always being the biggest one in the group meant that i couldn’t ever shop where my friends did. nothing ever fit me in the places we’d go and i wouldn’t dare suggest we go to the one store/section which had things i could try on. the only thing i could buy when out with others was shoes. so i did. i bought a lot of shoes.

now, thankfully, i have friends who i can actually shop with. it’s a still a novel experience and so much girly fun to be able to throw things over the changing room walls to share the awesome and/or hilarity with. even though i’m still bigger than everyone else, sometimes i can try on the same things and it is good.

but, shoes. my one solace. shoes are now off the table. the last few years have utterly ruined me for shoes. what with my hobbit-wide feet and non-existent arches and orthotic inserts and plantar fasciitis and, most recently, stress fractures, finding shoes which 1) fit; and, b) don’t hurt in some way is almost impossible. unless, of course, i don’t care how fucking ugly and or expensive they are.

i didn’t realize just how much i relied on my ability to find shoes when i couldn’t find anything else to help me feel normal. now that that is gone… it’s just kind of makes me sad.

do i wake up to fire and brimstone tomorrow? frog-rain and gyllenhaals trying to save the planet? or, do i get a whole december 21st to do with as i please? or! is there a set time for everything to go to apocalypse? 3:38pm mayan time, perhaps?

i’m not trying to be all glib; i just want to know if i’ll have enough time to get a few things done before it all goes kaboom, you know?

truth be told, i’m hoping i get a full friday. i’ll go to work, come home, snuggle cats, laugh with my mom, watch Fringe, go to bed and then just cease to exist.

while i understand that not everyone is going to be a rockstar/princess/president/celebrity and that there need to be garbagemen/sewer workers/gas station attendants for the world to work properly, some days i have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that i’m not more successful.

then i get cranky with myself.

i’m just a clerk. i file things and organize things and buy things and distribute things. i’m good at answering questions about computers. i make a comfortable living doing this menial office work. i get to go home at the end of eight-and-a-half hours and not worry about much. my co-workers respect me and often give me quite glowing feedback.

i just sometimes feel like i let people down.

sometimes, i even feel like i let myself down.

i forgot my blog’s twelfth birthday. i’m sorry, weblog. you’ve been good to me. you deserve better…

2011: time files (and so do i!)
2010: pass the cake!
2009: well, fuck me running
2008: belated, like always
2007: (it looks like i was busy trying to buy car, and forgot)
2006: trolls and stalkers and spam, oh my!
2005: belated blogday
2004: four fucking years!
2003: (there were technical difficulties of some sort, it seems)
2002: time flies
2001: who woulda thunk it
2000: the post which started it all

  • 12 years
  • 2,835 entries*
  • 12,020 comments*
  • eleventy-million designs
  • all the photos
  • 4 computers
  • 3 cars
  • 2 apartments
  • 1 girl

with twitter & facebook, texts & imessages, friends & boyfriend, the reasons i started this website in the summer of 2000 just don’t seem to be there for me any longer. i find this place a thing i feel i should update, rather than one i want to update. i come by once a month or so to put some more words on the internet which no one but a handful of you with it still in their RSS reader will read. unless they’re famous or topical, no one wants to read the verbal diarrhea (flashback: that was the title of my first website circa 1994) of some fat, forty-year-old cat lady.

since i seem to have become a crazy purging minimalist, i wouldn’t be surprised to find myself cleaning out the cobwebs from these URLs one day. i have no concrete plans to mothball and/or delete anything (i kind of hate it when people just randomly delete their entire web presences — especially if they do it often), but i can forsee a time when i might try to curate it down to the “best of heather 2000-2012” or something a little neater than this shitty default template of bleh.

i’ve met so many amazing people thanks to this blog. seriously, so many amazing people i call my friends because we started reading each others’ thoughts on screens over the last decade or so. some, i’ve lost touch with and wish i hadn’t. some, i’ve lost touch with and don’t mind that much. but, to those who are still in my life, just a little or very much a lot, i’m so thankful for your friendships, so grateful for showing me your worlds as i showed you some of mine. you’ve all helped to make me a better heather.

*these counts don’t include the six months of blogger.com entries which weren’t imported individually into the subsequent CMSs & didn’t have comments to start with, so i had to use a third-party comment system which eventually went bye-bye without an archive.

However it started, it must have been somewhat like this. Although, truth be told, I’ve long forgotten all the details that make such an experience the type which, as it is happening, makes your mind halt for a moment and note to itself with mild astonishment, “This, I believe, is something I won’t ever forget.”

I do remember how it ended, though. I can recall every tear, every sob, every whisper as I walked through town. If you’ve ever tried to keep a secret among people who have known you in any way more than passing acquaintance, you know it is an impossibility. And to still those wagging tongues whose owners seem to have naught to occupy themselves save reveling in their perceived glorification compared to your gossiped fall from grace takes the skill of a snake-charmer and the will of God.

The days leading up to my moment of reckoning were the same effortless days of childhood that everyone experiences. The delight in attempting to capture crickets in the vacant lot down the street, sitting on the front step blowing soap bubbles and truly believing that you could use them to communicate with your playmate next door, coming home at dusk, covered with grass stains and dust and being whisked off to a hot, soapy bath by a mother whose continuous chatter about cleanliness barely hid her longing to do the same. Days that seem to last forever. Days that never come again.

Sarah, my best friend Jenny’s little, and intensely annoying, sister, had just finished carrying out our cardboard lemonade stand to the curb in from of their blue and white split-level home. She came running back into the kitchen, her platinum blond hair bouncing in its tiny ringlets, panting with exertion and excitement. Jenny was negotiating the use of the “good glasses” with her mother while I sat in the nook, brow furrowed in single-minded concentration upon my task. Our sign had to be perfect.

“Shelley,” Sarah panted into my shoulder, “can I colour the lemons? Shelley? Can I?”

I’ve always been hard to disturb when occupied with a task I was determined to perfect. Poor Sarah may as well been pleading with an Easter Island monolith for all the reaction she garnered from my twelve-year-old form.

“Shelley!” Sarah stomped, turning to her sister. “Jenny, can I colour the lemons? Shelley’s ignoring me again.”

Jenny looked over her shoulder at her sister, her honey-coloured hair falling down her back in shimmering waves. “Shelley?” she softly asked.

No matter how deeply within myself I’d delved, regardless of the importance I’d prioritized a task, Jenny had the uncanny ability to pierced my attention and draw me back to the world at large, or the world we had created for ourselves.

“Mmnh?” I mumbled around a mouthful of chestnut hair as my mix-matched eyes sought out my closest friend in the world.

“Sarah wants to colour the lemons after you’ve finished drawing them.”

I wrinkled my nose at the thought of that obnoxious seven-year-old even going near my masterpiece; but I’d never been able to deny Jenny anything. I could tell from her look and subtle tiredness in her voice that she saw this as a means to an end. Occupy Sarah and we could be free of her for a short spell.

“Yeah, okay.” I said after removing the offending lock of hair that somehow always managed to find its way into my mouth when I was concentrating. Looking at Sarah, I directed her, “but don’t mess it up. I’ve been working on this all morning. Okay?”

This was all Sarah wanted to hear. “Okay! I’ll be super careful, I promise!” and she skipped happily to the other room until she was beckoned to her task.

I rolled my eyes and sighed a little as Jenny smiled that sympathetic grin, which seemed to say, “It’s okay. And even if it isn’t, it’s not the end of the world.” If anyone else had given me that look I would have flown into a rage, hissing like an alley cat. But it was Jenny. Beautiful, even-tempered Jennifer.

Again, I put my head down and that offending lock of hair snaked its way back between my lips. My total concentration broken by the preceding exchange, I could make out Jenny’s conversation with her mother as I completed the finishing touches (leaving the lemons black outlines for Sarah, of course) of our soon to be proud banner declaring: Lemonade 2ยข.

“She’s only trying to help because she looks up to you two so much, Jennifer” Mrs. Mitchell said to her twelve-year-old daughter as she smoothed a stray bang from Jenny’s eyes.

Jenny nodded slowly, “Yeah, I know, Mom. But she really gets on Shelley’s nerves sometimes.” She stealthily glanced over at me with that statement, hoping I hadn’t heard her. She’d been my buffer from Sarah for as long as that imp was old enough to start following us on our adventures. She knew how much Sarah irked me, and in her amazingly peaceful way, without ever once complaining about it, understood what it would take to make me happy and made sure it was done.

For that, and a million other reasons, I loved her beyond comprehension.

– i went to Thunder Bay, Ontario. there were mosquitos and a sunburn.
– my mom came to visit for two weeks and i didn’t once want to kill her.
– i got a new dress. it is pretty.
– i found out i don’t have any heart damage from my 2009 pulmonary embolism.
– i got another new dress. it was ugly so i sent it back.
– i turned 40. there were cakes.
– i got new brakes (thanks, josh).
– i couldn’t find any new shoes.

it’s been an eventfully uneventful summer so far. there seems to be lots of things happening, but also lots of things not happening. i’m either too busy and stressed out or bored, lonely and sad.

oh, and the cats are shedding. a LOT.

one interesting development which came from my 40th birthday party (thanks again, kimli!): turns out that people see me as a Doctor Who fanatic. i got a Dalek cake, original Doctor Who art cards, a sonic screwdriver pen and eleven tiny Doctors. i never really saw myself as a crazy fan, but i guess others do. yeah, i know i named my cats after characters on the show, but that was mostly because they’re my companions (get it?). and, yeah, i have a tardis on my iphone, but that was a gift. i dunno. i guess it’s just strange to get such a different perspective on how others see me.

tonight, i’ve invited the internet over to my house to take away all my craft supplies. since the kittens came into my life, i can’t go into production like i used to because they’re always trying to help and most of the things i like to make need curing time and if there’s anything out the cats think it’s for them. unfortunately, i don’t think many people are going to take me up on my offer which disappoints me some. i have a lot of cool shit! i’d much rather it went to fun people i know that the Sally Ann where it’ll probably just get tossed or lost in the piles of unwanted stuff.

i’m currently entirely disappointed in work and it’s frustrating not being able to talk about it to get it off my chest and out of my head. but, i can say that i really hope we change pensions because if we do, i can then officially start the countdown to retirement at 55. fifteen years, baby!

sigh.

you know, i had a great weekend.

i went out for a birthday dinner where i tried ethiopian food for the first time (and loved it) and then decimated an ice cream cake while watching “cack” videos. had the car serviced and drove my first courtesy car to a very important meeting, braved saturday afternoon costco for almonds and then had friendly pub times. then, we had brunch and sneaky airport reunions with scary accessories and celebratory chicken & african chocolate bars.

everything about the weekend was awesome, except… i’m exhausted and i feel entirely drained and worn out. i didn’t get my laundry finished or my cooking done so my lunch is a haphazard hash of leftovers and my breakfast was far less palatable with the missing cheese. i got less than zero quality me time and, holy fuck, am i grumpy about it.

i don’t even get any relief because i have to get the laundry & cooking done before i go back to the airport to pick up someone else tonight.

WHINE.

i guess i’m just not built for fun times. sigh.

so, i didn’t mean to, but i accidentally decided not to tweet for a week to see if anyone would notice the absence of my 140-character-at-a-time addition to the interwebs.

no one did.

wait, that’s not entirely true. my mother noticed. after the third day, she sent me a text asking where my tweets were.

thanks, mom. i knew you loved me best!

this is good information to have, i suppose. i should be leaving a week’s worth of food and water out for the kittens because that seems to be the minimum amount of time they’d be without anyone coming to check for my body if i happened to suddenly expire. of course, they could just eat me, but i like to believe they love me too much to desecrate my corpse after only five days.

yes, you could call me an optimist!

but, because i didn’t want you to go entirely without my tweetitude, here are the tweets i would have tweeted if i’d been tweeting this week:

  • sick day. blergh.
  • happy (belated) birthday, @kickpleat!
  • suddenly obsessed with getting an iMac. too bad i have no money and all future monies i may receive are spoken for.
  • wash hands. apply lotion. wash hands. apply lotion. wash hands. apply lotion.
  • i’m getting tired of waking up an hour after i’ve gone to bed. wide awake. THIS IS NOT NAP TIME, DAMMIT!
  • red licorice and tomato soup do not make for a nutritious dinner.
  • how long should i wait for a charge to appear on my credit card before i can safely assume i got my parking for free?
  • it’s taken almost eleven months, but i think my belly button is finally back to not being all weird from surgery.
  • i really wish it wasn’t such a big deal. #obamalovesthegays
  • at $50/mo., it would take me 6 years 4 months to buy all the tech i want today.
  • of course the first person to notice i hadn’t tweeted in three days would be my mother. you didn’t notice, did you?
  • ow. owowowowow.
  • mewling quim! i love you joss whedon.
  • i feel like getting shwarma now.
  • i’m going to pay for this in the morning, but that was really, really worth it. really.
  • happy fifth tweeting anniversary to me! (how ironic is it that i’m not tweeting on it.)
  • @rose_and_amy need to stop being so adorable in the mornings. it makes it too heart-wrenching to get out of bed.
  • if Ian Somerhalder plays Christian Grey in the movie, i might just die from the sexy. (yes, i’m reading FSofG. shut up, you read Twilight!)

 

i wasn’t looking forward to going back to work today, so i put myself to bed at a reasonable hour and, despite the rainy traffic noise i managed to fall asleep and get myself into some pretty immersive dreams.

then i heard the yowling.

it woke me up enough to realize that it was a mournful cat sound and i sleepily called out “Rose! it’s okay. come to bed!” thinking it was her meyowling out the window at some emo raindrops as she’s wont to do.

what seemed like a couple of hours later, the yowling got louder and more regular and i realized neither kitten was hogging my bedspace, so i got up to see what the problem was. both cats were hovering around the door to my aparment with HUGE eyes and inconsolable twitching. i tried to cuddle them into submission but they were having none of it. i hunted for poop/puke piles and checked food/water. nothing was amiss. finally, i shut them in the bathroom to avoid bolting, put on my robe and opened the door to the hall.

imagine my sleepy surprise to find the above pictured tuxedo cat hissing at me after midnight. it was the one doing the yowling and disturbing my kittens through the gap below my door. it wouldn’t have anything to with me besides growling at my existence and when i walked both downstairs and up to see if any apartment doors were ajar, he (or so i assume) was always half a hall away and scowling like Cleo.

i went back inside my apartment and texted my super asking if the new people upstairs had a black and white cat, stuffed a towel under the door to block out any stressful sounds/smells in hopes my kittens would calm the fuck down and then i proceeded to spend the next hour stressed out about this damn hallway cat.

where did he come from? is he a resident of my building? did he sneak in an outside door and get stuck? if he did live there, why didn’t his people miss him? why hasn’t anyone else heard the mournful meyowling and investigated? why didn’t i get my kittens rabies shots so i could take him in for the night? where the fuck were his people? why hasn’t my super answered my midnight text message? am i ever going to get back to sleep?

i somehow managed to fall asleep and stay so until my alarm started faking daylight just after four a.m. i hadn’t heard any more yowling, so i hoped that someone had realized the situation and brought him back inside. i was wrong. he yowled again. oh, fuck.

i decided to ignore the issue until after my shower as my kittens weren’t as anxious and upset as they’d been earlier (i guess the towel trick worked – yay). so, after i’d cleaned up and the girls had been fed, i peeked out the door again to see the situation. i hadn’t heard anything more and couldn’t see him at first, but i the sound of my deadbolt unlocking brought him up the stairs to see what was going on. i spotted his ears peeking up over the top step and heard his morning hissing.

by now he’d been in the halls for at least seven hours without amenities, so i put out a tiny bit of dry food and a small cup of water for him and he eagerly and, dare i say it, happily came prancing over to check it out. i thought maybe he’d realized i wasn’t an enemy until he growled the entire time he was chewing. ungrateful jerk!

i went back inside to get back to my morning routine to prepare to go return to the daily slog and happened to hear another apartment door open, close and then an exterior door do the same. hoping this was Tuxie’s owner getting up early, i peeked into the hall. no, cat was still there, but the early leaving neighbour had picked up the dish of food and put it up on a ledge where the hallway cat couldn’t get it. WTF?!

why would this person take the food away from the cat? WHY? if it wans’t their cat, why would they bother? if it was their cat, why didn’t they just put him back in their apartment? grr, fuck! i was (and still am, obviously) fucking confused by this behaviour. so, being the sucker i am, i put on shoes (because, by this point, hallway cat was guarding the hall with hissing and threats of violence and i didn’t want to get blooded by a strange feline before six a.m.) to go return the food to the floor so he could return to breakfast. which he happily, and hungrily, did.

i wish i had a happy ending to this tale as he was lounging on those stairs when i left for work at 7 a.m. i’m going to call the super on my lunch break to see if he knows who the cat belongs to and, if he doesn’t, hope that he’s just not been let loose into the wild.

this kind of thing guts me entirely. i wish i’d had the balls to go knocking on doors at one a.m. i wish i’d been able to take him in to feel less scared. i wish his people weren’t such heartless fuckers to not give a shit about where he’d been all night.

thank god it’s March!

my NO SPEND MONTH experiment went fairly well, i’d say. i didn’t feel entirely deprived and i learned to say “no” and “not yet” instead of “mastercard” and “charge it”. my mom suggested i keep a list of all the things i didn’t buy but wanted to during the month. so, here are the things i didn’t buy myself on the day i wanted to:

1. adorable ball jar salt & pepper shakers – $15 (these arrived in my mailbox without me ordering them — thanks, Jane!)
2. lunch – $10 (thanks, chris!)
3. awesome london throw pillow – $90
4. chinese food – $27
5. all the things at old navy – $80
6. cute crocs – $35
7. cat shirt for boy – $30
8. custom free things – $8
9. new laundry basket to replace my breaking one – $10
10. new floor lamp to replace my broken one – $40 (i ended up fixing my lamp for free!)
13. lunch – $10 (thanks, chichi!)
14. cheesecake – $7
15. glee songs from itunes – $3
17. chicken & yogurt – $25
18. expensive razors with built-in lube – $15
21. lottery ticket & full-size haagen-dazs – $13
23. gorgeous 24 hours in london print – $40
24. discount snowflake throw pillows – $13
27. groupon for nando’s – $10

total not spent: $481

but, to be totally honest, i did somehow manage spend $155 of my own money at the casino where my mom took me after picking me up at the ferry last weekend. i also spent $25 at Shoppers that i accrued into March so i would have enough cash money to buy snacks & yogurt for the ANTM viewing party on the last day of the month. that’s not exactly cheating, is it?

all in all, it was a worth-while exercise and i’m fairly impressed with my willpower.

now, i’ll just have to resist the urge to run out and buy all the things on that list above! ;)

i’m halfway through my NO SPEND MONTH and things seem pretty good so far. the first week was pretty dodgy, but now that we’re on the downhill slope things are getting easier. it helps that i’ve been able to go out for meals with friends and i haven’t yet had to break out the sardines which have been hiding out in my cupboard for who knows how long.

i’ve been keeping a list of things i didn’t buy (which i will publish at the end of the month), but i find that as the month progresses there’s fewer things i have to stop myself from purchasing. i think they call that progress.

otherwise… yeah. hi.

i came home from ValenTaco Tuesday last night to find a box of chocolates and a card on my kitchen table from my dad. he snuck in during the day and left them for me. AWW! i have the best dad ever. no, really. i’ll totally fight you if you think differently.

ever feel like you have something stuck in your throat but you know you don’t and all the coughing and swallowing in the world never makes it go away? turns out that’s a thing. it’s called cricopharyngeal spasms. turns out it’s not cancer and just a “cramp” in the little valve in your layrnx which opens and closes when you swallow. now you know!

i love my kindle. why? it’s only the seventh week of 2012 and i’ve already read seven books (and will have read eight by the end of today). don’t believe me? go check out my goodreads stats (sign up required, sorry)! seriously, i haven’t read this voraciously in so many years. it’s awesome. of course, it doesn’t hurt that i’m mostly reading YA fluff, but whatever. it’s just nice to be excited about books again. it’s been a long time. too long. so, yeah, thank you, kindle. you’re my hero.

btw, if you like dystopian YA (The Hunger Games, Divergent), go read Marie Lu’s Legend. it’s fantastic! (thanks, Shan!)

as is tradition, i’ll be damn glad when january is over. ugh, this month! what is it about this month?

***

everytime i’m in the kitchen slicing a lot of something, i think about that late series episode of Dawson’s Creek in which Pacey is working in the restaurant owned by that kind of jerky rich guy. he’s given a bushel of potatoes and told to slice them as thinly as he can. after something like a month of slicing bowl upon giant bowl of potatoes he finally has a Pacey-style hissy fit and is all “why am i slicing all these goddamn potatoes?!” and his dick boss hands him a dish and says “so you don’t waste these super-expensive truffles”.

i don’t know why i think of that, but i do. then i think about how that was kind of a pivotal moment for Pacey as he finally found something he was willing to suffer through to the end because it was like he knew cooking was going to be the one thing he was really good at. lucky for him he found someone to teach him.

btw, i may have that all completely wrong, but it’s how i remember it. so there.

***

seriously, why do you people like me?

***

i haven’t been to the gym since…early october? maybe late september. i can practically feel my muscles turning into fat. i have so many owies it’s like i’m 80 when i try to get out of bed at 5am. you’d think that would inspire me to get back to it, right? you’d be wrong. besides the fact that i barely have enough energy to get from work to home and from the car to a supine position on my new couch means that just the thought of — shudder — exercise exhausts me. then all the ow which i know will come from abusing what’s left of my muscles… ugh. no thanks.

seriously, they’re not kidding when they say the hardest part of working out is just getting in the gym.

i’m trying to gear myself up mentally for it. but… that’s three hours less kitten time per week! how could i ever survive?

***

speaking of kittens, i think they’ve broken me.

pre-cats i was a sucker for animal and senior welfare, but now i seem to be some total pansy-ass compassionate do-gooder. or at least i would be if i weren’t too scared to talk to strangers.

it just seems that i’m suddenly finding myself being empathicly drawn to people and creatures which seem to be in distress. and, if i can’t actually help them, find myself getting all sniffly and worrying about them long past my observation of them.

last week, i saw a pigeon in distress while i was driving back to work after lunch. i cried all the way to the office because i couldn’t help it because i had to go back to the office.

yesterday, i saw this woman on the sidewalk being held tightly on the upper arm by a man. she wasn’t looking at him, but out at the cars driving by. i wanted to turn around and find some excuse to interrupt them to ascertain if she was being manhandled. later on my commute, a man was squatting down while holding a small black book against his face with the palms of his hands. it looked like he might be crying. i wanted to go back and ask him if he was okay.

but, i didn’t.

and i worry that makes me a bad person.

what’s worse? not noticing these things and feeling a compassionate need to assist or noticing & feeling but not doing anything but fucking blogging about it?

christmas ruined me.

well, it wasn’t just christmas. it was the most expensive haircut i’ve ever had. then it was LONDON. then the new iPhone. then the new dress & shoes & handbag. then christmas. then travelling to/from the island. then the new couch. then Christopher’s 40th birthday & party. then the $50 pen. then the destination wedding accommodations. then, then, then…

everything i’ve spent in the last four months has seemed needed and important and, when taken separately, affordable. but now? i’m all tapped out and determined to cast off this cloak of consumerism i’ve been wearing for too many purchases. it’s been a slow death by a thousand cuts and i’m so very tired of bleeding. let me be clear: i’m not in debt for any of these purchases. i have the cash to pay for them all; but, it’s eating into my savings and that is starting to freak me out and piss me off.

to that end, i am declaring February NO SPEND MONTH.

other than things i’ve already budgeted for (thankfully, that’s a lot), i’m not spending anything. that means, when my food & grocery money is spent, i either rummage in my cupboards for miracle meals or i starve. when my entertainment budget is blown, i will not be going out where i will have to pay monies.

hopefully, i will be able to live below my budget for the month and then maybe have a little bit left over to put back into those deflated savings accounts; but, i’ll be happy to be at net zero come the end of Feb.

this declaration is part public commitment to my plan and a head’s up to all those who care that i may be even more hermity next month — especially the last few days — if things don’t go well.

since you arrived from my friend Jodi Chromey, you’ve been my constant companion for the last eight years, six months and 18 days. you’ve travelled with me through four countries, in cars, on boats, in planes and on buses. you’ve written letters, cheques, daily drivel and secret notes.

today, as i was screwing in a new ink cartridge, you finally collapsed. your beautiful red barrel cracked. i couldn’t believe my eyes. i denied the reality before me as you tore yourself apart trying to get one. last. cartridge. inside you for me to use.

i’ve ordered your replacement, but know that you’ll never truly be replaced. thank you for all the words, dearest Lamy. you will never be forgotten.

hi!

2011… didn’t suck.

i visited the ER a couple times. got an organ sucked out of my belly button. went to LONDON! and PARIS! paid off a bank loan i’d been carrying (in one form or another) since 1997. had the best 39th birthday a girl could hope for. gave blood — twice! bought a new couch. i wore dresses! met George Stroumboulopoulos and he is still my voicemail message. i learned to love my kindle. played with glass & painted pottery. i purged, purged and purged again. and, i got my hair professionally coloured for the first time.

of course, it wasn’t all bubble tea & kittens. i had a lot of stress and a lot of SAD. i struggled but i think i made it through in one piece. maybe even a little bit better than i was before it started.

i didn’t feel like ringing in 2012 with a lot of hoopla. i stayed at home, ate pizza, watched some tv and was in bed by 10pm. i was woken by yelling neighbours just before midnight and stayed awake to hear the year tick over. then i kissed a kitten head and went back to sleep.

for this year, i’m not asking for a lot. i’d like it to be free of hospitals, big bills and anxiety/depression. i’d like it to be filled with more friends, kitten bellies and adventures. i want to get back to the gym. i want to eat more veggies. i want to continue to reduce the things i’m caretaking so that i can spend more time with the people (and kittens) i care for. i want to be smarter with my money. i want to be a better daughter, friend and employee.

mostly, i want to not freak the fuck out because i’m turning 40 this summer. ugh.

2012. wtf, right? that was freakin’ science fiction when i was a kid. who knew we’d actually be alive to see it?

so… i went to London & Paris last month. it was awesome. i might blog about it, but Kimli already did in such detail and with typical panache, that i kind of feel like there’s not much more i could add. it’s been three weeks since i returned home and i haven’t done a damn thing with the 1,500 photos i took, either. i just… ugh.

in some ways, i don’t want to talk or write or post anything about it. i find myself savouring moments and experiences by turning them around and over inside my brain, like slowly sucking on a really good candy, trying to more firmly implant the memories so i won’t lose any of the delicious details. it was everything i could have hoped the experience could be. it was just too short and i would love nothing more than to go back. right now. for a year.

but, the three weeks since i’ve been home? suck. i got sick in Europe and kept that up for a good week and a half after i got home. then, just as i thought i was better, i got hit again. on top of some seriously debilitating muscle spasms in my back & neck laying me up and making me whimper, cramps from hell, a mystery foot injury and, the biggest culprit of my autumn misery: all the dark. i’ve been hiding from everything except work and cats. i’ve bailed on at least two fun times because i just can’t bother, it’s so dark, it’s cold, i spent all my money in England, i’m sleepy, i’m sore, etc. so, i’ve been staying home and getting rid of stuff. i’ve been wanting to do a huge purge for a long while now, so at least my hermitage is paying off that way.

otherwise, yeah. i fucking hate this time of year. stuck inside during the only daylight; coming & going in the dark. even with all the lights on full, by 6pm i feel like i should be in bed (and i’m surprised if i’m still awake after 9). this happens every year and in another couple weeks i should be acclimated, but until then? UGH.

i’m thinking that i’m going to eschew gifts this christmas season. i don’t want stuff and, well, i’m broke. i might bake, though. i’ve done so twice in the last week (which is 500% more than in the last two years) and it didn’t suck (and kittens didn’t care enough to get in the way, which is a bonus). we’ll see. i might change my mind if i find something i want someone to buy me. heh.

so, in conclusion, i miss you, i really do. you’re just going to have to come over and hang out with me in my dark, empty apartment while i wear pajama pants and wonder why you like me. okay?

i’m having a hard time keeping the tears back today. i’ve been worrying for two weeks and this is a trigger day for reasons i don’t want to put on the internet. getting to the sad, dog dying part of the book i’m reading didn’t help matters. nor are all these awesome hormones i’m battling.

so, i need to think nice things.

last night was full of nice things. i had a bunch of fun people over to watch the premiere of America’s Next Top Model All-Stars. i also finally (after first deciding it was a good idea) got my wednesday night salad party. yay! although, some people thought that salad was made of cookies or pudding & truffles. i LOVE those kind of people! i even got brave and brought a co-worker into the mix. she got totally fooled and thought all my friends were great. silly co-worker! ;)

and, i managed to have an almost entirely dish-washing-free evening. other than a few bowls and serving utensils, i didn’t have to do any dishes! wahoo!

the kittens were charming and everyone said all the nice things about how tiny and soft and cute and adorable and awesome they are. i’m pretty sure i now know what parental pride feels like. of course, Amy had to be Amy and right in the middle of watching the show, she up and climbed on the plasma tv to entertain my guests. i love my cats. =)

i’m trying hard to make it until quitting time. i wish i could just go home, bury myself in kittens and cry my worry out, but i can’t. so, instead, i write blog posts and wish my day away. why is it so hard sometimes? it doesn’t seem quite fair.

two years ago today, i was walking up the stairs to christopher’s house when my heart started galloping like a racehorse, i couldn’t catch my breath and it felt like someone was standing on my sternum. what i didn’t realize until i was lying in the ambulance hooked up to beeping things, and wouldn’t be confirmed until a few hours later after i received x-rays and a CT scan, was that the reason my left calf had been hurting for a week after my knee operation was that i had a clot in there — and that clot had decided that it wanted emancipation. so, it broke free and zipped through my hemoglobin highways and got stuck in my lung.

where it nearly killed me.

i was lucky in many ways that day. i was quick-witted enough to figure out what had happened even before the diagnosis. i was aware and persistent enough to tell my theory to anyone i came across. i live in a country whose medical system, despite its flaws, is amazing and available to everyone. i had the loving support of my boyfriend and father in the hospital while waiting for a prognosis.

i could have died that day.

the doctors all have mentioned that my clot was big, yet no one will tell me exactly how big it was. that makes me think it was the size of my head and they’re fucking amazed i didn’t drop dead right there. seriously, why wouldn’t they tell me unless it was really scary? so, i know that i dodged a clot-shaped bullet. people routinely die from emboli. one minute you’re walking up the stairs, next you’re dead. bam. just like that.
that could have been me.

it took me a good year to deal with all the PTSD associated with that near-death experience. i’m still not over it all. i have moments where it all comes back to me and i freak the fuck out. i will say that year two was definitely better than year one. this year, i started living again and i think i’ve actually done my second life a little justice this last twelve months.

let’s see, i…

– got rid of that crappy ass volkswagen and
– bought a shiny, new car
– ROAD TRIP!
– got cats. finally.
– had visitors from afar
– bootcamp! regular exercise has been amazing in helping me get my head on straighter.
– lost a wee bit of weight
– paid off ALL my consumer debt!!!
– had the best birthday in the last couple of decades!
– started enjoying living by doing things. with people. outside. OMG!
– got my guts fixed gallbladder removed so i don’t have random, debilitating pain harshing my joie de vivre

and, the best of all…

– booking a trip to England with Kimli & Renee in October!!!

so, yeah. my second life isn’t so bad. i’m kind of glad i’m getting to live it.

all i want to do is:

– read awesome books on my Kindle
– play with/snuggle/scritch/watch my cats
– day-dream about going to London & Paris

i wish i could try out:

– home staging/decorating
– real estate selling
– x-ray technicianing
– fashion designing
– food photography

i really would like to:

– throw out everything and start again
– paint the walls
– not talk for a week
– have someone deliver my meals so i don’t have to think about food

good things from this week:

– new shoes
– fun music times
– adorable cats
– taro slush with pearls, half sweet

things i am looking forward to:

– London & Paris
– mom visiting
– dad’s European river cruise photos
– bedtime

i am:

– tired
– hot
– broke
– dirty
– lazy
– trying