Amazing

Do you know Lindy West? She’s a super-amazing and fantastic writer – and she’s kind of my imaginary friend. I mean she’s real, like a real person….but she is sadly not my friend. Yet. I firmly believe, that if we knew each other, we would totally be friends. For realz. :-) Anyway….Lindy got married recently, and looking at the pictures she tweeted filled me with so much joy, I could hardly stand it. First, she looked RADIANT – like not just typical bride glow-y happy, but other-worldly happy…which was awesome. Second, her dress was the stuff that princess fantasies (at least in my mind) are made of.  Finally? Her new hubby looked at her like he wanted to devour her – who doesn’t want a love like that?!!

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When Lindy got engaged, she wrote a piece entitled ‘Why I Can’t Wait to be a Fat Bride‘ , which brings up a lot of interesting things.  She wrote about the idea that society usually expects couples to ‘match’ – I will let her explain:

I wasn’t surprised that this woman took so many wilful leaps past “couple” and landed on “roommates” in her split-second sussing-out of our relationship – it happens literally all the time. But it was a disheartening reminder of an assumption that has circumscribed my life: couples ought to “match”. My partner and I do not. He is thin and I am fat. He is conventionally desirable and I am a “before” picture in an ad for weight-loss tapeworm eggs. It is considered highly unlikely – borderline inconceivable – that he would choose to be with me in a culture where men are urged to perpetually “upgrade” to the “hottest” woman within reach, not only for their own supposed gratification but also to impress and compete with other men. It is women’s job to be decorative (within a very narrow set of parameters) and it is men’s job to collect them. My relationship throws off both sides of that equation, and a startling number of people find it bewildering at best, enraging at worst.

 

Isn’t she right?? Mind blowing – why is it that men are generally taught (by their friends, society, some secret boy-coven that meets outside of NASCAR and WWE events) to always seek out the most conventionally attractive woman that they can possibly get and lock her down – when sometimes, said woman may in fact be a raging idiot??! Thank goodness that there are loads of men out there who don’t ascribe to that, or I would have never had a date in my life! I have never been, nor ever will be, the hottest girl at any party…and I am so cool with that. However, having said that, I have never wanted for the company of men, either – it’s interesting to me how I have always managed to attract men (some of them – a lot of them – I wish I hadn’t, but…c’est la vie). I was hit on recently while grabbing take out from the bar counter at a local Chili’s, and I giggled as I was walking out of the place at the ludicrousness (is that a word? Should be) of the situation – I’m 41 years old, not skinny, showing the wrinkles, etc…yet somehow, there’s still something alluring enough to bring a complete stranger over to throw some lines at me. How funny. 40 is the new 20…and my milkshake is still bringing the boys to the yard. Bonus! 😉

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Anyway – back to Lindy and her magical wedding. When discussing her impending nuptials, she wrote:

So, I grew up assuming that I would never get married (unless I found my own John Goodman – swoon), because marriage was for thin women, the kind of women who deserved to be collected. How could I be a bride when I was already what men most feared their wives would become? I was the mise en place for a midlife crisis. I was the Ghost of Adultery Future. At least, that’s what I’d been taught. And that’s why I can’t goddamn wait to be a fat bride.

As soon as you start making wedding plans, you’re bombarded with (among a million other beckoning money pits) a barrage of pre-wedding weight-loss programmes. Because you’re supposed to be as thin as possible on your special day. After all, there will be pictures! And what if someone remembers your butt as looking like what your butt looks like!? “I’m only eating grapefruit and steam until my wedding.” “I enrolled my whole wedding party in bridal boot camp.” “I bought my dress in a size four even though I’m a size six.” And that’s totally fine, of course, if that’s your priority.

But when I think back on my teenage self, what I really needed to hear wasn’t that someone might love me one day if I lost enough weight to qualify as human – it was that I was worthy of love now, just as I was. So I’ll be fat on my wedding day. Because being fat and happy and in love in public is still a radical act. Attention, every fat teenager on earth: you’re invited.

 

Isn’t that gorgeous??! I love her – and she is so right: being fat and happy and in love in public is a radical act. And it bloody well shouldn’t be. Everyone one of us deserves to be in love and happy for the whole world to see – regardless of the width of our arses.

 

Lindy wrote a follow up article after her wedding, and it’s so beautiful that it made my heart sing – you can read it here. Here’s my favorite part:

And to my 16-year-old self, if you’re reading this, listen to Alithea; she is wise: “When I enter into a relationship, I am not filling a hole that society has dug out of my soul, telling me that I am fat, and because I am fat I am ugly, and because I am ugly I am unlovable. I am there, in their bed and in their life, for the purest of reasons, not because I am insecure and need the external validation that a patriarchal society has taught us to seek. I am not seeking validation from a partner, I am seeking partnership in that partner.”

I have never in my life been fatter than I was on my wedding day, I have never shown my body in such an uncompromising way, and I have never felt more at home in that body. I was fully myself, and I was happy. We are happy. This life is yours, fat girls. Eat it up.

 

And I’m leaking from my eyes. Again. Bloody hell… what’s better than that? Not much. There is so much crap thrown around in the media these days about how we need to look, and what we need to do to look that way, and it’s such pure bullshit. We look how we look. It’s pretty straightforward. And you know what we need to do to look that way? Nothing. Just do us. We are more than enough. Satis sum – I am enough. Words to live by, friends.

xxx

 

Follow Your Arrow

This summer has been decidedly different for me – the Wee One and I have stayed home, and spent a lot of time together…it has been lovely. We have done lots of fun things, and we’ve been getting out a fair bit – but we have taken time to relax, chill, and smell the roses, too. While I’ve missed having one of our great ‘fancy girl trips’ that we love so much, we have had such a good time together…and I wouldn’t trade that for the world. The end of the school year was rough, and frankly I was in desperate need of some time to just slow down and take it easy – which is exactly what I’ve done. In one day in May, a young girl had a drug overdose in front of me (she’s fine, thank god) and a dear friend and colleague suffered a heart attack and collapsed in my arms (she’s okay, too)…followed by a second colleague entering the hospital the very next day with a mystery illness that’s still not been diagnosed – two months later. This trifecta of misery reminded me of the fragility of life and the fleeting nature of us, and of our mortality…and I realized that I could not keep up the pace that I’ve been operating at – or I would be the next to drop. As Kacey Musgraves sings in her excellent song “Follow Your Arrow”, ‘Say what you think / Love who you love / ‘Cause you just get / So many trips ’round the sun / Yeah, you only / Only live once’. Life is too short to not enjoy yourself….it’s not worth it. So….this is what I’ve done! I’ve hardly gone in to work on my time off, I’ve turned down quite a few social invitations, I’ve only said yes to that which matters to me – and I’ve done a lot of nothing. I have been binge watching a bunch of great TV, watching my kid swim at her swimming lessons, and done a ton of good eating at great restaurants. This is how summer should be! :-)

Deviled Eggs from Whisky Cake - yum!

Deviled Eggs from Whisky Cake – yum!

I've been on a quest to learn to like Brussels Sprouts...these ones at Whisky Cake are damn respectable! :-)

I’ve been on a quest to learn to like Brussels Sprouts…these ones at Whisky Cake are damn respectable! :-)

The Twice-Fried Chicken Wings from Hot Joy are what dreams are made of. DIVINE!!!!

The Twice-Fried Chicken Wings from Hot Joy are what dreams are made of. DIVINE!!!!

Smashed Cucumber salad from Hot Joy - I am aware that it looks rather odd, but....SOOOO GOOOOOD!!!

Smashed Cucumber salad from Hot Joy – I am aware that it looks rather odd, but….SOOOO GOOOOOD!!!

I've spent a fair bit of time kicking back, not fussing with my hair/makeup, and enjoying wine - yaa! :-)

I’ve spent a fair bit of time kicking back, not fussing with my hair/makeup, and enjoying wine – yaa! :-)

The Wee One had a gift card from her favorite store - instead of buying herself a cute outfit, she chose to get us matching sparkly unicorn necklaces that say BFF on them. My heart is so full. :-)

The Wee One had a gift card from her favorite store – instead of buying herself a cute outfit, she chose to get us matching sparkly unicorn necklaces that say BFF on them. My heart is so full. :-)

 

I’m well aware that these images are nowhere near as exciting as most people’s summer vacation pictures, but….they mean the world to me. They are visual representations of time well spent with the people who love me most – and what could possibly be better than that? :-)

xxx

 

Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind?

Does Fort Worth ever cross your mind? If not, it totally should – what a great city!! I’ve been here all week for an Advanced Placement Summer Institute conference – and, while I would rather have been at home in San Antonio with my Wee One, I have really enjoyed getting to see some of the city. I want to get planning a trip back here as soon as I can – there’s a lot I want to see and do! :-)

I saw some of the Stockyards area, which is really cool – it looked like an Old West down, and the preservation/restoration of this awesome neighborhood is really well done. Unfortunately, the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill were wreaking havoc on this area, making it far too wet to stroll around outside, but driving through the area was great. :-)

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Fort Worth is a brilliant food town – and we all know how I love me some good eating! 😉 I am not a fan of chain restaurants, so trying new and different places is one of my very favorite things to do – and this city is a fab place to do this! We had dinner at Rodeo Goat on Sunday night – I had the Sugar Burger, which was one of the most delicious and unusual things I’ve ever had (grilled peaches should always be on every burger every where every day). We shared an appetizer called ‘The Steaming Pile’ (if you’re a regular reader, you know that I have the sense of humor of a 12 year old boy, so you are correct in your assumption that I ordered this one totally because of the filthy name!) – it was jalapeno tots smothered with goat cheese, a sharp cheddar, and bacon. O.M.G. Good eatin’ here, folks…DELISH! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth...unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth…unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Steaming Pile....of goodness! ;-)

The Steaming Pile….of goodness! ;-)

 

We had a delicious sushi meal at Blue Sushi Sake Grill – really different things, which I thoroughly enjoyed. One of my colleagues that I was dining with is a real sushi afficionado, and letting him order for me was an excellent decision. :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Fort Worth....I heart sushi!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sushi Sake Grill in Fort Worth….I heart sushi!! :-)

 

A real standout this week was Torchy’s Tacos – apparently we have one of these in San Antonio, and I feel that my life has been empty up to this point since I’ve never heard of this place before. I cannot wait to go back many, many times, working my way through their awesome menu. I ordered something called the Trailer Park Hillbilly from the secret menu – and my life is forever changed for the better. Yaa me! :-)

Heaven, my friends...in taco form. :-)

Heaven, my friends…in taco form. :-)

 

I had a great meal at Bird Cafe (we tried a bit of everything on the menu – and I highly highly recommend the food), Cane Rosso (friggin’ delicious pizza), Carshon’s Deli (a really weird, old school deli with BLOODY AWESOME food – be sure to take cash, though, as they don’t accept credit cards)…but I didn’t get pictures of these places. However, I feel confident that I will visit them again someday, so….stay tuned, friends! :-)

 

When I come back to Fort Worth, I want to do the touristy things: the Stockyards, the zoo, the botanical gardens….there is SO MUCH to see and do here! I hope Fort Worth is on your mind – because it sure is on mine! I can’t wait to come back! 😉

xxx

 

Catch Up

Things have been majorly busy for me lately – the regular end-of-school-year stuff, combined with two coworkers with serious illnesses (and me covering their work during their absence), graduation, a birthday party for the Wee One, a broken arm for the Wee One :-(, and a work trip to Fort Worth for a week. Life has been a bit much lately (she says in the understatement of the year thus far)…here’s what’s been happening lately:

Living the life :-)

Living the life :-)

My little love....and her tiny broken right arm :-(

My little love….and her tiny broken right arm :-(

BooBoo at her Painting With a Twist birthday party!! :-)

BooBoo at her Painting With a Twist birthday party!! :-)

All the little girls and their finished products!! SUCH a great birthday party!! :-)

All the little girls and their finished products!! SUCH a great birthday party!! :-)

I took the Wee One to see Mamma Mia last week - the show was awesome, as was the bruschetta at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk where we ate on our way to the show. Yum!

I took the Wee One to see Mamma Mia last week – the show was awesome, as was the bruschetta at the Hard Rock Cafe on the Riverwalk where we ate on our way to the show. Yum!

Lights along the Riverwalk :-)

Lights along the Riverwalk :-)

The Riverwalk in San Antonio :-)

The Riverwalk in San Antonio :-)

At Mamma Mia! So much fun!! :-)

At Mamma Mia! So much fun!! :-)

My new hobby - eating frozen yogurt for lunch :-) I highly recommend it!! :-)

My new hobby – eating frozen yogurt for lunch :-) I highly recommend it!! :-)

On my way to graduation at the AlamoDome...I survived announcing all of the student names onstage! Woohoo!!! :-)

On my way to graduation at the AlamoDome…I survived announcing all of the student names onstage! Woohoo!!! :-)

A fried egg sandwich from Halcyon in San Antonio....SO.GOOD. :-)

A fried egg sandwich from Halcyon in San Antonio….SO.GOOD. :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth...unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

The Sugar Burger from Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth…unreal! Grilled peaches on top of a burger!! Who knew??! Delicious!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sake Sushi in Fort Worth....I heart sushi!! :-)

Awesome sushi from Blue Sake Sushi in Fort Worth….I heart sushi!! :-)

 

So….as you can see, things have been pretty action-packed around here lately. Thankfully my summer vacation time begins next week – yaa! I’m looking forward to taking time for myself, spending as much time as possible with the Wee One, working around my house, sitting on my arse, and catching up on all of the things that I have ignored for the entire school year. I’m excited!!! :-) How’s your summer going so far, friends?

xxx

Viva Las Vegas!

The Spring Break road trip continues for the Wee One and I – we left the beautiful Santa Fe in the wee hours of the morning, and made the drive to the Grand Canyon. Along the way, we witnessed the most gorgeous sunrise coming up as we made our way through New Mexico…I doubt there’s a more beautiful way to start a day. Simply stunning. :-)
When we got to the canyon, I don’t think either of us were fully prepared for the majesty of the views. Every direction we turned was more beautiful than the last, and we thoroughly enjoyed the quiet, calm, peacefulness that’s in the air….despite the throngs of people walking around. There was snow on the ground (good news – I still possess mad snowball-making skills, despite the years that have passed since I moved away from Canada!), we took a ton of great pictures, and did a lot of hand-holding. This was a great place!

Gorgeous :-)

Gorgeous :-)

Doesn't this just take your breath away?

Doesn’t this just take your breath away?

My little sass-pants in the snow!

My little sass-pants in the snow!

Love :-)

Love :-)

 

After we left the park, we drove straight through to Vegas, baby! I know it’s a bonkers thing to take an 8 year old to Sin City, but I figured she’d get a kick out of the lights and the sights, and man alive was I right!! She LOVED Vegas, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her on the ticket during their next mayoral race…she thinks Vegas, in all its sparkle and twinkle, is HEAVEN. She makes me laugh. :-)

 

The view from our room...not too shabby at all!

The view from our room…not too shabby at all!

Us girls ready for a night on the town!

Us girls ready for a night on the town!

This is so pretty :-)

This is so pretty :-)

The lights are so beautiful at night!

The lights are so beautiful at night!

The Wee One was crazy for the Bellagio fountain show...and I'm crazy for her! :-)

The Wee One was crazy for the Bellagio fountain show…and I’m crazy for her! :-)

Her first night on the Strip and she's already eyeing up her mama's beer! That's my girl!

Her first night on the Strip and she’s already eyeing up her mama’s beer! That’s my girl!

A lot of people find the glitz of Vegas to be way over the top and tacky, and there’s something to be said about that. However, personally, I find this town to be brimming with hope and possibility – everyone here is on the cusp on becoming something different; this is a place that celebrates stepping outside of the mundane and embracing a life more glamorous than the one you’re currently leading….now, tell me how that is bad? It isn’t – Vegas is fun. Walking down the street with a cocktail in your hand in broad daylight and not having to endure the judgey stares of passersby is a great thing, the plethora of sequins is magical, and the whole shine of the place makes me believe that God loves us and wants us to be happy. :-) Viva Las Vegas indeed!!!! :-)

 

xxx

Santa Fe

Chili peppers everywhere!  :)

Chili peppers everywhere! :)

The Wee One and I are on a short road trip for Spring Break…and we are having a great time so far!! :) Our first stop – Santa Fe, New Mexico! I hoped that I was going to like this city, but I had NO idea how much….LOVE THIS PLACE!!!! It’s gorgeous!! :) Here are some pictures:

Beads, Beads, Beads! :)

Beads, Beads, Beads! :)

My love affair with light fixtures continues! :)

My love affair with light fixtures continues! :)

My little love :)

My little love :)

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Our hotel! :)

Our hotel! :)

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Around every corner there’s something beautiful to see! :)

I love this place! :-)

I love this place! :-)

So pretty :-)

So pretty :-)

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Our hotel

Our hotel

Love is all around :-)

Love is all around :-)

 

I am SO SMITTEN with Santa Fe…it’s insane!! Love it!!! Have you ever been here? Tell me how much you loved it, too!!!! :-)

 

xxx

What Do You Want From Me?

I went up to Dallas for a work conference this week, and my short trip was quite the adventure. I drove up Wednesday (and thoroughly enjoyed the toll road that took me around Austin and the nightmare that is their traffic!), checked in to my hotel, chilled for a bit, had happy hour glasses of wine in my room, then headed out to do some exploring. I ended up getting the most amazing mani/pedi that I’ve ever had (for less than what I’m regularly paying here in San Antonio! I think perhaps I need to find a new place….), had Chinese takeout in my room…it was good. I spent the entire evening alone, and the peace and quiet was pretty great – despite the fact that elsewhere in the h0tel were about 50-75 people that I know pretty well through work. This conference was different in that every school sent a team to it except us – I was the lone wolf: I traveled alone, stayed alone, and ended up spending the bulk of my time alone. It got pretty awkward when we all gathered for meals and general sessions in the ballroom, as the people that I work with most closely (every single day, in fact) were rude, dismissive, and pretty much could not be arsed with me the entire time. It felt weird when the higher ups from Central Office asked why I wasn’t working with this team of colleagues, and hadn’t they invited me to join them so that we could collaborate and strengthen our joint programs – I brushed off the question and didn’t offer an answer. How was I to say that we never work together on anything because they can’t stand me?

using other people

It’s a weird thing to try to be polite to people that you know hate your guts, but I try. I’m not entirely sure why they hate me, but they do. I’ve written before of the troubles that we have going back and forth, and it just doesn’t seem to get any better. These people all flew up to Dallas – while I drove….I didn’t realize that flying was an option, and they most certainly didn’t bother to tell me! The funniest part of the whole week was that yesterday, when the weather had turned to crap, there was a snowstorm and the roads were all iced over, they were calling me for a ride home….their flights had been cancelled. Thankfully I had already left the area and was well on my way, fighting horrific traffic and driving conditions, spending over 8 hours to do a 4 1/2 hour drive….so I didn’t have to come up with an excuse to not drive them home. There was no way that I was going to let myself be used like that – hell no!! Once upon a time, I would have happily complied with their request, and then been upset and resentful about it for ages afterwards, but thankfully I don’t roll that way anymore. I’m generally pretty stubborn, and I do a good job of sticking to my guns. Still, I was disgusted – there are few things worse than people who only know you when they want something from you. Shame on them.

using other people

I would give anything to know what it is about me that is so off-putting. However, we as people rarely tell the people that we are rejecting (regardless of the type of rejection, be it personal, professional, etc) why we are passing them over…and this is a tricky one for me. On the one hand, I believe that it is kind to not tell someone anything that is hurtful – I am not in the business of hurting people’s feelings, and I generally don’t want to have mine hurt either. However, there are times when I really would like to know what it is about me that is wrong…so that I can either do something to try and fix it, or I can quit beating myself up for it and just move on. Don’t they say that the truth shall set you free? I wish I knew who ‘they’ were….and I’d ask. 😉

 

xxx

 

Beautiful

My high school English teacher – Ms Scott – was eccentric as hell. Her methods were unusual, and I had a rather difficult adjustment period to her and her strange ways, but once we got into the swing of things with each other, all was well…and I learned more from that brilliant, batty woman than any other teacher that I had. Not a day goes by that I don’t do something that makes me think of her….her effect on me has been very profound.

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Ms Scott loved to analyze literature with us, and when she would ask us to interpret something, we’d trot out every big word we could throw at the page in front of us, hoping one metaphor or allegorical onomatopeia would stick (I know that allegorical onomatopeia is not a thing – so please don’t send me messages telling me that I’m stupid – it’s a joke….I’m in on it 😉 ). More often than not,we’d be entirely wrong, and we’d sound like raging idiots…the answer would turn out to be something very simple. Ms Scott would rail at us about the need to stop overcomplicating things, the dire importance of simplicity,and just how very beautiful that can be. Simplicity is beautiful, she’d repeat over and over…and it’s an idea that I keep revisiting in my life. I find that life gets too complicated, that the pace of the world around me just gets too much…and I feel swept away. But how do you simplify in an increasingly complex world?

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I’ve been working really hard at life simplification lately. I’ve been saying no to more and more invitations, only going out when I really want to – and not just going for the sake of going. I’ve made it a practice to turn off my phone sound no later than 10:00pm, because I just need the time to unplug from the rest of the land, and be with myself and my thoughts. I have been reading more, watching TV less, and I’ve even gone so far as to cancel some magazine subscriptions lately, which is a shocker. While I love reading magazines like nobody’s business, I just find that I don’t have the time needed to keep up with all of them, and they clutter up the place. I’ve tossed out countless garbage bags of things I don’t use anymore (by toss I mean donated….I don’t want to be wasteful!), and I’ve even been sorting through the pantry to get rid of outdated food stuff (a job I loathe with every fiber of my being). Every day lately has had at least 15 minutes devoted to declutterization (not a word, but totally should be)…and I still have so far to go. I want to keep simplifying my surroundings, getting rid of things that I don’t truly need – because what’s the point in having them if they aren’t serving a purpose, right? :-) Simplicity is beautiful. :-)

A few months ago, I had a bunch of work done on my house – carpet changed on the stairs, new flooring installed in the play room, and a new paint job…what a difference! I can’t remember if I posted some after pictures or not (and I’m too lazy to go and look)…but here’s what the main living area in my house looks like now: (DISCLAIMER: The light looks totally weird in these…I just took them, and I’m not sure what happened. The living room is super cute – trust me. :-) )

These owl pillows make me SO happy! :-)

These owl pillows make me SO happy! :-)

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Weird lighting in this one...but you can still kinda see what's going on through the fog and mist, I hope? ;-)

Weird lighting in this one…but you can still kinda see what’s going on through the fog and mist, I hope? ;-)

 

It’s not quite where I want it to be, but dammit if we aren’t getting closer! :-) The Wee One and I chose a new chair for the living room recently – it’ll be delivered this week, and we are SO excited!! :-) Here’s a picture:

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I’m so happy with how things are turning out here at home…I remember hearing Oprah talk about the importance of turning your home into your sanctuary from the world – and, I don’t know about you, but when Oprah talks, I bloody well listen. (NOTE: You should as well) I have lived in this house for just over seven years, which is a record for me – I’ve not stayed in one place longer than two years since 1989. For reals. So this whole “staying put and making the house a home” thing is pretty revolutionary for me – and I’m kinda liking it. :-) I feel that this settling in, staying where I am thing is part and parcel of the life simplification stuff I was talking about – instead of doing what I always do, which is run/bolt/move on when things get tough and/or I get bored (and I’m sure as hell not known for my attention span, friends), I’ve planted my feet firmly on the ground, looked around me, taken stock of all that’s there…and chosen to try to live my life as best I can by looking in the face of things that I would rather avoid and hide from (and there’s plenty on that list, let me tell you!). I’ve decided that I’m not going anywhere, my darlings…it’s simply too beautiful around here to miss. :-)

 

xxx

 

 

 

Hot Stuff

How was your Christmas, my lovelies? I hope you had a fab time surrounded by those that make you happiest, and I hope that Santa was super-good to you as well. :-) As we charge towards the end of 2014, I want to do a wee round up of some of my favorite stuff from this past year. Are you ready? Here we go! :-)

1) The LG G3 Phone

LG G3

LG G3

I got the Samsung Galaxy 5 when it was released amidst a flurry of hype and hope in April…and I bloody hated it. Completely. Totally. Hated. It. :-( So, I wasn’t terribly bummed when I tripped and dropped it in August, breaking the screen – with no insurance replacement available. I did some maneuvering and worked my way into a new phone – this time, I let the sales guy talk me into the G3, and I’m pretty glad I did. I kind of LOVE this phone – the camera is awesome, the Bluetooth sound quality is really good, and it’s overall pretty damn decent. I use my phone for EVERYTHING, so I tend to be very hard on them…but this one is holding up remarkably well so far. I’m optimistic, friends! :-)

 

2) The new show “Girl Meets World” (the theme song, in particular)

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I am SO happy that my child can watch this show, that she can revel in the offspring of Cory and Topanga and that she gets to partake in a character with the name of Farkle. Love. ❤️ (PS: Bonus points for the Christmas episode – Shawn and Cory were reunited!!!)

 

3) The Instagram Stream of Beth Stern, Howard’s Very Lovely Wife

Yoda when they first rescued him - and Yoda now. See the difference love can make? :-)

Yoda when they first rescued him – and Yoda now. See the difference love can make? :-)

My Wee One and I are obsessed with the lovely Beth and her foster kittens – we love their names, the kitten room, their adventures…the whole nine yards. Love. The big love story of the year has been Yoda, a fluffy white cat that they took in; he was abused, sick, in terrible shape, and suffering from a heart condition. The Sterns nursed him back to health, and they gave him a purpose – he raises their foster kittens, giving them baths, caring for them, and showers them with love. It’s just gorgeous to watch via Instagram – Beth wrote a children’s book ‘Yoda: The Story of a Cat and His Kittens’ which my Wee One got for Chistmas. It’s a sweet book, and raises money for the North Shore Animal League, so a very worthy cause. Yoda is straight-up the most adorable cat ever…and Beth’s Intagram is guaranteed to make your heart feel as fuzzy as Yoda’s tummy. :-)

 

4) Andy Cohen and his book “The Andy Cohen Diaries”

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I knew who Andy Cohen was because I watch “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Vanderpump Rules” (don’t judge me), but I’ve never seen his show and I knew zero about him. Then I heard an interview with Andy on Howard Stern, and got really interested in him and decided to give the book a read…I friggin’ loved it!! LOVED IT!!! Andy is my spirit animal and has the life that I want!! No lie!! I think he’s got a hell of a gig, his work is varied and so bloody interesting it’s not even funny…and his social life is the stuff of my dreams. For. Real. And don’t even get me started on his dog Wacha. Love. ❤️ (***Note: I watch “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and “Vanderpump Rules” for a very stupid and selfish reason – while these people are much thinner, richer, and more beautiful than I will ever be…the majority of them are DUMB, and very, very ugly on the inside, which brings me unspeakable joy and makes me feel better about myself in a really shallow, superficial way. I’m horrible. I know. Sorry.)

 

5) Trader Joe’s

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I continue to be madly in love with every single thing from Trader Joe’s…the food, the wine, the cleaning products, the everything. Madly. In. Love. It’s ridiculous. The Wee One and I make trips there all the time to stock up on bags of teeny apples (that she worships), bottles of wine (that I worship), and all sorts of goodies. :-) They have magical chocolate, an assortment of appetizers that’ll change your damn life, and don’t even get me started on the cheese. I could live in the cheese cooler there forever and die one happy (though constipated) girl. 😉 If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby, go and check out the affordable goodies – you won’t be disappointed! :-)

 

6) Vinatarta

God bless the Icelander who thought of this!!

God bless the Icelander who thought of this!!

This Icelandic Christmas cake would make the list of my favorite things every single year for the entirety of my life, no exaggeration….I love it THAT much. :-) It’s made of layers of sugar cookie-type rounds, with a slightly sweet prune filling (which sounds gross to people, but SO isn’t – trust me on this one). It also contains the tears of angels, and every good memory of my childhood. Vinatarta was a staple in my largely Icelandic community growing up, and to me, it’s not Christmas without one. Luckily, I got one sent to me from home (yaaaaa!!!!!), and I’ve been eating that bad boy like it was my bloody job (which it should be – I am damn good at it!!). I love vinatarta, and all the beautiful memories that each bite conjures up. Now, if I could just master the art of making the brilliant Icleandic pancakes called ponnokukur, we’d be set! :-)

 

7) Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume

Heaven :-)

Heaven :-)

I got a bottle of this perfume for Christmas this year, and I had forgotten how much I loved it. I had it a few years ago, and thought it was gorgeous…and I am even more in love with it now than I was before. Beautiful!!! :-) ❤️❤️❤️

 

8) The Documentary ‘REM by MTV ‘

Click on the link for REM's amazing "Losing My Religion" :-)

Click on the link for REM’s amazing “Losing My Religion” :-)

This 2014 documentary, made by MTV, spans the amazing career of music greats REM, a band that’s often overlooked…but really ought not be. They made a lot of great music, including the soundtrack of my life for about ten years, and watching this program took me right back to the late ’80s – late ’90s…and how I longed for it again. The fashion (those bloody baby doll dresses call to me every single night in my dreams, I want them so badly), the hair (although, let’s be real – my hair today is still pretty bloody big, so….perhaps I’m still doing ’80s/’90s hair. But, like I always say, ‘the higher the hair, the closer to God!’), the deep lipstick colors….I bloody love it all. The documentary featured extensive interviews, footage of shows, everything….it was fantastic. You really ought to check it out! :-)

 

9) What I’ve Been Reading

Love the book - LOVE the man! :-)

Love the book – LOVE the man! :-)

Reading is always awesome, but this has been a great year for books – I’ve read a bunch of awesome ones! A real highlight was the Neil Patrick Harris ‘Choose Your Own Autobiography’ – such a great read, and a seriously clever concept. Written in the style of those choose your own adventure books from your childhood, the book was such good fun, with more than a dose of cheek and great stories. I loved it! I love him and think he is the very best example of what a person should be – such a gentleman, and so much talent! :-) Amy Poehler’s book ‘Yes, Please!’ is great, too…a really good story of the long build to success, and not having your big break happen over night. I also left Amy’s book with a really strong sense of the importance of  believing in yourself – she always knew that she was doing precisely what she was meant to be doing, and she never deviated from that, even when success seemed about a million miles away. I friggin’ LOVE that self-belief, don’t you? I need some of that. :-) Apparently I’m getting old or something, because the bulk of my reading this year was non-fiction: autobiography, biography, that sort of thing. I have ‘The Goldfinch’ ready to go on my Kindle, but haven’t got to it yet….I will. :-) After that, I’ve got nothing lined up to read, so….I’m always looking for great book recommendations – fiction and non, so if you’ve got some great reads to share, send ’em my way!!! :-)

 

10) What I’ve Seen At The Movies

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I’ve enjoyed some great movies this year – probably because I completely changed up my approach to movie going. I’ve pretty much stopped going to see big budget movies at regular theaters (unless they are based on books I liked – like ‘Gone Girl’ or feature actors that I absolutely adore), and I’ve stuck with going to see smaller movies at the Bijou Theatre here in San Antonio – and I could not be happier with my choice. I’ve seen GREAT movies, there’s no cell service down in the theaters (so nobody bugs me – yaa!!), they serve me wine while I watch the movies (always a good idea), and the place is never crowded. Win win WIN, friends!! I saw ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ there and loved it with every ounce of my being (I just watched it again this week – loved it again), ‘Boyhood’ (a friggin’ filmmaking revelation if ever there was), ‘Birdman’ (so so SO good), and ‘The Theory of Everything’ (Eddie Redmayne’s performance was breathtaking)…I would go there every week if my schedule would allow, I love that place – and the experience it offers – that much. It’s just so bloody pleasant and civilized – something that I find is becoming increasingly rare these days. I’m sure that makes me sound snotty, and forgive me if it does, but it’s true. I was in Starbucks today waiting for my coffee order (Tall Skinny Peppermint Mocha) when two kids started a fistfight in front of me – they weren’t rough housing, they were fighting, while their stupid parent was oblivious. I forgot that I wasn’t at work, put on my educator voice and barked, “Oy!!! What are you doing? Stop it! Now!!” They froze, moved apart, muttered, “Yes, ma’am”, and shuffled back to their parents. Now, while I was pleased that I hadn’t lost my touch in the week away from work, why should I need to sharpen my skills in a coffee shop on a pair of hooligans in training while their parent is stood right there? Uncivilized. I just don’t get it. Sorry…that was a rather long aside. Anyway – if you aren’t checking out the smaller movie scene, do yourself a favor and give them a look. You won’t be disappointed – and if you see me at the Bijou, be sure to wave. :-)

 

So….this was just a sampling of the things I loved about this year – this list could have easily been about 1479 items long, no joke. Not a day has gone by that I’ve not seen a bunch of things to love, I’ve tasted amazing food, consumed insanely delicious drinks, heard gorgeous music, smelled beautiful smells….there’s just a lot of beauty around us, folks. The magic is found in taking the time to look around and notice it. Thank you for taking the time to stop by Pretty Things and share some great moments with me – I treasure and value every second we spend together. :-) I’m looking forward to a brand new, shiny sparkly year full of great things for us to love. :-) Happy New Year, my lovelies!!! :-)

xxx

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??! 😉

 

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

 

xxx