12.21.2012

Holy cow, it`s almost Christmas!

The snow is softly falling out there - it`s starting to cover the earth in a beautiful blanket of white.

There are Christmas carols playing around me.

There is a feeling of excitement in the air.

 I`m feeling FESTIVE, guys!

I'm trying to post as many of these as I can before Christmas! I've bee busy!

Although Halloween is my favourite holiday (I have 5 huge rubbermaid containers full of Halloween stuff, and half of one for Christmas), Christmas is still a super exciting time of year for me, and especially because I have so many fantastic memories of Christmas. Like when theGuy proposed.

I don't know what it is about Christmas, but it's always been such a magical time of year for me, and totally continues to be, even as I grow older!

There's something special about surprises, pretty paper, sparkling ornaments, Chrismas carols, and pretty trees. Don`t you just feel warm and fuzzy? I'm a kid at heart!

Also - theGuy and I get to have our first Christmas morning alone together, and I'm so excited, that I just can't hide it. Sleeping in on Christmas morning? I don't think I've EVER done that. It's magical!

My Christmas mornings as a kid were pretty exciting, and somewhat orderly, for the first few minutes. We would wake up so excited, and wait until 8am to go and go get my dad, who was a light sleeper. Dad would put the kettle on - we couldn't get started on Christmas morning until mom had a cup of tea. She would come downstairs in her housecoat, and we would try not to rush her. Try, being the key word, here. There were 5 very excited children to contend with.

The Christmas room was always set up in a room in the house that meant we wouldn't see everything when we got up. Dad would have us line up from youngest to oldest, and he'd go into the room with the camera.

While in there, we would wait eagerly at the door, excited with anticipation for what lied beyond it.

"Oh, wow, Patti!" Dad would say, from inside the room, "You're going to love this."

"Oh Turbo!" he would exclaim, "I might have to keep this for myself."

Our excitement would grow as he made these exclamations, and we'd beg for mom to finish her tea.

Finally, the time would arrive to enter the paradise of Christmas. Santa always left one gift unwrapped, so we would immediately see a surprise for each of us. We'd each get our own spot - our stockings would be set up with the unwrapped Santa gift, and usually one wrapped one, as well. We were allowed to dive into our stockings, and I think you could hear us two towns over. There was a lot of screaming with glee. We all would take turns opening, savouring the experience (and with 7 people, that meant it often took hours to open gifts). We would eat candy for breakfast, and it was the time of our lives.

Now, Christmases are a lot more quiet. TheGuy and I are kind of ridiculous, though, and we have our own traditions. After looking at the lights (the Christmas lights) on Christmas Eve, we leave Coca-Cola and cookies out for Santa, and crawl into bed. Something sneaky happens around that time, because every Christmas morning, when I wake up (first), and go downstairs, the cookies have been eaten and the coke has been enjoyed. I stealthily set up theGuy's stocking and make a tea, which I enjoy by myself on our porch bench. There's something about Christmas morning, when the streets are quiet and everything seems to peaceful. I love that moment - it's a moment of calm amongst a whirlwind of activities.

Then I go upstairs and jump on theGuy as he's sleeping and yell "SANTA CAME! SANTA CAME", over and over, and I'm sure he loves it.

What are your Christmas traditions?

I hope your Christmas is Merry and awesome!

12.20.2012

Am I insane?

Hello lovely readers! It's Thursday!! Which means it's almost Friday, which means it's almost time for Christmas break!
STILL INSPIRED! YAYAY!

I get 11 days off this year, and I will try to blog, but it may not happen, and you'll probably be all busy with Christmas and all that jazz anyway, so as if you'll even notice!

Um.. I drank a little too much caffeine today, so I wrote a super long post but it was basically gibberish and me talking about dentist appointments and chiropractor appointments, and then I re-read it and found it extremely boring, so I deleted it to save you from the whirring of my brain. My gift to you!

Speaking of chiropractors (here we go again - sorry! I tried to save it but the caffeine is hindering my impulsiveness), is anyone else out there like, hyper sensitive and self-conscious of themselves when going to the chiropractor? I mean, I'm hyper sensitive at the dentist, at the doctor, but man... the things I think of before I go to the chiropractor - I may be clinically insane.

Since my problem area is my hip, it means my chiropractor has to get all up in my trunk. Like, he's pretty much face-down in my butt. That may be a slight exaggeration, but.. there really isn't a polite way to describe the friendship that he and my butt have developed. And he practices active release, so he uses my leg, holding my foot against his leg, to apply pressure. All of this means that I'm super nervous.

Will I toot in his face?

What if I have to pee?

In the summer: are my feet clean, pretty smelling and smooth?
In the winter: are my feet too cold? Do my socks match? Do they smell bad? Are they sweaty?

Are my pants flexible enough? But will they stay up when he bends me in all weird positions so I don't accidentally moon him and then toot in his face?

Does my butt smell like roses?

And I'm not sure why I'm so concerned about tooting, really, since girls don't do that. And of course my butt smells like roses. Or maybe cookies, even. Yum, yum, that's my bum!



Oh my god, I hope he doesn't google search me and read this because that would be horrible. Hi, Dr. Colin! I'm really just looking out for your best interests! I'm kinda nice like that! Thanks for keeping me nimble!

So.. my question for you is this: do you have insanely neurotic worries and concerns when going to the chiropractor? Or doctor? Or dentist? I'd love to hear them. I'm not crazy, am I? Should I be adding a visit to the psychiatrist to my list of appointments?

12.19.2012

Barfarama

I'm still waiting for the snow.

I think you can really tell that I'm really hoping it comes, because I posted my "Let it Snow" doodle, twice. Oops!

And now, it's time for a Christmas story. With barf.

I'm famous. I'm not sure if you knew that, but I totally am. I'm famous - an actress and singer. Bet you didn't know that!

I'm famous because, at the young age of ten, I was given the most lines in our family's church Christmas Pageants, as the Angel of the Lord.

A very exciting role! Though all of us wanted the coveted role of Mary (my reason was that the costume for Mary had a bit of a bustier in the front, and I so badly wanted something to 'boost' up - my "I must, I must, I must increase my bust" exercises hadn't started to work yet), the role of the Angel of the Lord was super exciting because it meant that you got to wear the fanciest angel costume, and you got to stand on top of the organ to recite your lines.

I loved being the center of attention (hey, I was the second oldest in a family of five).  I knew all the boys would be watching (I loooooved boys), and my parents would shine with pride. I'd master my lines and be scouted by a movie producer, who would take me to Hollywood. There, I would grow boobs and meet Andrew Keegan, and live happily ever after.

The night of my debut, I was giddy and excited. We had breakfast for dinner, and the only thing I could get down was a large amount of hash brown patties.

I was feeling a little queasy as we gathered in the church basement, getting ready, and going over our lines. The clock ticked by, and before I knew it, it was time to go on.

And I hid in the bathroom, and threw up.

It was curtain call - everyone was looking for me. Where could Patti be?

I was in the bathroom, revisiting my hash brown patties.

Finally, my older sister found me. She helped clean me up, and ran upstairs with me, right in time for me to take the stage... on top of the organ.

My lines that night were delivered in a squeaky, high pitched, wavering voice, as I fought off the urge to throw up on the angels and shephards below me. And I forgot my lines.

How that was possible, when I studied them so much? I still remember them to this day:

"Do not fear, for behold. I bring good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For onto you is born this day, a saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign onto you. Ye will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

My sister had to prompt me. And so ended my career in the theater.

To be fair, however, I get it honestly. I think it's a genetic trait. Besides the Babester, who played the lead role in her highschool as many times as was humanly possible, and Dan Dan the Diving Man, we were all prone to pukage. Her twin, Turbo, threw up all over his principal's shoes at his grade 3 elementary school Christmas pageant (I guess pageants are not really good for us Adairs).

But the best story at all centers around my older sister, Did. The one who prompted me and helped clean me up. Aren't you happy I'm sharing this story, Did?

It was April, and we were.. oh, I don't know - it may have been Did's 11th birthday? Our church hosted a fundraising variety show, and man - it was fun times! They even had blacklights for special badass puppetry.

Anyway, Did was cast as the star role, with a solo, to "five little monkeys jumping on the bed." We were all so excited for her, and the variety show took place over her birthday weekend, so we decided to bring all of her guests to the variety show. That way, her closest friends and family would be there to see her take the stage. In her pajamas. Awesome.

We all lined up in front row seats. We were so excited! I was hanging out with the older girls, so that was fun for me.

When Diddy came out on stage, her face looked weird. I thought she looked green. You can read Did's mood like a book because she shows it on her face, and she was NOT happy. I debated on pushing her offstage and taking her part (middle child syndrome), but my mom told me it was Christa's time to shine.

"Five little monkeys, jumping on the bed," the five children sang, each one jumping off stage at the "one fell off and bumped his head" part of the song. At the end of the sign, Did's job was to sing "I've got the whole mattress, to myself," and she almost made it through, except "to myself" became "to my........ PUKE." She didn't sing 'puke', but that's what she did, right on stage, in front of the black lights (it was glowing), at the feet of all of her friends and family. Although I felt horrible for my sister, it was kind of marvelous. Especially when she went home and straight to bed, and I got to play with all her friends.

I think all of this explains my aversion to churches. They're barfaramas waiting to happen. Three out of five children have been sick to their stomachs when attempting to perform in a religious setting. 

Coincidence? I think not.



12.18.2012

A public service announcement about food courts

I think it's important that I share this story with you because right now a lot of you are hitting the malls, shopping until you drop, and it is a dangerous place out there, you have no idea.

Picture this: It's 1997 in the local shopping mall. I'm innocently out, shopping with my friends. We had lots of stores to hit, our tummy's were rumbling, and there was a huge line-up in the drug store I needed to go into.

"I'll meet you at the foodcourt," I said to my friends, "and we can get some A&W".

I made my way to the drugstore.

And waited in line for about an hour.

At this point, I was sure I was going to die. I was extremely famished, absolutely parched, and overheating after standing in line with my winter jacket on, next to people with questionable personal hygiene.

Upon the completion of my purchase, I made my way to the foodcourt.

I found my friends, and sat at their table with a dramatic thud.

"Oh my GAWD," I said, "that was a crazy line up, and I'm so totally dying of dehydration." I saw their A&W cup on the table, and rudely grabbed it, taking a long, exaggerated drink to prove my point.

As I gulped down the syrupy goodness, my friends looked at me in horror. They must've thought I was so rude, enthusiastically polishing off their drink without even asking, but I was thirsty.

Delicious Root Beer.
 "Sorry," I said, gulping for air. "I was just sooooooo thirsty. I'll buy you a new one."

My friends looked at each other with disgusted looks on their faces.

"Patti," one said, sadly, "that drink was here when we sat down. It wasn't ours."

I drank random mystery A&W rootbeer footcourt WASTE, and down to the last drop.

Yeah. That happened.

I thought I should share my story with you, because that was an experience that still turns my stomach, and it'd be nice of me to ensure that you, dear reader, never have to share that fate. Consider it my gift to you. Merry Christmas.

Incidentally, I have not had A&W rootbeer, since.

12.17.2012

Service with a smile

I was born and bred to be in customer service.

Seriously, I was. I was hard at work in my grandfather's store at the age of 8, if not earlier. Love it.

One of the tips I learned a long time ago, was that when you answer the phone, you should always do so with a smile, because customers can hear your smile over the phone, and you sound pleasant that way.


I totally do that, and agree that you can definitely hear a person smiling when they're on the phone.

So, I recently realized that I have also been smiling while writing emails to clients. Like, a big stupid grin, every time.


I'm not sure whether that makes me a weirdo, or the best customer experience provider in the WORLD, but that's how I roll.

12.14.2012

Let it Snow

It's basically spring outside, today, and it's making me happy because I prefer warm weather, but it's also making me sad because, where is the snow?

Is it just me, or does it feel nothing like Christmas without everything being covered in a blanket of sparkling white? That's the key to Christmas! Everyone dreams of a white Christmas. No one sings "I'm dreaming of a Green Christmas", after all.

So, I decided to draw a little something something, to encourage the feeling of merriment of the season within myself. And here it is:

Happy Friday!!!

12.13.2012

Superhero woes

Hello My name is Patti, and I have an aversion to doctors. And dentists. And appointments, in general. They make me uncomfortable. The appointments. And the doctors and dentists.

I don`t know whether it's that I'm a wimpy-doodle, or whether I've just had my share of crummy hygienists and doctors, but I'll tell you - I've had some run ins with the most unpleasant people in the medical field. Not like, American Horror Story Asylum unpleasant, that would be intense. Just generally poor-bedside manner, and, okay, maybe I am a wimpy-doodle.

It wasn't always like this. I adored my family doctor as a child, and even made him a Christmas card, once. I also really enjoyed going to the dentist. Maybe the fact that they had a treasure chest attributed to that.

Either way - I've been a little... shall we say.. hesitant, to book appointments with doctors or dentists over the past 2 years. Okay, maybe it's been longer since I've seen my doctor. Okay, I can hear you rolling your eyes at me and yelling at me because it's irresponsible, but I'm sorry. They scare me.

Last year I had some problems with my SI joint, rendering me unable to walk, so I had to go to a chiropractor for the first time, and I was terrified. When you're in excruciating pain, the last thing you want is for some stranger to TOUCH you and move you and crack you. But I went - 3 times a week for the first month - and it totally made me be able to walk down the aisle (YAY!) and also made me feel like, okay, maybe this healthcare thing is good to take care of. Like, maybe I should be better about looking after myself. Tomorrow I will call the dentist. And tomorrow I will call the doctor.

And then I had a nightmare that my chiropractor yelled at me for not coming in frequently enough, but followed that with "on the other hand, you're like a miracle. With your EXCESSIVE size, it's nothing short of a miracle that you can walk."

And that was horrible.

So I didn't call.

But then, guess what happened?

When I was at Design Thinkers, I took a really embarrassing little tumble, wedging my foot into a street car track. My friends were awesome about it, and I played it off like it didn't hurt at all because I'm superwoman, but guys, it friggen hurt. It didn't hurt as much as my SI joint issue, though, so I was all "okay, like.. it hurts, but it's not the end of the world." So I sucked it up. Like, superhero style.

It's bothered me from time to time. Like, when I touch it or anything else touches it. But for the most part, it's been  kinda like a string. Yeah. A string. You know how you tie strings around your finger in order to remember things? Well, the pain has acted like a jolt of "REMEMBER TO BE CREATIVE" and "REMEMBER THAT FUN TIME YOU HAD?" So then it kinda makes me smile. Also, because I'm a superhero.



It's been over a month since I hurt my foot, and I told my coworker I was pretty sure I'd broken it or something, but I can be dramatic sometimes, so I think he just thought "there goes Patti again, being all dramatic."

From time to time I would bring it up. It really didn't feel very good, but it was manageable pain (because it definitely didn't bring me to my knees). So, still a superhero.

The other night as theGuy and I were in bed, I turned over and winced as I knocked the one foot with the other. He asked what was up, and I told him I'd accidentally knocked my broken foot.

He laughed at me. He also thought I was being dramatic. So I made him sit up, and feel the huge pointy bump on the side of my foot, which did not exist on the other side (and by huge, I mean the size of like.. a large pea).

"Holy shit. You did break your foot," said he. "Why didn't you say anything?"

"Oh, it wasn't a big deal," I said. "I'm kind of a superhero."

TheGuy is all about researching freak things and accidents and stuff, so he told me "Patti, you need to get that looked at. They're probably going to have to rebreak it so it can set properly."

Oh yeah, like that's not horrifying. I told him it was fine.

"I think there's something wrong with your nerves! You shouldn't be able to walk! If you leave it," he said, "you could even get bone cancer from it growing improperly. Or cauliflower foot. You know, like cauliflower ear?"

Who's dramatic now?

I rolled my eyes and ignored him. And then I couldn't sleep, because I was too busy thinking about how I was probably going to get cancer in the foot and how I would deal with that, and preparing myself for all the things that would happen, and trying to decide what kind of wig I would wear. And I'm not joking, people, this is actually how my mind works. So it was a sleepless night. And I decided I would get a bunch of different wigs, all in red, so I could switch it up. And then I started thinking about how I wouldn't have to spend any time doing my hair because I'd have wigs, and then I was scared that in thinking that, I was jinxing myself, and then I really couldn't sleep. And I was also craving cauliflower.

Anyway. It worked. The scare totally worked. Not only have I booked a doctor's appointment, but I've also booked a hair appointment (I don't like those, either) and am in the process of getting a new dentist.

I'm so totally grown up and responsible. And still a superhero.

Is anyone out there freaked of doctors and dentists? Or, are you in love with them? Please don't scare me more, but I'd like to know!                     

(Also - I booked my appointment at the dentist. Next week. If I don't ever return, it's because I hyperventilated and died o fright.)

(Also - my fear of the dentist does not mean my teeth are gross. I probably OVER-brush my teeth, if anything. Oh no, I totally do! They're going to yell at me! Ah!)

12.12.2012

Soul sista

I asked the Babester if she would send me the beautiful speech that she wrote for theGuy and I and our wedding (she was our foxy, foxy Maid of Honour), and she did. Re-reading it, I absolutely love it, and I think that it's content worthy because it shares more of who I am with you, as well as just how awesome and hilarious my family is. We rule. Especially the Babester.

Plus, then I don't have to think of something to write today. I should probably pay her for this. Except that I don't get paid, so whatevs!

It's long, because we Adairs know how to gab! Also - she was trying to summarize a heck of a lot of person into a 5 minute speech.



"Hi everyone, first off I would like to introduce our hunky and handsome Groomsmen - [names deleted to protect the innocent].  I want to welcome everyone and thank you all for being here to spend this special day with us.  Patti, you look absolutely radiant –I can’t imagine a more beautiful blushing bride – and Guy – you’re looking a like stud muffin as usual.



I’m standing up here for two reasons: first to congratulate Patti and theGuy on their amazing day –You Guys DID it! And secondly – with every speech there is a toast, and for those of you that know me, know that I will take any excuse to have a drink and share the wealth. But not so fast; the kicker is you have to listen to me first.



For those of you who don’t know me – I’m Katie, I’m not only Patti’s Maid of Honour, but I’m her bashful little sister, also described as her “baby”. Patti is 10 years my senior and from my first memory she has always surrounded me with love and affection. I’ve been her doll my whole entire life - from painting my nails for the first time when I was a toddler – to dressing me up in her clothes, doing my makeup and coaxing me on dance moves while she videotaped me lip syncing to Lisa Loeb’s single “Stay”. Why our music videos haven’t made it to MTV still shocks me to this day.



I used to leave my diary out for her to read, tell her about all the cute boys I met and cry to her when I was sad – and that was all by the time that I was in grade two. That being said, you can only imagine the growth our relationship has had as the years have moved forward.



Patti is one of the greatest sister’s a girl could ask for. She is known for her beauty, her wit, her kindness, her artistic talent and her big laugh. She’s the type of girl that steals the show when she enters a room with her beautiful smile. It hasn’t always been easy walking in her footsteps – but she showed me that it is okay to make my own path and follow my dreams. She showed me that it is okay to be opinionated and speak my mind...something that I’m sure she regrets. She is the epitome of what a Big Sister should be – always protecting, loving and caring for all of us Adair kids. I can’t imagine my life without her because she has shaped me into the person that I am today. For a sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost. It couldn’t have always been easy having a mini-me clung to her side.....mind you, I’m much cuter than Dr. Evil. 


We share a lot of similarities – some being our loud voices and uncontrollable laughter – we quite enjoy harmonizing while we sing the Cabbage Patch Kid song and leave us alone and we’ll find something annoying to do– after all, we are Adair girls... and heaven help theGuy when he has to put up with our antics. 


These are all great memories – and I could bore you for hours on end about all of our craziness – not only because we have so many stories, but in case you haven’t noticed...I really like to talk - but...a special memory, and my favourite memory, is one that I would like to share with you all today. 

It occurred on a beautiful spring day while Patti and I were walking to our childhood home, probably after a mall trip, when I was around 7 years old. But on this day, Patti started to describe this boy from school that she thought was really cute. He gave her butterflies. I giddily asked her to tell me more before we got home because a high school crush was the jackpot when you’re 7. Not to mention, my cool, teenage, big sister was telling ME a secret. Never, did it cross my mind that this mysterious boy, 12 years later, who my sister was crushing on hard, would be the man to marry my best friend, my sister, Patti.  Soon, theGuy became the most incredible jungle gym and later let me nearly crash his car on my first driving lesson when I was 16.  His presence in my childhood has been so significant, and I know it is safe to say, that all of us Adair kids can’t imagine our lives without him.  I have fallen madly in love with this man I call my Big Brother. Any applications to date me must be sent by mail or fax to theGuy or Dan, directly.   
 

I am beyond happy that you two have chosen to spend the rest of your lives together. Your love is of fairytales – it is brimmed with happiness and hardships, compromise and appreciation. I have grown up watching your love blossom and bloom into what it is today.  I strive to achieve the genuine love that you guys share with each other. I hope that one day I find my Guy and that I can be someone’s Patti. I have never met two people that I find are more perfect and meant for each other.  Thank you so much for letting me take a part in your love story, I know this one has a happy ending.

On that note, I ask for all of you to raise your hefty glasses – and take a big gulp out of your drink, because just like Radiohead says “True Love Waits”."

Toot! Toot!

A note to all - if you ever want to get a big ego boost because it's been a while - get married! Everyone says nice things about you, and the glow lasts for MONTHS!

Come home soon, Babester! I miss you! 



12.11.2012

A little rhyme to put in time!

Exactly like PeeWee Herman: I'm a poet, and don`t know it.

Except that I totally know I'm a poet, and seriously, you should hear my dope rhymes.

I am also without a penchant for public displays of self-love. Just to be clear.



Today, I thought I'd bring a little sunshine into your world with this poem I wrote when I was in grade 5. A big fan of Shel Silverstein, I really thought I was going to be a published writer. And now, every time I hit "Publish" on a blog entry, I get a giggle of satisfaction for making my dream come true, even if it is self-publishing. So what. I'm all about goals, people.

Introducing:

Sarah and her Pear

There once was a girl named Sarah Pott,
There were only two things she liked a lot,
She liked to share.
But never her pear.

She loved her pear,
It had yellow hair,
But beautiful, it was not.
It was  ugly, the fault of Sarah Pott.

She went to her mother and cried and cried.
She cried so much, her mother lied.
She lied about that yellow hair,
She lied about that ugly pear.

The moral of this is plain to see,
A wise old woman shared it with me,
To avoid a fate like Sarah Pott,
Don't hoard your pear, for it will rot.

 (In case you were wondering - her mother lied to her and said her pear was beautiful, when it was really a rotten, soggy mess. Also, when I wrote this, at age 9, I mixed up pears and potatoes, so the yellow hair would've been the growth of an old potato, but because pears don't work like that, I see a pear with fuzzy mold, instead - IMPROVISE, PEOPLE.)

12.10.2012

If I had a million dollars..

For some strange, weird reason, I have the Barenaked Ladies in my head right now. Is that completely disfunctional, or what?

I have to point out to you that, my dad, who has always had excellent taste in music (he owns the White Album, and Harvest, on vinyl, so he's obviously cool), was so excited when I was 9, and the Barenaked Ladies came out. I can remember him pointing to the poster in the store "I want to buy that album. Then when people ask me what I'm doing, I can tell them I'm listening to the barenaked ladies."

He really got into it. I think that was his way of living on the edge as a police officer and father of 5. I can remember him taking extra loops around the block in the minivan so that he could listen to one more song. And we would all sing along in the car because we were weird like that.

At my Dad's wedding, we even kareokied as a family to "If I Had a Million Dollars." It was a horrible rendition, and I'm pretty sure it's why Steven Page turned to drugs. Not kidding.


This brings me to the question - If I Had a Million Dollars......

I would definitely still eat Kraft Dinner, but I would not put expensive ketchup on it because ketchup on Kraft Dinner is disgusting, and everyone knows that. Also, Kraft Dinner is to be eaten with a dessert fork, four noodles at a time - one on each tine. Just so you know, in case you're ever eating Kraft Dinner on a first date or at a fancy restaurant or something.

I would buy my dad a monkey, because that was his favourite line in the song, and, incidentally, he has had many monkeys, and one of them was even named after him because he threw poop at people. Just like Dad.

When I was a teenager, I thought that if I won a million dollars, I would buy a hippy van and throw loonies out the window at all the people on the street and they would love me and rainbows would shoot out of my butt and it'd be groovy. I listened to a lot of Simon & Garfunkle at the time (note - to those who don't know - Loonies are the Canadian dollar coin. Because a loon is the duck on the coin. Not because we're loonies).

If I won a million dollars, in honesty, I'd probably be sad that I didn't win more because a million dollars doesn't stretch the way it used to, and I know that I would be stressed out about managing it properly, so the first thing I would do is hire a financial adviser. I'm married and domestic, now. Super responsible.

I would definitely buy theGuy and I a modest home, because non-modest homes are very expensive and if a house is really big, that's just more space to clean, and I don't like cleaning. So I'd save the money and hire a housekeeper - but this would be fiscally responsible, too, because it's cheaper to hire a housekeeper to clean a smaller house. See? Responsible.

I would give theGuy money so he could buy all the tools he needs to make guitars, because he is an absolutely amazing guitar builder, but those tools aren't cheap! Then it'd be cool, because right now it feels very cool to be married to a guitar restoration and repair technician, but it'd be even cooler to be married to an acoustic guitar builder, and then everyone would wish they were me.

I would also find the recipe for the legit Bonkers - candy which was DELICIOUS in the 80s and is no longer made (there is another candy called Bonkers but it is NOT the same thing, at ALL). I would make it and eat it.

Then I would throw a party, and it would be so much fun and awesome, and there would be bouncy castles for grown ups, candy floss, bonkers and it would be a full weekend, and there would be music all weekend, and there would be lots of wine and beer, and I would maybe hire flamedancers because they look cool (but I could also just pay theGuy and his friend, Mike, to do the firedancing because they've done it before, and one of our friends is a firefighter, so that would totally be responsible, and economical, too). And the party would be free, BUT I would encourage donations to be made to a charity so we would all feel like philanthropists.

And I would pay off my student debt because that's what responsible people do, and I'd invest the rest.

Except that I would also spend a small amount on putting billboards up all over the city with my face, waving, and a speech bubble that says "You're totally awesome" or "Have a great day" because then I'd be spreading happiness everywhere people went, and that is awesome.

What would you do with a million dollars?

12.07.2012

Miley Cyrus is one tough broad.


Happy Friday, people!

I don't drive, so I commute home from work with a lot of walking, and some bussing. People watching is the best thing to do on public transit. It's highly entertaining, and you never know what you're going to see. No one makes eye contact on the bus, so you can get away with it by employing some stealthy tricks. I AM THE MASTER.

Don't turn your head in their direction and stare! Peek out of the corner of your eye so that it's not obvious in the spied upon's peripheral vision. I have spent a lot of time mastering this technique, and when I have sunglasses on I'm like an undercover detective of hilarity.You thought no one saw you pick that wedgie!? HA! I appear to be reading a book, but I totally saw it.  MUAHAHAHA.

Maybe I'm kinda creepy, come to think of it.

On Wednesday, one of my favourite bloggers, Becky, wrote this post about a negative experience on public transit. She lives in New York, so she has to deal with a lot of people on her typical commute, and her post is hilarious and also, she is brave. Awesome.

Tonight (which is Thursday), I wasn't looking forward to my commute at all. Thinking about Becky's experience, and the fact that It's getting mighty cold out there, and it's really dark - I was tired and I just wanted to be home already. But in order to get home, I had to make the trek, so I found myself on the bus, listening to tunes, in my own little world.

The character sitting across from me was very interesting, to say the least. I was a little intimidated, even. A large, muscled dude, he was dressed in head-to-toe gangster-style, from the ice in his ear, to the bling around his neck (since when is bling not a real word, SPELLCHECK?). He was totally into his tunes, with his huge headphones, mouthing the words, and even gesturing wildly with his hands. I figured he was listening to some serious rap, because he was really, really feelin' it.

In between songs on my iPod, I realized that someone was blaring Miley Cyrus. I turned down the volume and looked around, only to discover that gangsta dude was rocking out to the big-toothed singer. His headphones must've been half in the jack of his iphone, because he had no ideas that he was blaring Miley clearly to all the patrons on the bus, while acting like he was Coolio (or someone more tough and badass, but I don't know any real gangsters, and Coolio sang the song so he wins).

Some other Miley-loving man. WHY? WHY!?

The only thing better than discovering that the big scary gangsta sitting across from you is iunknowingly, publicly exposing his adoration for Miss. Cyrus, while trying to look bad ass, is watching the other people around you discover this as well.

It was a fun ride home.

12.06.2012

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannakuh, Seasons Greetings, Whatever

I have to rant a little today, because sometimes I just like to do that. It keeps things fresh, and I love a good debate - so feel free to throw your two cents in, too.


I apologize, because I'm totally going to rant about facebook a little, and really - what is more annoying than people ranting about facebook? Like, for realz. If one more person posts something along the lines of "WHY DOES FACEBOOK HAVE ADS! I DON'T WANT TO SEE ADS! STOP IT" or "I HATE TIMELINE, FACEBOOK SUCKS," I'm going to push them in the face. Yeah. FACE PUSH.

Me.

 Whether we like it or not, Facebook is kind of a big deal. And if they want to make more money on us drones who log in on a regular basis to get their voyeuristic kicks in, well then, they should be able to. And if it weren't for change and innovation, there would be no facebook, or internet, or computer, or electricity, or wonderful things like Coca-Cola. And seriously - like Timeline made such a big difference in your life. You're so friggen hard done by.

My topic of discussion is really about points of view, which were brought to my attention mostly, by the statuses people have posted on their facebook. You know the type:

"MERRY CHRISTMAS! MERRY CHRISTMAS. IF YOU DONT WANT ME TO SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS, GET THE HELL OUT OF MY COUNTRY."

Those kind.

Can I just start by saying: "You sound like an asshole."

People have the right to their own opinions, and obviously, I'm exercising mine with this telepathic post. Cool. That's not a problem.

But don't you kinda feel that it's sad when people feel so strongly about Christmas that normally sound-minded people (and, really, I'm using that term liberally, here), suddenly find they've got this soapbox and it's absolutely okay to basically discriminate against other people in front of a large audience of bosses, colleagues, family, close friends, and the guy they met at the bar the night before?

I do.

I think these people are missing the point. Whether you celebrate Christmas because you're all happy about baby Jesus and how he was born in a barn, or whether you celebrate it because it's a tradition, whether you're celebrating Hannukah or Festivus or whatever, is the real point of the holiday not to spend time with those you love and to be good to other people? The sentiment is "Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men", right? I mean, a song was written about it, so it must be true.

Who cares what it's called!? Who cares if you can't say "Christmas" at work because it's not politically correct? Peace on Earth and Good Will Towards Men, right? So, wouldn't good will mean NOT making other people of other beliefs uncomfortable at work, or at school? I mean, we basically vomit Christmas red & green on everyone from November 1st until the first week of January. Give them a break! There are certain religious ceremonies in the world, I'm sure, which would make me uncomfortable. If the workplace is an open opportunity for everyone to exercise their religious rights all the time, I think it would be a pretty uncomfortable place for everyone. Canada, for example, is a land full of immigrants. That's one reason why I absolutely love to live here. Why do you care so much? Is it really that hard to switch to saying "Happy Holidays?" Like, will it make your arm fall off, or will your tongue dry up and rot out of your mouth? I don't think so.

Maybe it's too difficult for people with small brains.


And here's the thing. Christmas was founded because of the birth of Christ. So, to all the people who are writing these ridiculous, nasty, thoughtless statuses, or even having these thoughts in their own heads - if you celebrate a fat man in a red suit coming down your chimney on Christmas Eve, you've bought into the trends and stories of recent history - Santa's relatively new, and he has nothing to do with Jebus. So if you're willing to take on this cultural norm, because it suits you, guess what? Get with the program. Times are a changing.

Facebook's Timeline and being politically correct can both involve extra effort, and sometimes it's a little frustrating. But keep that to yourself - it is discrimination, in my option. And! Evolve, people. You're acting like a caveman.

Maybe you disagree, and that's okay, too. But I'll just let you know right now - if you're on my facebook and post a status like this, I am TOTALLY judging you.

What do you think?

12.05.2012

Sometimes I think I should've stayed in bed.

You know those days? Those days where it's like everything is more difficult than it should be, and in the end, you simply running around chasing your tail, and nothing really gets accomplished?

Yeah. Today is one of those days.

And it's all even better, truly, because I managed to give myself a black eye on Saturday (it's not really as black as it is super swollen - and also I am probably exaggerating a little bit but whatever, it's one of those days) - which means I have now officially had two black eyes in my entire life, and I gave both of them to myself. Yep.

So that brings me to  a story. A little comedic relief, if you will. I know I need some, and thinking of this will probably make me laugh, and that will be great! Except that, knowing me, and knowing today, laughing will probably make me choke on my own saliva and then panic because I'm choking on my saliva, and then I'll flail my arms and knock over my tea, all over my laptop and myself (I just made it, so it'll be nice and hot) and then I'll bash my head when trying to clean up the tea that is everywhere, and then I won't even be able to post this because I'll be unconcious, so I apologize in advance if you never read this, except that it's probably for the best, because I'm not making sense.

And OH MY GOD. I just wrote an entire lovely post, which ended up being pretty funny, if you ask me, and then when I selected "Publish", google crashed on Mozilla, and now it's sitting there as a stupid window and it didn't save the best part of the story and I have to use stupid Internet Explorer and if that isn't an indicator of my day today, I don't know what is. Grr.

Once upon a time, I was in Brownies. Yep. And Brown Owl was a nasty lady. Which has nothing to do with the story but I really didn't like brown owl, and now, as an adult, don't understand why anyone who clearly despised children would volunteer to spend any amount of time with them.

Which brings me to grade one brownie camp. A weekend retreat, where we'd spend two nights sleeping in bunks, where we would eat weird things (I had tacos for my first time that weekend) and where we would earn badges. They made me go into a swamp to catch tadpoles and that was gross and icky and there were mosquitos. Also, where a girl did a cartwheel right in front of me, knocking my grape juice out of my hands, which spilled all over my brand new matching short and top set, resulting in Brown Owl stripping me down in front of all the other girls, as I cried because when I told her that my outfit was new and I didn't want it to stain, she told me my mother was stupid because the weekend checklist said to wear "old play clothes". I knew my mom just wanted me to feel special, and it made me cry that someone would call her stupid. Brown Owl, you are evil.

WOW. I have issues with Brown Owl.
Evil.
I was so excited about brownie camp because, for the first time, in my life, I got to sleep on the top bunk. And there is just nothing more exciting than staying on the top bunk when you are a kid. It is a serious priviledge! Things were looking up!

On Saturday night, as I slept, I rolled over and whacked my face hard into the wood railing around the bunkbed. I saw friggen stars. At 6 years old, it took all my strength not to cry out for my mom, and I stifled my tears and forced myself back to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up with a headache. One of the cool "older" girls (8 years old - woo) looked at me and asked me why I had marker on my face.

That's a weird question. Why would I draw on myself with marker? When other girls commented, I finally looked in the mirror.

I had given myself a black eye. And not just a black eye, like.. oh, it's kinda swollen and maybe pink. It was truly black - it looked like I'd gotten in a fight with a Sharpie.

Upon my arrival home, I was concerned about school the next day. What would I tell them? Black eyes were not cool!

My dad offered me some words of wisdom. "Tell them," he said, "That a bear punched you in the face."

Well, that was good enough for me! When sitting cross-legged in a circle for attendance the next morning, my teacher asked "Patti! What happened?"

I was so ready for this. My dad was so smart. I cleared my throat and proudly proclaimed:

"MY DAD PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE. Oh, haha. I mean, not my dad. That doesn't make sense. A BEAR punched me in the face."

Obviously.

I'm awesome.

12.04.2012

Me, I want, a hula hoop

So, it's totally December. Yep. It came. In the past, I would both wishwishwish for December to get here already, and then also wishwishwish that time would slow down because I didn't have any money for gifts, and where was I going to find the time to buy for all the like.. 24 people on my list (for the record - that is a trimmed down number. Three years ago, theGuy and I were buying or 32 people. RIDONK.).

 THIS YEAR, I made a goal for myself, so I'm all shopped and ready to wrap, and that's pretty fantastic, because that means that December is here and I'm all like TRALALALAAAA it's CHRISTMAS PARTY TIME and I can relax and enjoy myself and do fun crafts and doodles because, well, because I can. Stress-free. It's pretty awesome.

And I doodle lots!
(Oh man, I really need to go in and set everything up properly. Blogger changed everything since I built this site, and now all the settings are weird and so, sorry about that)

Really, though, for those who are less prepared for December, I'm not trying to gloat. Trust me, I've so been there.

So this year, I am super excited.  I want to bake! I want to decorate (but need help from theGuy because there are spiders in the basement and I'm too freaked to haul the boxes upstairs because then what if a spider jumps out at me, and then I get scared and hide and then it runs into Pickle's cage and attacks him and I'm a horrible bird-mom because I would sit and watch making a weird high pitched squeal that only comes out when there are weird creepy crawlies around - or when I catch a shoe out of the corner of my eye and swear it's a rat or something, that would not be festive)! I'm going to make PEPPERMINT BARK! I'm going to be a domestic GODDESS and our house is going to smell like sugar and spice and everything nice and the gifts will be wrapped, and the stockings will be hung by the chimney with care, except that we don't have a chimney but that's okay. Basically - I just want to have a super fancy, awesome, wonderful, special Christmas.

Ooooh yeah. Special Christmas. And that's going to take some serious effort after Christmas 2010. This year brings new traditions, once of which I am just sooooo excited about.

I get to spend Christmas morning, casually, splendidly, calmly, easily, languidly basking in the glory of no timelines, no alarm clocks, no agendas... until we pack up and leave town in the afternoon.

DO YOU KNOW HOW HUGE THIS IS?

Okay - first world problem, but every Christmas in the past we would try to CRAM.GAZILLIONS.OF.THINGS.INTO.ONE.DAY. Seriously. We would take up and already be late to get over to theGuy's mom's house for our Christmas morning. We'd rush though waking up, unwrapping gifts, getting dressed, and getting packed to go away for two days - after rushing  home from work on Christmas Eve to go for dinner and church, as is our very favourite tradition with theGuy's mom. So we'd finally show up as late jerks, all in a tizzy. Then I'd immediately switch gears to the other plans - our friends' mom's open house on Christmas Day. So we'd rush out the door, pop in there for an hour.. and pretty much upon arrival, I would start fretting about how we needed to get on the road to make the two hour drive to get to my Grandma's for Christmas Dinner.

Yeah. Real fun for theGuy. I'm so calm and poised at all times.

So this year, theGuy's mom has bumped her Christmas festivities to the Saturday before Christmas, which means that we have the morning OFF on Christmas Day. And our lovely friends' mom is still hosting the Open House, but I have not committed to making it because that way WE GET TO PLAY IT BY EAR! We get to take our time! It's going to be amazing! As long as we're on the road in time to make it for dinner, we're good to go!

And this is about where my mind starts going a mile a minute and I'm trying to plan new things - like making an elaborate brunch, or inviting over the entire world for Christmas morning, or going for a walk on Christmas Day and the light will shine into the house so softly, and everything will be aglow with snow and the world will be peaceful and the house will be spotless, and it will smell delicious and theGuy and I will smile quietly at each other in our matching robes, and Pickle will wear a Santa hat and PLAN.PLAN.PLAN.

What are your Christmas Day traditions?

12.03.2012

Bad day? Theirs is worse!

I just had full blown giggles after visiting this page, and on a Monday like today - who doesn't need some giggles? So here you go - my gift to you. Get a laugh at someone else's expense! People who are having a worse day than you. #5 and the Boat are my favourite. Enjoy!

11.30.2012

Kenny Rogers Rocked my World.

Oh yeah. You read that correctly. Kenny Rogers Rocked my World.

Although I typically have cutting-edge taste in music (please note the post on Coolio's Gangsta's Paradise and Seal's Kiss From a Rose as evidence of this - you could pretty much classify me as a music snob), once and I while I'll remove my air of superiority, and get jiggy with it, all for the sake of nostalgia. Last weekend was one of those (extremely rare) times.

First, I have to share a secret with you. I am one of the best dancers, in the world. Once I get some red wine into me. I mean, it's kind of insane how much rhythm is up in this shiznat. Again, upon consumption of some red wine. I will bootypop until I drop, and I just know everyone is watching that in awe. They laugh so hard, and I know it's because of the joy I have brought to them with my dope moves. My signature moves are often one-of-a-kind. No one can mimic the flail of my super long arms. It's how I roll, and.. whew! It feels so good to get that off my chest.

Now, the reason I'm the best dancer in the world is because I'm not limited to one type of dance. Jazz, hip hop, ballroom, interpretive, ballet... baby, I can groove. I took like, 4 classes of ballet in Kindergarten and that was all the training I needed for all genres. I'm like the prodigal Queen of Dance. Which brings me to Saturday's experience, and why Kenny Rogers rocked my world.

You know my gorgeous friend, Jules? Well, that girl knows how to host a party. Her party was the first of the Christmas parties, named, appropriately, Chrischtmas Dansching (we bust out the James Last for some polka action). Julie's parties are known for their dancibility, and this one was no different.


After some spirited consumption of wine and meatballs, I found myself downstairs, in the 'Club', with about 6 other people. When I heard Kenny come on, singing Raindrops on Roses, I knew it was time for my solo act. 
This song has been stuck in my head ever since, so I had to draw it!
 So I got my groove on. I was twirling around, leaping through the air.. I had my dancing shoes on and they were on FIRE. I'm an extremely humble person (obviously), but knew my audience would give me a standing ovation. It was magnificent.

And when I closed my eyes, turned around and took a grand bow, with a curtsey tucked at the end, there was total silence. I knew it. I'd rendered them speechless.

Upon opening my eyes, I realized they'd all left. I'd danced them out of the room. I was that girl. And one of the audience members was my husband, so what does that say about my skillz? So, maybe they aren't quite what I thought they were.

I made the best of it, and had a fantastic dance party by myself to Kenny and Dolly and it was a riot. Plus, when Jules came downstairs, I put Raindrops on Roses back on and we had one of the most skilled and seemingly-choreographed dance parties of life. And then we chair danced to Britney. And then I knew that I'm still the best dancer in the world, and so is Jules, and there's nothing more magnificent than dancing with a partner who knows how to shake it like a Polaroid picture.


11.29.2012

As I walk through the valley...

Just a random thought here. Is there anything better than rocking out to Gangsta's Paradise on a Thursday afternoon? I think you might be hard-pressed to top that one.

Been spending most of life living in a Gangsta's Paradise.

Word.

Active Imagination - AKA A lie was borne on Christmas Day

As a kid, I absolutely believed in Santa Claus. When kids in school would tell me he wasn't real, I assumed they said that because they were bad boys (it was always the boys who said this), and that they were just mad because they didn't get presents. I knew he was real, and I would never turn my back on him.
By Marczini at sxc.hu


My Poppa (grandpa) had a very interesting sense of humour. Every year, at the Christmas Eve party he and my Nana hosted, he and his friends would spend a great part of the night taunting us children by scheming and sharing how, this year, they were going to catch Santa. They discussed plans for the perfect trap, shared how they had caught pieces of his beard in the past, and basically terrified us. Since Poppa's name was Gordon, and my dad's name is Murray, if he caught Santa, we'd go without gifts because Santa obviously distributed his gifts by using the phone book as a guide, and Adair, Gordon, came before Adair, Murray, in the phone book. Plus, there were all the other kids that wouldn't get gifts, like my friend, whose last name is Brown. My Poppa was going to be responsible for killing Christmas. It was a terrible idea.

Every year, when we got home from their party, I would try as hard as I could to go to sleep as quickly as possible. If Poppa didn't catch Santa, I certainly didn't want to be responsible for making Santa wait on the roof for me to fall asleep.

One year, I was too excited to sleep. I lay in my bed as still as I could, and was absolutely terrified when I heard the sound of a bag rustling. And rustling. And rustling. Holy crap, Santa was in my house, and I was awake. What if he caught me?

I stayed in bed, willing myself to fall asleep, eyes squeezed shut, barely breathing. Santa was in my house. The temptation to sneak out and catch a glimpse was overwhelming, but I couldn't risk being caught. Eventually, I drifted off, clutching the sheets tight in my hands.

When I woke up the next morning, I was so excited. Christmas had come, and it was another great one! On our way to my grandma's for Christmas dinner, I excitedly shared my Santa experience with my siblings.

And maybe I embellished a little.

 Okay, a lot.

"I heard Santa last night." I proclaimed, to which my sister, Christa, upped me - "remember the time I heard jingle bells on the roof?"

I was not going to be upstaged. I'd basically met Santa the night before.

"Well, I saw Rudolph's nose!"

Oohs and ahhs filled the car.

"Tell us what happened!" my little brother piped up.

So I did.

I wove an intricate tale about my experience seeing Rudolph, in the house, his blinking nose, and Santa's bag. It was great. It would've been even more great had it been true.

My story was met with such enthusiasm, I just had to share it with all my cousins, and aunts, and uncles, and grandparents. They were all completely amazed at my experience, which just happened to get more and more elaborate as I went on. It was the best Christmas, ever!

Except....

In looking back, I can't help but be embarrassed. How must my parents have felt, listening to their child, the LIAR - not just telling one white lie, but getting more and more excited as she told this lie, and sharing it with rooms full of adults who knew that I was lying?


It's a good thing Santa isn't real, because he totally would've given me coal for that.

On a side note, I had to source a photo of Santa for a client, and let me tell you - that was one disturbing trip across the internets. There are many creepy Santas out there. And why are so many of them drinking wine? Don't get me wrong. I enjoy wine. But I thought Santa drank cookies, milk and Coca-Cola?!

11.28.2012

Oh no, how sad!

I happen to be a spy. Well, blogger is, for me. And I happened to spy today that someone found my page by googling:

"Mom say no love"

I feel sad for this person. I SAY YES, LOVE!

Modern Day Telepathy

I feel like I may have written about this before, but I can't find a post, so I'm just going to go ahead and rant, here, because I'm really, really good at that. I didn't say it would be interesting.

As a graphic designer, I have the wonderful privilege of sitting in front of my computer all day, at a desk. And then, since I freelance, I often do the same thing when I get home after work. As a side note, this is really, really bad, and it's totally going to kill me, PLUS it's not my fault that my butt is expanding.. it's the job! If you work at a desk all day, don't read this article unless you want to shift the blame of your big butt on your desk job, and in that case, feel free to print it out and keep it in your purse. It's totally not our fault, and YES you deserve some chocolate.

Thank goodness for Sir Mix-a-Lot. He understands me.

The purpose of this post is not to talk about butts, however. It's to talk about this modern day telepathy we have going on. There are days where I realize that I haven't spoken out loud to a single person for hours, yet I've carried on conversations with a gazillion people (maybe that's an exaggeration).


My coworkers may see me all quiet all day and think to themselves "hmm, she doesn't say much" (and this is also highly improbable, because my nickname is, after all "Chatty Patti" - also, no one actually calls me that, but people have referenced the doll before around me). I just sit there, iPod in, working away, and they probably think "Wow. That girl is so dull."

Little do they know, I am in the middle of an impressive monologue on the benefits of proper kerning, or perhaps I'm pitching a concept to a client... I am actually chatting away all day, but without using my vocal cords!

Do you think it could be possible that in a few generations the human species could evolve to not have vocal cords? Really, in today's society, with Live Chat, text messages and emails.. people everywhere are having millions of in-depth conversations without even opening their mouths!

That's totally weird, but also kind of cool. Remember those shy kids in school? Well, maybe now they can just text their friends instead of having to speak out loud. The new tech-savvy generation already does this, basically. I've seen them. They sit together at Starbucks without speaking - fingers flying as they text the person beside them. It's weird, it's strange, it's not incredibly efficient, but it's the way of the world (it's also a very good way to have proof of the stupid things their friends say, so then they can show the messages to their friends and judge them and laugh and it's hilarious I do this all the time Be careful what you text, people!).

It's so different for the new generations. When I was a kid, I was a HUGE note-passer. I wrote notes to my friends in class like nobody's business (sorry, mom). We would get one of the subject notebooks that you got in class, the ones with the big map on the front, and that would be a notebook between two friends. On the back page, we would write all the names for our classmates, and then come up with codes for them, like a legend. Then we would pass it back and forth and it totally looked like we were working on school work. Soooo ingenious. Then those Dear Diary things came out, and there was the toy where you could basically text message your friend, if they had one too - that was so neat (and, incidentally, when I googled it to get the actual name, I came up with "How to Write a Secret Admirer Note without Sounding like a Stalker" which is just really awesome), and then you could talk without speaking out loud, but now, with SMS and emailing in the picture, it's like sending private notes all day long - without the risk of your teacher reading it out loud!



Right now, this blog post in itself is like modern day telepathy. Kinda. I can spew my thoughts out without opening my mouth for a second. In fact, you don't know - maybe I don't even have a mouth.

Thoughts?

What's your take?

11.27.2012

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I know I was MIA last week, and I'll tell you why. Last year, Karen at The Art of Doing Stuff posed a challenge for everyone - to get all of their Christmas shopping completed by December 4th (I think that was the exact date, that is). My mom and I have a ridiculously huge list every year, so we thought we'd try to tackle everything in one weekend, and meet this challenge!

Well, we did it. We were exhausted, but we did it, and it gave us time for fun things like stress-free Christmas parties and baking and all that fun jazz. Best idea, ever. We planned to do it again this year, and on the same weekend - Black Friday weekend.

Since, in Canada, our Thanksgiving is in October (which is super nice because the leaves are all pretty and you can still sometimes have nice warm weekends - plus it spaces out the turkey and indulgences a bit, which is good news to me), black Friday has never really been a big deal around these parts. But, last year the stores picked up the trend and started having super awesome sales on Black Friday - and no mobs or stampedes of people - sounds great to me!

I took Friday off this year, and we got our shop on. And shop, we did. I have to say - I'd never realized just how much thought and effort goes into shopping - and when you're purchasing around 30 gifts in one weekend (between my mom and I), trying to keep track of everything, trying to be strategic, trying to remember sales, locations, everything - it's kind of like advanced calculations. I think Stephen Hawking would be proud, seriously. Big bang theory? That's got nothing on our shopping adventures.

In the past, theGuy and I would spend tons of time 'thinking' about what to get this person, and what to do for this person. He would say "I want to see what's out there, and then I'll decide." This would result in us spending countless hours wandering around aimlessly, trying to think of the perfect gift to get someone. I'm all for the 'let-it-reach-out-and-grab-you' strategy for Christmas shopping, but only if you start in January. It just doesn't work like that. My mom and I were still able to get thoughtful gifts for everyone - the pickings weren't as slim as in December, and I don't have to spend every single weeknight out shopping for the four weeks before Christmas. Hooray!

So, get out there and shop, people. Or get your craft on! The sooner you get it out of the way, the sooner you can live the dream, and enjoy the melodic and calm Christmas which the carols are about. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire? More likely to happen when you aren't circling a mall parking lot looking for a spot. Enjoy the season!

And who knows - maybe you'll get into the spirit, and become inspired, too!

Now I have time to draw my face off!

11.26.2012

One (wo)man's junk...

My friend, Jules, is, first of all, extremely beautiful and lovely to look at. Just had to put that out there. She's also happily married. Sorry boys.

Jules gets a great amount of pleasure in throwing things out. So, with the recent renos in her gorgeous house, she was on the warpath to chuck, chuck, chuck.

I was discussing my newest idea with Jules, which involved a nice old frame. I was mad because the local thrift stores were charging way more than I wanted to pay for a used frame that I was going to spray paint anyway.

Well, the stars were aligned, and Jules brought me up this bad boy, which she'd intended to throw out the day before and had forgotten.. and welcome to:

Chalkboard art in your home! :)

 Beautiful!

TheGuy and I went out the following weekend and picked up some pressed-board, or something like that. You know.. the stuff that ikea uses for the back of cabinets. It had a smooth surface and it was cheap, cheap, cheap ($12 for a sheet so big, it wouldn't fit in the car. We used about 1/4 of it for this project).

I happen to be an incredibly lucky individual with a very handy husband, who could see how excited I was about this project and took care of it while I was at work. What a great husband. He sent me these pictures:

He removed the painting from the frame and sprayed it a high gloss white. 2 coats.
Then he trimmed the pressboard and used chalkboard spray paint on it. 3 coats.
Then, he put it all back together for me, and we let it cure for three days.

We had stew for dinner that night. Holla.
Every time I walked by it, I got more and more excited. TheGuy does finish work for a living, and it just looked so beautiful and promising!

Then, I covered the entire surface of the chalkboard with chalk in order to 'prep' it. Since there are pores in the chalkboard, you want to prep it like this, otherwise the first thing you draw will stay in those pores and you'll have a ghost-like image of that first drawing forever, and that's just not cool.


And then I got my draw on! I didn't want to make a chalkboard that had our shopping lists on it, or things to do. I wanted to create a piece of art which could be changed whenever I felt like it. And! I already knew what I was going to do - I'd figured it out on the car ride home when we'd gotten the press board (which was very cold, since the hatchback was open to allow for its size). So I got my chalk on. And let me tell you, those famous chalk artists, they make it look easy. I don't know whether I had cheap chalk, or what it was, but it was a challenge. I look at it as a learning experience, and I'm stoked for the next time!

So, voila!

 For a much better tutorial on how to make a chalkboard, visit The Art of Doing Stuff.

Ciao!

11.21.2012

Hey gorgeous!

I don't know about you, but I like to play tricks on my mind all the time, and leave little surprises around for myself just to give me a moment of "yay!" It's like my current-self giving a gift to my future-self, and my future-self is always like, "awww! That former-self is so thoughtful", except that it wouldn't be my future-self thinking that because in order to think, it would have to be current, and really, since I'm sharing a story of something I've done before, they'd all be former-selves and I feel like I have just made this all a lot more confusing.

My different selves get mad at each other, like morning-self being really mad at the-night-before-self because she stayed up way too late.

My different selves like each other sometimes like lunchtime-self being really happy that morning-self put grapes in her lunch.

It's a love hate relationship that I have with myself, which just seems natural, if you ask me.

This brings me to a story that my morning-self and end-of-work-day-self take great pleasure out of on a daily basis, and I thought I would share it with you because, well, you never know - maybe your current-self can start thinking of nice things to do for your future-self, and then we'll all walk around with smiles on our faces (note: night-before self is almost never never nice to the other selves because the night-before self is lazy and wants to stay up for another episode of American Horror Story, so this is why people are grumpy in the morning. Night-before-self is not friends with the other-selves, but it has the most fun, so it's not really missing out).

Can I point out here that 'self' is a really weird word? Self, self, SELF, self, self. Weird.

TheGuy showed me a hilarious sexy photo of himself a few months ago. The guitar shop he works at has a super talented photographer who works there to take photos of the repairs they've done, and of the vintage guitars in the shop. One day, theGuy was waiting for the photographer so they could take a break, and she was taking a really long time. So the Guy thought it would be hilarious to pose with guitars like the model that he is, and she captured some shots. And then he made the mistake of telling me, which meant that I begged him for the shot, and that's when my afternoon-self was very kind to the morning and end-of-day-selves because every single day, when I start my computer in the morning and shut down the programs at the end of the day, I smile with glee and clap my hands when I see this as my wallpaper:

Sexy.

Feeling some inner turmoil lately? Maybe your selves aren't being nice enough to each other. Spoil yourself. You deserve it.

11.20.2012

Zip-a-dee doo-dah!

I believe that, no matter what career you select, when inspiration hits, it's one of the most absolutely magnificent things that can happen. It gives you a little pep in your step, a little something extra to smile about, and ideas that whirl around in your head like magic!

In any creative career, the dreaded "writer's block" applies. Whether you're a graphic designer, like I am, or a musician, or a writer - the worst experience is when you've got nothing. No inspiration, no passion, no ideas. 

Sometimes the ideas are in there, but just require some coaxing to get them out. When I was at Design Thinkers a couple weeks ago, my notes started out by being taken in the typical handwritten fashion. As the conference continued, you could visually see my creativity leaping out from inside me and onto the page. My simple notes transformed into decorative script, ornate swirls, block letters.. I was getting inspired!

This has put some extra pep in my step. A smile on my face. Some extra ideas in my mind. I feel like I'm walking around with the best secret in the world, because on the outside, I look like your typical gal. But my insides are bursting with colour, shapes, text and bubbles. And if it makes me want to whistle at theGuy, and if it makes me want to sing out loud, so be it.
 
Hope you're having a zip-a-dah dee-dah kind of day.
 
 

11.19.2012

A character sketch - Pickle

When I was young, I used to walk home from school with my Walkman blaring - and I would select songs that seemed to fit the weather, my mood and the day because, after all, my life was a movie, and wouldn't showing a girl like me walking down the street be a really interesting opening scene of a movie?

Not really, but I thought so.

Since I believed that this would be the most amazing scene, I would imagine the camera starting off low, focused on my shoes as I walked through leaves, or mud, or water, or snow (I used to have to walk uphill both ways to and from school, in the snow, in my father's pajamas). Then it would pan in and take in my awesome 'flared' jeans, courtesy of Suzy Shier. All the way up until it zoomed out, an establishing shot- it would show my long, long, long walk home (I was so hard done by).

My favourite song to play while I was walking home at night was Warehouse by Dave Matthews. I swore it was the most climactic song ever, and people would be scared for what would happen next. And then, maybe I would walk through a warehouse and wouldn't that be clever!?

Today, remembering this, and thinking about how sometimes I feel like my life would be entertaining enough to watch that I could totally replace the Jersey Shore and everyone would be all "Snooki, who?", I thought to myself - I should introduce the cast of my life to my readers!

So I'm starting with:

Pickle

Meet Pickle:

He isn't a very polite eater.
Pickle is currently the super hero of my life. What? He is! He can fly! Okay, actually, no he can't - his wings are clipped - but he could fly if his wings weren't clipped, and he can climb like nobody's business.

Pickle is a Lineolated Parakeet. That's basically just a small, tiny little parrot. And he's awesome.

If I don't talk about Pickle all the time it's because I'm making an honest and constant effort not to have every sentence that comes out of my mouth start with "oh, you should've seen Pickle the other day.." Seriously. I'll be designing a project and someone will say "What colour are you using?" And I'll think to myself "the loveliest yellow - bright and cheerful. Just like the outside feather on Pickle's wing". Okay. I'm striking that out because it makes me seem like a total weirdo.


Anyway - Pickle peppers my daily life with so much awesome. Linnie's aren't squawkers like a lot of birds. They're pretty quiet. They can pick up things that you say or teach them, but they're super shy. It's totally normal to walk into the room and hear Pickle quietly mumbling to himself - practicing something new he's heard. Once he gets comfortable that he's saying things correctly, the volume will pick up. You should hear him sing the theme song from Inspector Gadget. He's a regular Elton John.

His current roster of sounds includes: wolf whistles, Inspector Gadget's theme song, the sound of sirens (we live on a busy street), "Pickle, Pickle, Pickle," "Step up," and the sound of a bomb (you know - a long whistle with an explosion at the end? I taught him that.). I'm trying to teach him to say "You're pretty", because, really, who wouldn't feel awesome if they walked into a room and had someone tell them they're pretty, over and over? Right? When he is learning a new phrase or sound, he sits as close as he can to your mouth super still and listens with the most earnest little expression on his face.. it's really hard not to bite his head off (I tend to want to eat really cute things. Hide yo' kids, hide yo' wife).

When he's hanging out by himself, he doesn't chirp or sing the way regular birds do. You know - Robin's sing their weird song, budgies chirp and sing like crazy. Pickle sings, but he sings like a person. He'll sing "dooo dee dooo dee dooooooo" to himself - but like a person, people. Like he says the words. And how cool is that?

Pickle also likes me more than theGuy which is kind of awesome for me, except when I don't feel like having a bird climb up my head to perch there like he owns it. He'll sit by my feet when I'm making dinner, like a dog, and he gets so excited to see me, his wings start to vibrate. He is adorable and perfect and I love him.



So there you go. Pickle. He's kind of a big dill.