Thursday, September 4, 2014

Being 40 - A Manifesto

So... I'm 40 years old today. I was feeling quite ambivalent about this for some time but now that it's actually happening, I can't help but feel... elated, mostly because I'm steadily beginning to care less about what other people think. My new motto is: I'm 40, I can do that, or, I'm 40, I don't give a shit, or, I'm 40, I don't have to shower.

In honour of this rite of passage, I figured I should probably come up with a manifesto for this new chapter in my life, so here goes...

Being 40 - a manifesto

I will not automatically conclude that every minor physical ailment is cancer (or some other life-threatening illness) which means that, under no circumstance am I to look up symptoms on the Internet. Ever.

I will continue to shop at places like Aritzia, American Eagle, Hollister, etc... you know, places where "40" doesn't exist, because dammit, I like their stuff, despite the fact that a salesperson at Aritzia once asked me if I was shopping for my daughter (*cue Psycho shower scene music here as this accurately expresses my rage at the very thought of this).

At any given time, I will eat as many cupcakes as I want.

I will never wear high-waisted shorts that expose my ass cheeks. This has nothing to do with my age. It's a matter of taste... and class, as in, I don't hail from a trailer park.

As much as possible, I will be honest and do away with pretense, unless it's in my best interest to lie.

I will try to read grown-up books, unless The Bachelor is on, then all bets are off.

I will continue to wear my Lululemon gear while doing yoga because my Lulu leggings are so old, you can't see my ass crack through them.

I will continue to use abbreviated words like LOL, OMG, Whatevs, TTYL, etc... because I'm lazy and have become accustomed to not speaking in full sentences.

I will no longer base my self-worth on the number of "likes" I receive or followers I have on various social media platforms. I will develop a drinking problem instead to deal with pesky feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt. 

I will always choose sleep over personal hygiene. This will never change.

"Morning" me will always be skinnier than "evening" me. It's a fact I've come to accept.

Corn dogs and mayo = breakfast of champions. Ok, maybe I do hail from a trailer park.

Hello Kitty is also turning 40 in 2014. I don't know why that matters, but it does.

Betcha didn't know there was a Playboy Hello Kitty... 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Girl crushes and rose ceremonies

I won't be discussing Robin Williams' recent death, in case you're wondering. I'm much too self-absorbed for that. I got my own shit to deal with. Although, now that I think about it, it's f*cking sad. I've grappled with depression in the past, and it's no laughing matter, however diligently one may try to mask it with humour.

We can all sit here at our computers, scratching our heads, blogging about it, trying to come up with theories to explain why such a talented man would end his life but we will never fully know why, and frankly, it's none of our business. Our business is to grieve his loss, remember his incredible life and legacy, and allow him the dignity of privacy, even posthumously.

The boyfriend and I recently saw the movie The Other Woman. Based on the preview, it looked like your typical romcom, some good 'ol brain candy. In other words, we had low expectations. However, I gained a whole new respect for actress Leslie Mann. Girlfriend carried this film and delivered a jaw-droppingly funny performance. I already liked her as an actress but now she may be added to my girl crush list along with Tina Fey.

On my professional crush list, I've recently added screenwriter and TV producer Tom Kapinos (probably best known as the creator of Californication). The writing on that series was so sublimely dirty and delicious, I decided that collaborating on a project with Mr. Kapinos would be the epitome of awesomeness.  

To counterbalance my high expectations of working with writing greatness, the boyfriend and I have been watching Bachelor in Paradise, another new creation of the Bachelor franchise. Basically, a group of hot singles are placed in a Mexican resort to cavort and get laid find true love. There's a rose ceremony every week where contestants who aren't paired up usually get kicked off (one week the girls do the booting, the next week it's the boys), and to keep things spicy, new contestants arrive every week to rock the boat and break up fragile new couples.

What's so entertaining about this show is the difference between men and women and their expectations. Within 48 hours of meeting someone, some female contestants are convinced they've met their future husbands. The men, on the other hand, are all like "Hey, we can hang out but let's play the field, you know, to make sure our connection is real".
 
The best part of this show, as always, are host Chris Harrison's brief appearances. He's all business but you know, on some level, he's in on it. He's ok with being a parody of himself, and I love him for it.

I've been trying to stave off my intense cravings to buy things, most notably clothes. I can barely close my closet as it is but I have this insatiable need to acquire more. I'm aware that it's simply an attempt to fill an abyss of emptiness within and that's what I should really address, but whatevs. I'll get to that eventually. Until then, what's on sale?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

European inspired root canals

So the boyfriend and I went to Europe for three weeks. We booked our flights and a couple of nights at a hotel in Frankfurt, where we were landing, and that's it. The remaining 19 nights were not booked, nor destinations planned. We were just gonna wing it. We had an idea of the general geographic area we wanted to stick to (Central Europe) but no more thought was really put into it than that.

Strangely, leading up to the trip, we didn't think about it much. I guess we were busy with our daily lives and since we had decided on relatively little planning, it really wasn't front of mind. It only started sinking in about a week before we were leaving when I drew up my "pre-trip" to-do list. Then it was like, holy shit, we're going overseas for three weeks. WTF.

Now, you might be thinking, big deal. Everyone goes to Europe. A lot of people don't really plan their trip. So what? And I would say, yes, that's true. I would also say there is truth to the old adage that people go to Europe to "find themselves", because I found myself. At 39. Racked with anxiety and wonderment.

That first night in Frankfurt, I couldn't sleep because our idea was finally hitting me. We're on this continent for three weeks and I have no idea where we're going or what we'll be doing. A complete blank slate. Sheer panic started to set in, and I was hit with a sharp pang of homesickness.

You see, I plan for a living. I'm always thinking of the future, booking things in advance, organizing, and I have a very stable lifestyle, i.e. my ass is on the couch most nights watching TV, after a day of work. I also have a touch of the OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and the specter of the unknown for three weeks hit me like an abusive husband on a bender.

I guess you're supposed to work this shit out in your late teens / early twenties when most people go backpacking across Europe. I've always been a late bloomer. We ended up going to Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Vienna and Budapest, and at 39, I discovered that major urban centres, although stimulating, stress me out a bit, especially when I don't speak the language and we're trying to use public transportation to get around cities we're unfamiliar with. As the boyfriend put it, I earned my orienteering badge on this trip.

I realized I'm a nester, and just as I was getting comfortable feathering my nest in one city, we would up and leave for the next. I guess I've always known this about myself but nowhere was it more evident than on this trip. Wow, I'm really not a gypsy. Ok. Except that "nester" doesn't sound as cool as "gypsy". "Nester" sounds like generic suburban housewife, which I am most definitely not. I think.

Then, on day 4 of 21, I developed a very mild toothache which I consequently, at varying degrees, on different days, obsessed about. I mean, it didn't hurt or anything but I knew something was amiss. Again, with the unknown. What's causing this? Should I see a dentist right away? Can it wait? It can wait. I mean, I'm in a foreign country, and it's not an emergency. But can it wait another two and half weeks? I've had a root canal before. What if this is indicative of another one? What if my tooth is rotting from the inside right now? Or maybe it's just my gum that's inflamed. I DON'T KNOW. The idea of not getting any answers for at least a couple weeks was somewhat traumatic. I don't cope well with uncertainty, and yet it's the basic condition of human life. Go figure.

It was a deeply profound experience in that I remained on my edges for 21 days, without the comfort of the familiar, constantly exposed to new cities, languages and cultures, and ultimately reminded that we all resemble each other so much more than we differ from each other. All our unplanned logistics fell into place beautifully and helpful, friendly people always seemed to show up when we needed them. I guess I realized it's ok to not know, and the world "out there" is nothing to be afraid of. Unless you're traveling to Somalia. Then, you should probably be afraid.

I did have to get a second root canal when we returned home. Both of my canine teeth are now dead. It's a matching set. I wonder if that makes me kind of a vampire.

Friday, May 2, 2014

They like big butts and they cannot lie

I read a Runner's World article yesterday stating that stretching, either before or after running, is actually not recommended. I know. Very surprising considering we've been told the opposite. I was quite pleased because I do run but I'm lazy. If I don't have to stretch afterwards, great. Workout done. On to couch potatoism that much sooner.

I also read a great article recently stating that, contrary to what the vast majority of women think, men are mostly attracted to visibly healthy, athletic-looking women. Women with curves, and muscles, not skinny bitches who look like they couldn't lift a toothpick. 

It was so refreshing to read - an article actually encouraging women to build strength and muscle, get some curves, pack on a caboose (with strength training, not doughnuts) because a big ass and a muscular ass are two entirely different things. The article stated something I found very interesting: most media are trying to sell women's bodies to other women, not men. So all those super skinny fashion models appeal to some men but not the majority of men.

Most women think the opposite. They exercise to stay skinny or get skinnier, not to maintain an average weight, and stay healthy and strong. They try to emulate fashion models they see in mainstream media but guess what? That's not what guys find crazy hot. If you put a fashion model next to say, a Gabrielle Reece (beach volleyball super hot athlete chick), the fashion model wouldn't stand a chance.

Apparently, guys go gaga over chicks who look like they could scale the side of a mountain or go on a hiking trek through the Amazon forest, babes who look like they're game for anything, not skinny twigs obsessed with calorie-counting who might break something on a light walk around the block.

So ladies, instead of trying to figure out how to get rid of your curves, go pump some iron, and eat real food. Celery sticks only count if they're part of a complete meal, i.e. accompanied by healthy sources of lean protein and complex carbohydrates.

And the next time you read a fashion mag, remember, their only goal is to sell you shit, not to keep you healthy and happy.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pavement and my ass: two things that should never meet unexpectedly

I recently caught a severe case of fallis on assis on a busy street in front of a gaggle of pedestrians. There's nothing quite like public embarrassment to keep it real, you know? The culprit was a patch of black ice. I know what you're thinking: "Why is there ice to contend with in April?" Well, this winter has been particularly harsh, the kind of winter they're referring to in Game of Thrones when they say "Winter is coming."

I've started commuting via bicyclette and it's still colder than a witch's titty out there. I know, WTF right? So, I'm riding my bike down a busy street, all proud of myself for paying attention to parked cars and people coming out of them (as a cyclist, parked cars can be a menace if a door opens and you're unprepared) but what I fail to notice is a light turning red at a pedestrian crosswalk.

I keep going merrily on my way when I realize I'm about to run over someone innocently crossing the street. Shit. Slam on the brakes. Except, double shit, ice. Back wheel fishtails forward and gains serious momentum due to frozen water underfoot. So much momentum it drags the rest of the bike and me along with it until I find myself flat on my ass. WTF just happened.

Then I hear tidbits of conversation among the onlookers: "What the f*ck! Look, there's ice. Are you ok?" Once I realized I hadn't run over anyone, I felt marginally better, except when I tried to get up. My left knee hurt like a mother f*cker. But my ego was already severely bruised so I pretended like everything was ok, and rode off to continue my trek to the office.

I was shaken up by the sudden trauma of public embarrassment but I managed to arrive at work in one piece. However, I realized my knee had sustained some kind of injury. But I was a trooper. I wasn't gonna sit around all day, feeling sorry for myself. I went to the gym over lunch and realized that my knee actually felt better when in motion and worse when static for long periods of time. Weird.

I was really bummed out when I thought I might not be able to run for a while because of my sore knee but the boyfriend said I should probably keep moving it, so I did, and realized I can still run. Good thing too because I just started up again after being unable to run due to my frankenvein (aka vericose vein) treatments over the last three months. At first, I was all like: "Universe, what up yo?" but now I'm like:" Ok, it's cool, everything still works".

So the moral of the story is: there shouldn't be any ice left in April. (global warming my ass...)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Gravy mix and cigarettes cause muffin tops

We bought some gravy mix at the grocery store the other day. My boyfriend stuffed the packets in his coat pocket since we didn't get any other groceries at the time (after paying of course - we're not hooligans). Once we got home, he asked me to get the gravy from his coat because he had forgotten. I did as he requested and, once in the kitchen with said packets of gravy, I said: "Is that gravy in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?"

I really like low-rise pants because I have a short torso and my waist is fairly close to my boobs. I also have really square hips so I look like a... well, like a big square. I like to think of my figure as more "athletic" than "hourglass".

The problem with low risers is that they give me a muffin top when I sit down. I find this strange because I'm of perfectly normal weight so nothing should be hanging over my pants, you know? If the pants have a somewhat higher waist, I can just tuck my tummy under the pants and pouf! flat abs.

I can only conclude that I need a personal seamstress since mainstream fashion cannot possibly begin to address my unique body shape which I have aptly named "the square", as shown in this lovely illustration:
I came across some old Johnny Carson interviews on TV the other night and immediately got the warm fuzzies. I used to watch the Tonight Show back in the day, before I became a soulless peon engulfed in what Henry David Thoreau described as "lives of quiet desperation". The interviews were mainly from the 70s and 80s, when I was young and my greatest worry was missing an episode of the Dukes of Hazzard on Friday nights. 

I couldn't help but feel nostalgic and long for the days when one could smoke on television. I mean, when George C. Scott lit up a cigarette and recited a monologue from a play he'd done 25 years prior, he personified cool. But I'm a reasonable adult, and I get that the whole cancer / death thing put a kaibosh on that. 

Another hallmark of the 80s for me was getting away with wearing the same clothes every day at school. If I came across a piece of clothing I found particularly comfortable, I would wear it all the time, like my black harem pants in grade 6, or my favorite sweatshirt in grade 4:
 
I think I won a prize for that hat
The stripes, the ruffles - that thing killed. Somehow, I don't think my office attire could consist solely of pajama pants and sweatshirts which is unfortunate because I would be much more productive in flannel than hosiery.

A few days ago, I was complaining about something or other and the boyfriend says: Crimea river. 

We were at the grocery store, once again, and the boyfriend orders a prosciutto and pear panini but he pronounced it "pros-kiutto". I said: "Honey, it's pronounced proshiutto. The "s" and the "c" make a "sh" sound." His response: I'll "sh" you.

Friday, March 14, 2014

How corn dogs blew up my blog

So I kind of, accidentally, completely redesigned my blog. All I wanted to do was replace a few old pictures with new ones. Then, somehow, as a result of my technical ineptitude, I ended up deleting my super-cool background, which clearly was not my intention. I tried to restore it, but alas, it would not work. It was in the attempted restoration process, however, that the website where I got said super-cool background suggested it would work better with one of the newer Blogger templates. So...

I was perusing some templates and clicked on one which I guess meant "apply". Holy. Shit. So yeah, guess what? Whole new look. I was seized with panic when I realized I had forever altered the look of my blog. It kind of felt like jumping off being pushed off a cliff. However, I'm warming to the new look, although quite unexpected, and somewhat traumatic.

Perhaps this laps in judgment was caused by my frequent ingestion of corn dogs and mayo for breakfast this week. I'd like to think I have a refined palate and prioritize healthy foods over synthetic junk but every time I spot them corn dogs in the grocery store, I can't help myself. I must have them. This surprises me because I've never lived in a trailer park. 

I feel equally guilty about adding flavoured coffee cream to my morning joe to give it that authentic fancy coffee house, foamy, non-fat, hold the whip, latté flavour. It's so bourgeois. Or do hipsters still occupy coffee houses? In which case, I'm too hip to care.

I vowed not to purchase one piece of clothing this year so I could start to address my tiny debt problem and the lack of space in my closet. I then proceeded to buy a very expensive purse. I'm not sure what it means. Sublimation via Italian leather? I do, however, use this purse everyday, so I did need it.

The final season of Mad Men starts in April. I'm concerned about this since I fear the end of this great series will stymy my campaign to have hard liquor readily available in offices across the country. I believe it will increase productivity while lowering stress levels. If you have statistics to support this hypothesis, please send them to me.

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