Making it all bearable

Hey kids.

First off – LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL THE SKY IS GOOD GRIEF IT KILLS ME.

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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.)

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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:

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WHO?

WHY?

HOW?

I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD MAKE A DRESS OUT OF THE SAME MATERIAL USED TO CREATE THE SPACE SHUTTLE.

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.

NEXT!

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.

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(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.

Phone’s ringing dude

Oomph.

I am jetlagged.

The time change and long distance travel malaise didn’t hit on the way down to Nova Scotia, but coming back to fair British Columbia it certainly has done its best to knock me off my feet.

Waking up on Wednesday morning, my head felt a little foggy, but I just chalked it up to the fact that we hadn’t fallen into bed until close to 2:30am (that day!), after, literally, traversing the whole of North America the night before.

(Well, crossing the east-west divide of the continent, at the very least.)

However, after spending the day cleaning, and running, and grocery shopping, and friend hanging-outing, I literally collapsed into sleep that night (knowing full well that my first day back at work would probably be busy as a busy thing.)

And it was.

But more than that, the next morning my head fog remained (if anything it seemed thicker than before) and all of my limbs felt weighted and stiff. Here we are a day later, and this lethargy remains, and my whole body feels slightly out of whack – almost as though a key ingredient has been overlooked when putting together the recipe for my life back here on the West Coast.

I am sure that this will fade (as most fog does) but in the mean time I am excited that it is already the weekend, and I can relax and get my wits together before tackling my first full week come Monday morning.

In even better news, my older sister is here for the weekend, and tonight we are having a sleepover (which means junk food and Kids in the Hall) and on Sunday there is a big family dinner with Mel’s (her fiancée’s) family.

The excitement kids! It’s palpable!

In the meantime, let’s check what’s frying up on the stove this Friday.

Onwards!

I hear the call.

So, after living for many moons (over two years actually) without a cell phone, I finally caved to social pressure (aka my mother’s desperate pleas) and procured a personal mobile device.

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What can I say – I need to keep up with the times.

And the trends.

Plus, carrier pigeons are expensive.

What time is it?

Do you have Netflix or the internet?

Do you love a good television series?

Can you see?

Do you find yourself interested in geek-chic actors, such as Ben Whishaw, or beautiful, brilliant blondes like Romola Garai?

Do you believe that Dominic West can only really play dashing cads because, in all likelihood, he probably is a dashing cad in real life?

If you have answered YES to any of these questions, you must immediately abandon everything that you are doing and start watching The Hour at once.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP2mIaLsquc

I just finished the second season and am so, so sad that it is done.

If you start watching let me know what you think.

Also, two words more of encouragement: DUCK. FACE.

Separation anxiety.

So I remarked briefly in my last post that Nymeria was really excited to see M and I upon our arrival home.

This was no mere exaggeration folks. Our little gal has been so over the moon to have us back, I’m starting to believe that she actually thought we were long-goners.

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Never have I ever heard her purr like this – it’s like she’s got a tiny (but efficient) train operating inside of her, one that is running at all hours of the day.

Every night since we’ve arrived back she has either slept on my legs or feet (or sometimes even tummy) and she talks, talks, talks all the live-long day.

Hi mum! Hi dad! Don’t ever leave me again, okay? I’ll never scratch the carpet ever again I promise! Or at the very least I’ll try my hardest not to tear it apart! I love you! So glad you’re back!

I am actively destroyed every time I open the front door – whether it’s returning home from work, or coming back from a run, or with an armful of grocery bags.

(Literally too, due to the fact that as she weaves in and out between your legs it is very easy to be tripped up by this dance.)

An animal’s love, phew – it’ll get you.

Good thing we love her tight right back.

Sniff.

So there you have it my darlings.

What’s on the docket for you all this weekend?

Phone, text, or e-mail me – I’m rightfully equipped to hear about it all.

Safety dance

I was listening to CBC’s “As it Happens” last night and they replayed an interview that focused on white nose syndrome, a commonly misunderstood disease that has affected over one million bats living in eastern Canada and the United States.  I have read articles on this malady and the photos that inevitably accompany the piece are heartbreaking.   I couldn’t listen to more than a couple minutes of the show because I felt as though my heart had been placed in a vice.  In between deep breaths I kept repeating to myself, “those poor batties…those poor little batties.”

Sheesh – anyone who might have overheard me would probably have immediately written me off as “poor” and “batty” too.

But the crux of the matter is, I am very easily overwhelmed by things I read or hear about.  It’s almost as if a temporary paralysis sets in, and I am unable to concentrate on anything else.   Whatever “it” happens to be, completely derails me from my everyday mental and physical normalcy.

So, just as I cannot stand to listen about the untreatable ravaging of our little nocturnal flying friends, I also cannot get the image of my mother, sitting at her kitchen table, eating two massive pieces of toast, dancing to Maroon 5’s “Moves like Jagger” out of my head.

The difference being, of course, is that this image does not make my heart ache, but swell.

I should clarify however, she was not full on dancing – just shoulder-heavy, top half dancing, with quite a bit of arm movement thrown in for good measure.  The kind of dancing you do when you’re sitting on transit and the BSE (best song EVER) comes onto your ipod and it’s taking everything in your being not to jump up and start breaking it down, because even though no one is sitting next to you and you have a good amount of room, and really, no one is looking, and certainly no one cares, and you think you might as well go for it, you really don’t want people to stare.

In trust, it was one of the most simple, beautiful and hilarious things I have ever seen.  She had never heard the song before, and when it began to play on the radio she didn’t immediately react; my mother isn’t one to immediately burst into the shoulder swing.  (Coincidentally, we were also listening to CBC – we don’t do much else in this family.  Side note: I was having tea with a friend and I asked her if she ever listened to the station and she was like, “No, but my Dad does!” which only reinforced my belief that I may be aging prematurely.)

Anyways, there was mom, sitting, eating her toast, reading the Globe and Mail’s editorial cartoon, and as I’m watching her, I begin to see the song start to work its magic.  The song itself isn’t revolutionary, but it’s darn catchy.  It’s pretty hard to listen to it and not get a good foot tap going.   So first, I notice a finger wag, then, a head nod.  In no time, slowly but surely, and then WHAM!  Shoulders shimmying for all of Canada.

Living so far away from my family members is hard.  As much as I enjoy phone calls, skype chats and e-mails, nothing really can take the place of a face-to-face, in the flesh chin wag.  If anything, as electronic means of communication get better and better, it seems to get harder and harder to maintain individual, in person relationships.  (Also, is it just me, or to cross-Canada flight prices increase with each introduction of an iphone upgrade?)

This conceit is certainly not new, nor is it groundbreaking.   That electronic media has usurped traditional forms of communication is a horse with a “flogged” tattoo on its hide.

The one thing I can, and do take to heart in knowing this, is that the things that make it okay for me to live so far away from my loved ones is not a machine with an operating system that will be obsolete in six months, but the images of a dancing mom, or a poker playing dad, or one sister that eats hot sauce on everything and another who always asks “do you love me?” before she crushes me in a hug.

I will choose a locket with two tiny photos sitting inside it, over an electronic picture frame any day.

Pragmatic addendum: these images that live inside of me are also excellent blinders for the times when I think that 5000km aren’t enough of a buffer between myself and these individuals (but this doesn’t happen all that often.)

In the mean time, I’m going to do a little dance.  And since I’m not on transit, I’m going to give it.  Because hot damn, can I move like Mick Jagger.