” has become one of Marc’s and my most favourite sayings to date, so – not all bad I suppose.

2. “Miss Dunkin’ Donuts 2003.”

COME ON RICHARD CURTIS. We all know Aurelia’s Portuguese Dad isn’t using that as his insult of choice when he’s fat-shaming his other daughter.

What the hell man? IF you’re going to go for the cheap weight-related joke, at the very least use your imagination and don’t just go for the lazy laugh!

3. That photo of Harry (Alan Rickman) and Bernard (his son), framed on Karen (Emma Thompson’s) dresser cracks me up every time I see it. Bernard just looks completely nuts, and is making the most bonkers face of life.

I can never NOT see it now.

4. What is UP with the Prime Minister’s Press Secretary (Is that her title?) who likes to make fun of Natalie? Is she in love with the Prime Minister? Why the hell would she make such a crappy comment about the size of Natalie’s bum? I mean, isn’t that crazy unprofessional? I DON’T GET IT.

5. Daniel (Liam Neeson) and his step-son get over his wife’s death way too quickly. Also, no one learns to play the drums in a week. TAKE THAT YA WEE MONGREL!

6. Do we really think that backpack is chock-a-block filled with condoms?

7. What is UP with girls from Wisconsin? Is Christmas Eve and Budweiser some kind of lethal sex combination for these young ladies OR WHAT?

8. Look man, I think Kiera Knightley is as lovely as the next gal, but what the heck is up with that wedding dress? Midriff baring? In the middle of winter? And is she wearing feathers in her hair? I mean, look how effortlessly amazing Peter (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is in his suit. Could we not have at least tried to match this?

9. Also, am I the only one who thought that Mark (Peter’s best friend) was in love with Peter? I still kind of wish that this was, in fact, the case. And that he really did hate Juliet, because she had taken away not only his best friend, but the love of his life.

10. LAURA LINNEY. What are you doing friend!? TAKE CARL AND RAVISH HIM. We all die, over and over again, every time we watch you waste such a magical chance to bed Carl the enigmatic chief designer-cum-underwear model!

So there you have it dudes. My (small!) beefs with one of the best holiday movies of all time.

Do you agree?

Disagree?

Let me know.

But in the meantime, I’ll let Joanna have the last word:

All I want for Christmas is YOU.

(And you.)

(And you!)