I was never particularly a girlie-girl, despite my mother’s valiant attempts.
You know the drill, cute, bright dresses and outfits (my Mom sewed), sometimes sleeping with curlers or rags in my long chestnut hair, and of course, hair decorations and thingamabobs (bows, ribbons, and remember that yarn in our pigtails?).
It didn’t take.
I wasn’t exactly a tomboy either.
Just a girl, who grew, slowly, into a woman.
My favourite colour now is black (yes, I’m aware it’s not actually a colour; black objects absorb all the colours of the visible spectrum and reflect none of them to the eyes, but humour me). My hair is a sexy (sure, ok) bob, though enduring the awkward process of growing out decades of hair dye. Not a ribbon or bow in sight.
My friends were an intriguing mixture of girlie and not-so-girlie, but we all had one thing in common, we were obsessed with one thing: numbers. Bra size. When we got our first period. How long each period was. How many days between periods. Weight. Height. Phone numbers. How many boys you’d kissed, or wanted to kiss, or who wanted to kiss you.
Oh yes, and occasionally grades in school slipped into that all important number cluster. It was all a numbers game.
From this angle, at this age, those numbers now seem adorable.
Reaching numbers in the 40s or 50s? You might as well have said I’d be driving a flying car, or getting my supper from a food replicator.
Those numbers were Sci-Fi.
Now they’re Non-Fiction.
For decades I’ve ridden the roller-coaster of confidence.
High up, I throw my hands in the air, tasting the ripe plum of thrills; believing I’d made the right choice…knowing I could do anything I put my mind to.
Then racing down, down, down to uncertain, overwhelmed, unsure.
My brain screaming, even if it never reaches my lips.
The sense that I could achieve being mercilessly pummeled by doubt.
Fear whipping cruelly at my hair.
Procrastination punching relentlessly at my gut.
The bar that should be protecting me from falling instead holds me in.
I chase challenges, but crash, tumble, fail to engage. The risks are too big. Too scary.
What if I disappoint?
What if I impress and can’t do it again?
Does everyone ride this roller-coaster, or do they ride the Ferris wheel, a perfect circle of confidence, around and around? Maybe they’re just better at faking it.
I don’t want to be the heroine or the victim in my story, just the writer. The writer who has snacks. Tasty snacks. Maybe a comfy chair or couch. And the ability to share her story.
The internet has helped spread that story. I love the internet, it connects people in ways never, ever imagined. And if you don’t have anyone to argue with, just express an opinion then…wait. And watch some cat videos.
A feeling of lassitude, tedium, ennui grips me. The usual stuff isn’t doing it for me. I have battled the demons of depression and anxiety, unashamed; their claws rake at me, their teeth snap at me, bloody, but not broken, I go on.
This seems like something else, could it be boredom? I hope not. Not my best state. It’s destructive. Causing zoning out, not caring, not engaging, or looking for routes to relieve that boredom, usually with negative consequences.
Boredom doesn’t have to always be bad. It can cause ignition. Spark. My boredom doesn’t feel like a visit from apathy, or its twin, indifference.
I’m not feeling particularly restrained or confined, no more than usual.
I feel thoughts wandering to ways to ease this blanket of boredom. So could this be the searching type of boredom? Looking for something. Open to new possibilities, positive changes? Could anticipation, expectation be masquerading as boredom?
My Grandma would’ve said I should pull up my bootstraps. But what if those straps are so worn, so frayed…just about to snap? She’d probably tell me to dig deeper and pull harder. I’m trying, Grandma.
Each person that crosses your path, friend or foe or otherwise, teaches you something. But what? That you should meet fewer people? Or the person that crossed your path, the person that taught you the most, should have been you. Maybe it was. Is. Should be.
Dear Readers, how are you today? Happy, I hope.
Lately I’ve been in a shall we say, reflective mood, thinking of the highs and lows, cons and pros of being human.
I know, like so many things, it’s complicated.
Let’s start with the Pros:
1. We’re amusing.
I never understand why people go to the zoo when they can watch people instead, such as, on public transit. In one ride I saw: a guy with a bag full of copper wires sucking down a giant blue slurpee who collected paper transfers from the bus floor, tore two apart, licked them, put them together then showed ‘it’ to the driver; another guy was reading a scientific magazine, upside down; a photoshopped woman talking loudly and graphically about her knotty/naughty love life via cellphone; an older gentleman wearing PJs, cool, I did that too, in high school, the top one day, bottoms another, but as I get older I just think, sure, that looks comfy, you could get off the bus and right into bed. Who needs The Oscars? Hop on a bus, be awarded.
2. We’re ingenious.
Really, we came up with all kinds of stuff, like: flying, fire, medicine, books, family, duct tape, technology, chocolate, the internet, music, blogging, swimming inside in the winter, batteries, politicians, money, cake, saunas, friendships, trains, Johnny Depp as a pirate, pool noodle under fitted sheet so a child doesn’t roll out of bed (wish I’d known this when my son was young), driving, driving with dogs on our laps, wait, someone needs to explain this one to me, does the dog think he’s driving, does he even comprehend what driving is, I doubt he passed a driving test, I mean, how did he fill out all the forms, reach the pedals with his paws, not bite the instructor?
3. We’re endlessly curious.
We ask questions such as, but not limited to: “How bad can it be?” (very bad); “Could it get any worse?” (yes); “How stupid can you be?” (have you heard some politicians?).
4. We’re brave.
We live on a planet where the earth shakes, volcanoes spew lava, mountains of snow grow, and storms make us remember there’s no place like home…and then invite tourists, cause it’s that awesome.
5. We fall in love and out of love.
Love can go from oh’s to ex’s…ex’s to oh’s or so I’ve heard…at least, in song. Our hearts can stay, stray, delay, relay, live to love another day. Don’t think my ex’s or oh’s haunt me, but I’d like to think someday my Prince Charming will ride in on his baggage cart and sweep me into his manly arms, yes, apparently in my flight of fancy I’m dainty and light as a feather, his bronzed flesh glowing, huh, glowing? Too much of the X-Files reboot? But I digress…he’ll have room on his baggage cart for my baggage too and we’ll be off, into the sunset (Risky Business-style sunglasses firmly in place), hopefully not ending up like Thelma and Louise, Romeo and Juliet, or Butch and Sundance…
6. We yearn.
For more, for other worlds and explore them through books, movies, TV…finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens aka A-New-Hope-revisited when I took my son to a movie marathon for his birthday. It was great, but I have to wonder, what is it with people dropping children off on desert planets? Do they think it’s desert daycare? Do they think the children might go all Home Alone on the scum of these wretched hives of villainy? At what point should we just admit they’re bad parents?
7. We all want to be heroes or funny anti-heroes.
Yeah, I saw Deadpool and laughed so hard my sides hurt. I’m having a bit of a Ryan Reynolds week (how often can you say that?), saw Woman In Gold too, how does Helen Mirren do it? But we don’t have to wear a cape, or a mask, have mutant powers, or fancy gadgets…just be good to one another. But if you get a chance to be be Batman and drive the Batmobile, do that too. Kindness is true heroics.
The Cons? Maybe another time, or…all of the above? Anything you want to add?
As a writer I have to believe words have power. One of the words I dislike is hate (note I didn’t say I hated hate). It’s overused. People hate their life. Family. Weight. Home. Car. Cats (maybe they sense your hate). Government. Politicians. Job. Hair. Cake (you are so reading the wrong blog). Books. TV shows. Songs. Actors. Movies. Vegetables (how do you hate something plant-based?).
I’m tired of hearing people say they hate…I’m not sure they know what that word means. Hate should be reserved for really, really bad people and things, like: child abusers, rapists, murderers, Hitler, warlords, dictators, alien overlords, stuff like that.
1. Let’s review, do you really hate your life or just certain aspects? Your whole life is a big category with many moving parts, pick the right part to hate, let the rest roll on.
2. Standing in the middle of a room silently or loudly screaming, “I hate my life” or “no No NOOOO!” repeatedly will probably make you feel slightly better for about 30 seconds, but it’s not a long-term ‘fix’.
3. This is usually the point when advice-giver types tell you to change your life. That’s all well and good, but what if some things are beyond your ability to change? Should you just accept them, or rail against them, lay down and kick and scream until you feel better, or until someone offers you ice cream to stop, or threatens to call the authorities (and no ice cream)?
4. How much time do you spend each day ‘hating your life’, I suggest you cut that in half, help others with the other half, you’ll feel the hate drift away.
5. Take a deep breath. This probably won’t help you hate your life less, but hopefully you might get a nice breath of fresh air, or the smell of fresh-baked goods.
6. Do something, maybe something different, or something to help someone else, again, may not make your life full of singing and woodland creatures doing your housework, but it might remind you of the good things.
7. Take charge of your life, unless you wouldn’t feel comfortable having you in charge, after all, do you even remember where your keys, or the remote is right now?
8. Are you at least changing the things you hate about your life? You’d hate to get stuck in a rut of hating the same things for decades.
9. Check your birth certificate. Are you old enough to hate your life? There are some weird laws out there, you don’t want to be breaking any.
10. Write down what you hate, maybe there’s a great book, or movie or TV show, song, etc. in all that hate. As much as people say they love positivity, so many popular shows, movies, books, plays, songs, etc. are about dysfunction, hate, crime, death, destruction, apocalyptic worlds, and misery, including Misery.
Maybe the haters just need a nap. A nap always makes you feel better. I’ve been enjoying a tiny bit more sleep (even when awake) in the past week (new meds).
Fibromyalgia and sleep don’t get along, but as much as I can hate the pain it inflicts on me 24/7, the constant fatigue, feeling left out of life sometimes, there’s no point, it is what it is. I have a choice, I can choose hate and be all grumpypants, or I can choose love and keep enjoying what I have and hoping for better days ahead.
If I said anything wonky during my blog party https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/01/29/always-on-my-mind-blog-party/ (still open by the way, drop by anytime and promote your blog, for free, yes, free – we hear that word often, but it’s rarely true, in this case, it is) – I’ll blame it on the drugs (totally legal ones). Thanks to all those who came out. Happily, my bed and I are back on speaking terms, for now, and we didn’t even need sleep counseling.
Haters gonna hate, so let’s bake them a cake…seriously, who can hate when eating cake?
Be brave. Be bold.
Choose love…and naps…and cake
(not necessarily in that order).
Can your heart really be broken?
Apparently it can.
Broken Heart Syndrome is a thing.
Also known as Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (not to be confused with the Kobayashi Maru from Star Trek, totally different kind of heart-racing); this condition is most often stress-induced.
Wow, you really can die from a broken heart.
So, how can you mend a broken heart? I’m neither a doctor, nor a therapist, nor one of The BeeGees, but I wish I had the answer, because mine is Under Pressure.
David Bowie died.
As did Alan Rickman. And a bunch of other people.
We’ve all had family and friends who have died.
My point? Moments in time are just that. Big or small, once they’re gone, they’re gone. Life is for the living, even if you can now fulfill all your funeral needs (with drop dead prices) while buying vats of olive oil at Costco. They offer killer deals on multi-packs too. Check out their 6-foot deep discounts on dirt in the Home and Garden Section. Ok, I’m almost done. Prices to die for! Now I’m done. So instead of spending money on flowers, candles, and stuffed animals that rot in the streets, mourn and honour those we’ve lost by helping the living.
5 Ways I’m Not Under Pressure:
1. Bowie was a voice that told me to be me when I wondered if I should be someone else – I will forever adore and blame him for that, or at least blame him for being so persuasive. Goodnight, Mr. Bowie and thanks.
2. Alan Rickman made me Truly, Madly, Deeply – laugh (Galaxy Quest), cringe and cry (Harry Potter), shiver (Die Hard), and sigh (Sense and Sensibility). Goodbye.
3. I’ve lost many people in the last few years. I miss them. I wish I could see them again, but at least as time goes by my trips down memory lane, while frequent, are less bumpy, the ride is smoother around the edges.
4. When I was young, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, we used to train it to Toronto to see concerts – before train fares and concert tickets skyrocketed. I was a goth/punk girl who didn’t know anything, but I sure had fun learning. My friend (who passed away almost a year ago) and I would hang around places like The Eaton’s Centre, knitting, reading, listening to a giant silver boom box we’d lug around – no cellphones or MP3 players back then. We met loads of cool people, ie. The Ramones, David Bowie, etc. I’m sure the meetings weren’t memorable to them, but for us it was like those voices that made us happy, made us dance came to life. When Bowie walked by we broke into a spontaneous chorus of Rebel, Rebel. This earned us tickets to his show, even backstage (whispered instructions to one of his entourage, of course). If we’d worried about looking silly, we would’ve missed dancing and swaying to the sounds on the stage. We wouldn’t have met lots of fascinating people, famous and never-gonna-be-famous. We wouldn’t have started a music magazine, raised money for those in need, got tons of cool promo stuff…Again, life is not only for the living, it’s to be lived. Take a chance, be brave, be bold, be in the here and now. Memories are fun, but not fuel for life.
5. Speaking of living – The X-Files reboot is only days away. The Truth Is Out There once again, just a,er, tad older…like me. I watched the spooky premiere on September 10, 1993 and never looked back. The only time I remember missing it was the night my son was born (totally, totally worth it). I thought of calling him Fox, but also a major Buffy fan, so…Xander it is.
Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust, we know people we loved and lost are still with us…No Pressure.
Hello, it’s good to be back!
Thanks to all of you for standing by me, supporting me, my blog, and my blogging break.
Against all odds, I’ve tried to keep up with your blogs too, but couldn’t seem to muster the energy or inspiration to write a post myself.
I’ve resolved not to make any resolutions this new year, but to keep exploring this uncharted life of mine.
But here’s what happened when I was gone, sort of….
1. I learned I’m never going to be a proper gym bunny. It seems to involve an excessive amount of hair-flipping, giggling, spandex, and a thong or two where they don’t belong or two.
2. Inconsiderate people keep using my public library to take out books I wish to read. On a brighter note, they’ve increased the hold limit to 60 items!
3. Another plane, another train, but no way to get those Beastie Boys outta of my brain. Every time I see or hear an ad for the movie, Brooklyn voices inside my head sing: “No sleep till Brooklyn!”.
4. If you don’t try you can’t fail, but you can’t succeed either.
5. I miss when stuff didn’t have so many names or labels, when you could just like what you liked. My lovely childhood crushes on Tom Baker, Kirk, and Bobby Darin, ok, that one ended badly when I found out he’d been dead for several years (somewhere beyond the sea, for sure), anyway, all that would now be called ‘fangirling’. Long before Mr. Darcy plunged into that lake and Daryl Dixon picked up a crossbow, I had labels I didn’t know about. Forget labels, just be you, that’s enough.
6. People who say, “I’m not going to say I told you so” are really saying, “I told you so”.
7. I missed blogging! I needed a break, to write my book, catch up on life, which is being dreadfully uncooperative, but I missed this and you, dear readers and I bet you missed all my, er, blogging advice.
8. Imagine, you win millions in the lottery, would you spend it on a vanity project? That’s what Alice (Kristen Wiig) does in Welcome To Me, a weird little film with a big, brilliant cast including: Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, James Marsden, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Alan Tudyk. Full of uncomfortable moments, it had me questioning quite a few things, especially blogging – is blogging just a vanity project, a sort of emotional exhibitionism?
9. While suffering from Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Haven, The Blacklist, Into The Badlands withdrawal, which wasn’t pretty and mostly consisted of me trying not to whine about it, since these are clearly First World Problems, to the extreme, I decided to read more (is that possible?). Why not get caught up on a few of the fascinating ‘And Philosophy…’ series from Open Court? I started with Doctor Who and Philosophy, then Downton Abbey, Homeland, and The Walking Dead. I noticed all these books toil to shatter the myth that TV is simply a vast cultural wasteland. Fighting zombies, taking tea, traveling through time and space, those are hooks to get us to watch and keep watching, it’s really about the interaction between the characters, the choices, the sacrifices, those moments when we see ourselves and feel or learn something. If it can happen in a book, why can’t it happen on TV or in movies? I love these books because like the TARDIS, they’re bigger on the inside, making me feel all esoteric, ideologicalish, and thinky, but without getting that time-consuming philosophy degree. Just the way I like it.
10. I sometimes forget (or wish to forget) what a tricky beast and ruthless, relentless taskmaster Fibromyalgia can be, but I’ll keep trying to keep on keeping on…easier said than done.
Tomorrow we could be alive or dead, but today, my friends, today we are alive, so go out there and live.
Twas the week before Christmas
(almost two till my birthday)…
When all through the blogosphere…
not a blogger was stirring…
ok, some are stirring, but mostly cocktails…
Yet posts were still flying out with hopes that readers might give them a shout!
Christmas isn’t the most wonderful time of the year for bloggers, readers and many bloggers are off prepping for the big day, partying, waiting in line for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and of course, searching for perfect gifts.
Here are some, er, helpful last-minute gift ideas for those hard to buy for folks:
1. O Christmas tree! As a cautionary note, unlike in the movies, apparently it’s ‘frowned upon’, some might even say illegal, to just randomly cut trees down. Who knew?
2. Draw happy faces on all their socks/nylons so they’ll feel happy as they start each day. Or sneak into their house or room and draw a happy face on their wall, or mirror in red lipstick or paint. Wait, is that creepy? Nah, it’ll be a fun surprise.
3. Fix something for them: TV, car, fridge, cellphone, alarm system, computer, appliances, sewing machine, etc. Even if none were broken (but might be after), it’s the thought that counts.
4. Donate to a cause in their name or better yet, start a foundation in their name, I’m sure it won’t affect their taxes…much.
5. Sing them a song, but only if your voice doesn’t resemble fingernails on a chalkboard, mastodons dying in a tar pit, Bridget Jones singing, or my Mom singing (love you, please don’t sing).
6. Indie books. Mass-produced can be good, but a steady diet can leave you feeling flat. Best thing about indie, less cookie cutter, same goes for everything. Like indie author/blogger, A.H. Browne who kindly beamed aliens into my email. As they scurried around my brain, I was laughingly sucked into space to cavort (hey, I can cavort with the best of them) through the Saloon at the Edge of Everywhere. That sounds familiar, did I spend time there in my youth, next to CBGB, right? Book One of The Otherwhere Chronicles made me reluctant to return to Earth, like when you’re at a party, it’s past time to go home, but you think, just a few minutes more. If you’re feeling brave and in need of some fun, visit Arthur at http://pouringmyartout.com/ – don’t say I didn’t warn you! Any indie authors reading this, please add links in the comment box below where your work can be found (heck, it’s Christmas, anyone add links).
And here’s more indie talent (and keep checking the comments for indie author links):
7. Taco ties, socks, and hats. Also available in: lasagna, kung pao, pizza, chocolate, wine, beer, hamburger, and curry flavours. Hungry? Bored? Clothes never tasted so good!
8. Make a sculpture, coat, hat, scarf, or quilt out of your hair and nail clippings – natural, organic, and very, very personal.
9. Lint kittens and puppies. Easy to keep – no walks, no food, soft and cuddly, and simple to house train. Do not expose to water.
10. Honesty – they may not appreciate it at first, but it might be the best gift ever, someday.
So, these aren’t the gifts you’re looking for (except the indie books), in the end, the best gift of all is still…you!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
All the best in 2016!