Friday, January 31, 2014

13 Megapixels

There's a client who comes into my work who fancies up cell phones for a living. He's actually employed by a little known Korean company called Samsung. Yeah, I didn't know Samsung was Korean either. 

Anyway, apparently the Galaxy S5 is well underway and will be out on markets soon. That being said, I'm happy with the Galaxy S4. It has done well by me. Not that I use it for much more than cruising the internet and taking pictures. Granted, out of all the features, the camera is the one I'm most grateful for. 

It takes amazing pictures. Remember that time I took a picture a day for a year? I called it a plog and named all my pictures awesome things like 'crazy sky' and 'rope love'. Taking and posting a picture a day felt like a huge commitment at the time. Compared to writing a post a day for this here 365 Day Challenge it was a walk in the park. 

You can view the pictures I posted here

How does this tie in with the new S5? It doesn't. But I was just thinking about how much better my plog would have been if I'd had my S4. It can get up close and personal. 

Here are some of my most favourite pictures I've taken in the last couple months: 

Edison bulb at work. See the dust on the glass? Crazy, right? 

Birds on the wire. 
Dark Night


 Frosty Shroom

Peek-A-Boo Sun

Ice Shield

 Follow The Leader

Fog On The Water

Golden Water

Morning Mist 



Upside Down

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Eyes Wide Open

No, this isn't about that horrid Tom Cruise movie. And it was horrid. No matter what anyone says.


This is about posting every day and how eyeopening it is.

It's been thirty days since I started this endeavour and I've come to see myself in a different light. So much of my day is guided by how I feel when I wake up in the morning. If I wake up tired, my posts are tired, lacking. When I arise with the sun and settle into my day smoothly, optimism shines through the words I put out to others.

And, not so surprisingly, the worst my mood, the lengthier my blogs are.

It's the emotional overload. I strive to get it out of me.

When something sticks in my craw, it needs to be explored before dislodged. This seems wrong.

Why am I not relishing and dwelling and mulling over the good things? Why do I let the bad things bother me so much?

Because it's easy to let go of the good things, to accept them, and release them into the wild.

But those bad things. We hold onto them. Unable to pry our self-sabotaging fingers off it. And we brood.

These things are backwards and I'm going to work on amending that.

The bright side, the happier I seem to be the more pictures I take and post. So, maybe that's an easy way to resolve things. Take more pictures. Post more snapshots.

Also, I heard people are more likely to click on a link if pictures are involved.

And I'm all about virtual foot traffic. Not.

Still, I am grateful I'm giving this a go. It's allowing me to take a closer look at myself. Yeah, that's scary and daunting, but it's good too.

Because I can't be the girl I want to be without knowing the girl I currently am.

Now, here's a picture of me, because that's what you want, right? Right???


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Three Cheers For Bruce

So, I'm a step-mum to Bruce.

He's a funny cat. Definitely not one you want around when you don't have a bedroom door. At twelve years old, the guy wants what he wants. Food. Yep, that's pretty much all he wants, and he tells you when. In the mornings, you can't open your eyes without him meowing. If he sees you are awake, he will sneak up and pull your hair ... with his teeth.

Sure, he has characteristics that are annoying, see above, but he's very affectionate. Every night I go up to bed and he's there, curled up. Waiting.

And he comes on over. Starts purring and just hangs out with me.

Sometimes his affections are more aggressive. Sometimes he pokes my face with his paws, sometimes his claws are out. He also has this almost nauseating drooling problem that starts up whenever he purrs. The more you love him, the bigger the drool puddle grows.

Why yes, those are drool droplets on my stomach.

And the damn cat always has dirty feet, which in turn make the bed and walls dirty.

And he can be quite ornery, especially when it comes to Dixon.

Still, there's something about Bruce. He commands attention. You notice when he walks into the room, mostly because he is very heavy footed. I always thought cats were graceful and surefooted. Not this guy. He can rival a herd of elephants when he barrels down the stairs. And you can't help but adore him. He's the cat even people who hate cats love.

Anyway, last summer, just after I moved to Vancouver Island, Bruce got in a fight with some of the neighbourhood cats. They jumped him. It was like gang initiation, I am guessing. Apparently we live in a rough feline community. So, he got hurt and I drove him to the vet without a carrier. A Bruce loose in the car wasn't a wise idea, but I didn't have anything to put him in. He kept trying to stretch across the dashboard and pawing at my hands. Actually, upon reflection, this is probably the most dangerous thing I've done in the last year.

Regardless, he had some wounds.

I spent a fair amount of time bathing these wounds with salt water and feeding him medicine in order for him to get better. Yes, I cleaned the drain sticking out of his tail, much to his displeasure. Not that it was fun for me either! Still, when he went back to get his stitches removed, the vet said he'd never seen a wound so clean. That's right, I take my wound care seriously!

He's a big guy too, this Bruce. And not just portly, though he is certainly carrying around a few extra pounds. Personally, I think it's more to love, but the vet said his weight is a concern. Problem is, he's always been this way.

Big boned, maybe. But he can reach the counter tops when standing on the ground. No, seriously. Here he is fishing for a tuna.

See, the man is a beast.

Also, Bruce is a fantastic example of how blended families can work. I don't know if it was me taking care of him while he was hurt or the fact I give him pets before bed every night, but he loves me. Sure, he loves me in that aloof cat way that's only acceptable when he deems it so.

And I love him. Full wholeheartedly. Without expectations.

Drool puddle and all.

Three cheers for Bruce, the captain of the football team.

  If you look closely you can see where he ruined the wall. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

It Is What It Is

A client used this saying today.

I've heard it before, but for some reason it struck a chord.

There is truth in it. It's honest. And simple.

Everything and nothing and all in between.

Life is what it is. My relationships. Living space.

Well, of course it is, dummy.

Can one be grateful for a saying?

I am.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Little Star

Somewhere along my travels I picked up this ring:

It's been in my jewellery for years. I can't say where I got it from, not definitively, but if I had to venture a guess, I'd say my mother. Or grandmother. Actually, now that I think about it, grandmother does ring a bell. Over a decade ago, she gave me this bag of necklaces, rings and earrings she didn't want anymore, that she was passing along.

Both my mother and grandmother had gorgeous jewellery boxes. I always thought when I got older I'd have a jewellery box matching the calibre of theirs, one I'd store all my silver and gold and secrets in. I envisioned sitting on my bed with my daughter going through a finely carved wooden box, as I had done with my mother and grandmother alike. It was one of those things I really loved to do. In fact, I think the last time I went up to visit my mom we did this again. Of course, she didn't want to let go of the really good stuff. Just kidding.

 The truth is, I don't have a jewellery box. And all my necklaces are this jumble of chains that I'd have to sit down and dedicate a night or two to untangling. Still, I do have some jewellery and, if I do have a daughter, or son, I'm not one to gender identify these tasks, maybe they will want to go through this small box of trinkets, pendants and pins with me. I'll explain to them it's a kind of tradition.

Is this something a lot of little girls did with their mothers? And did your mothers have your baby teeth in their jewellery boxes? My mom did. That memory just came back to me now. Haven't thought about that in forever.

Now, back to the ring I was talking about. I will confirm with my mother to see if she recognizes it. I can't say exactly how many years it's been in my possession, but I just noticed something fabulous about it. On the inside band, there is a little star engraved.

I've never been attached to this ring. Don't get me wrong, it came from my grandmother (or mother), so obviously I cherish it, but it wasn't ever something I wore. It simply sat in my non-jewellery-box jewellery box and existed. But this little star has changed that. This little star has made my night a little brighter.

I am wondering who put the star there and why.

Funny how noticing something so small and seemingly insignificant can change the value of an object. This ring is now one of my most favourite things. I always considered myself a fairly observant person, but somehow I missed this little star. And I wonder, is there a reason I have noticed this star now? Tonight? Eh, that's probably just my overactive imagination demanding to be noticed again.

Huzzah for being perceptive and giving new value to something you took for granted.

And pardon my hands that are in need of a manicure or, at the very least, some lotion.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ginger Bread Orange

You might not know this, but I'm a pretty big tea drinker. 

Today, I have poured myself six mug fulls. A little known fact, I don't drink tea when it's piping hot. I wait until it is warm so I can chug it back. 

Lately, my favourite mug is my owl one: 

And most recently, a couple days ago, the Sidekick bought a new teapot. It's green, which just happens to be the best colour on the planet. Not a shade of green is unworthy of liking. Here's the almost six cup beauty: 

A month ago, I was all about green teas, but these days are filled with rooibos. Did you know this naturally sweet shrub in the pea family is high in antioxidants, caffeine free and a powerhouse when it comes to health? It's true. Not only does rooibos help prevent some cancers, but it relieves skin conditions, aids in soothing upset stomachs, helps cure restless sleep, and improves circulation.

Now, don't say I never taught you anything. 

To my tongues enjoyment, I've been recommended the most divine tea. Ginger Bread Orange. It's sold at the Tea Centre in Courtenay and, honestly, it's the best tea I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. It's nutty. It's sweet. It's a simple delight. 

This tea is what I am grateful for. It just makes my days better. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Just Keep Swimming

It's a busy day here at Casa De Tee Tots Tyson.

Not only am I watching terrible television, but I have chili to make. Yam and black bean. It's pretty much one of the most amazing meals you will ever taste. The recipe I use is found on Cookie + Kate. I alter it only a little bit by putting extra yam and adding spices to best suit my refined palate.

To top it off, I am knitting a birthday present for a very special girl. I'd detail it all here, but I can't, because she's on my Facebook. Granted, I am sure she doesn't read my blog that often, there's a chance she might read this one. And since I don't take chances. Never.

I think it's going to be really cool, though.

Added into all this the fact that I can't sleep at night. I got a cold. And I am pretty sure my butt is getting bigger by the minute. And I am worried about moving and selling and property and mortgages and financing and credit scores.

It feels overwhelming.

How do people make it through stressful times?

They just keep swimming.

And so, I swim. Thank you, sweet Gods, for giving me the ability to endure.

Hey, you know what? I don't think I've ever actually seen Finding Nemo!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Head Cold

No, I am not grateful for my head cold.

It's terrible and makes me feel sluggish and less fantastic than I really am.

Still, I wore my new dress today. New to me, that is. Because it's old and previously loved. There was a tiny stain on the right breast, but I scrubbed it with Windex and you almost won't ever notice it.

Today, I am grateful for vintage dresses. I have a few of them, but the one I recently purchased from The Patch, a thrift store in Cumberland, is magnificent. The pattern reminds me of curtains. And it is super spinny. Meaning when I spin in a circle it goes out in this beautiful twirl.

It's essential to have at least one amazing dress to twirl in. At least, I think so.

Here is the print:

And I posted a spectacular video of me doing an amazing spin on my instagram. Feel free to check it out here.

You're welcome.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Enough said, right?

Okay, maybe not.

This is a delicious concoction that makes amazing potato salad.

I know a lot of people will sniff in nervous uncertainty at the idea of a 'vegan' mayonnaise.

But this stuff is what dreams are made of.

In fact, I'm going to kiss the inventor. Whoever that may be.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'll Take Care Of You

For the most part, I don't mind playing the grown up. I don't mind taking care of the bills and being the one with good credit. Usually, I won't balk at making phone calls or getting groceries. I will spend my whole day off doing chores.

Lately, though, I want a break.

A step away.

For someone to take care of things for me.

Is that too much to ask for?

If I find myself with an extra couple hundred of dollars, I put that money on my debt. I don't splurge. I don't buy myself gifts. Not extravagant ones. Because I know what is needed and what is wanted.

And needs are important. Needs are what keep us sheltered, fed and clothed. But while I focus on the needs, other people don't. They will spend money freely when they have it, then panic at the end of the month as they scramble to get their rent together.

Today, I am frustrated.

I filled the gas tank on the truck. Because it had to be done.

Like HAD to be done. It was on empty.

In some ways, I am super grateful for being the one who gets shit done. For being the nurturer. Being the one who knows how to take care of things. It's good, right? To be able to divide my money. To pay my bills. My mortgage. Ensure the gas is filled. Pick up groceries for all the dinners I plan.

But man, it gets tedious.

Don't get me wrong. I am lucky that I have money to divide. That I have good credit. Equity, whatever that accounts for. But sometimes, I want to be the one to spend frivolously and not even worry about the consequences. Except, there are always consequences. It's a simple truth that will never go away. I will never forget it!

You see, I've worked really hard all my life. I've helped a lot of people. And I have always towed my own line. It's frustrating when people don't get that. I've been doing this for myself since I was 17 years old and I want to protect what I have created. The life I have built. And it's sad when the people who should get it, who should understand why it's so hard for me to share my life, just don't.

And that's it, isn't it?

When you are on your path and someone is with you, then you should drop those walls and share your life. That's my struggle. It's what I have a hard time with. And maybe that's why I feel as though I am doing this alone. I know what my problem is.

It's hard, you know. Being an adult. It's stressful. I don't recommend it.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Real Men & Women

This morning, I got myself worked up a bit. Not enough to start a revolution, but pretty darn close.

I ran across some stupid meme about what 'real' men want. There was a voluptuous vixen in a bathing suit and the caption read: real men like curves. I've seen it before. Real men don't like bags of bones. Real women have curves. It's annoying. All those posters out there detailing what 'real' men and women want, and what makes men and women real.

It's sort of confounding to me. Are men who like skinny women not real? What about men who like blondes? Are women who are skinny not real?  What about women who have red hair? Last time I checked, we don't brush shoulders with cyborgs, so who exactly are these unreal men and women? Where exactly are you running into them? Furthermore, why the hell do you know what they want?

Now, if I am mistaken and artificial intelligence is so advanced that there are machines walking around next to us, like Terminator, and these posters are really detailing the differences in tastes between humans and cyborgs, then pardon my stupidity.

If I am not mistaken, and people are not-so-subtly tearing other people apart by implying their preferences are wrong thus making them fake, then I refuse to pardon myself. To all those people stuck in the mindset that who they are and what they like make them better than others, grow up.

I will have none of your schoolyard antics.

It's like when you get a new shiny toy for your birthday and take it to school only to have someone say they have the same toy, but in red, so it's cooler.

You know I don't agree with fat shaming. But I don't agree with skinny-shaming either. Or average shaming. Beard shaming. Big feet shaming. Silly nose shaming. Red hair shaming. None of it.

I am anti-shaming.

No, really. Think about it for a second. Let's say only 'real' men like green Skittles. That means ever man who dislikes green skittles is fake! Sounds stupid, doesn't it?

Well, it is! And it sounds just as stupid when applied to anything else, including race, sex, creed, religion, body shapes, hair colours and any other personal quality in human beings.

Breaking news: we're all real. We bleed blood. Our hearts beat. There are nerves and tendons and muscles and veins comprising our bodies. All of us hurt and feel and have the right to simply exist. And we can like what we like. Like who we like. Our personal preferences don't make us any less human. Unless it is promoting hate, but that's a completely different post.

These are the things that cross my mind. It is a blessing and a curse

And now, a ridiculous cute picture of a dog.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mother Wisdom

Life can be frustrating. I think we can all agree on that fact. 

Today, the property management company that plays God to the home we live swung by for an inspection only to tell us the owners are planning to sell. Furthermore, the landlords think too much hydro is being used so they don't want to pay anymore. Fine, I guess, except we are already overpaying for the place. Trust me when I say this. We are totally overpaying. 

So, it's a bit on the annoying side. 

That being said, I am also looking into selling the condo I purchased several years ago on the mainland. Which isn't easy either, not for my heart or head. Basically, it's going to be an uncomfortable and worrisome next couple of months. I am a worrier, and I don't like upsetting people, especially myself. But I know what's coming down the pipe. Money. Interactions. Bank meetings. Real estate conversations. Mass panic. All that fun stuff. 

My blood pressure is getting the best of me. And I know I need to calm down. I have to clear the thoughts. In with the positive energy. Out with the negative. 

Except, I am really terrible at that. Or, to put a more positive spin on it, I am excellent at sucking at being positive. 

Then I called my mom. It's the fail safe thing to do.

She offered up what she called 'mother wisdom'. 

Project what you want, she said. Put it out into the world, she said. And believe it will happen. 

It's the last part that's hard for me. Still, I believe in 'mother wisdom'. And she's telling me what I already hold true in my heart. So, I choose to believe this will all work out for me. That everything will fall into place for everyone involved. There will be happiness. And this time next year I will be laughing over what a worry wart I used to be. 

That's what I am doing now. Putting it out into the world. Following Mother Wisdom's advice. All I want is a small house with some trees around it. A fixer upper would be great. A yard for some gardening. Some place where I can have my pets and just sink my feet into the forest floor. 

Pass the word along. 

I also drew a picture of it and put it on the fridge to remind myself everyday what it is I am striving for. 

And thank goodness for Mother Wisdom. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Master of Macabre

Today is Edgar Allan Poe's birthday. As some of you may know, I believe in celebrating births, especially of creatures so near and dear to my heart.

This writer of the weird. Maker of mystery. Master of the Macabre. Well, he's a special sort of somebody.

In a world where there are two sorts of people, those trying to fit in and those trying to stand out, we often forget the forefathers of going against the grain. Born in 1809, one must admit, this gentleman is truly one of a kind. Though his work is saturated with loss, forlorn hearts, and a darkness not even a floodlight could dissipate, he himself is deeply loved by many. And, despite the attempts of his rival Rufus Wilmot Griswold who worked diligently to ruin Poe's reputation after he died, Edgar remains one of the most shared and celebrated poets of all time.  

Even his signature is a delight:

I could certainly detail out his life here. His stint in the military. His marriage to thirteen year old Virginia, who happened to be his cousin. His interest in cryptography. But you can read all about it in several books. Here, today, I will simply say, he is by far one of my most favourite people to have ever roamed this earth.

Aren't we lucky to be able to indulge in his legacy of poems and stories?

There is beauty in the darkness. Beauty in the oddities. A simple beauty in the macabre. The morbid. The grim. The ghastly.

And those who can show you that beauty, like Poe, are truly artists. Wielders of the Weird. Servants of the Strange.

They inspire me.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ass Kicker

Remember two days ago when I wrote a blog about nicknames?

I forgot one. Funny, really. Because it's pretty much the best one.

Ass Kicker.

One might wonder to themselves, how did this gentle soul of a woman who walks the earth barefoot get a nickname like Ass Kicker?

Pretty simple. I can be one harsh bitch. If there is an ass in need of kicking, I will gladly volunteer my foot, especially if it is someone I love. When people need help, I will help. This includes writers hoping to get an honest opinion out of someone.

I do not sugarcoat.

And, no matter how much I adore you, I will tear your work apart. In fact, the stronger my bond is to you, the more likely I am to bare my teeth and claws. Because I want you to succeed. I want you to have the best possible book, short story, novella, you can possibly have. Anyone who knows me, or is loved by me, understands ninety-seven percent of what I do is out of love.

Yes, I want to help others.

There are worse traits to have, I suppose.

And that is why, one such soul calls me Ass Kicker. Others just curse me under their breath and shake their fist. Some say I am scary. That's just honesty, though. It brings out different reactions in everyone. As I travel this path, I will try to hold onto this characteristic. Sure, it might not win me a lot of friends, but the true ones will understand and, maybe, appreciate it.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Best Way To Start The Day

One of my most favourite things is the ability to look at a situation from another point of view. I'm not talking about 'walk a mile in my shoes' sort of thing. I'm talking about simply standing back and seeing the scene through the eyes of someone else.

This morning, I saw the world through my dog's eyes.

It was the best day ever for him.

Dixon couldn't have come up with a better way to the start the day.

The Sidekick didn't agree, though.

It was a terrible way to start the day.


Because he dropped all the dog food on the kitchen floor.

It. Went. Everywhere.

And he cussed loudly, and left in a huff.

But Dixon.

Oh, Dixon couldn't believe his good fortune. It was his birthday all over again!

Tail wagging. Ears at the ready. Jumping around. Looking at me with those big brown eyes. And I saw it written all over his face.


It made me laugh. I mean, I held it together until the Sidekick promptly removed himself from the house in search of coffee. But as soon as that door closed, I laughed and let Dixon relish in the kibble strewn across the kitchen.

Don't get me wrong. I understand the frustration of a morning not going your way. I've dropped enough boxes of spaghetti noodles to sympathize with my Sidekick. But Dixon's face. The utter joy and excitement there. It erased even the slightest annoyance I may have had over cleaning it up. Because I did sweep the kibble up, off the counters, from under the stools, and actually gave the boys their breakfast in a bowl.

Still, I am ever grateful for the ability to see the world through other people's, and creatures', eyes. I guess some people call that perspective.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nicknames & Secret Handshakes

I don't have a lot of nicknames.

Not really.

Teeny Weeny

Meh. What can you do?

My name isn't really conducive to nicknamery. This I blame on my parents. For years, I considered changing and using my middle name, just to add a fraction of spice in this bland life I have. In the end, I was too lazy to make it happen.

Still, I always wanted one. A cool nickname people would shout when I entered a party.

If I ever have a child, I vow to give him, or her, a name worthy of having a nickname. One worthy of cheering and shouting at parties. One they can be proud to have.

Not like my Teeny Weeny.

That said, I do have a secret handshake with someone. At least I have that to be grateful for.

It's pretty amazing. I wonder if he remembers how to do it

These little things keep the world spinning.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

350 More To Go

After today, I only have 350 more posts to write to complete this 365 Day Challenge.

Sure, I made this challenge up on my own. Yes, I thought it was a good idea.

Maybe I bit off more than I can chew.

It isn't that I don't have 365 things I am grateful for. Heck, I probably have more.

Today, I stared off into space thinking about what to write about. You wouldn't believe my thought process. One hit wonders are playing on the radio, am I grateful for those? Catchy songs? Perhaps. Another day. Work. The ability to craft words into sentences. Being able to articulate myself well enough that I am not a complete social outcast. Loving life. Gray days. Oh, I am wearing Converse shoes. I am most grateful for those. And anchor prints on clothing. YES!

Anchor prints on clothing!

Who doesn't love a cute button up shirt with some anchors on it.

This is what I am wearing today:
Why yes, I am fabulous. Thank you.

And that anchor printed shirt. A three dollar VV Boutique find. Bam! This lady knows how to hunt down a deal.

I consider this my retro pinup sailor outfit.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sock It To Me

Two nights ago I decided to try my hand at knitting socks. It's a new challenge.

One of my goals for this year is to knit a sweater. But socks are a good stepping stone.

The reason I am hesitating on the sweater is because:

A. I don't have the money for nice yard to knit it with.

B. Debating if I should even knit it on nice yard because it could turn out horrible.

C. Not wanting to knit it with cheap acrylic yarn for fear it will turn out awesome and I will have wasted all that time knitting a perfectly wearable sweater out of material that feels terrible against my skin.

These are the woes of a beginner knitter.

That being said. SOCKS!

The pattern I am using and altering is Dark Isle from Ravelry. It's a fairly straightforward pattern, but I just reached the heel. It took me at least a half an hour to figure out what the pattern was talking about. It's an afterthought heel. If only I'd known that. Here's the problem for someone like me, I don't read the whole pattern ahead of time. That means, sometimes, the important notes are at the bottom of the pattern and I just get stuck halfway through because there's no asterisks or 'hey, look at the bottom' note.

That being said. Moving right along.

My worry is that I will get one sock done and then balk at making the second. If I had two circulars I could have made them both at the same time. At least that's what the internet tells me.

Sometimes I sit back and think it's pretty wonderful that you can make clothing out of a ball of string. Does anyone else find this amazing?

Here are some of the projects I completed recently.

Thank the Gods for yarn and needles.

And these are my WIP socks (Or sock, technically, since I am only knitting one so far):

Monday, January 13, 2014

Shoe Stealing & Bambi

It took me awhile to get my license. Not because I kept failing, but because I was lazy. I lived downtown and preferred walking. It wan't until my later-ish twenties (see how I avoided using my age?!) that I actually got off my duff and took the test. Passed on the first try, of course. Like you would expect anything less.

Also flew through my road test with flying clouds.

Never understood what that saying meant. What does it mean to pass with flying colours? Perhaps I should look this idiom up on the intersnacks. Is that an idiom? Or something else?

I digress.

What I am getting at is - I love driving.

Even at night. Fog. Rain. It doesn't really bother me. Mostly because, I am a safe driver. Other than the lead foot thing we've discussed once or twice. That being said, I really am good at handling my vehicle. Still, I am a little nervous about taking road tests, like someone is going to see me making a California stop and take my car wielding abilities away. And my vehicle represents but one thing to me. Freedom.

I have an escape at my fingertips. It's so comforting to know I can flee at a moments notice. Flee what? It all. I can run away. I can be a runaway. How exciting!

Anyway, last night I drove down to Nanaimo to pick the Sidekick up from ye olde ferry terminal. It was a nice drive. Peaceful. Despite the fact I chose a horrible Songza playlist and was trapped listening to terrible music. No, I couldn't change it. That would have involved stopping and pulling over to the side of the road, which wasn't going to happen. Safety first, people! It is dangerous to fiddle with your phone while driving. I've seen the commercials!!! And I didn't hit one red light.

Other than the music, it was a gorgeous night. A little windy. Like I actually thought I was going to pull a Dorthy and land my truck on a witch from OZ and have her sister get all up in my business. Such a horrible thought, considering I always identified with the Wicked Witches. Truth be told, though, I wouldn't steal the dead girl's ruby shoes. No. That's just low. I always considered Dorthy a bit of a selfish bitch for stealing from her victim. Good fairy saying so or not. She should have been ashamed!

Back to reality, I do get a little nervous on the Inland Island Highway. Apparently, according to Dr. Googles, it is called Highway 19. I had no idea. The anxiety comes, not from the darkness or traffic, because I have headlights and there is virtually no one on the highway at ten at night, but because of the elk.

And deer.

I have this undeniable fear that I'm going to hit an animal. It terrifies me. What if Bambi doe-leaps out in front of my car? Actually, was Bambi a doe? Or a buck? Does anyone know? The voice sounds young boyish, but that name is feminine, no? Was Bambi asexual? These are the things that go through my mind.

Moving on, I'd be riddled with guilt if I killed Bambi or any other asexual animal. I couldn't handle it. I'd be the person trying to give the creature mouth-to-mouth. It would ruin driving for me. And it happens, too. I personally know a handful of people who have mowed down magical creatures from the forest we've encroached on.

This is the only part of driving that gets under my skin. The possibility that I might hit an animal. What can I say? I'm a nature loving type of gal. Still, I am happy my ex, Scraps, poked and prodded me into getting my license. I guess I am grateful for the escape at my fingertips, which wouldn't exist if I didn't have the plastic card in my wallet with the most atrocious picture of me ever. Yes, I look like a Latina gang member.

Don't worry, I am not planning on running away. Not yet. Rest assure, if and when I do, I won't be stealing the shoes of anyone I kill. Accidentally or not.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday

I have decided that Sundays are going to be my one sentence day. Not only because I put my vlog out on these days, but because it's the beginning of the week and we all need a day of rest. So, from this day forth, Sunday will be known as cop out day.

Today I am thinking of the rain. I'm grateful for it.

It's beautiful and refreshing. And anyone who stands in the forest after a fresh downpour, or during one, has experienced the best scent in the world.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Jockstraps & Wonderbras

Let's get serious. What? With the title, you thought this was going to be about undergarments?

Not bloody likely.

Today's program is all about support.

Here is a bold statement for you: there aren't a lot of people in my life. It's true. I have a very select, meaning small, circle of people I run and howl at the moon with.

Hold on, before you get all 'awwww' and 'that's sad', let me finish what I have to say.

For that, I am grateful. When you have a small pack, you know who to turn too.

I used to have more friends. While I certainly would do anything for those people, they had their own priorities to follow and their own lives to live. Certainly, some of them are still friends, but for the most part our locomotives are no longer on the same tracks. This is called existing. Though it may be sad when someone exits stage left from your life, you can curl in a ball and whine about it, or move along with the knowledge they weren't supposed to be there forever.

Besides, these paths we are on are twisty, windy things and you don't know when they will intersect with someone else. New or old. If you start to feel sad about losing someone, remember, no one is ever truly lost. They live on inside you. For as long as you let them. Also, consider how many lives you've left.

If you're lucky, which I am, you get to keep the extra special individuals in your life. The ones who, no mater how long you are apart, will always be able to rely and depend on you, and you them. When you move away, you have text messages and Skype, letters, birthdays, and love. I like to think everyone is special to someone. My little circle is special to me and I like to think I am to them.

It's nice to know who will be there for you. The ones who will let you crash on their couch if you need a place to rest your head. Those that think about you every birthday and Christmas. And those extra special individuals who will read the rewrite of the first book you ever wrote and tell you it's just as good as the crappy first edition.

My circle is small, but those kids are jockstraps and wonderbras.

Supremely supportive.

And they are definitely people to mention here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Creative Genius

Fine, the title of this blog post is a little sarcastic. I would never call myself a creative genius. In many ways, this post falls in line with the other days, where I talked about having the ability to laugh at yourself.

Yesterday, I coined a new phrase.

The Stealthie.

It's the act of taking a selfie on the sly, a stealthie selfie.

Apparently, there is a whole world of people out there submerged in selfie culture. It's a wonder to me too, honestly, I'm puzzled. Not only are there people participating in the selfie Olympics, but people are obsessed with taking pictures of themselves without other people knowing. How? Hiding the phone in a book, behind a scarf. I had a link, but I lost it. Needless to say, I am unreliable.

That being said, you heard it hear first ... maybe.

The Stealthie.

Oh, yeah. Super grateful for my ability to make stupid crap up.

I am sure the Urban Dictionary will you tell you 'stealthie' means something else. And it probably has something to do with sex. They are wrong.

Wrong, I tell you.

You know what this all makes me think about? How obsessed people are with their faces. Don't think I am saying my poop don't stink, either. It does. I have selfies on my phone. They are posted to my Instagram. Pictures be everywhere.

But it poses an interesting question, is our society more focused on image and how they look? Is it getting worse? Do people really think others care? And, most importantly, does anyone find the duck face attractive?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Cool Side Of The Pillow

Couldn't sleep last night.

It comes and goes. As someone who used to sleep all but a couple hours a night, I can handle a little tossing and turning. While laying there in bed, the half moon streaming through my window, I thought about sleeping. Everyone has their way of doing things.

Myself, I like a cold room. Fresh air is a must. A little fan noise - a quirk I picked up from my ex - and lots of pillows. I prefer blankets to quilts. And I always stick my foot out from under the blankets. I think it helps to regulate body heat.

But you know what I really love the most.

The cool side of the pillow.

Boy, did I think I was clever when I thought up the name of this blog. It actually stuck with me all through the night and well into the morning. Now I am wondering if the parallel between the title and Dark Side of the Moon will be lost.

Sleeping. Bed. Night. Moon. Pink Floyd.

Maybe not such a clever title.

Anyhow, back to my pillow.

You know when you flip the pillow and rest your cheek on the chilly fabric. That's my favourite. There's something incredibly reassuring about that feeling for me. Wish I could pinpoint exactly why. Probably has something to do with being a child, but I reckon I'm not the only one who relishes the pillow flip.

Perhaps it's a small and insignificant thing to be grateful for, but aren't those the greatest things to ruminate over?

Funny thing, I just (as in right this very second) consulted Dr. Googles on this business and apparently the Family Guy has felt it worthy enough for a mocking. Now I know I'm not alone.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Laugh At Yourself

It's the strangest thing, how often I make myself laugh.

Yesterday morning, I was running late. Of course, I put my shirt on inside out. 

Then backwards.  

It made me laugh. Because that's life, isn't it?

When you're running behind, you're going to do silly things. 

This morning, I got my hair all pretty looking, only to realize I still had my hooded sweatshirt on. Yeah, yanking that puppy off completely effed with my 'do. Sure, I could have gotten upset, stomped my foot and cursed the Gods. Instead, I laughed. 

I've noticed people don't like to laugh at themselves. Like it's impossible to conceive they'd make a oopsies or do something silly. This is unrealistic. Perhaps it comes down to ego. Thank goodness I don't have one. 

For anyone wondering, you look like a fool at least once a day. Possibly more. If you can't laugh about it, then you need to check yourself because life is going to be far more tedious than it need be. Human means fallible. Are we not simply imperfect creatures struggling along, lost and just making it up as we go along?

There's no point pretending we're perfect. 

I love the fact that I find life funny. That I laugh at myself. Shake my head. And carry on. It's one of the things I am most grateful for. Sure, other people might roll their eyes and think I'm not as funny as I feel I am. But that's on them, not me. Because I am truly hilarious.

For me, it just happens to be one of those important life lessons. It makes everything easier. Honestly, it feels way better to laugh than to get frustrated and upset about messing up. I mess up every single day of my life. It's called living. And because I can laugh it makes it easier to mess up again. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Last night, I wrote all of six words.


Impressive? No, not in the least.

Under normal circumstances, mindless television is the key to my creativity. It's something that I can drown out and still know what is going on. Noise is essential to my process. It feels silly writing that. Mostly because, do I even have a process? I usually just sit down and see where the blinking cursor takes me. This book I am trying to finish, let's call it "Ramona" - because that's the title it holds in my writing folder - is giving me a hard time. Fifty-something thousand words into it and struggling to get out the end.

It's rather annoying, really. I know what the final chapter will be, it's just getting there that's been an uphill journey through brambles on a scorching day. This is a bad place to get stuck. Most frustrating, really, when the first forty-five thousand words came spilling forth from my fingertips like they were greased up with butter and going down a slip-and-slide.

Somehow, I got sucked into the mindless television program last night.

And I wrote six words.


Instead of beating myself up about it, I'm going to try again tonight. If at first you don't succeed, and all those other catchy sayings people love.

At least I have the ability to write. I am fortunate for that. Grateful for my idea factory. The fact my laptop still boots up. And that I have the ability to watch mindless television with there being little repercussion, except another day slipping through my fingers.

Come on, Ramona. End already.

And if you really want to know what the television show was, just send me an email or something.