The They Sayers

They say that time is money.

They say Rome wasn’t built in a day.

They say, “a midget standing on a giant’s shoulders can see much further than the giant.” (That one was actually Jay-Z.)

They say that money can’t buy happiness.

They say that there are plenty of fish in the sea.

Who are they?

Who are these people who keep saying things?

And why don’t they try and take credit for the things that they say? These wonderful phrases are a part of our vernacular, and they float around the internet with the tag “unknown.”

“They” (whoever they are) could be reveling in their notoriety.

I’m all about taking credit for the things that I say, and the words and phrases that I have invented.

Wacky bat nuts? That’s mine.

Barf bag ripper? Me. And it’s trademarked.

(I can’t think of a third example.)

I would love to become famous for the phrases I came up with. In fact, I should try to think of more phrases that might earn me a reputation for being intelligent, thoughtful, and witty.

Here goes…

Time is not necessarily money, but effort can equal dollars. (Hmmm.)

Rome was probably built in a few years. (It makes sense.)

A midget shouldn’t stand on a giant’s shoulders, even if he wants to. (It’s dangerous.)

Money can buy you lots of things, which might make you happy. (It’s worth a try.)

They are all kinds of mammals in the sea. (This is what I’ve heard.)

So, there… I’ve done it. I’ve come up with several new phrases that I’m sure will catch on like nobody’s business… I’m sure they will trend, or go viral, or whatever it is that things do.

Admittedly, they may not be quite as good as the phrases on which I based them, but they are phrases nevertheless.

Come to think of it, I’m sure it’s very upsetting for people to look up those phrases, and have it say “unknown.” I’m sure it’s very similar to not knowing the reason for our existence on this planet, why pigs can’t look up to the sky, or not knowing whether something contains “gluten.”

No one is taking credit for the original phrases – so, perhaps I should just go ahead and take credit for those phrases? (Except the Jay-Z one, obvs.)

People want to know! They want to put a name to a face, and a name to a phrase or quote.

So, if anyone asks… those are mine.

You’re welcome.

The Glaciated Andesitic Stratovolcano

Mount Baker (if you don’t already know) is a prominent outline in the landscape of greater Vancouver. It is, quite simply, a spectacular geological jewel that reminds us that we are mere humans in a world that is undeniably supernatural.

Having said that, it’s also just a mountain, isn’t it?

And (if you don’t already know), there are plenty of mountains in beautiful British Columbia, so it’s not necessary to get too excited about one particular active, glaciated andesitic stratovolcano, located in the Cascade Volcanic Arc.

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This is a picture I took whilst driving, and it really does not do this glaciated andestitic stratovolcano justice. Although it is rather magnificent – as far as big heaps of rock go.

Although very occasionally, I do get quite excited about Mount Baker, because it has a been a source of banter and merriment in my marriage for the last 10 years.

And now, for some context…

Approximately 10 years ago, the Lloydster and I made a plan to get married. In order to have a fighting chance of staying married*, we decided to partake in a marriage preparation course, which we thought would fully prepare us for a lifetime together as husband and wife.

We chose the wrong course.

I should clarify, after 10 years of wedded bliss, we still get along like nobody’s business. In fact, we like each other so much that it is probably very nauseating for people to be around us. We are constantly holding hands, making eye contact, rubbing noses, and engaging in intercourse** in public places.

We chose the wrong course because it was a terrible class led by two ill-prepared, inept, self-righteous buffoons that called themselves “marriage counsellors.”

We had hoped the course would teach us about communication, commitment, values, and resolving conflict… But no.

At the start of the day, our “leaders” directed all participants (about a dozen couples) to create a large circle with our chairs. They then went around to each member of the group, asking about the challenges of their relationship, and then began analyzing each couple’s issues… in front of a live studio audience.

It was awkward. 

We heard about infidelity, drug use, abuse, and outstanding warrants. There was yelling, name-calling, crying, and the occasional absconder. In some situations, it was very obvious that the couple should definitely not get married. When it came time for the Lloydster and I to share, we didn’t. The Lloydster was messy sometimes, and I bought expensive peanut butter sometimes. We had nothing to say.

As we neared the end of the day, the Lloydster whispered in my ear that the course had been “a giant waste of time.” I nodded my agreement, but then… The leaders told us a story about a “challenge” in their own marriage…

The wife said that when they were driving, her husband would often point out Mount Baker. He’d say something like, “Look at Mount Baker!” The wife said this really annoyed her, because he would insist that she look at Mount Baker, and he’d just go on and on about how beautiful it was, until she eventually looked at it, and agreed with him. She said one day she turned to her husband angrily and said (I’m paraphrasing), “Stop telling me to look at Mount Baker! I don’t have to look at Mount Baker. I can look at whatever I want!” She said he stopped telling her to look at Mount Baker.

Of course, the next time that the Lloydster and I set eyes on Mount Baker, it was game on… Both of us requesting, then insisting, then demanding that the other look at Mount Baker, and going on and on and on about how beautiful, majestic, impressive, and massive it is.

And after 10 years, we still do it***.

 

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* According to a 2010 study, 40% of first marriages end in divorce!

** I meant “verbal” intercourse. Get your mind out of the gutter, you gutter-minded fiend.

*** “It.”

The Emilio Estevez Dare

There is a land… where celebrities mingle with ordinary folk… and that land is Santa Barbara County.

I should begin this story by stating that I love wine. I am a big fan, and not just for the health benefits*. I like the way it makes me feel: warm, happy, and occasionally inappropriate.

I also like pizza (this will be important later).

I also like Emilio Estevez (who doesn’t?). I mean, The Breakfast Club, Young Guns, Young Guns 2, The Mighty Ducks!

emilio-estevez-mighty-ducks

As I mentioned, this story takes place in Santa Barbara County. “Santa Babs” (as I like to call it) has some of the best wineries and dining establishments in the world**, which is why we went for a weekend trip with some friends of ours.

These friends of ours (let’s call them Melanie and David) have been to Santa Babs literally thousands of times (at least a dozen times), so they took the lead with planning the itinerary. We visited a few wineries, got our “buzz on,” and then David said he knew the perfect place for dinner…

It started to get very, very foggy, and very, very dark, and very, very cold as David drove down the long, winding, dirt road. After what seemed like an eternity***, David stopped in front of a timber shack.

I thought I was about to get murdered (it just seemed like a murderous scenario: fog, dark, cold, timber shack). David insisted we get out of the car, and said that we would not be disappointed (I pointed out that if we were to be murdered, there would obviously be no opportunity for disappointment).

I reluctantly exited the vehicle and quickly ran into the timber shack. As I stepped inside, I was warmed by the massive dome-shaped pizza oven, and reassured by the hundreds of people sitting at tables, appearing to be enjoying their dinners very much.

We ordered drinks (wine, obvs) and several pizzas to share, and then David said something I’ll never forget: “Last time we were here, Emilio Estevez was here.”

I was very impressed by the celebrity sighting. Obviously, I could have one-upped him (Ricky Gervais, Larry David, Beck, Martin Short, Pete Townsend, Judd Apatow, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Han Solo/Harrison Ford, etc.), but that’s not my style.

Anyway, we had a wonderful time: drinking wine, eating pizza (which was magnificent), and conversing casually, when who should appear at the end of our table…

The waiter.

He asked us if we’d like another drink. I nodded my answer, deep in a gluten frenzy.

We continued to drink the wine, eat the pizza, and converse casually, when who should appear at the end of our table…

Emilio (Estevez).

Emilio stood at the end of our table (because it happened to be the closest table to the door), and surveyed the room.

Now, by then I had had several glasses of wine: a few tastings at the vineyards, and a few glasses at the restaurant. I was feeling very warm and happy.

I watched intently as Emilio turned, and walked into the men’s restroom.

I looked at my husband (who is literally the kindest, sweetest, most patient man), and I dared him to follow Emilio into the restroom. 

His answer was swift. “No.”

My reply was swifter****: “Come on.”

“No.”

“Come on!”

He shook his head (but his eyes said, “maybe”)… “No.”

“Rhhhhhhyyyyyyssssss… come on!”

“Fine.”

And just like that, my husband stood up from the table, and followed Emilio into the men’s restroom. David, Melanie and I waited with bated breath*****.

A few minutes later, Emilio exited the restroom, and walked over to the bar. My husband exited shortly after and returned to our table.

I was excited. “Did you see it?”

“What?”

It.” My eyebrows were arched in a way that I hoped suggested the answer.

“No!”

“Oh.” I couldn’t hide my disappointment.

You see, destiny had brought us to Santa Babs, to that particular timber-framed pizza joint, and to that particular member of the “Brat Pack”… But that’s the thing with destiny… it can’t do all the work… sometimes it needs a dare.

 

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* Longevity, reduces risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cataracts, colon cancer, etc.

** Just my opinion.

*** Probably about 15 minutes?

**** Not to be confused with the electromagnetic cleaning product.

***** It could have just been me, but my breath was bated!

The Whelm

This Christmas I was whelmed*.

We all know what the overwhelmed means (to be completely overcome in mind or feeling), and we know what the underwhelmed means (to fail to interest or astonish), and this Christmas I was somewhere in the middle.

I tried so hard to get the feeling: I donated to charity. I hugged strangers. I put nuts out for the squirrels… I was still only whelmed.

As I said in my previous post, things have been weird. We just moved back to Canada, and while we are taking full advantage of the free healthcare, paid statutory holidays, flattering knitted sweaters, and abundant apologies… it has still been a little weird.

I have been knee-deep in this adjustment period, and I wasn’t really ready to fully embrace and celebrate Christmas on December 25th.

But now I am.

This could have been a huge problem, obviously – as Christmas is now 360 days away – but then I heard about Orthodox Christmas, which is on January 7th. I don’t know why the Orthodox people celebrate Christmas two weeks after everyone else**, but I’m in!

I want to be completely overwhelmed by Orthodox Christmas – I want to be completely overcome in mind and feeling!

And no, I’m not Orthodox (and I don’t plan on converting), but I’m very willing to adopt a religion’s holiday observances and traditions as my own in order to take full advantage of a celebration***.

Get ready Orthodox Christmas… I’m coming for ya.

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* I am aware that the dictionary definition of whelming is to submerge or engulf, but that doesn’t apply here. I’m creating a new definition based on my experience.

** While the month and date of Jesus’ birth are unknown, by the early-to-mid 4th century, the Western Christian Church had placed Christmas on December 25, a date later adopted in the East, although some churches celebrate on the December 25 of the older Julian calendar, which, in the Gregorian calendar, currently corresponds to 7 January, the day after the Western Christian Church celebrates the Epiphany. 

*** I’ll probably start doing this for other religion’s holidays (Tu B’Shevat, Purim, Yom HaShoah, etc.).

The Feeling

Usually at this time of year my house is full of Christmas paraphernalia, my freezer is full of cookies, and my heart is full of that gooey, sentimental and slightly teary feeling that one gets when one watches a soldier return home from war or when Oprah gives someone a car.

Christmas is a big hairy deal to me.

I love Christmas. BIG TIME… The music. The food. The smells. The mall Santas. The tinsel. The gatherings. The cocktails. The specialty items at Trader Joe’s (Cranberry Gingerbread Granola!!!). The giving. The receiving… All of it.

Christmas is a reminder of the goodness, and hope, and magic, and love, and togetherness that exists in this world.

There is no other holiday like it. Easter? Not quite. July 4th? Not even close. Arbor Day? Please.

So, I think we can all agree that Christmas is the best holiday then?

This is where my dilemma lies.

This year feels a little bit different, because I’m feeling it a little bit less. I want to feel it more, but for some reason I’m feeling it less.

Perhaps it is due to the fact that I’ve just moved, and things are weird, and I’m getting used to this weather, and I’m feeling discombobulated, and I still have boxes to unpack, and I’m looking for a job, and I feel this weird pressure to put on a happy face, and deck the halls, and celebrate… because Christmas comes but once a year!

I want that feeling.

I want to feel warm and gooey inside.

So I’m looking at The 35 Most Touching Photos Ever Taken and 35 Pictures That Prove The World Isn’t Such a Bad Place and 19 Kids Who Restored Your Faith in Humanity and this Inspiring Father Explaining the Paris Tragedy to His Son and 33 Heartwarming Photos That Will Make Any Bad Day a Whole Lot Better.

And this one:

sweet_images_that_will_warm_your_heart_38

Oh.

There it is.

That feeling.

 

 

The Bitchy Resting Face

I have one.

And it’s unfortunate…

No, I’m not mad.

No, I didn’t wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

No, I’m not judging you (even though I definitely have cause).

And no, I don’t want to kill you (or even maim you).

It’s just my face.

I do not have a mirror on my person every day (or ever)… so it’s very hard for me to know what my face looks like to others, at any given moment.

I just assume that 10% of the time I have something in my nose, 40% of the time I have something in my teeth, and 25% of the time I have something in my nose and teeth.

However, 92% of the time I have something on my face: a neutral expression that some people might mistake for “bitchy”.

First of all, I’m not bitchy, and second of all, I have never been bitchy.

I’m the nicest person I know.

I just happen to have to have a face that suggests otherwise… a face that suggests that I might punch you if you get too close.

I won’t punch you.

(Please give me a reason to smile.)

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Okay, some people call it “resting bitch face” and some people call it “bitchy resting face.” I think the latter makes more sense because it suggests that your resting face is bitchy. “Resting bitch face” makes it sound like your bitchy face is taking a rest, which would mean that you’re smiling.

 

 

 

The Neck (with a brief introduction)

(First of all, I want to say that I know it’s been a while. I have a good excuse. I moved. And not just a little ways down the street. I moved countries. I moved from America back to my home and native land, Canada. So, it’s been busy, and I’ve been frazzled – and also, very COLD.

But, now I’m slightly less frazzled, and excited to get back in the metaphorical saddle.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I know I don’t tell you enough, but I really appreciate you taking the time out of your busy day to read with your eyes what I’ve written with my fingers. You’re a wonderful human being. Don’t let anyone tell you any different…

I’d tumble for ya.)

Okay, now for something completely different…

A few weeks ago, I was at work, minding my own business, working on an excel spreadsheet, trying to keep my face neutral (instead of my usual “bitchy resting face”), when my co-workers started talking about their ages.

To give you context: My co-workers are male, in their mid 20s and early 30s. They are young, sprightly and optimistic… They obviously haven’t felt the stinging pain of life, yet.

One especially young, sprightly, optimistic “man” said: “I’m 22.”

I tried to pretend I was very focused on my spreadsheet. I didn’t like where this was going.

Another chimed in: “I’m 29.”

Another: “24.”

Another: “I’m turning 27 next week.”

They all turned toward me. I pretended to be very focused on my spreadsheet, my eyes mere inches from the computer screen.

“How old are you, Kim?”

“What?”

“How old are you?”

“What?”

“How old are you?”

Geeeeeeeeezzzzzzz. Fine, I’ll look at them, say something like “a woman never tells” and then continue to crunch numbers like some sort of number-crunching monster.

I turned to them, and I saw it… They were assessing my age.

They were looking at various aspects of my face, hair, wardrobe choices, and my body… and were determining how old I looked.

I don’t like this for a lot of reasons:

My face suggests I have lived a long, full, smiling with my eyes kind of life; my hair looks like Hilary Clinton circa 1998, my wardrobe choices suggest that I lived through the 80s recession, and (full disclosure), my body shape suggests that I have bore many, many children (when in fact, I just like to eat food).

I prepared for the worst.

One of them guessed: “29 or 30?”

Initially, I was very flattered. 29 or 30 suggests youth and vitality that I can only summon into mind if I look at a Facebook photo album.

Then I realized, when someone says 29 or 30, they are accounting for the fact that if they are accurate you will be hurt and insulted… so they kindly and politely subtract at least five years.

Before I could respond, another young one piped up: “I thought you were in your late 20s, but then I saw your neck.”

“Sorry, what?”

He continued: “A woman’s neck always tells her age…The lines on her neck are like lines on a tree. The more lines, the older she is. Based on your neck, I’d say… mid-30s.”

My co-workers all nodded in agreement.

Damn you neck… giving me away.

 

 

 

 

The Sugar

If you give me sugar, it’s going to get weird.

Today I ate 1/3 of a cupcake from Sprinkles, and then I started speaking with an English accent, saying “hells yes” to all questions asked of me, and then I did a funky dance in front of my co-workers that would best be described as “inelegant.”

It’s okay though… Because Friday’s my last day at that job…

Because my husband and I are being deported.

Okay, that’s not entirely true (but it sounds better when you’re trying to gain sympathy from the AT&T rep who is making it difficult for you to cancel your service). The reality is that our green cards were denied, our visas were about to expire, and the husband was offered a job in Vancouver.

It seemed like all signs were pointing to Canada.

So we’re returning to Canada (after three years in England and three years in ‘Merica).

I like this quote from Michael Morpurgo:

Don’t worry about writing a book or getting famous or making money. Just lead an interesting life.

#hellsyes

 

 

 

The Things

I’ve done a lot of things.

A lot.

A lot.

I’ve lived in a lot of houses, in a lot of cities, in quite a few countries (46, 11, 3).

I’ve gone to school to study a lot of different things, in a lot of different places (Theology, Screenwriting, Criminology, Geology, Art History, Sketch Comedy, Photography; Kelowna, Vancouver, London, LA).

I’ve dated some duds and married a good one (numerous, Lloydster).

I’ve been to a lot of different talks, lectures, screenings and concerts (blah, blah, blah, Keep on rocking’ in the free world).

I’ve been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt (everywhere, everything, size L).

And now I just want to watch TV.

A lot.

A lot.

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I mean, when you’ve already gone to hear Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein talk about Portlandia and “felt their essence”, you should just stop. There will never be any thing better than that, so you may as well just stop going to things.

 

 

 

 

 

The Stopping and Thinking


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It really makes you stop and think, doesn’t it.

The cartoon that is.

It’s making a statement.

It’s making a few statements actually.

Statement #1: Cartoons are fun.

Statement #2: Cartoons can actually contain a very important message. New Yorker cartoonist S. Gross draws attention to the need for all people to “stop and think” by drawing a cartoon with two guys looking up at this massive sign that reads: “stop and think.”

Statement #3: Isn’t it interesting that a sign that reads: “stop and think” can actually make you stop and think? (Yes, it is.)

Statement #4: Life can be overwhelming and sometimes you don’t stop and think, but then you see a sign (or a cartoon) that challenges you to stop and think. So you do.

Statement #5: Sometimes you might feel like you’re one of those guys, looking up at the sign, wearing a suit, and worrying about your bald spot.

And (you’re never supposed to start a sentence with the word “and” but I don’t care, FYI), by drawing attention to this cartoon, I’ve also made you stop and think… about the cartoon, about the message, about S. Gross, about the meta quality to this whole scenario.

I hope that makes you stop and think.