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How To Get Away With Christmas

1christmas89Christmas is a time of cheer…right?

Yet during the
holiday season
we’re bombarded
with images of
social wealth.

Everything from: Family dinners, parties, drinks with friends, hugging, skating in pairs, walking together looking at lights, Secret Santa and gift exchanges, spontaneous snowballs fights, eating roasted chestnuts, and of course, people running into the arms of loved ones at airports…

But what if those things aren’t in your life?
The social media holiday barrage, Christmas FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), anticipointment, Facebook, Instagram, TV, Google+, Twitter, MySpace (kidding, just wanted to see if you were paying attention) – all bursting with shiny images of happy people enjoying the holidays together. It can be overwhelming yet it’s only a day, like any other.


So if you find yourself less-than-surrounded by family and friends during the holidays, try to:

1. Marathon your way through the season, which apparently now begins in July with brief visits from other holidays. Don’t limit yourself to Christmassy stuff…be glad you’re not invited to a Game of Thrones Christmas party; see who survived (Christmas) on The Walking Dead; try to figure out what they’re cooking on Breaking Bad; or catch up with Mrs. Brown’s Boys (Dear Santa, I can explain…). Soon it will be January (sorry, I skipped ahead, was I wrong in assuming you don’t have anyone for New Year’s Eve either?), then you’ll have a few weeks to recover before the Valentine’s Day trauma begins, maybe.


2. Gently add yourself to someone else’s Christmas or add someone to yours.

3. Find dating sites/apps and go on a holiday dating spree. Eggnog your way through stories about his/her ex, mom, ex’s mom, work, football, baseball, hockey, fashion, cars…Who knows, maybe you’ll find a Christmas miracle.


4. Adjust your expectations. Social media is one long high school reunion. Everyone is wearing their best outfit, just lost weight, and sharing only highlights of their life.

5. Read, write, blog, sing, bake, work, clean, declutter, exercise, sleep, go to a movie…flashback to the 70s – dance, wear turtlenecks, bellbottoms, ponchos, and go see Star Wars, or not. It’s all good.


6. Have a Single Christmas Party (not for singles, just you, be your own party).

7. Ignore the season, the gaudy decorations, the commercialism, multiple Santas in multiple malls (unless you work there, try to stay out of the malls altogether) and create a Michael-Bublé-Bing-Crosby-Burl-Ives-free #safespace.

8. Start a new tradition with yourself or others, hopefully one that doesn’t involve eating your feelings (and don’t forget legal).

9. Help others this season – the best way to keep your mind off your problems is to help others with their problems.

10. Under no circumstances drink too heavily, that could lead to calling, texting, or emailing an ex, or watching other people having family time, especially through their windows. Though oddly specific, it’s good advice.

It’s not about what you have, what you get, or even who you’re with, this season is about anything being possible.

Want to know how to get away with Christmas? Simple, enjoy the season and each day, not the way everyone tells you is enjoyable, but the way you enjoy it.

I triple dog dare you.


10 Ways To Be Grateful Even On Bad Days

1grateful1Life is full of good things and bad things.

Sometimes good things go bad.

Sometimes bad things go good.

Sometimes a bit of both.

The good stuff doesn’t always make the bad stuff easier to take, but the bad stuff doesn’t always ruin the good stuff either.

We should try to be grateful for the good stuff, especially when there’s bad stuff.

We Could Be Grateful For:

1. Family and friends. The memory of family and friends. The possibility of family and friends.

2. Knowledge, free will, and finding respectful ways to agree to disagree.

3. Enjoying what you have, instead of always thinking about what you want.

4. Remembering both the good times and the bad – and not living in either.

5. Enjoying the everyday things. Life isn’t about the big moments.


6. Finding happiness, peace, or contentment, especially by making others happy, peace-filled, or contented.

7. Life and knowing that most people know it’s worth.

8. Being you. Don’t compare yourself to others.

9. Bad times, so you can appreciate the good times.

10. Giving – stuff, time, comfort, inspiration, hope, information…you.


Terror, in many forms has wormed it’s way into our lives, not just with violence, but with weapons such as: fear, rudeness, abuse, inequality, neglect, distractions, complacency, disrespect, self-righteousness, ignorance, intolerance, lying, scandal, gossip, corruption, manipulation, dogma, bullying, blame, and all those ‘gotcha’ moments.

We can change. Some will say we can’t, or worse, that’s just the way it is. Expect change. Be that change.


People can disagree, debate, wrangle, bicker, even argue, hopefully respectfully.
There’s also no need to agree, you have the right to disagree, again, respectfully.
Attacking anyone, verbally or physically, for their beliefs is pointless.
We can’t overcome hate with hate.
We can’t win by fighting.


Even if you feel hate, choose love or at least, forgiveness.

Even if you feel indifference, choose compassion.

Especially if you feel despair, choose hope.


I worry being ‘shocked’ every time something terrible happens, posting platitudes, changing profile pictures, holding vigils, leaving tokens, decrying the monsters, and placing blame gives the illusion of doing something when really, it’s mostly shopping, social media, socializing, and symbolism.

Wouldn’t it be more comforting to help those in need? To donate food, clothing, money for shelter and medical care instead of making piles of flowers, candles, stuffed animals, and flags that will just become garbage? I don’t understand, if we want to show respect why not help those who are still alive and suffering?

We need to find out how to change what’s happening, or brace ourselves for more of the same, or worse. The first rule of holes, when you’re in one, stop digging, and try to find a way out.

What’s coming will come, so instead of focusing on those who do harm, who spread fear and hate, let’s be grateful for those who help, who protect – those who do good in this world. They deserve our focus, not just after a tragedy, or crisis, or disaster, but all the time.


My heart goes out to the family and friends of those who have lost loved ones, death is tragic, no matter the circumstances…and to anyone suffering, everywhere.

Can You Feel The Blog Love Tonight?

1blog52Turns out, being an adult is hard work.

Adding blogging to that and anxiety, well, it could be the proverbial straw.
When it’s quiet here on my blog, I have time to think.
Why am I really doing this?
Should I be doing this?
I have so much else to do, is this a distraction?
Or is blogging just another version of chocolate, sappy movies, wanting to cry, desperately wishing a time machine would materialize in my living room to whisk me back to a time when the biggest decisions I had to make were: what to wear to school, who to hang out with, what to listen to…Probably shouldn’t go back, I might scream at myself to quit wishing to grow up and just enjoy growing up.


Some days I feel like blogging is more Hotline Blog (I’m assured Drake will drop this as a follow-up to his famous Hotline Bling)
You used to like me on my blog post
Late or early when I needed blog love
And I know when that hotline pinged
It could only mean one thing…
But these days, you’ve become a ghost
Wonder if you’re out there forgettin’ about my blog post
Doing other things, maybe making cinnamon toast


But blogging isn’t all about Likes, it’s about enjoying each other…

Learning. Teaching. Laughing. Crying. Smiling.



I try to imagine what my blog would have been if I blogged as a child, you know, before I knew:

1. I’d have a computer, in my home.

2. I’d use this computer to tell perfect strangers (well, maybe not perfect) stuff about my life.

3. My worst recurring nightmare wasn’t fear, it was the fear of fear.

4. Bacon would become both hero and villain.

5.  Everyone lied to me about stuff, including but not limited to: Santa, this won’t hurt (it did), The Tooth Fairy, being “almost there” (we weren’t), there was no more chocolate (there was), and that I’d use math in real life…


6. Life is less Game of Life and more Monopoly.

7. Power is a commodity, not necessarily the one that lights up your home.

8. What skin tags are, let alone having them.

9. The world is crawling with serial killers, if TV is to be believed.

10. Some people will still be mean, even as adults.

11. I’d use numbers from a fortune cookie for lottery tickets.

12. My body would be my worst enemy.

13. I’d look more like Jessica Fletcher than Jessica Alba.

14. I’d still be watching Doctor Who, Monty Python, and so would my teen son.

15. I’d lose hours of my life to a mysterious world that delivers weird yet amusing things to me right at home (yes, including pizza and Amazon).


16. I’d ever tire of Christmas (well, the commercialism of Christmas).

17. I’d try figgy pudding…get out there – try, visit, read, comment, share, take part in something different.

18. I’d let zombies into my home at least once a week…and love it.

19. You can’t eat all the cake, you have to share it, same goes for blogging.

20. I’d have many families – the one I was born into, the ones I found and found me, the ones I’ve made, and this amazing blogging community.


So get out there, hakuna matata – visit some blogs, enjoy each other, and never forget, you’re not alone.


Go Home Star Wars You’re Drunk

I’ve had a few,
then again
too few
to mention.

So what if
my life is riddled
with plot holes
and logical gaps?

I have flaws and quirks (I say adorable, some may beg to differ).
I’m thoughtful and thoughtless.
Brilliant and oh so dumb, sometimes astonishingly, at the same time.
I’m a gloriously human jumble.

So why do we expect our entertainment to be perfect when we aren’t? As humans, we get caught up in things, even now, computers are galactically buzzing about the new Star Wars, loving it, trashing it, or both, and it hasn’t even hit theaters yet. I admit, my unease intensifies as The Force Awakens.


There were times, I’m sure you knew, when I bit off more than I could chew-ie and I didn’t want to become blaster fodder. And Disney buying Star Wars made my complicated relationship go full Death Star explosion (scared of it I am). But Star Wars On Trial looked interesting, so I let the tractor beam pull me in (that’s no moon, that’s a blog post!).


I consider myself an intelligent viewer (is that an oxymoron?), so I selected the 8th charge against the accused iconic franchise, The Plot Holes and Logical Gaps in Star Wars Make It Ill-Suited for An Intelligent Viewer.


I agree, sometimes watching these movies, I just want to say, go home Star Wars you’re drunk, but I believe those who consume the story are culpable, not the storyteller.


Upon first review of the charges, perhaps it does seem like only morons would enjoy movies like Star Wars I’m paraphrasing, the witnesses for prosecution, Nick Mamatas and defense, Don DeBrandt were actually quite witty and eloquent. Star Wars certainly did it all and not in a shy way, oh no, let the record show George Lucas took the blows, and did it his way.


I’ll state my case, of which I’m sorta certain, the details of the story aren’t nearly as important as the story itself. Why? Because we are the story.

  • We are Yoda, who trained Luke (more or less), but once said Anakin was too old to train, back in the days of surplus Jedi.

  • We are Obi-Wan Kenobi, I mean, Ben Kenobi hiding Luke Skywalker in plain sight, on a barren planet where most everything wants to kill him – guess we know who the favoured child was.


  • We are Darth Vader (really, you didn’t recognize your own kids?), Han Solo, Amidala, Picard, The Avengers, The Doctor, Sherlock, Buffy, Leia, Luke (ewww, dude, you kissed your sister), The Lorax, Bugs Bunny, Scarlett O’Hara, Rick Grimes (You think it’s a plot hole, but it ain’t!), Rocky, Capt. Jack, Batman, Frodo, C-3PO, Scully, Mulder, Scrooge, Kirk, James Bond, Edward Scissorhands, Simpsons, Reddington (The Blacklist is a logical gap, who cares, watching James Spader read menus would be entertaining),


  • Chewie, Daryl Dixon, Darcy, Katniss, Joker, Boo Radley (having a moment), The Griffins, Keyser Söze, Willy Wonka, Don Draper, Bridget Jones, Charlie Brown, Harry Potter, Walter White, Spock, R2-D2 (the real hero of SW) and more…


No spoilers, I enjoyed all the sci-fi and fantasy authors, including, but not limited to David Brin and Matthew Woodring Stover who diligently prosecuted and defended the idolized, intriguing, yet infuriating series while the Droid Judge (This isn’t the Droid Judge you’re looking for) attempted to keep order.

Star Wars, innocent, guilty, or just in the wrong place at the right time, you decide, vote at http://www.smartpopbooks.com/star-wars-verdict/ or www.BenBellaBooks.com

And enter to win a free copy of Star Wars on Trial from BenBella Books (Canada or U.S only). In the comment box below, tell me your most hated or loved plot hole or logical gap (any book, movie, TV show, or life). Notification via droid (or me) November 15, 2015 – all contact will be confidential.


I would say life isn’t logical. How could it be when we live it on a baffling blue ball twirling in space like a tattered ballerina in a vintage music box?

Stories are told by humans and therefore, delightfully flawed.

Think of it like extra cheese on lasagna, yes, it’s irrelevant, but does that mean it shouldn’t have happened? Life is messy. Take a bite.

 And Star Wars has Muppets…isn’t that enough?


 Your true destiny? To always…do it your way.

May The Force Be With You1starwars76

Monster Meet and Greet Mash

1halloween84I was working
on my blog,
late one night
When my eyes
an eerie sight
For my post
from its slab,
began to rise
And suddenly
to my surprise
It did the mash,
it did the Monster Meet and Greet Mash!
A monster blogger mash, it was a graveyard smash!
It did the mash, it caught on in a flash…
It did the mash, it did the monster blog mash!
The zombies and bloggers were having fun,
The blog party had just begun…
The scene was rockin’, we were digging the shares,
Some were commenting, well, those who dared
So add your link and des-
crypt-ion, girls and guys,
Then suddenly to your surprise…
You can mash, you can monster blogger mash!


While I often say the best part of blogging is ‘meeting’ other bloggers, readers, etc., it’s been too long since we hung together, so welcome to the party, please, feel free to leave your blog name, a link to your blog or favourite post(s), and a des-crypt-ion. And pass it on: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr, Google+, LinkIn, or reblog, so others can dig it too…

For some special treats, drop by some of the other blogs and Suzie’s Blog Party on Halloween http://suzie81speaks.com (fabulous British blogger and creator of Twitter’s popular #SundayBlogShare). I’ll check back, enjoy the snacks, but I have some busy times ahead, including preparing something completely different…Hopefully I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew-ie and end up as blaster fodder. May The Force be with me.


Yes, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
People dressing as ghosts, goblins, and ghouls,
Celebrities, minions, villains, and fools
Filled with fun, food, and fear
It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the hap-happiest season of all
With trick or treat greetings and candy meetings
Friends and strangers coming to call
It’s the hap-happiest season of all


My happiness project is kinda sputtering, as it turns out, a year is a really, really loooong time. Here’s where it all began: http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/


And more…Week 18
I don’t have to keep track of every little thing to be happy.

Week 19
I finally fully understand more but better…maybe.

Week 20
Too tired to decide if actually happy, or merely exhaustedly happy.

1halloween63Week 21
September gone? October started? I want a recount.

Week 22
Internally screaming could become real screaming if I keep hearing about how many weeks until Christmas, before we’ve had Halloween and in Canada, Remembrance Day! Aaaarrrggh!  http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/02/christmas-comes-after-remembrance-day/ http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/11/03/lest-we-forget-to-shop/


Week 23
Annual library book sale! Books! My precious! They sold you to me!

Week 24
You think the storm will never pass, but it does. Until then, enjoy the show.


Week 25
1. Turns out, weight loss isn’t one size fits all.

2. Still waiting for my own epic-everytime-I-enter-a-room-music-a-la-John-Williams.

3. Rewatched Edward Scissorhands http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/31/edward-scissorhands/ and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown http://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/29/stuff-i-learned-from-its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown/
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/10/19/religion-politics-and-the-great-pumpkin/ Now that’s entertainment.


4. Black cat crossed my path. Way too adorable to be bad luck, um, right?

5. Since Christmas is bleeding into Halloween anyway, why not combine the music – Carol of the Hells?

6. Maybe I’ll dress up as an author for Halloween. Treat or trick, publish my book! ;)

7. Halloween over for another year, you know what that means…chocolate on sale!

Keep calm and blog on…


If I Could Save Time In A Blog Bottle

1gone46There never seems to be enough time
to do the things you want to do,
but there might be,
if I stopped blogging…

But I like blogging…

Yet it’s time-consuming…

Once you’ve let that blogging genie out of the bottle, there’s no turning back. I keep trying to get away, but blogging keeps pulling me back in.

I also like making people laugh, I might be the one during the apocalypse: “Knock Knock.” Random guy, “Who’s there?” “Zombie.” “Zombie who?” Me running, yelling, “Zombie, behind you, run!”


Then again, too much time isn’t always good, when I have time to think, I often feel like an alien in this world. Not the rubbery, gray, tall, skinny aliens, more like the ET-hey-I-landed-on-your-planet-I need-to-phone-home-wow-your-long-distance-plan-sucks-at-least-the-snacks-are-yummy-does-this-dress-make-me-look-fat-type alien.


Going out on a limb, I’d say I’m not the only one who’s ever felt they’re waiting for the mothership to take them back to their home planet.
If only I’d arrived with an instruction manual. I know my parents wish I did.

Time runs by us, screaming like a babysitter in a horror movie. And as another Halloween creeps up, let us pay our last respects to things gone, but not forgotten…maybe they’ll return someday (hopefully not as zombies):

1. Hairspray, you once permeated every part of our lives, especially our lungs…guess we’re kinda grateful big hair is dead.

2. Mixed tapes have gone to join the choir invisible – mixed emojis?

3. Adieu giving up your seat to someone elderly or disabled or pregnant; apparently now they must fend for themselves, Game of Thrones-style.

4. Farewell phones, attached to a cord, instead of our hand or head.


5. Once loved and adored, held up on a pedestal, billboards, race cars, own section in the grocery store…poor little gluten, now dead to many, a social pariah.

6. RIP, ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’, and ‘You’re Welcome’, now ghosts of civilities past.

7. Quiet time, without tweets, updates, texts, and emails has kicked the bucket…Remember? Probably not, with all the digital amnesia…

8. Showing up at your new neighbours with baked goods has shuffled off this mortal coil; no friendly greetings, just pepper spray, the police, and/or speech on food allergies.


9. Bereft of life are ‘Thank You’ notes, but I’m still thankful to people who say cardshark instead of cardsharp, so I can picture a shark playing poker.

10. Talking to plants is now pushin’ up the daisies, can’t we just text them, telling them 2 gro?

11. Not asking for gifts and money has kinda bought the farm – #gimme is society’s new hashtag.


12. Wobbly inside-out pools hidden under threads of Egyptian cotton; waterbeds gone to their watery grave.

13. Patience is at death’s door, but really, there’s nothing you could possibly have to do (or explain to a judge) that’s worth putting children at risk, on Halloween, or any time.
Please pay attention while driving, I promise that absolutely fascinating tweet, update, text, or email about:

  • how porcupines mate without stabbing each other,

  • the shape of dog’s poop,

  • a divine fat, gluten and dairy-free no-bake cheesecake recipe (can that still be called cheesecake?),


  • cats robbed of their dignity via the internet,

  • if Bon Jovi’s hair is still real (see #1),

  • which Kardashian is getting married or divorced (all of them),


  • if Taco Bell is health food (it’s not),

  • finding out who died on The Walking Dead (hint hint, no one, they’re actors),


  • Justin Bieber’s private parts (what part of private is hard to understand, Justin?),   

  • discussions about Donald Trump’s IQ (rich doesn’t equal smart)…

will all be there later, sadly. If not, what did you really miss?

I guess we make time to do the things we want to do, so I’ll save every blogging day ’til blog eternity passes away, just to spend them with you, dear readers.


You Can’t Handle The Blogging Truth!

1halloween40October conjures images of:
Fall leaves, crisp nights… pumpkins and pumpkin spice…Halloween, candy, black cats…sexy Hunger Games costumes, yeah, I’ve stopped asking why at this point…

Apparently, scary is definitely different for different people.

For some scary is:
The dark – where all the known and unknown creep.
Horror movies that make people hide their eyes, but have to peak.
The price of groceries or hydro (both terrifying).
Trying on bathing suits (could turn your hair white).
Dating, parenting, love…
Loss of those we love.
Christmas or any holidays with in-laws.
Elections, wars, politicians.
Loss of cellphone reception (The horror! The horror!).
Running out of chocolate (now that’s horror!).
Liars, vampires, aliens, monsters, sparkly vampires, zombies…


I started blogging to relax, reignite my love of writing, and to be rich/famous (not necessarily in that order) – 555 posts later, well, two out of three ain’t bad. No one warned it could be so scary!

Life doesn’t come with instructions, we have to grope our way through this at times terrifying funhouse – long strips of goodness, gooey badness, melty magnificence, and squishy horrors – blogging is pretty much the same.

1halloween26It was  a dark and stormy night…Start a blog they said. It’ll be fun they said.

1. You want the blog truth, you can’t handle the blog truth! By the flickering computer light and hum, something wicked this way comes…really, Shakespeare how would thou deal with: endless emails, trolls, glitches, and ghosts in the machine?

2. First, you find your way through the woods (aka the internet) to an old mansion (aka WordPress) where you start your blog. Soon, strange things start happening – stuff moves by itself, stuff disappears, and you find yourself alone, in the dark, and still, you hear the click, click, click of the keyboard…

3. Come up with a cunning plan, overly elaborate with, as a random example, a dog with a speech impediment; a drug-addled vegetarian with a groovy van; narcissistic metrosexual; frumpy geek girl who needs contacts; and constantly kidnapped drama queen.


4. Your loved ones look at you oddly as you repeatedly type: All work and no play makes Donna a dull girl…They complain you’re hunched over your shining computer, or using them for…inspiration.

5. Read aloud from online posts, only to realize, you’ve freed some ancient vengeful Babylonian deity…or worse, a telemarketer! Who you gonna call?

6. Invited to Bloggers Bash at a spooky mansion, you accept, bloggers are fun, right?


7. Pop over to Pinterest for a ‘minute’ to find an image or inspiration…later you’re found wandering through the desert and learn you’ve been missing for 7 years and still didn’t find the right meme.

8. Fall asleep at your computer and wake up in a dream where a serial killer is hunting you, or worse, you’ve lost all your followers!


9. You decide to take a break from writing and take a bath or shower, you know better, but it’s been a long day.

10. You ask for books to review, but then …One, two, writers are coming for you. Three, four, publishers knock at your door. Five, six, who do you pick? Seven, eight, accept your fate. Nine, ten, never sleep again.

11. You turn to run from the glowing ooze on your keyboard, but there’s a evil clown or worse, housework behind you…your furniture is moving on it’s own, but it’s not getting dusted…Why? Oh why?

12. Through a series of unfortunate events, you find out your blog is built on an old cemetery and an ancient burial ground where rituals were performed. You could run to another platform, but that’s a lot of work.

13. So I will think of blogging not as a horror movie, but more like a community garden. We all work together to grow something remarkable. There will be ups and downs, but in the end, we’ll all be part of something amazing…as long as nothing comes alive to eat us.



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