Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Not The Emperor's New Clothes

You know the story – the emperor, not being the brightest daffodil in the flowerbed, gets swindled into paying out the treasury for super fancy “clothes” that only the most schmancy of individuals can see and thus ends up parading about his kingdom all nudie patootie-like. Until some kid says “But he’s NAKED!”  and then everyone is ashamed. Or something like that.

There should be another story. We’ll call it: The Queen’s New Clothes.  And it would be about a woman who reigns over a kingdom and who treasures her advisors so that, when they cast her in a roll that is comfortable for them and hand her the robes of that roll, she puts them on. No matter who it is or what the clothes look like. Until she’s wearing so many clothes that she can’t even move and none of them really look like her. They’re not cozy or soft – they’re itchy and scratchy and she’d like very much not to be wearing 1000 pounds of clothing, if that’s okay with everyone.

So she casts them off, one by one. The disrobing makes people uncomfortable and angry, because it indicates that this particular royal highness is no longer going to be defined by their wishes. She might not be playing the role they want her to play – she’s certainly no longer dressing the part. Some of the advisors will leave, infuriated and disappointed, because they no longer have the image that they wished to have before them. Some will turn away in shame as she strips down, afraid of what they will see at the end.

But when she is dressed as she WISHES to dress, as she becomes who she wants to be, as she shows who she is and no longer tries to be the person everyone else wanted to mold her into, she becomes more lovely. Sure, some people walked away from her. But the ones who stayed show themselves truly worthy of trust and affection and now, comfortable and at peace, she can rule her kingdom well.

Just as she is. Just WHO she is. Unafraid to be as simple or as complicated as she wants, unfettered by the roles and costumes that don’t work for her.

All hail the Queen.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Show Me Where Your Noms At

People. It's a Tuesday and I've got NOTHING. My brain. It is not awake at ALL. And the parts that are awake are all like "what? Cleverness? I don't think so."

And so I give you one of the things I turn to when I'm in a funk. This:

(Video not working? Go here: )
Because I'm here for YOU!!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Make a Difference Monday: National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month in the US.

Nutrition … and access to healthy food … is one of those things that shouldn’t be elitist, but it is. It’s cheaper to buy and eat unhealthy food than it is to eat fresh, healthy food, so the economically disadvantaged or struggling are less likely to be able to purchase food items things that are healthy.

I know that it’s easy for pundits and and talking heads to scoff at the above statement, but then, they’re not usually living at or below the poverty line. Yes, I KNOW that it’s just as easy to buy apples as it is to buy ramen noodles – but you can make a meal out of ramen noodles. You can’t make a meal out of an apple.

I’d also like to point out that if it comes to eating healthy food OR keeping a roof over your head (or keeping the heat turned on, or keeping the electricity turned on, or keeping the car from being repossessed)? Most people – and logically so – are going to choose the unhealthy option if it means being able to stretch a buck.

But it makes me sad that people have to choose.

And it makes me sadder that 1 in 6 Americans are going hungry.

If you want to know more about hunger in America, and how you can help, you can go here:

If you’re interested in helping families develop better relationships with healthy foods and cooking, you can go here:

And if you’re just interested in National Nutrition Month, you can go here:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Rash Decisions

Two posts about a rash seem … I don’t know. Weird.

But you get what you get.

So, yeah. I went to the doc and he was like, “Wow, that’s like the worst sunburn ever oh wait that’s not a sunburn!” and I was like “I know, right? It’s totally a rash,” and then HE was like “It IS a rash! What were you exposed to?” and I said, “LIFE” and he was like, “Oh my God, you’re completely allergic to LIFE.”

Or something kind of like that. In my head, that’s how it went.

It really went more like this: there was poking and prodding and examining of the skin on my face with a magnifying glass (and maybe I’ve been watching too much CSI lately, but it felt very crime scene-y) and finally, I was determined to be having an allergic reaction.

Unfortunately, no one knows the SOURCE of the reaction.  (I still think it could be life.  Oh, or I know! ONLINE DATING!)

So here’s what I’ve got. Lotions and potions and an antihistamine. The latter came with a caveat: “This SHOULDN’T make you drowsy.”

And it kind of doesn’t.

But it makes me … loopy. I mean, loopier than usual. I mean, I experience random moments of complete body disassociation, where it feels as though my head is now an object floating in space, totally unconnected to the rest of my person. Like right now, as I’m watching my fingers move across the keyboard like they are SO FASCINATING OMG but also? Like they’re not even MY fingers.

It’s weird. It’s interesting.

And the rash is going away. So apparently I won’t have to move into a plastic life repellent bubble.

Or not yet anyway.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Facing The Day

Stumble out of bed at 5:00 AM. Wander into bathroom. Turn on light. Look in mirror.

Gasp in horror. Rub eyes and step closer to mirror.

Normally this would be when my first thought it “What is my hair DOING? It’s all defying gravity and stuff! That is some scary assed hair!”

However. That is not what happened today.

Today, the gasp of horror was so – well, horrified – that I then whispered out loud, to the no one there, “Where did I go?”

Lest you be thinking I discovered that I was invisible (and right about now, that would be AWESOME), I have not become one of the non-sparkly undead and still actually show up in mirrors. Even though – right now? That’s not handy.

No, I was still there. Or someone who has my bad morning hair and my eyes was still there. The rest of my face, however, was … obscured.

By a bumpy, red, itchy rash. Which looked as though it not only had plans to stay for a bit, but which ALSO looked like it might try a neck takeover next. I could practically hear it plotting its strategy for a hostile takeover. “The eyelids look like a good location! And over by the ears – we need that for … well, because! GET THE EARS!”

Here’s the thing about having a horrible rash on your face: suddenly, your non-rash face seems perfect. You realize how much time you spent thinking you should look better, thinking that if only you looked like that instead of this, not appreciating how unique and fabulous you are, and now you wish you could just have that face back.

I wish I could have MY face back. My non itchy face. My non red face. And hopefully I will.

And hopefully when I do, I will appreciate it a little bit more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You? Doesn't Kill You.

Warning: This post contains slight carnage. And nudity. Sort of.

I love my apartment, but the bathroom? Is storage deficient. I know I’m mildy spoiled because my previous apartments all had linen closets in the bathrooms, so I never realized the utter chafe-i-ness of not having a bathroom closet where your things could hang out and be easily accessed RIGHT IN the place where they would be utilized.

Fortunately, we live in a world where these sort of imaginary problems (oh, no place for your towels how TRAGIC) have been considered and solved in a highly decorative fashion. I bought a shelf that lived in the corner of the tub/shower combo. Some sort of brushed nickel deal, with baskets for things like bubble bath and shampoos and whatnot. Handy. Decorative. Awesome.

Until the day it tried to kill me. Which I am TOTALLY sharing with you as a public service announcement. Because you need to be aware that there are MANY things in your bathroom that are plotting against you when you’re at your most relaxed and vulnerable. (I’m here for you, y’all.)

So I’m doing a workout program that is super hard and also makes me sweat like a farm animal (yes, I know, science people: animals don’t sweat. Focus on the right part of the story) and after completing one such workout my first thought was: Look at me! I’M SO HEALTHY YAY!

And my second thought was: I would face down a legion of flesh eating zombies while armed with only a toothbrush for a glass of wine right now.

Alas, I did not have any wine. But I did have Diet Coke. So I poured some Diet Coke into a wine glass because I’m FANCY like that, and thought: Now for a bath. Because bubble bath and delicious beverage in fancy stemware equals a win, people. Especially after a righteous workout.

So. Wine glass of Coke. Bubble bath. Me. Life, I thought, it does not suck. The bubbles were fragrant. The water was hot and steamy. The Diet Coke was refreshing. Aaaaaaaaaah, I thought.

That was pretty much when I heard the weird noise. I set the wine glass down on the edge of the tub and sat up to investigate. What was that? It was … grindey. And ominous. I listened. I didn’t hear it again. I began to relax back when there it was again. Grinding.

“What the –“ was as far as I got, stated to the cat who was staring at me from the other room, when the shelf’s suspension rod decided to slide across the ceiling, bringing it crashing down onto my head.

For a moment, all was noise and confusion and OUCH and splashiness as everything that had been ON the shelf now found itself bobbing or sinking into the bubbly bath wather.

“Owwwww,” I thought, followed by “No big. I’ll just stand up and OH HELL WINE GLASS.”

Because had my wine glass been broken by the falling and now being supported primarily by my noggin shelf? Oh yes it had.

And where was the majority of the glass? IN THE TUB.

And could I SEE the glass? NOT THROUGH THE BUBBLES.

The shelf, having failed in its efforts to brain me, seemed to chortle malevolently. I said, with the shelf still leaning heavily against my head, “I need to think.”

Crisis Assessment:

1. There is a shelf on my head. Is my head bleeding? No. Okay, that’s good.
2. There are many bottles and containers in the tub.
3. I am naked in the tub. Also, my leg is bleeding. Situation. Can’t tell how bad.
4. I don’t dare to move because there are chunks of glass in here.
5. When I find a way to get out of this predicament? THIS SHELF IS GOING INTO THE DUMPSTER.
6. This is NOT how I want to get famous, as some sort of “1,000 Ways to Die” sketch!

Obviously, I survived. Because I’m a SURVIVOR Y’all. Well, that and I thought: What if I drain the tub? I think I can reach the lever without risking any tendons or arteries and it was true – I could.

Drained tub. Sat and pitched out anything that had been ON the shelf so it would be on the floor and out of the way. Then carefully, and with minimal moving, picked out the crazy jagged oh my god if I had stepped on that I’d be screwed chunks of glass out of the tub. THEN I checked the bathmat for glass because saving myself from the concept of horrible in-tub carnage would have been pointless if I had promptly then stepped on a chunk o’glass -- like running away from the serial killer in the woods and taking refuge in a deserted basement, there are things smart girls just shouldn’t do.

Anyway. No stiches required. Bathroom cleaned up, bathmat replaced, shelf pitched, bathroom completely re-organized, relaxation mode completely switched to killer adrenaline mode.

But I learned something, people. And since I’m a giver, I want to share the lesson with you:

 If you’re going to drink in the bath? PLASTIC GLASSES.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Make A Difference Monday:

It's easy to complain about education and schools, if you don't know how much public schools struggle. Because they do. They are underfunded, underresourced, and frankly, underappreciated.

It's easy to complain.

It's also easy to help.

Friday, February 17, 2012


So as you know (or not, depending on how long you’ve been reading) I had some Stormtroopers who used to live upstairs.

They were loud and stompy folk.

The Stormtroopers had cats. Cats who, I should have mentioned, were ALSO Stormtroopers. And who were kind of zoomy. As in, they would go tearing across their floor/my ceiling in random, speedy, and thumptastic fashion.

My cat LOVED the Stormtroopers AND their cats. She’s … simple … and the noises coming from overhead fascinated her. When the cats went on one of their zoom cycles, she would stare at the ceiling in wonder and amazement. (Of course, to be fair, she sometimes stares at the WALL in wonder and amazement for 15 minute stretches, but whatever.)

I did not love the Stormtroopers, though I will admit that I had a soft spot for the loony, zoomy cats. I did not love the Stormtrooper tendency to be stomping about at 2 am – from the kitchen to the living room and back. (I suspect one of them was a heavy footed, pacing insomniac). I did not love their interior decorating bent, which caused them to rearrange furniture weekly. I did not love their going outside every two hours to have phone calls on the balcony.

I was happy to see the Stormtroopers leave.


In the absence of Stormtroopers upstairs, there is quiet.

And in the quiet, other things are revealed.

Things that the Stormtroopers made me blissfully unaware of.


He snores.

I should mention here that I’m not a light sleeper. For instance, my car is usually parked below my bedroom windows. When said car was broken into? I NEVER HEARD THE ALARM. So when I tell you that the Stormtroopers would wake me out of a dead sleep? It should give you an indication of the level of Whoa, Nelly, that’s LOUD that was going on up there.

And when I tell you that downstairs neighbor guy’s snoring woke me up – again, out of a dead sleep – it should give you an indication of the craziness of the snoring.

Now, I will say this: I’ve lived with people who snore. I’ve lived with people who snore LOUDLY. I myself occasionally snore, albeit in the delicate and ladylike fashion with which I do all things*.

However, this? This is MAD snoring. It makes me think there must be some kind of medical condition associated with it, that’s how bad it is. This guy is like a superhero who has sonic snoring as his power.

And the worst thing? Is that once I start hearing it, I can’t UNHEAR it. I turn on my white noise machine and under the sounds of a gently babbling brook, I hear:

“Scnnhhhuurk!” babble babble splash tweet babble “Scnnhhhuurk!”

Choosing to live with a snorer is one thing. You accept the snoring. The snoring is part of the person with whom you've decided to make a life. Having a snorer for a neighbor is an arbitrary and kind of evil thing. I didn’t check the “wake me up with all your snores-o” box on my lease.

I am trying to love my neighbor.

And I never thought I’d say this, but I miss my Stormtroopers.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Somebody I Used to Know

First, I love this song.  Love.

Did you watch it? Good, right? (And yes, he's adorable.)

But now ... oh now ... the PARODY. Which you should ALSO watch:

Sometimes, you just need to laugh on a Thursday, you know?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Up With Chris Hayes

It's not often that flipping through the channels stops me in my tracks. But MSNBC has managed it.

I was surfing when I came upon MSNBC's Up awith Chris Hayes.

My father's father was named Chris Hayes.

That's one of the things I know about him. Here are some others:

His birthday was on Christmas, two days before mine.

He was a sailor, I think, but I don't know if he was Coast Guard or Navy.

He died of lung cancer when I was 15.

He lived across the street from my maternal grandparents.

And he did not care about or love me or my sister.

You might be wondering how I can make the last statement. It's pretty easy, actually. He lived across the street from my Nana and Grampa, but I met him only twice. I don't really recall the first time; it was Christmas and my dad took my sister and I across the street. I remember being shy and scared and hiding, so I wouldn't have to go. I also remember a vague impression of the inside of the house as dark, but I don't remember Chris Hayes.

The second time I met him was the summer before he died. I was 15, and angry. That this man - this man who could have known me my whole life, who could have been a grandparent and instead chose to be a stranger -- now that he was terminal, he wanted to say hi. It occurs to me now that he still wasn't terribly interested in me or my sister, but perhaps wanted to make some peace with my dad. I don't know if he did.

I sometimes wonder what Chris Hayes would think of me, if he had chosen to know me. If he wouldhave thought I am funny. If he would like my writing, if he would have been proud of me. I don't wonder these things about my maternal grandfather; he was proud of me and loved me every day of my life. But I wonder what Chris Hayes would have thought, or if indeed he ever thought of my sister and I at all, if he ever saw two little girls playing in my Nana's yard and had a moment of regret.

I can look MSNBC's Chris Hayes up online and know his history. I can watch his show and hear his voice and find out what he thinks.

My own Chris Hayes, however, remains an elusive mystery, one I can never solve.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Obligatory Valentine's Day Post, blah blah blah

So I was/am sick, which is a total drag and which is why I didn’t post yesterday. However, am I going to let a little stomach virus keep me from putting up a Valentine’s Day post?

Negative, Ghostrider.

However, due to sickness and exhaustion (I used to laugh in disbelief when someone would announce that s/he was being treated for exhaustion. Now I think … yeah, I get that) I have only this to offer you – my favorite love poem EVER.

(Yeah, it’s sad. But it’s BEAUTIFUL.)

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all.

Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines)  -- Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, 'The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Filling The World With Silly Love Songs

Maybe you’re a person who totally mocks schmaltzy, goofy, "omgpookiewookumslistenit’sOURSONG” kind of music.

I need to out myself right now: I am NOT one of those people.

Okay, there are a few songs that immediately make me feel like I need to barf, but they’re generally not love songs, per say. For example, “Butterfly Kisses” played at a wedding makes me want to run screaming from the dancefloor, razor blade in hand and a therapist on speed dial.  But other than that – hey, what can I tell you? Who doesn’t love love?

I love love.

So I made a Valentine’s Day playlist. FOR MYSELF. Because – well, no one else is going to do it. And this girl wants to hear some silly love songs!

Now you might be thinking, doesn’t listening to these songs DEPRESS you, Single Person?


Here’s why: I know that I’m single by choice.
First: I don’t enjoy the term “girlfriend” because at my age? Seriously. 

Second:  I don’t have the time to be in a relationship right now. My job is kind of all consuming, what with the constant stress and ridiculously long hours and ulcer inducement.  Healthy? Not really. Realistic? Yes. Would it be fair for me to be dating? No. Did I try it anyway? Yes. Did that end badly? Kinda. (Translation: Yes.  And mostly my fault. I’ll own it.)

Third: Just because I’m not in looooooove right now? Doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate some love songs.  A lot. Because, hey, fun.

If I’ve said that I loathe Valentine’s Day – and sometimes I do – it’s not because I’m in a relationship or not in one:  it’s because it’s artificial and I think it causes people to express their love because they feel like they’re supposed to and not because they genuinely want to… I don’t want someone to buy me flowers or whatever because Hallmark says they should. I want someone to buy me flowers because it’s a random Tuesday and they lurrrrve me.  Way more awesome.

And not in the cards, I think.

Having said that? It’s still nice to feel a little love on the Valentine’s Day. (I KNOW, I just contradicted myself. Life. It’s complicated.)

So, I made myself a playlist of songs that I think of as love songs (and no, they’re not all happy. Because sometimes love isn’t. Deal) for my own Valentine’s Day enjoyment. FYI – I KNOW that some of you think that some of these bands are BEYOND bad. Which, fine. When I make YOU a playlist, I’ll leave them off. Okay? No need to hate on the ONE thing I’m enjoying for V-Day this year.

And here is sampling of the songs (there are 36 (because I’m 36! Fun!)… I’m not listing them all because that would be ridiculous.)

Ben Folds “The Luckiest”

Biffy Clyro “Many of Horror”

Dave Matthews Band “My Baby Blue”

Mark Cohn “Perfect Love”

Neil Diamond “Forever in Blue Jeans”

Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes”

The Killers “A Dustland Fairytale”

Christina Perri “Arms”

Atomic Tom “Take Me Out”

Foo Fighters “Everlong”

Pink “Glitter in the Air”

REM “Nightswimming”

Sinead O’Connor “Angel”

Queen “These Are the Days of Our Lives”

30 Seconds to Mars “The Kill”

Here’s to love. And playlists. And lovesongs.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Is It Getting Hot in Here?

My best friend has a term for when I get a little (erm, sometimes a lot) riled up:

“You’re being SPICY today” she says.

For the record? I LOVE THIS.

My favourite foods are spicy.

My favourite colours are spicy: red, orange, and yellow.

My hair? A spicy red (well, at the moment, anyway)

My favourite drink? Hot and dirty martinis. SPICY!

My temperament?


I was always kind of spicy. Passionate. Willing to speak up. And then for a while? Totes bland. The dry toast of personalities. Opinion? Why yes, I have one, but I’ll keep that to myself, thanks. Views? Oh no, not me. I’ll just listen to what you say. Oh, did you want to talk right over me or insult me? Very well. I’ll just pretend I don’t care.

While I fully believe that we all owe it to each other to be polite and respectful, I DON’T think that it does anyone any good to sit in silence.   To take what’s being doled out without questioning it. To be passive when action is required.

So sometimes, a girl has to get a little… spicy.

And if you can’t take the heat? Well, you know what to do.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bullies In The Sandbox

I recently received one of the best compliments ever.  I was having – not a debate, exactly, but a marked difference of opinion with someone, and she said this:  You however always express yourself well and kindly.  Thank you for that.”

I want to make a point here that I know that not everyone shares my political views. Or religious views. Not everyone has my background or knows my story or shares my motivations or is active in the causes I’m active in.

That’s all right. The world does not need to be filled with copies of me. (Can you imagine? The HORROR.)

What is NOT all right – and what I see more and more as the political campaigns drag out and on – is to be a bully.  A blowhard.  An aggressive, mean, lowest common denominator name calling aggressor. The kind of person you wouldn’t want your kids to play with or be exposed to for fear that they would begin emulating that behaviour – except, of course, that they ARE exposed to them. Every time you turn on the tv.

I’m frustrated. 

And a little bit angry.

Because I believe in telling at risk kids that it gets better. But I’m worried that we have a culture of bullies. I’m worried that we as a nation seem to prize, celebrate, and in some ways value bad behaviour. I’m worried that we don’t know how to be civil, polite, respectful.

It concerns me that I got a compliment for the fact that I can engage in a difference of opinion with someone without being angry and overbearing, as though my acceptance of her views – though it’s clear that I don’t agree with them – is something remarkable.

It shouldn’t be remarkable.

It should be “having a conversation.”

It should be “We’re not five years old and we don’t need to resort to yelling and insults and tantrums.”

I feel both alarmed and ashamed that I have come to realize the actions of, say, a Westboro Baptist Church? Are closer to the nature of our political discourse (if not our NATIONAL level of discourse) than I am comfortable with.  And I am concerned that this is what we’re becoming: a nation of shouters. A nation of name callers.

A nation of bullies.

And if you tell me, no, I’m wrong, I’d ask you again: Look at the ads our politicians run. Look at the way they speak to and about each other.  Look at the way we often speak about them.

It gets better? When?

Here’s when.

It gets better when we as a people decide that freedom of speech does not mean “The freedom to see who can shout the most damaging and demeaning things the most loudly.”

It gets better when we begin turning our backs on politicians and pundits who resort to insults and name calling as a way to elevate their own views.

It gets better when we look at ourselves, the ways in which we speak and the things that we say, and recognize that being respectful and kind to all people – even if their views are the opposite of our own, even if we disagree with everything they say – is more important than being right. Because the truth is that someone who is vehemently opposed to what you believe will NOT be convinced by your shouting and abusive posturing that you are correct and they are wrong. In fact, it will reinforce everything they think they know about you.

And if you are in a debate and it starts to go downhill? Respectfully decline to continue. I have found “I’m sorry, but we seem to disagree and I’m uncomfortable with how angry you’re getting” diffuses the situation a lot better than seeing who has the greater capacity for volume.

“You express your views well and kindly” is a wonderful compliment.

We should all be deserving of it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Say Goodbye

As an adult, one realizes that relationships end. Long term or short term, the reality is that all kinds of relationships -- romantic, platonic, and sometimes even familial -- can come to a natural close.

When I was younger, and a relationship ended, I focused on my own frustration. Why wasn't this person who I had thought s/he was? Why did s/he fail me? But as an older, wiser person, I realize: a failed relationship? Is never that one sided. There are two people, bewildered and betrayed, wondering: who is this other person? How did I so misunderstand who they are? How did this person become someone I don't recognize?

It's always easy to blame someone else: she changed. He isn't the same. But doing that is unrealistic, because the truth of the matter is that we all grow and change. So sometimes, people grow apart. Sometimes, people need to reveal themselves in a new way. Sometimes, a partner stops tolerating what used to be tolerable.

The trick? Letting it be okay. Not casting about for who to blame, but accepting that this is how we evolve. Realizing that this is how we learn to love, by making mistakes and changing and growing and facing our own less than spectacular experiences.

I have come to realize that letting go -- and being released -- can be an act of kindness, even when it doesn't feel like one. And that harbouring ongoing resentment over a failed relationship is not only an act of futility, but ultimately, also self negating. It's more important to remember what was lovely than it is to dwell on what wasn't; it's better to live in a memory palace of love than it is to dwell in the bitter barn.

Because, ultimately, how a relationship ends, and what you take from that ending, belongs to you. The lesson is yours. I think I have finally learned how to make it a good one.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Make A Difference Monday: Some Words About Giving

Lately, I’ve noticed that there are two kinds of givers.  I call them the YouGiver and the MeGiver.

The YouGiver  is the kind of person who gives you a gift because she is certain that you will enjoy it, because she has been listening to you talk about something you need or want, and because it’s for YOU. The YouGiver is all about you. All the YouGiver wants is a thank you – and then? She never wants to talk about it again. She won’t ask you if you love the gift, she won’t ask you if you are using the gift, if you wear the gift, she won’t mention in front of other people “Oh, I GAVE that to you!” – in short, she’s pretty much not going talk about it ever again. For the YouGiver, the pleasure in the gift exists with the recipient – making the recipient happy. That’s it. That’s the point.

The MeGiver, on the other hand, takes her pleasure in the act of giving. It’s not about the recipient at all – the recipient is incidental. The MeGiver loves to give things because she likes to demonstrate that she is generous and thoughtful. If a MeGiver gives you a sweater, and should be with you when someone compliments you on said sweater, the MeGiver is very happy to announce “I bought that for her.” A MeGiver will definitely bring up a gift in conversation regularly. 

A YouGiver is sensitive to what people need. A YouGiver, for example, might offer to throw you a birthday party… but if you say, “I love that you thought of that, but I really feel like spending my birthday chilling out with a bottle of wine and a movie this year – do you want to come over and hang out?” The YouGiver will be happy to bring the wine and maybe cupcakes for a low key event.

Given the same scenario, a MeGiver will not be happy. A MeGiver will argue with you, because she thinks you should WANT a party – because she wants to throw you one. A MeGiver will be angry that you are denying her the opportunity to do something for you. A MeGiver will grouse and grump. Because, again, it’s not as much about you as it is about her. 

There are a million ways we can all make a difference in the world, and there are countless types of giving.  I would ask, though, that as you consider giving – of your time, of your money, of your talents –  what kind of giver you are. Because, to be honest,  giving is rarely about glory or honour. That’s not the point. The point is setting yourself aside, putting your ego down, and rolling up your sleeves to make a difference, big or small – because that’s You, Giving.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekly Wrap Up

*The Stormtroopers. Moved out. Booo yah.

*Taxes. Done.

*So, I was kind of seeing someone. Now I’m not.  Unexpected.

*Hey, remember when my windshield got smashed? Here’s a story about the one-shoed wonder who did it:

*I’m working on the “wow, I’m a huge stress ball” aspect of my life. You know what helps? Bath bombs. With glitter in them. Ooooooh shiney.
*You know what else helps? This (it takes a few moments to load up, be patient. It's worth it -- but if you're lacking patience, you can go here:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Puppies and Hedgehogs and Analogies, Oh My!

Some people are naturally cuddly. Like puppies. Everyone loves a puppy.  They’re sweet and warm and friendly and adorable.

Some of us are NOT naturally cuddly.

Some of us are more like … hedgehogs. Hedgies are super cute, but they are not, shall we say, friendly. They’re a little more… spikey. They need to be handled with caution. They’re ready to be on the defensive at any moment.

I know there are people out there who LOVE hedgehogs and have them as pets.  But I would like to say that the number of people who adore hedgehogs is significantly smaller than the number of people who get puppies, perhaps because the way a puppy returns affection is more comfortable than the way a hedgehog does.

Which is okay. Because a hedgehog does not want or need to be a puppy.  A hedgehog wants very basic things – a place to hide and sleep, some food, the occasional playtime – and then, for the most part, would like to be left alone. Obviously, a puppy is a bit higher maintenance – but again, the return of doggie snuggles and adoring licks of the face is a bit higher than what you’ll get from a hedgehog.

Again, that’s okay.  We should all agree that there is room for both. But we should also agree that if you WANT a puppy? Don’t get a hedgehog.

And in terms of human relationships? If you want someone you can take care of, who will depend on you, who doesn’t need a lot of personal space and who is not fiercely independent to the point of ridiculousness? Don’t find a human hedgehog. It won’t make either of you happy.

Trust me on this one.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Last night I had a dream that I had moved to Costa Rica and was running some sort of crazy writer's commune-y thing. And also, dating Eddie Izzard. Who lived there solely for the purpose of making me laugh.

None of it sucked.

Apparently, I need a vacation.

The thing about needing a vacation, though, is that generally? The time when you most need one is the time when you absolutely can't have one. I don't know what's up with this whole formula, but it has to go.

Until then? Eddie and I will be in Costa Rica. At least, in my imagination.