In The Pink

Do you get embarrassed easily? I don’t….for most things. I am the lethal combination of possessing no filter and zero shame, so…there’s usually all sorts of wreckage smoking by the time each day is over, and I’m rarely bothered about any of it. However, there are certain things that embarrass the living hell out of me – and they are SO weird. Let’s take a look, shall we?

1) Dancing in public

There was a time when I was a public-dancing fool, when I shook my arse (and everything else) at the slightest provocation, and I did that shit like it was my job. I looooved dancing, and it mattered not one iota to me that I had two left feet and no rhythm whatsoever…who cares???! Dancing was awesome!! However, I moved away from my sweet little hometown, home of dancing greats such as Sandy B, Colleen A, and their aerobic Jane Fonda-esque moves…and Lisa L, originator of the great arm roll (a dance move where you lean forward, arse wayyyyyout, bob up and down at the waist like a chicken, and roll your arms over each other like a barrel in front of you – the reality of it is even better than this description, for reals)…and found real people of rhythm. I knew that I was out of my league. I wasn’t at the Community Hall anymore, purposely shaking my groove thang next to these dancing spastics in the hopes that I’d look better by comparison….what was I going to do? I’ll tell you what I did – I quit dancing. Done. No more rump shaking for me (probably a good thing by public safety standards, as I’ve got A LOT of rump and all that shaking could be dangerous). I kind of miss it. When I’m in my house, I jig all over the place, frequently bouncing around the house like Meredith and Cristina from ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (if those women had jiggly bits)….but in public, I’m the master of the head bob. That’s it. It’s dumb of me, I know, but I think that I resemble Elaine from ‘Seinfeld’ when I dance, so I don’t do it. See Exhibit A:

Click on the image to see what I look like when I dance! :-)

Click on the image to see what I look like when I dance! :-)

 

I think I should embrace this philosophy instead:

Click on the image for the video :-)

Click on the image for the video :-)

 

 

2) Farting in bed

Remember this hellacious momen from ‘Sex and the City’? I do. It scarred me for life…because it’s happened. More than once. To Me. Ugh. I die.

 

Click the video and prepare to giggle. If you don't, there's something wrong with you.

Click the video and prepare to giggle. If you don’t, there’s something wrong with you.

 

3) People you don’t know serenading you with music

There are restaurants in San Antonio that I avoid because, despite their good food, they also have roving mariachi bands…and I don’t know what to do when they come near. Do I look at them? For how long? Do I continue eating? Talking? Drinking? I don’t know what to do and it stresses me out!!! Argh!!! A few years ago, a former student invited me to a concert she was doing – she performed with a mariachi band, and sang beautifully (she had CDs and everything!). While at the performance, she announced that she had a special guest of honor there – her teacher and her family! The crowd cheered, I gave a little wave and wanted to die of embarrassment, and tried to get back to chowing down on my flauta. However, the surprises weren’t over – she announced that brand new band singer Juan was going to celebrate my honored attendance by singing a song to me.  I didn’t know what to do, or where to go…so I sat, smile frozen on my face, and prayed it would be over soon. Juan was about 14 years old, dressed in mariachi finery, and on bended knee in front of me singing a romantic song….me, old enough to have birthed him. It was mortifying, I didn’t know where to look – and I didn’t have a hot clue what he was singing about because it was en espagnol. The worst part was that the bloody song lasted 12 minutes (could have been the Spanish version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ perhaps?). It was torturous….but bless Juan’s heart for having the fortitude to keep staring romantically at me for all that time, and for not falling over whilst on bended knee. I bet that Juan will make a kick-ass husband some day! :-)

Not Juan, sadly.

Not Juan, sadly.

 

4) Bad manners

I find poor manners to be so totally embarrassing….I can hardly stand it. I get really irritated when people exhibit no manners or class, but then I get so embarrassed if they are with me and do it in front of others. Argh! Case in point – a number of years ago, I invited someone that I knew to spend a holiday dinner with my family and I. This person exhibited such a complete and utter lack of manners that I was totally appalled, and SO embarrassed. No explanation was offered…nothing. I eventually wrote the following email to this offender (this is an excerpt – there’s far more to it):

I have been waiting to see how long it would take you to reach out and talk to me about things, and I have come to the conclusion that the answer is a very long time to never, so…I guess I will take the initiative.
I was really hurt by what went down when you came over to my house. Do you know why I told you that I preferred to do the cooking myself? It was because you had been so critical of me and my ideas for dinner whenever I shared them with you. I spend most of my days being critical of myself – I don’t need to hear it from you. I was pretty embarrassed, I will tell you honestly, with things that day. Did you happen to notice that no matter what I asked you, offered you, etc , that you NOT ONCE said ‘please’ or ‘thank you’? You did the same to my parents…and guess what? I noticed – as did everyone else. I simply don’t know what to say about a lack of manners…I don’t get it. I understand that as a Canadian I am probably more obsessed with etiquette and manners than the regular person, but…you know that about me already. Is it so hard to be polite? I’m doubtful. Perhaps you don’t feel that I deserve thank yous, is that it? I paid for a dinner that we had shared a couple of days before this family gathering…and you said nothing. I thanked you for having dinner with me – and you said NOTHING. You didn’t even have the decency to say thank you for dinner.  I was so shocked that I couldn’t leave quick enough – I’m sure you noticed. I just don’t get it.

The funny thing about this email? I never sent it. I didn’t see the point…but I kept it to remind myself of how this felt. Truthfully, anyone who exhibits such a complete and utter lack of class wasn’t worthy of my attention or thought. Grr. Whatever. This taught me to be thoughtful – and only reinforced my idea that manners are important, and that people without them are not the kind of people that I want to be around. Ick.

 

5) Looking stupid

I get very embarrassed when I think that I look stupid and that people are laughing at me.  I don’t mean all the time….I mean when I’m sharing emotions or the few rare times that I’m actually being serious. Most of the time, I act kind of silly and goofy, using lightheartedness and humor to mask what I’m really feeling. Very rarely, however, I will lay my heart out on the table….and look out if I think I’m being mocked.  I get so embarrassed, shut down completely, and try desperately to hide (not unlike Carrie when she burrowed under the blankets in shame post-fart up there in that video). This is very stupid thinking, I rationally know….I need to learn to own my emotions and be up front about it all, but….I’m pretty sure I need years of therapy to get to that place. Anyone interested in taking on a new patient??! ;-)

 

image

Now….how about you? What gets you blushing, friends? :)

 

xxx

 

From The Heart

‘Tis the season for Christmas shopping, friends! :-) Have you started tackling your shopping list yet? If you are one of those people that are already finished wth your shopping and all the wrapping is done as well then you might as well move on…this is clearly NOT the place for someone like you. Grr.

I’ve been kind of blocked when it comes to Christmas gift inspiration this year…it’s worrying. I’ve less than a month to go, and I’ve barely scratched the surface! I spent some time this week perusing the online ads, and I think (hope!) that I’ve sparked some ideas and started the creative juices flowing. Here’s some gift ideas for you, my lovelies! :-)

 

1) Earrings:These earrings are awesome! All are from my beloved Catbird, and I think they are fab!! :-)

cb_heartstudRG

I am so feeling rose gold at the moment! :-)

moonss

I have the ring that matches these Dark Side of the Moon earrings…I love these! :-)

cb_star_moon_studs_web_RG

These come as singles, so I suppose you could get a matched pair, but….why would you? The mismatch is where the charm is! :-)

 

2) Something from Catbird:

I do realize that it’s dumb of me to make a new category for Catbird when I just shared earrings from Catbird, but….there are other pretties available on their site! Take a look! :-)

catbird-nyc-rose-gold-heart-ring

Rose gold again!! And it matches the earrings up there!! And it’s adorable….and affordable!! :-)

This necklace - the Choupette - is so magnificent that I can't even find the words!!! I LOVE it!!! Amazing!!! Gorgeous!!! ❤️❤️❤️

This necklace – the Choupette – is so magnificent that I can’t even find the words!!! I LOVE it!!! Amazing!!! Gorgeous!!! ❤️❤️❤️

 

3) Anything Moleskine! :)

Dammit, but I love me some Moleskine notebooks…I write constantly, and there’s no better notebook around. Buying one (ore more!) of these babies will make you very popular!! :-)

 

Yaa!!! :-)

Yaa!!! :-)

 

4) Record Player:

I’m not sure why, but I’m nearly overwhelmed with the desire to have a record player. I want one SO badly!! Here’s the one I’m hoping for:

I die!!!

I die!!!

 

Pretty, eh? I love it so much!! There’s just something so awesome about the sound of music played on a record player….LOVE! :-)

 

5) Sharpies:

I bloody love doodling with Sharpies…if only I had artistic talent!!! :-(

image

 

6) Amazon Fire TV:

This will be released on January 15th…and I think I’d like to try it out! :-)

 

image 7) A New Watch:

I’m obsessed with watches….I love giving them, I love receiving them – they’re practical, plus I love the romantic notion of giving the gift of time. :-) ❤️❤️❤️ Here are a couple of my favorites:

My dream watch is a Cartier, but this version from Invicta will more than do instead!! I am crazy for rectangular,  Roman numeral watches....and this one is a beauty!!! :-)

My dream watch is a Cartier, but this version from Invicta will more than do instead!! I am crazy for rectangular, Roman numeral watches….and this one is a beauty!!! :-)

I'm crazy about this men's watch! Classic, simple - and awesome!! :-)

I’m crazy about this men’s watch! Classic, simple – and awesome!! :-)

 

I hope that your shopping is going well, and I hope that Santa brings you everything you could possibly want for the upcoming holiday season…and then some! :-) Happy HoHo, mes amis!!! :-)

 

xxx

 

I’m Like a Bird

I’m happy to report that the funk may be starting to lift…I don’t feel nearly as dreadful as I felt on the weekend, and I think there might be light at the end of the tunnel. I’m hopeful…which is a lot better than I have been feeling! :-)

image

I spent a lot of time at home since last Friday, which has been really great. I’ve watched a ton of good TV, spent time with my Wee One, and enjoyed being home – I don’t do that nearly enough. It’s been good. :-) I went out for dinner and drinks with some of my favorite people on Monday night, and went to the movies again yesterday – this time, I saw “Birdman”, with Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Edward Norton.  This movie is something else, my friends…the story is so good, but the making of the movie itself is bloody magic – here’s the review of it from my beloved Roger Ebert’s site:

The first time we see Michael Keaton in his tighty-whities in “Birdman,” it’s from behind. His character, a formerly high-flying movie star, is sitting in the lotus position in his dressing room of a historic Broadway theatre, only he’s levitating above the ground. Bathed in sunlight streaming in from an open window, he looks peaceful. But a voice inside his head is growling, grumbling, gnawing at him grotesquely about matters both large and small.

The next time we see Keaton in his tighty-whities in “Birdman,” he’s dashing frantically through Times Square at night, having accidentally locked himself out of that same theatre in the middle of a performance of a Raymond Carver production that he stars in, wrote and directed. He’s swimming upstream through a river of gawking tourists, autograph seekers, food carts and street performers. But despite the chaos that surrounds him, he seems purposeful, driven and–for the first time–oddly content.

These are the extremes that director Alejandro G. Inarritu navigates with audacious ambition and spectacular skill in “Birdman”–the full title of which is “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).” He’s made a film that’s both technically astounding yet emotionally rich, intimate yet enormous, biting yet warm, satirical yet sweet. It’s also the first time that Inarritu, the director of ponderous downers like “Babel” and “Biutiful,” actually seems to be having some fun.

Make that a ton of fun. “Birdman” is a complete blast from start to finish. The gimmick here–and it’s a doozy, and it works beautifully–is that Inarritu has created the sensation that you are watching a two-hour film shot all in one take. Working with the brilliant and inventive cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (who won an Oscar this year for shooting “Gravity” for Inarritu’s close friend and fellow Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron), Inarritu has constructed the most delicate and dazzling high-wire act. And indeed, before shooting began, the director sent his cast a photo of Philippe Petit walking a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers as inspiration.

Through impossibly long, intricately choreographed tracking shots, the camera swoops through narrow corridors, up and down tight stairways and into crowded streets. It comes in close for quiet conversations and soars between skyscrapers for magical-realism flights of fancy. A percussive and propulsive score from Antonio Sanchez, heavy on drums and cymbals, maintains a jazzy, edgy vibe throughout. Sure, you can look closely to find where the cuts probably happened, but that takes much of the enjoyment out of it. Succumbing to the thrill of the experience is the whole point.

Just as thrilling is the tour-de-force performance from Keaton in the role of a lifetime as Riggan Thompson, a washed-up actor trying to regain the former glory he achieved as the winged action hero Birdman. The film follows the fraught early going of his Broadway debut which is also his last shot at greatness–although his on-screen alter ego doesn’t help much by voicing his fears and making him doubt himself incessantly. Yes, it’s knowingly amusing that Keaton, who peaked 20-plus years ago as a superhero, is playing an actor who peaked 20-plus years ago as a superhero. Although I’d happily argue that Keaton’s Batman for Tim Burton in 1989 is THE definitive performance of the iconic character–but that’s a whole ‘nother conversation for another time.

Or is it? While “Birdman” exists in its own meticulously realized world, it’s very much of this time and place from a pop-culture perspective, with references to other real-life actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Michael Fassbender who’ve enjoyed enormous success when they’ve donned the superhero duds. The script from Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo is cleverly meta without being too cutesy and self-satisfied.

Keaton gets to toy with his persona a bit–as well as acknowledge how comparatively quiet his career has been in recent years–but seeing him in seasoned form provides its own joy. He’s still hyper-verbal and playful and he can still be amusing and lacerating in his delivery, but there’s a wry wistfulness and even a desperation in the mix now that’s achingly poignant.

Also confronting his real-life reputation is Edward Norton as Mike Shiner, the brilliant but infamously capricious actor who steps in as Riggan’s co-star just as previews are about to begin on his labor-of-love production of “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” Norton, who’s come with the baggage of being difficult and demanding over the years, finds just the right balance between arrogance and sincerity.

Besides, they need each other, as they find in the days leading up to opening night. They all need each other. Inarritu has amassed a tremendous supporting cast and made ridiculous technical demands of them, yet they’ve all more than risen to the occasion and relished the chance to shine.

Zach Galifianakis plays strongly against type as Riggan’s manager and the rare voice of reason in the middle of all this madness. Emma Stone is adorable as Riggan’s world-weary, wise-ass daughter who also serves as his assistant. (She and Norton have crackling chemistry in a couple of crucial scenes.) Amy Ryan does wonders with her brief screen time as Riggan’s ex-wife; she fleshes him out and allows us to see both the selfish and the good in him. And Naomi Watts, who starred in Inarritu’s wrenching “21 Grams,” gets to play both light and heavy moments as a neurotic fellow cast member.

It’s powerfully clear that they all worked their asses of to make this complicated thrill ride look effortless. The result is one of the best times you’ll have at the movies this year–which might even be the best movie this year.

If you have a chance, go and check this one out while it’s still in theaters. I’m sure it’ll still be good to watch at home, but the artistry of the shots and the filmmaking really shine when seen on a big screen. I loved it – I hope you will, too! :-)

I got up early this morning and went grocery shopping at 6:00am – nutty, I know, but such a good plan. I was home, groceries unpacked and put away, and cuddled on the couch by 7:02am! Success!! And minimal shopping crowd! Woohoo!! I’ve got all the grub ready to go for tomorrow – I’m cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and I’m kind of excited about it. I have a couple of new recipes to try out, and I’m looking forward to a day spent at home, the house full of good smells, and just being happy. I need it. :-) (If the recipes turn out well, I will be sure to share them with you!! )

However you are planning to spend the next few days, I hope that you are happy, too…that you are surrounded by those that you love, and that you take a few minutes to count the things that you are thankful for. In case I havent told you lately – I am thankful for you. :-) Happy Thanksgiving! :-)

xxx

 

 

Broken

The funk continues. I think something has broken inside of me – I want to stay home, I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone (apart from the Wee One)…I just want the world to go away. This is certainly not the norm for me, I’m usually super social – but I’ve got a serious case of the Rhett Butlers: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. About much. Ugh.

This time hibernating at home has given me some happiness, though – I found a few things online that warmed my increasingly cynical heart:

1) The microphone died at a Toronto Maple Leafs game the other night as the singer sang the American national anthem – not to fear, though, the Canadian fans stepped up and sang along. Nice. :-)

Click on the picture to see the video! :-)

Click on the picture to see the video! :-)

 

2) A teacher in New Jersey set the world record for most pull-ups (chin ups) in a 24 hour period…and he did it to raise money for cancer research in the name of a former student of his who passed away from the disease. If that isn’t the most awesome, hard core thing – love it! :-)

So. Awesome. Click the picture to visit an article with the full story :-)

So. Awesome. Click the picture to visit an article with the full story :-)

 

3) A bunch of pictures that have been sent from the picture heavens to make me feel better. I think. I hope.

This.

This.

Dolly is my spirit animal.

Dolly is my spirit animal.

Love this :-)

Love this :-)

I need to learn this

I need to learn this

 

4) In-n-Out Burger finally opened in San Antonio on Thursday – and I could not be happier. I love In-n-Out, and have been going nuts waiting for their arrival here….imagine my joy to find that their first location is a three minute drive from my work!! This will undoubtedly mean bad things for my already-wide arse, but….who gives a shit? Life is too short to miss out on even one Double Double Animal Style! :-) A really cool thing happened on Thursday – my secretary and I were chattering about our excitement for the grand opening, and a parent who was dropping stuff at school for his daughter heard us. He returned to the office 45 minutes later with a bag of burgers for all of us in the office – how AMAZINGLY kind is that??! I am still blown away by such kindness, and can’t believe that I was not only the witness to such a gesture, but the recipient. Mind blown….heart full.

Good people do exist :-)

Good people do exist :-)

Love love LOVE  ❤️❤️❤️

Love love LOVE ❤️❤️❤️

 

I’m not entirely sure what it’s going to take to get me out of this ditch that I’m wallowing in…and I’ve no idea how long it is going to take. I just know that I feel like a ball of exposed nerves, everything rubs me the wrong way – and I’m not exactly fit for human consumption. I feel like I exist for others to take advantage of, and that I give and give and give – and get nothing in return. I’m sure that I should be okay with that – but I’m just not. :( On Friday night, I went to see the movie “The Theory of Everything” starring the brilliant Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking. His performance was mind-blowing – and the story was pretty great, if perhaps a smidge too sweet. It’s hard to even imagine the triumph of the human spirit as shown in that film, and the story of Stephen and his wife – and what she did for him and their family – is nothing short of incredible. I hope that you’ll go and see this movie – it’s wonderful. :) I doubt that I could be as graceful as Jane under such circumstances!!

I’m off work this week, and all I have planned is cooking Thanksgiving dinner for my family, and a few get-togethers with friends (provided I can tear myself from the couch). I plan to spend the rest of my time plowing through good TV and movies, drinking some Beaujolais Nouveau (or Tito’s Vodka – my heart belongs to Tito’s), and just enjoying the peace and quiet of my home. Perhaps this time will be just what I need to heal me, and help me glue the pieces of me back together. I just need to get a broom and a dustpan and sweep them all off the floor – now, where’s the Crazy Glue?

 

xxx

 

 

 

Islands in the Stream

I remember when Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton were all the rage in the ’80s. I’m a longtime worshipper at the temple of Dolly (who isn’t?), but I was never much of a Kenny fan (my mom was, though…she even had a poster of him on the inside of her closet door in her bedroom – so. weird. ) One of my friends from home and I used to giggle and sing “Islands in the Stream” when anyone with boobs (ie: she and I) would swim backstroke in the local pool. Get it? Boobs? Islands? I know. Lame. :-(

Dolly = Perfection :)

Dolly = Perfection :)

Anyway….although I’ve always known all of the words to sing along (because the bloody ditty was EVERYWHERE), I never stopped to listen to them. Until yesterday. Let’s take a look, shall we?

You do something to me
That I can’t explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got something going on
Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel
Needs no conversation
We can ride it together, ah-ha
Making love with each other, ah-ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah-ha
From one lover to another, ah-ha

I can’t live without you
If the love was gone
Everything is nothing
If you got no one
And you did walk in the night
Slowly losing sight of the real thing

But that won’t happen to us
And we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry
Baby, I will hurt you never

We start and end as one
In love forever
We can ride it together, ah-ha
Making love with each other, ah-ha

 

Lovely, don’t you think? I kind of love the words and the ideas presented…I wish someone felt that way about me!! It reminds me of this article that some friends posted online recently (women friends hinting at their husbands) entitled Ten Things To Do For Your Wife Every Year:

When your words and actions are intentional, the hope of a better marriage becomes reality. Here are 10 things to do for your wife every year.

Take a trip alone with her.

Make a big deal about her birthday.

Give her a weekend away.

Get dressed up (suit and tie) and take her on a date.

Pray continually for her and with her.

Take her to the place of your first date.

Give her a week off from “mom duties.”

Take her to a show.

Write a love letter to her.

Give her a head to toe massage without expecting anything.

 

The Best :)

The Best :)

Can you imagine??? I know. Me, neither. I know women, though, who are treated this way monthly….it seems like a fairy tale to me! ;-) Can you imagine….a man in a suit and tie and nobody died??! I love it!! Somebody taking you to a show without you having to book the tickets and make all the arrangements??! That’s bloody magic, that’s what that is!! Crazy town!! I just think that when people try and do anything for those around them to show that they care…it’s pure magic, whether it’s a grand gesture or not. Doing things to make others happy and feel good is one of the best things we can selfishly do for ourselves as well….and we all ought to try it more often. :-) Who knows, friends….2015 is coming quickly, and perhaps with this new year will come a bunch of great things for all of us! Like Kenny and Dolly sang….This could be the year for the real thing. :-)

 

xxx

 

 

 

 

Song For Someone

U2 were on ‘The Graham Norton’ show a couple of weeks ago, and this happened:

Click on the picture to see the video! :-)

Click on the picture to see the video! :-)

 

Dammit, I love talent. :-)

 

xxx

 

pS: U2 was meant to be on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show ALL WEEK this week!!  However, Bono injured his arm yesterday, requiring surgery, so the are scheduling. Get well wishes to Bono!! :-)

How To Get The Girl

On her new album ‘1989’, Taylor Swift has a song called ‘How to Get the Girl’…I love this idea of a how-to list on how to be with someone – it would certainly take out all of the guess work and make things a whole lot easier, don’t you think? Love this. :-) So….in the spirit of Miss Taylor (of the Nashville Swifts), I present you with a list of how to get me:

(DISCLAIMER: I don’t presume that you want to get me specifically – most of these tips will apply to many females with brains in their heads and feet in their shoes)

 

You want this, don't you?

You want this, don’t you?

1) You mustn’t be lazy. That quality is never desirable, and women who tell you that they are okay with it are lying to you. For real. We want men who are hardworking, motivated, and ambitious. You don’t have to be the next Steve Jobs or a coal miner (those dudes work sooooooo hard it’s insane), but you do have to have some hustle to you. I am driven insane by the laissez faire attitude that is so common these days….’I don’t know, see what happens???’ Come on, guys….let’s get some get up and go!!! :-) Playing video games for hours a day, day after day, while in your sweats and smelling like CheeseDoodles is never cute. Ever.

2) You must woo. You don’t have to go over the top insane and chase me like it’s your job (although that’d be kinda fun, yes?), but you need to show interest. You need to put in the effort. I don’t require grand gestures (but I do think they are cool as hell), but you need to show that you are trying. Tries count for so much, you know that? How else are we supposed to know that you care?

3) You must be kind…and I don’t just mean to me – to everybody. If you treat the server in a restaurant like crap, then the day will come that you’ll treat me like crap, too…and I ain’t having it. If you’re anything less than respectful to the people in the service industry, then I am going to conclude that you think you’re better than other people – and, guess what? You aren’t. We all put our pants on one leg at a time, and nobody is any better than anyone else. Even you. So don’t bother. Just be nice…it’s really not that hard. I promise. :-)

4) You must have a sense of humor…because if we can’t laugh at life, we are likely to cry. Things around us can get really serious, and it’s hard not to get bogged down in the minutiae of life, even the littlest of things becoming massive catastrophes. It shouldn’t be that hard to laugh, my friends…. :-)

5) You must be smart. I can’t respect someone that I think is dumb….no way. And you absolutely must LOVE it that I’m smart. You need to encourage me, and be proud of the fact that in spite of my charm and flawless dance moves, I’m a clever clogs as well. ;-) This needs to be a good thing. :-)

6) You must not think I’m hideous to look at. I would like to say that you must find me cute/beautiful/pretty/gorgeous/attractive, but…let’s be real. I’m not those things, which is okay – it is what it is, but….I do hope that you will find me at least a bit fanciable. :-)

7) Finally, be thoughtful. I have such tremendous respect and admiration for people who are considerate of those around them. I love it when someone sends a message just to say hi, because they are thinking of you….that is great. :-) I think it’s awesome when somebody brings you a little trinket for no reason at all other than they dig the idea of making you smile – that’s awesome. (I truly do mean little trinket – ring pops and candy are always cool….I don’t mean that the poor guy has to go to Jared) Doors being held open, shopping bags being carried for you, someone who takes the garbage out – these things are amazing, awesome – and thoughtful. I love that. :-)

 

image

So….there you have it!! How to get most girls!! Easy, eh? Now…..go on and get started! I can’t wait to hear how you do!! :-)

 

xxx

 

Wildest Dreams

I had a lovely weekend with my Wee One…we dressed in matching costumes for Halloween on Friday (if I don’t win Mother of the Year for this, then I never will – I looked like a friggin idiot. She, however, was adorable. Go figure.), and we spent Sunday on an adventure together. We drove to the little town of Medina, Texas, had lunch at the Patio Cafe at Love Creek Orchards, bought some great apple products (including a yummy apple pie), and headed out for Lost Maples state park. I’ve been feeling really homesick for Canada lately, and I thought that seeing some maple trees with changing leaves might do me some good. Unfortunately, there’d been a terrible accident on the road and it was closed, so we will have to go back another time. We did have a beautiful drive through the Hill Country, however, and time together is always a great thing. :-)

Ridiculous

Ridiculous

The best apple pie that's ever pied. Yum.

The best apple pie that’s ever pied. Yum.

My love :-)

My love :-)

We did a lot of car singing on our trip yesterday – my stepdad gave her the new Taylor Swift album, so she grabbed the CD insert and sang along. We sang and sang and sang…it was the best. :) There’s a song on the album called ‘Wildest Dreams’, that made my eyes begin to leak, and I nearly had to pull the car over.

Say you’ll remember me standing in a nice dress staring at the sunset
Babe
Red lips and rosy cheeks say you’ll see me again even if it’s just in your wildest dreams oh wildest dreams oh ah, wildest dreams

Isn’t that a lovely sentiment? Say you’ll see me again? Those words speak to me, a person with chronic abandonment issues…I live in constant fear of being left by those that I care about (based on my history, no doubt), and I fret about being forgotten. I want to be remembered, especially by those that I care about, even after  they leave. I have always tried to be a pleasant memory I’m hopeful that there are people who have a warm fuzzy when they think of me, but there are others who will surely become filled with a murderous rage at the very sound of my name. It’s a tough balance to find.

This song went on to kill me again with these lines:

Nothing lasts forever, but this is gonna take me down…

You’ll see me in hindsight tangled up with you all night
Burning it down
Someday when you leave me I bet these memories follow you around

This is so me, and it about does me in…how many times do we embark on something that we know is a TERRIBLE idea, but we do it anyway for a multitude of reasons : it feels good, we want to, we’re feeling kind of selfish and wanting the world to be all about us? Do you do this? Please say yes so that I don’t feel like the worlds largest douchebag. Yes? The final bit really got me to thinking….When the people in my life who leave me (and there are a few) are gone, do they ever think of me? Does a smell, a song, a sound conjure up images of me? Do they see something on TV and find themselves flooded with memories of me…Or am I fooling myself? I remember people like this, you know. I hear the first strains of the REM song “Losing My Religion” and immediately think of the boyfriend I had when I graduated from high school and the hours we spent driving and listening to that album (same thing with the Black Crowes – their “Shake Your Money Maker” album was the soundtrack of our relationship – this might help explain why we were doomed for failure)…when I smell oranges, I think of another great love, who loved them with all of his heart and always seemed to have a faint citrusy smell about him. Happy thoughts. :) There are places that I travel that conjure up mountains of memories and all the feelings of people and things and situations left behind.  Memory is a powerful sense, my darlings…just like our wildest dreams.

I hope that I am remembered – even if it’s just pretend. :-)

 

xxx

All I Owe

While getting ready to drive my Wee One to school this morning, a story came on the news about a nurse on the East Coast who had been exposed to the Ebola virus through her work, but was balking at the 21 day quarantine, because she wasn’t showing symptoms and had so far tested negative. I don’t know all the details of the story, so I asked my mom a few questions (she’s got way more time to keep up with stuff like this than I do). She sent me the following news story:

Maine health officials said Tuesday that they are prepared to go to court to force nurse Kaci Hickox to comply with the state’s “voluntary” 21-day quarantine period for health care workers who have treated Ebola patients, as the nurse vows to defy the state.

Hickox, on Wednesday, told NBC’s “Today” that she doesn’t “plan on sticking to the guidelines” and is “appalled” by the home quarantine policies “forced” on her.

“I truly believe this policy is not scientifically nor constitutionally just, and so I’m not going to sit around and be bullied around by politicians and be forced to stay in my home when I am not a risk to the American public,” she said, saying she’s in “perfectly good health.”

Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew earlier declined during a news conference to comment specifically on Hickox, who was confined against her will at a New Jersey hospital before traveling home to Maine. But Mayhew said her department and the attorney general’s office were prepared to take legal steps to enforce a quarantine if someone declines to cooperate.

“We do not want to have to legally enforce in-home quarantine,” she said. “We’re confident that selfless health workers who were brave enough to care for Ebola patients in a foreign country will be willing to take reasonable steps to protect residents of their own country. However we are willing to pursue legal authority if necessary to ensure risk is minimized for Mainers.”

Hickox’s lawyer insisted Tuesday that she was not under quarantine and said she was seeking time to decompress at an undistclosed location in Maine.

Hickox, who volunteered in Africa with Doctors Without Borders, was the first person forced into New Jersey’s mandatory quarantine for people arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport from three West African countries.

Hickox, who spent the weekend in a quarantine tent, said she never had Ebola symptoms and tested negative in a preliminary evaluation, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were sharply criticized for ordering mandatory quarantines.

In Maine, a quarantine comes into play only when people have had contact with Ebola patients; others who’ve been to the three countries will be monitored, officials said.

On Monday, Hickox traveled from New Jersey to Maine, where her boyfriend is a senior nursing student at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. Her boyfriend opted to leave Fort Kent to spend time with her during the quarantine period, officials said Tuesday.

If Hickox were to show Ebola symptoms, then her boyfriend and any others who had contact with her also would be subject to quarantine, Mayhew said.

The news of Hickox’s return to Maine swept across the town of Fort Kent and the university campus, which has 1,400 students.

Faith Morneault, a 19-year-old behavioral science student, said news that Hickox may be headed to Fort Kent had caused “a lot of panic” among students. But she said she understands her desire to go home.

“You can’t freak out in this situation. You have to understand it,” she said.

Another student, 20-year-old behavioral science major Kayla Michaud, said students also are worried because of the potential presence of Hickox’s boyfriend in the school community.

“If she’s in quarantine, is he going to be quarantined, because we don’t all want to be contaminated with the Ebola virus,” she said.

Not everyone was alarmed, however.

Paul Berube, who works at a local credit union, said he thinks some residents are “overreacting.”

“Listen, we don’t live in a Third World country. We have some of the best medical hospitals here. We’re prepared for it. We can’t stop living. We need to live one day at a time and just be happy,” said Berube, 58.

 

I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t she just voluntarily do the quarantine? What’s the big deal about three weeks if it means ensuring safety for yourself and the people around you? It’s 21 days!! (I would love love LOVE the idea of 21 days of peace, quiet, and solitude myself) I don’t get this sense of entitlement that seems to exist in society these days…and I probably never will. I’m not just speaking about this particular situation (I choose to believe that there are mitigating circumstances in this situation that the media and I aren’t privy to), but I’ve grown really fatigued with the general sense of entitlement that’s becoming more and more prevalent these days. If I hear one more person telling me that they DESERVE something (anything), I am going to scream or punch them in the face (likely both)…most of us need to learn that we don’t deserve a whole lot in life, and be a little bit more grateful for the things that do come our way. I wish I was just speaking about the teenagers that I see in a day, but I’m not…the adults walking amongst us are just as bad.

I will never tell someone that I deserve their respect – unless I’ve earned it. I won’t demand loyalty from those I work with – without first earning their trust and respect. I am not entitled to anything – and I’m bloody grateful when something good does come my way. Sometimes people at work will offer to do things for me because they figure that I’m entitled to it since I’m in administration – I’m always tremendously grateful, and I make sure to repay the favor tenfold…but I never embrace the idea that I am entitled to anything. It makes life better that way, you know that? When you are consistently expecting nothing, you are grateful for anything and everything that comes your way….and you are NEVER disappointed. Imagine being never disappointed? It’s kind of great. We all ought to try it more often. :)

I came across this article, and it is AMAZING!!! Entitled “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy“, it breaks down this whole current sense of entitlement thing perfectly. Let’s give it a look, shall we? :) (be sure to enjoy the pictures :) )

Say hi to Lucy.

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Lucy is part of Generation Y, the generation born between the late 1970s and the mid 1990s. She’s also part of a yuppie culture that makes up a large portion of Gen Y.

I have a term for yuppies in the Gen Y age group — I call them Gen Y Protagonists & Special Yuppies, or GYPSYs. A GYPSY is a unique brand of yuppie, one who thinks they are the main character of a very special story.

So Lucy’s enjoying her GYPSY life, and she’s very pleased to be Lucy. Only issue is this one thing:

Lucy’s kind of unhappy.

To get to the bottom of why, we need to define what makes someone happy or unhappy in the first place. It comes down to a simple formula:

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It’s pretty straightforward — when the reality of someone’s life is better than they had expected, they’re happy. When reality turns out to be worse than the expectations, they’re unhappy.

To provide some context, let’s start by bringing Lucy’s parents into the discussion:

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Lucy’s parents were born in the ’50s — they’re Baby Boomers. They were raised by Lucy’s grandparents, members of the G.I. Generation, or “the Greatest Generation,” who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II, and were most definitely not GYPSYs.

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Lucy’s Depression Era grandparents were obsessed with economic security and raised her parents to build practical, secure careers. They wanted her parents’ careers to have greener grass than their own, and Lucy’s parents were brought up to envision a prosperous and stable career for themselves. Something like this:

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They were taught that there was nothing stopping them from getting to that lush, green lawn of a career, but that they’d need to put in years of hard work to make it happen.

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After graduating from being insufferable hippies, Lucy’s parents embarked on their careers. As the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s rolled along, the world entered a time of unprecedented economic prosperity. Lucy’s parents did even better than they expected to. This left them feeling gratified and optimistic.

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With a smoother, more positive life experience than that of their own parents, Lucy’s parents raised Lucy with a sense of optimism and unbounded possibility. And they weren’t alone. Baby Boomers all around the country and world told their Gen Y kids that they could be whatever they wanted to be, instilling the special protagonist identity deep within their psyches.

This left GYPSYs feeling tremendously hopeful about their careers, to the point where their parents’ goals of a green lawn of secure prosperity didn’t really do it for them. A GYPSY-worthy lawn has flowers.

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This leads to our first fact about GYPSYs:

GYPSYs Are Wildly Ambitious

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The GYPSY needs a lot more from a career than a nice green lawn of prosperity and security. The fact is, a green lawn isn’t quite exceptional or unique enough for a GYPSY. Where the Baby Boomers wanted to live The American Dream, GYPSYs want to live Their Own Personal Dream.

Cal Newport points out that “follow your passion” is a catchphrase that has only gotten going in the last 20 years, according to Google’s Ngram viewer, a tool that shows how prominently a given phrase appears in English print over any period of time. The same Ngram viewer shows that the phrase “a secure career” has gone out of style, just as the phrase “a fulfilling career” has gotten hot.

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To be clear, GYPSYs want economic prosperity just like their parents did — they just also want to be fulfilled by their career in a way their parents didn’t think about as much.

But something else is happening too. While the career goals of Gen Y as a whole have become much more particular and ambitious, Lucy has been given a second message throughout her childhood as well:

2013-09-15-Geny12.jpg

This would probably be a good time to bring in our second fact about GYPSYs:

GYPSYs Are Delusional

“Sure,” Lucy has been taught, “everyone will go and get themselves some fulfilling career, but I am unusually wonderful and as such, my career and life path will stand out amongst the crowd.” So on top of the generation as a whole having the bold goal of a flowery career lawn, each individual GYPSY thinks that he or she is destined for something even better –

A shiny unicorn on top of the flowery lawn.

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So why is this delusional? Because this is what all GYPSYs think, which defies the definition of special:

spe-cial | ‘speSHel |
adjective
better, greater, or otherwise different from what is usual.

According to this definition, most people are not special — otherwise “special” wouldn’t mean anything.

Even right now, the GYPSYs reading this are thinking, “Good point… but I actually am one of the few special ones” — and this is the problem.

A second GYPSY delusion comes into play once the GYPSY enters the job market. While Lucy’s parents’ expectation was that many years of hard work would eventually lead to a great career, Lucy considers a great career an obvious given for someone as exceptional as she, and for her it’s just a matter of time and choosing which way to go. Her pre-workforce expectations look something like this:

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Unfortunately, the funny thing about the world is that it turns out to not be that easy of a place, and the weird thing about careers is that they’re actually quite hard. Great careers take years of blood, sweat and tears to build — even the ones with no flowers or unicorns on them — and even the most successful people are rarely doing anything that great in their early or mid-20s.

But GYPSYs aren’t about to just accept that.

Paul Harvey, a University of New Hampshire professor and GYPSY expert, has researched this, finding that Gen Y has “unrealistic expectations and a strong resistance toward accepting negative feedback,” and “an inflated view of oneself.” He says that “a great source of frustration for people with a strong sense of entitlement is unmet expectations. They often feel entitled to a level of respect and rewards that aren’t in line with their actual ability and effort levels, and so they might not get the level of respect and rewards they are expecting.”

For those hiring members of Gen Y, Harvey suggests asking the interview question, “Do you feel you are generally superior to your coworkers/classmates/etc., and if so, why?” He says that “if the candidate answers yes to the first part but struggles with the ‘why,’ there may be an entitlement issue. This is because entitlement perceptions are often based on an unfounded sense of superiority and deservingness. They’ve been led to believe, perhaps through overzealous self-esteem building exercises in their youth, that they are somehow special but often lack any real justification for this belief.”

And since the real world has the nerve to consider merit a factor, a few years out of college Lucy finds herself here:

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Lucy’s extreme ambition, coupled with the arrogance that comes along with being a bit deluded about one’s own self-worth, has left her with huge expectations for even the early years out of college. And her reality pales in comparison to those expectations, leaving her “reality – expectations” happy score coming out at a negative.

And it gets even worse. On top of all this, GYPSYs have an extra problem that applies to their whole generation:

GYPSYs Are Taunted

Sure, some people from Lucy’s parents’ high school or college classes ended up more successful than her parents did. And while they may have heard about some of it from time to time through the grapevine, for the most part they didn’t really know what was going on in too many other peoples’ careers.

Lucy, on the other hand, finds herself constantly taunted by a modern phenomenon: Facebook Image Crafting.

Social media creates a world for Lucy where A) what everyone else is doing is very out in the open, B) most people present an inflated version of their own existence, and C) the people who chime in the most about their careers are usually those whose careers (or relationships) are going the best, while struggling people tend not to broadcast their situation. This leaves Lucy feeling, incorrectly, like everyone else is doing really well, only adding to her misery:

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So that’s why Lucy is unhappy, or at the least, feeling a bit frustrated and inadequate. In fact, she’s probably started off her career perfectly well, but to her, it feels very disappointing.

Here’s my advice for Lucy:

1) Stay wildly ambitious. The current world is bubbling with opportunity for an ambitious person to find flowery, fulfilling success. The specific direction may be unclear, but it’ll work itself out — just dive in somewhere.

2) Stop thinking that you’re special. The fact is, right now, you’re not special. You’re another completely inexperienced young person who doesn’t have all that much to offer yet. You can become special by working really hard for a long time.

3) Ignore everyone else. Other people’s grass seeming greener is no new concept, but in today’s image crafting world, other people’s grass looks like a glorious meadow. The truth is that everyone else is just as indecisive, self-doubting, and frustrated as you are, and if you just do your thing, you’ll never have any reason to envy others.

 

 

That equation up there really says it all….happiness = reality – expectations. I think that this is something that I (like most people, I imagine) have battled for years. I always thought that some parts of my life would turn out so differently than they have – and the disappointment of that has been quite crushing. On the other hand, some things have so wildly exceeded my expectations that I find delirious joy in them (I’m talking to you, my little Muppet child!! :) My job is pretty damn amazing, too! :)  )…it’s all about the reality/expectations thing. I love what the author wrote about the bullshit that is the Facebook phenomenon…people, for the love of all that is holy, STOP BRAGGING ABOUT YOUR DAMN LIFE ON FACEBOOK, AND GET OUT THERE AND LIVE IT!!!!!!!!!!! ARRGGHH!! Okay. Rant over. Sorry.

The three pieces of advice for Lucy are great, and would serve all of us well: dream big, impossible dreams…those are the ones that end up changing the world; realize that while you may indeed be a special butterfly, that you live in a whole world FULL of butterflies, each one more special than the next…so be good to your fellow man (or woman), and realize that they are just as special as you are; and finally, ignore the goings-on of everyone around you. You do you — that’s more than enough. :)

xxx

 

PS: And stop acting like you’re entitled to anything. Be grateful, dammit!!! ;)

Unpretty

I am not a fan of my appearance….probably never will be. My colleague across the hall walks in to our office at least once a week and announces that he cannot believe how very good looking he is – he’s not joking. Needless to say, words like that will never come out of my mouth – partly because I will never feel that way about myself, but mostly because I don’t want to sound like an arrogant prick. I’m not saying that all people with confidence in their appearance are arrogant pricks, but my neighbor sure is. Surely there must be a happy medium? :-)

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You’d really think that looking like this would give me heaps of confidence, wouldn’t you?

I spent the last few days laid up with a terrible spasm in my neck…it’s been rotten. I’ve watched entirely too much TV, laid around in whatever awkward position managed to bring me a bit of comfort and relief, and have basically been bored out of my skull. I couldn’t really fix my hair as it hurt too much, so I’ve been walking around resembling the arse end of a badger since last Thursday – that is not nearly as attractive as it sounds, friends. I’ve not been feeling terribly great about myself lately anyway, so this  little spell has done nothing for the already fragile ego. On Friday night, a former student and friend of mine posted the following on Instagram:

Take a moment to realize you’ve never seen your face in person, just reflections and pictures. Some scientists believe that if you saw a clone of yourself you wouldn’t recognize it as you, because our idea of what we look like is so different from what we actually look like.

Isn’t that brilliant? I know – mind. blown. I spent the better part of the weekend thinking about that, and was telling someone about it on Sunday. This sweet soul directed me to a Dove beauty campaign video that I had never seen before – where people describe their appearance to a police sketch artist, and then somebody else describes that same person…and the differences in the images are SHOCKING. Here’s the video:

Click on the picture to see the video :)

Click on the picture to see the video :)

I was almost crying when I finished this video, partially for the beautiful women featured in the clip, and partially for the way I treat myself. I don’t know when the self-loathing started, but I do know that I desperately wish it would end. I don’t ever want to spend another second of life apologizing to someone else for the way that I look – that’s insane. I never want to miss out on another outing because I look a hot mess and am afraid to subject anyone to the sight of me. I don’t want to purposely avoid looking in mirrors and try to free hand my makeup so that I don’t have to see myself…because the crooked, wobbly look that results does nothing for my appearance. I’m tired of thinking about the way I look. Tired of it all. I wish that I knew a solution to build a damn bridge over the entire subject of appearance, and get the hell over it. If you have this problem worked out and licked, give me a call and share the deets, ok?  I’ll be waiting.

How would you describe yourself to a sketch artist? :)

 

xxx