Making it all bearable

Hey kids.


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Seriously, I near but froze my toes off, tip-toeing around my balcony yesterday morning trying to get these shots.

But are they not oh-so worth it?

And then, because I’m one who can never just leave well enough alone, I had to take a second round of shots as I walked to the metro (plus one final snap when I arrived at the skytrain station.)


Honestly, I’m surprised that I don’t catch more people taking snaps of the sunrise. I mean, am I the only sap left in the world who’s moved by this kind of thing?

Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I was some kind of high-flying migratory bird, or climatologist, or Greek god in one (or all of) my previous lives, what with how pathologically OBSESSED I am with the sky.

P.S I’m calling dibs on Athena, here and now and NO SWAPSIES ALLOWED! That badass gal is my homegirl through and through, ya dig?

Anywho, I can only hope that we continue to have good weather so I can carry on getting all shirty over cloud striations, and the way the early-morning horizon looks like a giant space toddler’s blue and orange finger painting project.

(p.s. I think I’ve been reading too much Drew Magary, hence the current love affair with CAPS LOCK. Do not be alarmed. As with all crushes before it – both written and otherwise – this too soon shall pass.)

In the interim, fry up time!

All that glitters is not gold.

So my fabitty fab sister in-law Vanessa is engaged to be married, and her wedding day is coming up daisies (or within the calendar year if you will). As such, she is on the hunt for a gown in which she will be fit to wed her dearly betrothed.

Now, I love weddings like the wedding-mad fool that I am, so I readily agreed to accompany her shopping the second that she asked. We spent last Saturday afternoon together, along with my mother in-law (or CAPTAIN C as I like to refer to her), visiting the various shops that line downtown New Westminster, perusing their incredibly diverse wares.

Now, my sis is a lady of discerning taste, and to say that there were some stores that didn’t quit fit the bill is a bit of an understatement.

For instance, I managed to covertly snap this picture of one of the prom dresses available for purchase at one of the shops:






Seriously, somewhere out there Rumpelstiltskin just rolled over in his grave.

(Also, that pink number isn’t anything to write home about either.)

Needless to say, we didn’t last long in that shop, and quickly moved on to a store where everything Ms. V tried on brought tears of happiness and joy to my eyes (and not, you know, a panic attack.)

Different strokes and all that, but my capacity for completely gaudy get-ups is limited, especially outside the confines of an H&M dressing room.


To a Tee.

Remember when I wrote about how awesome my little sister’s butcher shop is?

Well, check out these smashing Highland Drive t-shirts HOT OFF THE PRESSES:

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Don’t you want one?

I have already placed an order for both M and myself, so you should probably think about procuring some of your own. All the cool kids are doing it!

Find out how you can get your mitts on these sweet things by following my wicked sister on the FACEBOOKS HERE.

(And while you’re there, you should probably stop by Ye Olde Rant and Roll and like that too. SHAMELESS PLUG Y’ALL.)

Techno queen.

Sometimes I feel as though I am overrun by gadgets.


(This overwhelming sensation definitely played a leading role in what kept me from getting a cell phone for so long.)

I mean, I go to work and sit at a compute – writing, reading, researching, blogging, tweeting, facebooking, e-mailing, scheduling, etc., etc.

Then I come home and use my laptop or tablet, like some Asimov inspired cyborg.

And it is because of this that I make such a concerted effort to make sure that I unplug at every available opportunity. I read like a reading thing as much as I can, go for walks with my husband, take endless photos of my cat (and the sky), cook, listen to the radio (what would I do without the CBC!?), talk on the phone with my far-away loved ones (ACK! I have just realized that most of these things are gadget related!), or just sit and think my madcap thoughts, all alone and on my own.

However, on this last point I really need to get better at “just being.”

Growing up, we used to always call it “bear by yourself” time. I want to re-learn how to be bear by myself.

That’s all she wrote this Friday my loves.

Wishing you all a very fabulous weekend, whether it is adventure filled or quietly serene!

Take each moment, and enjoy.

It’s clear as day

Okay people.

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Today I want to talk zits.




Between grades seven to ten I had a pretty bad case of the pizza face (to use the most unappealing and totally grotesque descriptor that could possibly come to mind). To make matters worse, when I started grade nine, I realized that my blemishes had also begun to migrate to other areas of my body, such as my shoulders, back, and chest.

Being the tank-top connoisseur that I was, not to mention a girl already tormented with braces and glasses, this dispersion, to me, was pushing the boundary of general decency.

I mean, with how much dermatological baggage should a fourteen year old girl be saddled?

Good grief.

So I tried a number of different brands and products in a bid to rid myself from this dastardly affliction, with most of my efforts being, of course, in vein.

I spent my a large percentage of my (minimal) disposable income on topical acne gels, Biore facial strips, and medicated face and body washes just to try and keep those little (and sometimes not so little) red dots at bay.

But nothing ever really worked and I was miserable.

What little else remained of my money was spent on heavy duty foundation and thick translucent powder (powder that I used to “set” said foundation.)

[Ed. note to any teenage readers: THIS IS NEVER A GOOD THING TO DO.]

Waking up every morning and counting the number of zits on my face, hoping against hope that there would be less than the day before, I, like any good overdramatic fifteen year old, was at the point where I began to believe that this would be my life FOREVER.

That was until November of grade ten rolled around and my mother set me up with a prescription for Acutane.

Now, say what you want about this product (and I know there is a ton of legitimate negative literature out there on the subject) but for me, this medication was a godsend.

Sure, my lips were dryer than the Sahara desert the entire time I took those big white pills, but seeing how well (and how fast) my skin cleared up, I would have agreed to a lifetime of chapped smoochers in exchange for the miracle work it had performed on not only my face – but all my other “problem” areas.

Thinking back, I cannot help but smile when thinking about the summer before entering grade eleven.

I got my braces taken off, got new “cool” specs (and by cool I mean the big, black frames I still wear today. I was rocking my nerd glasses way before anyone thought to make them into a trend!), and my skin had completely cleared up.

I remember going to a party at a boy’s house (a boy that would eventually become my first boyfriend) in August and him telling me how great I looked.

I was on top of the world.

Flash forward over the past ten years, and well, during this time I have had both fantastic skin, and not so fantastic skin.

The short and simple answer as to why this disparity exists is this:

I have (and have had) fantastic skin when I have been healthy.

I had not so fantastic skin when I was sick.

Take me at my word kids: nothing mucks up your skin faster than being bulimic.

After particularly awful episodes I would break out horribly, and in awkward places at that – all along my jaw line, across my hairline, and next to my temples (just to name a few.)

And then what do you know, I was back at the drug store procuring that foundation and powder, contemplating whether or not another round of medication was worth the hassel.

In the end, I am happy to report that in its stead, I took the necessary steps to improve my health, and since this time have been back to a non-caked-on-concealer complexion.


The skin on the rest of my body remains as sensitive as a sensitive thing, and seeing as though my skin is pretty much translucent and easily scarred, I have to be very careful about the kind of body washes and soaps that I use in the cleaning process, and about never buying bras that dig into my skin, and about using lightweight workout clothes.

Because if I don’t I’ll most likely get some sweet skin decoration going on – decoration that will lurk around for quite awhile, due to said aforementioned easy scarring.

But honestly, at this point in my life I don’t really care either way.

I don’t have the energy to waste on these matters.

Sure, sometimes this sensitivity grinds my gears, but when it comes down to it – a zit or two on my shoulder will never, ever be something that stops me from doing anything I actually want to do.

And why should it?

It’s funny.

I can still remember a conversation that I had with one of my best friends when we were but thirteen years old.

She asked me: “Would you rather have perfect skin, or always be skinny, for the rest of your life?”

With my body issues beating my skin issues in the race for most damaging control over my life, I easily answered “Skinny.”

I so badly wish I could go back and help that young girl know that the right answer is neither of those two options.

But the again, hey – she ended up finding her way there eventually.

Don’t wake me I plan on sleeping in

I’m feeling all over the place these days.

My body seems to be powered by an endless supply of frenetic energy and I’m having a hard time trying to keep still. Something inside of me keeps telling me to “GOGOGOGO”, and sometime over the last week my powers of concentration completely misfired, and during my (failed) attempt to give them a jump start, they escaped through the open window and are now MIA.

It could be the fact that I am not running this week, in preparation for the half-marathon this Sunday.

It could be the fact that it is early autumn, and oh-so beautiful outside, and all I want to do is dress like a cowgirl, go for long walks, and drink pumpkin spice lattes under the shade of a shedding maple, or perhaps elm.

It could be – wait a second…did I really just write that?

Good grief – it’s like I fantasize about living in a pinterest board.

(p.s. Do you guys pinterest? I don’t and am afraid to venture into this world for fear that I will drown in my self-pinned reflection of midi dresses, kittens, lemon tarts, and three piece suits.)

Not a bad way to go actually…


See what I mean? I’m so easily distracted it is amazing that I manage to brush my teeth and tie my shoes.

I haven’t been sleeping all that well for the past few nights and as such I’ve had my fair share of individuals letting me know that I “look tired.”

Now, would I be speaking out of turn if I requested that we – the collective whole of humanity – stop doing this?

I’m thinking of writing to my member of parliament asking him to table a private member’s bill that would make it illegal for individuals to point out to others that it looks as though they didn’t get the recommended eight hours.

Because let’s be honest. When you tell someone that they “look tired” you’re not just telling them that they could stand to catch another forty winks (give or take, depending on how closely you adhere to ol’ Rip van Winkle’s sleeping philosophy.)

Oh no.

You are basically telling that person that they look like crap – even if you don’t mean to.

You tell someone that they look tired, and I can guarantee you (100% or money back) that they hear the following:

“Holy moley! You look like a ruddy disaster! What happened to you?”

(Give or take a few colloquialism, adjectives, adverbs, etc., etc.)

Seriously, there is nothing worse than the ZOMGYOULOOKTIRED. Just tell me I look like an arse, and move on.

Oh! And none of this feigned concern. Don’t pretend that you are telling me that I look completely bagged under the guise that you are worried about my well being. If you did think that something was wrong, I assume you would ask, “is everything okay?” and not open with an underhanded assessment of my overall haleness and heartiness.

(Man, who knew that those two words actually are words? I was full-on expecting the squiggly red lines upon typing them both.)

Dance break:

Oh, and this reminds me – one other thing:

What is UP with the re-compliment?

You know, when you see a co-worker, or a friend, and they are wearing a darling little ensemble, or a sweet pair of kicks, and you (being the cool, awesome person that you are) let them know how smashing they look in their terrific shirt/pants/shoes/what-have-you?

And then they – instead of thanking you, or responding that they too dig their outfit – become paralyzed by a need to compliment you back, and start stammering about how they too like your jeans, or fedora, or disposable hospital gown because they are a doctor and you weren’t wearing anything else when you told her that you liked her earrings?

(Yeah…so that definitely never happened.)

(Also – I would also never wear a fedora.)


Can we just agree to put a stop to this weird social interaction?

Can we agree that if someone compliments you, to take the compliment and move on? You are not obliged to return the favour. In all likelihood there was zero ulterior motive in the original flattery – people normally don’t give out praise in the hope of getting it back (and if they are doing this, stop hanging out with these individuals at once.)

Because when you force out the return compliment (or re-compliment) it usually comes across as super awkward and disingenuous (whether or not you really actually mean it.)

This happened to me today and I really wanted to blurt out, “JUST STOP! You’re killing us both!”

And hey, if you actually do like your flatterer’s ensemble? Just give the original compliment a little breathing room, and then let the person know.

Be all, “I have been meaning to tell you that I really like your pink sunglasses!”

Just as long as you don’t follow it up with:

“Are you wearing them to cover those bags under your eyes? Because you look really, really tired today.”

Because that’s just all sorts of wrong.

Stirring up trouble

Hey dudes.

Do you want to know what is the absolute worst thing ever? Like, in the world?

I’ll tell you what: FIRE ALARM TESTING.

Yeah, I’m about two shrill shrieks away from a murderous rampage to end all murderous rampages.

Not to mention the fact that my poor cat is utterly traumatized.

At first, when it started this morning, she was all, “MOM! WHY!?”:

And as the day progressed, she morphed into a fragile shell of her former amazon-Dorne self, until I found her like this in our upstairs office:

The poor thing had eyes as big as saucers.


If these bastards aren’t finished soon, I’m going to take a dump in their boot and cut the brake lines in their van. Don’t think I won’t do it!!!



Okay. That was too much. Dial it back there Eth, you’ve gone too far.

Sorry folks, I don’t know what got over me there.

But seriously, my head is pounding, my ears are ringing – even my heartbeat seems all off.

In short, I feel like utter rubbish, and I look like it too.

(But not smell. I smell like vanilla deliciousness.)

About an hour ago, peering at my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I instinctively recoiled.

“FIE! AWAY FOUL BEAST AND DIE!” I shouted (because as you know, I live in a Shakespeare play.)

Either way, things were circling the drain, AND QUICK. So what did I do to combat this malaise? This lethargy of the soul, and hideousness of the face?

I did what any (semi) sane vegetarian would do.

I made a vegetable stirfy.

Pics or it didn’t happen you say?

GOOD THING I BROUGHT THE BIG GUNS. Let’s dive in, shall we?


Eat some carrot pieces if you so wish. I often do.

Don’t forget the onion!

Or the garlic for that matter.

Preeeeety colours.

Add the eggplant early because it takes the longest to cook.


Definitely take time to be a weirdo.

Sgt. Peppers

Why I’m so strong.

So saucy!

The final product.

Dig in!

p.s. I have a secret. I want to tell you all, but I must keep it safe until the time is right. FRODO BAGGINS!

Yep. Officially mad.

Here with you, skinny legs and all

I am typing on the world’s softest keyboard. It’s like having jello fingertips.

I was reading “Skinny Legs and All” again last night. It is such a good book.

I like its definition of art as something that you can see in your head, but you know doesn’t exist in reality, so you try to make it exist.

I think this is what Robert Bateman cannot understand.

Art as imitation? That is just flattery.

Painted fangs and paper coats, a canvas of timeless snow. To make beauty and life something to look at.

I disagree with it all.

Make randomness. Find splendour in it.

Paint the pattern of your mind in the fickle sand, and know that it will blow away.

To be or not to be timeless? Infinite? Or just human?

We err, we die, we hold stiff poses against the sky – a sky that never changes.  And what we make and what we shape is beautiful because it eventually ceases to obey the order we have inflicted upon it and metamorphs into something we could not ever have imagined.

And I ask myself, over and over again: where would I be if I had never met you?

A tan, bland comment from a waiter at a tea party. And I would have outlasted the winter with my ice and arctic breath.

But you and I – our pulse, our heart, together: we are not meant for trivia and sullen conversation.

The outside rules are writing themselves in rigid lines of decline, delineating the passive guests – but we, we are undressed and dressed again, an unfolding nebula of muscle, blood, and mirth, and who dares to say us wrong.

Who dares to say but sorry and thank you – these well-wishers and critics.

I see you and I’m dazed understanding. I’m iron on fire.

I’m living, I’m burning; I have stunned the artifex of my life in the shower, and these eyes – mine eyes are dancing the jive with yours.

And I’ll be here.
(kissing your eyelids shut at night).

For extra credit:

O, my love.