The Newest Year

I’m going to be honest with you, I cannot believe it’s going to be 2019 tomorrow. I mean, I can believe it because I occasionally check which day it is, and last week was Christmas and then it was Boxing Day and I have a (rocking’) New Year’s Eve thing tonight, so that means there is a new year starting tomorrow.

I just don’t believe it, you know?

Tomorrow is a new year. The newest! There are no newer years than the one you’re about to experience starting tomorrow.

Tomorrow it’s going to be 2019.

WTF.

It seems like only yesterday people (not me) were going wacky bat nuts worried about the year 2000 and Y2K and everybody (not me) thought it was game over and they withdrew their life savings (not me) and built a bunker (not me) and bought 1000 liters of water (not me) and said tearful goodbyes to pets and best friends and some family members (not me) and then everything turned out to be totally fine and then people (not me) were embarrassed about having so much water, and they had no place to store the water, and ended up having to pour it all down the sink (again, not me).

It seems like each new year always sneaks up on me, and then it’s there, and then I’m supposed to do something about it.

Because a new year brings new possibilities, right?

Well, so does every single week. Day! Hour! Second!

(For reference: There are 12 months in a year. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525600 minutes. 31557600 seconds.)

Every single second brings new possibilities, so why are we so caught up on the new year? You don’t see Ryan Seacrest dropping a ball in Times Square every day. (If you do, please let me know.)

If we’re only taking a hard look at ourselves and evaluating and making resolutions every year, we might forget or lose motivation a few days in and return back to the status quo. Then you might feel like it’s okay to wait until the ball drops in Times Square before you pick it back up again.

So maybe we should drop a giant ball in Times Square every week? Maybe it would remind us to reevaluate our lives more often, and stick to our personal goals, and be the change we want to see in the world? And be better, do better, keep exercising, don’t smoke, eat more vegetables, be nicer, cut back on wine, save some money for retirement, look into volunteer opportunities, look into a course, get a hobby, meditate, and tell people you love that you love them*.

But, not all of us have balls.

Sorry, rephrase.

Most of us don’t have giant Waterford crystal balls that we can drop, or crowds cheering us on, or Ryan Seacrest to count us down.

So how about setting a weekly calendar reminder?

 

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* Just a few possible options.

(Of course we know deep down that time is just an illusion anyway, and that our naive perception of time and its flow doesn’t correspond to physical reality. Reality is just a complex network of events onto which we project sequences of past, present, and future… But because we live in a world where you need to show up at work on time in order to get a paycheck to buy food and pay bills, so I have decided to go along with it... For now.)

 

 

The (First) Noel

I saw this joke in the Daily Mail (a quality newspaper if ever there was one):

Why does Liam Gallagher avoid going to France at Christmas?

Because they keep talking about Noel.

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While it’s true that France celebrates Noel in a way that neither Liam Gallagher or I can fully understand, we must try to understand their position.

Obviously, the country of France has really taken to the English musician. Born on May 29, 1967, Noel Thomas David Gallagher was the lead singer and songwriter of the rock band Oasis. Oasis took the world (and notably, the entire country of France) by storm with their first album, Definitely Maybe (1994).

It is true that Noel is really good-looking in that pale, British, blokey, rough-around-the-edges kind of way, and I do prefer his natural, pleasant modulation over younger brother Liam’s pitchy, whiny intonation.

The hot-headed brothers were notorious for their sibling rivalry, on and off stage. After a particularly heated exchange at the V Festival in August 2009 (which may or may not have included Liam breaking Noel’s guitar – it did), Noel called it quits on the band he formed with his brother, stating that he, “Simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer.”

Noel went on to form the band Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, which has not had the mega-success of supergroup Oasis, however France continues to celebrate his life and work.

There are many traditions associated with the celebration of Noel (on Jesus’ birthday, no less). The French gather together to feast and sing carols, they decorate their homes, and they greet one another with the phrase, “Joyeaux Noel”, which can be translated, “Merry Noel.” Perhaps the French know something about the frontman’s personality that the rest of the world does not?

Children in France leave their shoes by the fireplace, hoping that “Father” Noel will fill them with presents. Unfortunately, this year Noel Gallagher will be on tour with his High Flying Birds, so children in France will find their shoes empty. It’s unfortunate – but as Queen (the band, not the monarch) once said, “The show must go on.”

Every year, on December 25, France celebrates Noel and his achievements. I can understand why Liam would feel slighted. Had he been slightly more talented and kind, and less of a cocky argy-bargy, France might be celebrating him. We will never know.

It’s no wonder that Liam avoids going to France around the holidays!

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The Hobbies

I had to fill out a form yesterday. The information I was meant to provide included age (rude), favourite colour (azure), favourite food (I wrote “pizza” and immediately regretted it), and hobbies.

Does “looking at your phone” or “Real Housewives” count as hobbies? (Asking for a friend.)

(At one point in my life, I definitely had hobbies… I remember pretending to be really into art. I would go to galleries and narrow my eyes at the sculptures and paintings, and then put my index finger on my bottom lip and read the ridiculous artist statement… Pretending to care about art is definitely a hobby.)

I looked up from the form and over at my husband. “What are my hobbies?”

Husband: “You’re a mom. You don’t have time for hobbies.”

Me: “What about reading?”

Husband: “Reading what?”

(long pause)

Me: “The phone bill.”

Husband: “Doesn’t count.”

Me: “There are words.”

Husband: *a look*.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t have a hobby.

What’s so great about having a hobby anyway?

Well, according to an article in Psychology Today, hobbies make you interesting! “Hobbies give you something to talk about at parties and around the water cooler. They add layers to your identity, richness to your self-concept. People want to be around those with passions, with a sense of curiosity, with stories to tell. You not only feel more inspired when you have a rich and active life, but you will inspire others as well.”

I literally have NOTHING to talk about at parties, no richness in my self-concept, and I do NOT inspire others… So I should probably get a hobby.

Here’s my problem: there are so many hobbies to choose from… hunting, chess, woodworking, stamp collecting, coin collecting, calligraphy, juggling, decoupage, tapping maple trees, building a ship in a bottle… There are a LOT of fish in the metaphorical hobby sea!

I’m also a new mom so my free time is limited. I can’t spend weeks and weeks woodworking only to realize it’s not for me, and with my best hobbying years behind me!

I think the best way to figure out my ideal leisure pursuit is to speed date hobbies. I’ll give each hobby 5-10 minutes of my time, and see if anything clicks.

Questions I will ask myself while partaking in hobbies: Am I enjoying this? Is there a spark? Would I do it again? Do I feel anything in my body? Is there a future here? Could it be “the one”?*

I shall report my findings. Wish me luck.

 

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* These are also questions you could ask during actual speed dating.

 

 

That Time I Went to a Movie With Ben Stiller

A sister of a friend of a friend once worked for Ben Stiller. The sister of a friend of a friend said that Ben Stiller is the worst.

To illustrate her point she said that one time they were sitting in his private plane on the tarmac in Newark and he wouldn’t let the pilot take off until he got some pumpernickel bagels.

I love pumpernickel bagels as much as the next gal – but I’d never stop a pilot from taking off at the scheduled departure time, thus affecting subsequent flights and hundreds of other passengers.

I mean, unless I had that kind of power. (Let’s be real: I have never had that kind of power and it’s doubtful that I’ll ever have that kind of power. I wouldn’t even know what to do with that kind of power – but if I did have that kind of power, I’d want to test it out a little, you know? I guess one of the ways I might test it out is to demand some pumpernickel bagels while sitting in my private plane and refusing to let the pilot take off until I got my way. Also, champagne. Also, fuzzy slippers.)

So, maybe Ben Stiller isn’t an a$$hole? Maybe he’s just testing his power?

Maybe he’s actually a really wonderful person that just really likes pumpernickel bagels?

I’m not making excuses for Ben Stiller, but I am trying to understand why Ben Stiller would behave in such a way.

(Full disclosure: I have always liked Ben Stiller. From The Ben Stiller Show to Reality Bites to Zoolander. He may not be on my “list,”* but I certainly enjoy his work.)

I digress.

I once went to a movie with Ben Stiller.

No, I did not commit adultery with Ben Stiller. (I can’t believe you would ever think such a thing. I’m actually pretty hurt that you would jump to those kinds of conclusions. You know what they say about jumping to conclusions? Someone is going to get hurt – with all of that jumping – And it’s me. I’m hurt. I love my husband, and I would never commit adultery!**)

We just went to a movie.*** Geez!

And there were other people there. Like hundreds.

It’s not like we held hands. (Do people even hold hands anymore?)

We didn’t even speak. (People hate it when you talk at the movies.)

And! We didn’t sit together. (Like I said, I’m married.)

We did make some serious eye contact. (I don’t mean that our eyes made contact – gross. I mean that we looked into each other’s eyes at least once. He was walking down the aisle to the front of the theatre to get interviewed, and I was sitting at the end of the aisle and I turned around right as he was passing and our eyes definitely met.)

When the movie was over I got up from my seat and left the theatre. I didn’t even say goodbye.

Sometimes going to a movie with Ben Stiller just means going to a movie with Ben Stiller.

 

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* My “list”: Ed Ved, a young Colin Firth, an alive Paul Newman. These gentleman have been approved by my husband for some smooching and hands stuff. He’ll joke and say he didn’t approve this at all, but he’s just joking.

**Just some smooching and hands stuff. No big whoop.

*** Walter Mitty

 

 

The Book Club (of One)

I have a confession.

Not the kind I need to go into a stall in a Catholic church and disclose to a priest… The kind that I’m just a bit embarrassed about.

I haven’t read a book in six months.

I have a lot of good excuses: I have a baby. I have to clean the house. I have to go grocery shopping. I have to floss my teeth. I have to wash my hair. I have to clean the dryer hose and vent (not a euphamism). I have to write comedic musings. I have to respond to texts. I have to respond to emails. I have to change 8-10 diapers a day. I have to buy diapers! I have to do laundry. I have to pay bills. I have to make the bed. I have to pick up toys off the floor. I am a mom! I  am busy! I don’t have time to read!

Besides, reading is hard. It takes effort. You have to pick up a book and open it and let your eyes follow the words and you have to focus and make sense of sentences, and ugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… I’m tired.

Full disclosure: In the last six months I have made it to level 378 on Candy Crush; I have read an article about a squid-like horror found in a woman’s coconut water; I have colored my entire Golden Girls coloring book; I have sorted my button collection; I have spent an hour and 46 minutes on hold with Telus to get a $5 credit because my internet was down for 15 minutes;  I re-watched all 10 seasons of Friends; I organized my Tupperware; I spent twenty minutes writing a strongly worded response to a stranger on Facebook about a cause I feel passionately about, and then deleted it; I spent an hour looking for the perfect fruit basket at Home Sense.

In other words: I definitely have some time. 

For the last six months I have chosen NOT to read books. I have chosen to let my brain take an extended holiday to Lollipop Land, and I can feel my brain getting mushier every day.

BUT NO MORE!

I am going to read a book, dammit!

The first step to reading a book is getting a book, and I got one… The Subtle Art of Not Giving A [bleep] by Mark Manson. In this “generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.”

That’s what I want…

I want to become a better, happier person!

And I want to stop wasting my [bleeps] on stupid crap and/or people!

And I want to read more books! 

So I have decided to start a book club (of one) so that I’m held accountable (to myself), and because clubs are awesome, even if you’re the only one in it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Time (It Flies)

Do you ever ask yourself what day it is?

How about the month?

Year?*

(Just me then?)

I became a mother six months ago and something has changed in my brain. I no longer have any concept of time. All the days seem to blur together, and it is always a surprise to me when I hear anyone say the date… I’m always at least a week off.

They say that time flies when you’re having fun. (I’m not sure who “they” are – but “they” say a lot of things.) And they are wrong.

According to Psychology Today,  “when you are cognitively busy, you are focused on each task you are performing […] so you don’t have the opportunity to notice the passage of time. As a result, the interval feels like it passes quickly.”

So, time might be flying because you’re busy – not because you’re having fun.

Of course, it’s all a moot point anyway because time doesn’t really exist.

Whoa, right?

Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli says that our naive perception of its flow doesn’t correspond to physical reality. Reality is just a complex network of events onto which we project sequences of past, present, and future… “Chronology and continuity are just a story we tell ourselves in order to make sense of our existence.” 

Omg.

So, basically, time is an illusion – something that deceives by producing a false or misleading impression of reality – and a delusion – a fixed false belief that is resistant to reason or confrontation with actual fact.

Make sure to say that the next time you’re late for something. (It worked for me at the dentist this morning.)

 

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* Obviously I know what year it is. I mean, I wish it was 1993 again because I preferred the music, but I obviously know that it’s 2016 2018.

The Ice Cream

For the past few Fridays my husband and I have been treating ourselves to a well-deserved ice cream. Around 5pm we stroll down Cambie Street to Rain or Shine to get a pre-dinner cone. I usually carry our seven month old son in the front pack carrier (he refuses to walk).

We’re new parents. We’re hardly sleeping. We’re struggling to “look alive” most days. If we want a pre-dinner cone, we should be allowed to have a pre-dinner cone.

Last Friday, I sidled up to the counter to have a few samples of Rain or Shine’s delicious, homemade ice creams (Honey Lavender, London Fog, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Coconut Chocolate Chunk, Peanut Butter, Vanilla, Cracked Mint, Coffee Toffee, Blueberry Balsamic,  Pumpkin Pie, Bourbon Pecan Pie, Cheddar Apple Pie, Nanaimo Bar, Smores!), and then finally settled on Malted Chocolate Honey Comb. My husband ordered the Triple Chocolate Moose Pie, and then paid for our two cones. As we made our way to the door, I noticed a few pointed looks from the other customers.

At first I thought it was because my husband and I were way, way better looking than anyone else in the store.

I’ll be honest – this happens a lot. It’s really hard when you’re way, way better looking than most people; way, way smarter than most people; way, way funnier than most people; have a really, really magnetic personality; plus have the finest jewels, furs, cars, homes, private jets, etc. Some* of you might know what I’m talking about.

Plus, our baby is really cute, which really gets people’s blood boiling. They look at their own baby (homely) and then our baby (super cute), and they become green with envy**.

I soon realized that these looks weren’t looks of insane jealousy that I frequently get (because of the good looks, smarts, funnies, personality, jewels, furs, cars, homes, jets, cute baby, etc.). These were looks of outrage. These were looks that said: “How can those two people eat ice cream in front of (and in my case – because I was carrying him – above) their baby?”

I’ll be honest, I was outraged. My husband had to pull me away from the ice cream shop because I was about to give them a piece of my mind (or worse). I mean, even though they didn’t actually say or do anything, their sharp looks said enough.

Here’s what I would have said:

Excuse me! Who the hell are you? [Pause for their name.] Well, [name], how dare you imply with your furtive glance that we are bad parents for eating ice cream in front of, and/or above our baby! First of all, he’s a baby, he doesn’t know what’s going on! Secondly, he doesn’t even know what ice cream is! Thirdly, according to Health Canada he can’t eat ice cream anyway! We might as well be eating broccoli! Would you like us to stop eating broccoli as well? Would that make you feel better? Fourthly, it’s been a long week, and this is a well-deserved pre-dinner cone that I’m eating above my child’s head, and yes, I’m dripping Malted Chocolate Honey Comb ice cream and waffle cone crumbs onto his head, but that is neither here nor there. Why don’t you just eat your cone and mind your business! What flavor did you get anyway? [Pause to find out which flavor they chose.] It’s good, isn’t it?

Thinking back, it could have also been because I insisted on sampling every single flavor, and there was a really long line, and when people tried to order before me, I slapped them.

 

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* Not all.

** This can also be a reaction to wearing copper jewelry, due to a chemical reaction.

 

That Time I Went to a Celebrity’s House

There was a time when I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, with whomever I wanted.

That time is no more.

I have responsibilities now… I pay bills. I go to important meetings. I send invoices. I’m also a wife, and a mother, and I have four houseplants that require watering once a week. Pretty serious stuff.

Sometimes (when I’m supposed to be listening to someone, but instead I’m staring about 100 meters off in the horizon), I think back to those crazy, devil-may-care days… Days when I did crazy things, and learned important lessons.

Let me paint you a picture… Los Angeles, 2013. The city is alive. It has a pulse. It vibrates with fervency. It glows with purpose. It is a matron of provocation, offering you everything and nothing.

LA is an exciting city, where anything can happen. And it does.*

Like, being invited to a celebrity’s house. (You know how SoulCycle, micro dogs, palm trees, the 134, and droughts are very LA? So is being invited to a celebrity’s house.)

To be clear: the celebrity did not invite us. The sister of a friend of a friend, knew the boyfriend of the celebrity. He invited the sister, who invited the friend, who invited their friend, who invited us.

So, of course we went.

As we walked up the steep drive to the celebrity’s house, we prayed that our friend (who is the friend of the sister who knows the boyfriend of the celebrity) was already there. I knocked at the door, expecting the celebrity to answer it, but instead some random person opened the door and told us to come in.

I immediately got excited… Because if this random person just let us in, without questioning who we are, we must belong here. 

There were a few dozen people in the house. When we entered, no one looked up, or even glanced in our direction. Again, I got excited… Because we were blending in with celebrities and people who hang out with them.

We quickly found our friend (who is the friend of the sister who knows the boyfriend of the celebrity), got a drink, and then went and sat by ourselves. We spent about two hours like that – sitting by ourselves, talking amongst ourselves. At one point I saw the celebrity across the room, but we made no eye contact.

And then we left.

I learned an important lesson that day…** I never want to be famous!

Here’s why: Celebrities are jerks.***

The celebrity didn’t tell us where the bathrooms were, nor did they refresh our drinks. They didn’t offer us snacks, and they didn’t stop their dog from sniffing our crotches. Heck, they didn’t even greet us when we arrived or say good-bye when we left.

I mean, what is the point of letting your boyfriend’s friend’s friend’s sister invite people to your party if you’re going to completely ignore them?

(The other reason I never want to be famous? You get random people showing up at your house.)

 

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* Sometimes it doesn’t.

** And isn’t that the point?

*** Without exception.

 

The Rainbow

My husband and I recently became parents, and it’s the best thing that ever happened to our marriage.

But not for the reasons you might think.

Yes, having a child has enriched our marriage, strengthened our connection, and made us feel real joy for the first time. (Blah, blah, blah.)

Having a child has also meant that we are sleep-deprived, and that causes a very unique kind of hysteria. The kind of exhaustion-induced delirium that makes everything really, really funny… Including my husband.

Full disclosure: For the first 12 years of marriage I didn’t think that my husband was very funny. Smart, kind, loyal? Yes. Funny? Not so much. I mean, he had his moments (when I consumed beer, wine, or hard liquor). He is very clever and occasionally witty, but during our entire marriage I never, ever slapped my knee with amusement.

The only person in our relationship that really makes me laugh is me. (Yes, I laugh at my own jokes. Yes, they’re very funny.)

But in the last five months, I have never laughed* more.

I’m talking snorting, bowled over, sides hurting, can’t stop, tears streaming, tiny trickle of pee kind of laughing.

You know how a rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky? (Totally, right?)

In order for you to see a rainbow, everything has to align… It’s a phenomenon!

Right now, I’m sleep-deprived, dopey, and off my hilarity game – so my husband’s quips and zingers are really working for me. Everything has aligned… It’s a phenomenon!

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And don’t even get me started on the fact that two people never see the same rainbow. It’s such a metaphor for life really… I mean, the light bouncing off certain raindrops for your rainbow is bouncing off other raindrops from a completely different angle for someone else. And so it’s creating a different image – basically, no two people can stand in the same exact spot at the same time to view the same rainbow. Omg.

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* Or cried.