Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Autumn Leaves Have Faded Now That Smile I Lost Well I've Found Somehow

The autumn blues are not new to me. They are not unexpected or original or even interesting but here I am, wrapped up in my melancholy and raging against a season.

I'm struggling. I don't remember being this sad. It feels like I'm spending a lot of time and effort just to be myself. And still I'm failing. I wake up angry that my nose is cold but I refuse to shut the bedroom window at night. I try to measure my words but still they come out snappish and shrill. I cry. At everything.

I know it will pass. It always does. The days get shorter and the rain becomes more frequent but soon I'll be back to being me. October is hockey and my birthday and Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie. Until then, I've got this cuddle bug reminding me to smile.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

In The Dark Of The Night In The Hotel When You're Alone In The Middle Of The City Where Nobody Cares To Know

On Monday we left the murder hotel and checked into the wedding hotel (the MGM.) We sprang for the spa suite which was awesome because it was a fabulous room but bad because when we got home we were all "where is our king-sized bed? where is the jacuzzi? where is the man that brings us turkey sandwiches at 4am when we press '0'?"

Monday night was the bachelorette party. The planning of the bachelorette party was stressful but it was a great night. It kind of falls under the "blogging someone else's story" category though so I'll leave you with a picture of Cat and I doing our best to look glamorous.

Tuesday morning was rough. Shawn and I hit the MGM buffet and decided that we never wanted to leave. Pasta, sushi, a taco bar, a sundae bar - it was insane. We ate our way into a food coma and then slept until the rehearsal dinner.

The rehearsal dinner was held at the Hofbrauhaus. It was a lot of fun but I was feeling a tad too fragile to fully partake in the evening's activities. Shawn rallied but even still only ordered the half-litre instead of the litre of beer.

Tuesday was an early night. The live band and abundance of sausage and lederhosen-clad staff were an overwhelming combination for my booze-addled brain. Shawn and I went back to the hotel early so we'd be well-rested for the wedding on Wednesday.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Falling Down A Canyon Like A Couple Drunken Criminals

We visited the Grand Canyon on the second day of our holiday.

We spent day 1 checking into our hotel, unpacking, re-packing, changing rooms (I am no princess when it comes to hotels but a bloody-looking carpet stain and a shower that refused to drain forced me to the brink of crazy) and passing out (in our new! murder free! room) after drinking too many margaritas.

We were ready for some fun on day 2 is what I'm saying.

We did a day-long bus tour instead of a road trip because we ran out of planning time. The tour worked for us in that we got to see the Grand Canyon with minimal effort, but it was definitely not the best way to see the canyon. I'm glad we went but I still want to go back one day to do it properly.

Shawn and I were both a bit grumbly by the time the bus parked (5 hours from Vegas to the Grand Canyon + bathroom breaks = a longass time on a bus) but when we peeked through the trees and saw the canyon for the first time our grumbles turned to awe. Our awe soon turned to giggles as the Grand Canyon is ripe with "that's what she said" jokes (it's so big! it's so red! it's so deep!) and we are 12 years old.

It's impossible for me to describe the Grand Canyon, just like it was impossible to take a photo that really captured its magnitude. It was like looking at the ocean; you know that it ends somewhere but it is so far off in the distance that it seems endless.

It was a wonderful day that I'm so glad I got to share with Shawn (even though he insisted on giving me multiple heart attacks by going right up to the edge and even climbing down a few rocks until my voice got all shrill and tight and I suggested that perhaps he could stop being a jackass because I am too young to be a widow.)

Monday, 20 September 2010

Well Could I Speak Any Plainer? I Need You Here Just To Lean My Way And Fall, Fall, Fall

Friday night, a few hours after my demoralizing ass incident, I got all dolled up to go watch Shawn play a show. I didn't really feel like going but Shawn's band was headlining and a couple of my girlfriends were going and it was Friday night, so I rallied.

There is an area of downtown where bars and clubs line the streets and people in various stages of drunkenness congregate on weekend nights. Shawn's band played at a bar right in the midst of the entertainment jungle. As we swam through a sea of stilettos and popped collars, a fresh-faced babyman stopped me and said he needed to tell me something. Now, I've done my fair share of clubbing and I'm certainly no stranger to the excitement of bright lights and too many drinks on a Friday night, but years of choosing sports bars and live music lounges over dance clubs and trendier venues (and, you know, being married) has left me a bit out of practice when it comes to being hit on by random dudes. So I stopped. And babyman looked at me all wide-eyed and earnestly told me that I'm the reason men fall in love.

At which point I laughed harder than I have in a long time and thanked the universe for sending me a babyman armed with cheesy pickup lines on the same day that a douchebag shouted hateful words at me from his Porsche.

I spent some time thanking the universe for you too, lovely blog readers. Every single one of your comments made this fat-bottomed girl very happy. You are all the reason men fall in love (sorry, I can't help it. It's my new compliment.)

Friday, 17 September 2010

Now Then Mardy Bum I See Your Frown

For the most part, I'm fairly comfortable with the way I look. I appreciate my height. My eyes are pretty. Genetics gave me good skin (thanks, Mom!) I can look at a picture of myself (when I'm polished and sparkly and fancy) and think that I look alright. But there will always be the bits that cause me angst: my extra-long torso paired with my stubby legs, my monster calves that prevent me from wearing most boots, and my ass. My robust, prominent, jiggly ass.

I am not my ass. I know this. I know that I am smart and funny and can make a mean blueberry pancake. I am kind and generous and if my friends or family ever need a mustache-on-a-stick or a shoulder to cry on, they know that I will do my best to provide both. My ass does not prevent me from being a good friend. It doesn't make me less smart. No one cares about my ass. But I do.

So when I'm walking across the street (with the walk signal, it should be noted) and a douchebag in a convertible Porsche yells at me to hurryup!fatass!, I will blush a furious shade of red and surreptitiously glance around me to confirm that yes, I am the only one in the crosswalk. Then I'll put on my sunglasses - even though it's cloudy - to hide my angry tears and hate myself for caring what some random idiot thinks about my body.

It's silly to let myself be so affected by a stranger's hateful words. I know this just like I know that I am more than my ass. But knowing that doesn't change the fact that I was affected by his words. Was affected because after I hit publish, I refuse to waste any more time or emotional energy on him. Other than to wish that the sky opens up and fills his car with rain.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

You Got To Burn To Shine

I have a deep and abiding love for travel-sized beauty products. Tiny bottles of shampoo and wee tubes of toothpaste have a special place in my heart. My bathroom cabinet is a cornucopia of lotions and soaps all packaged up in teensy little containers. It is extremely pleasing (to me. To Shawn? Not so much.)

Shawn and I have both been busy (erm ... lazy) since returning from Vegas so we aren't fully unpacked. The suitcases are empty and the laundry is complete but the the bits and bobs, the carry on stuff, and the toiletries are spread throughout the condo. The bathroom is more "cluttered, impassable mountain of bottles and vials" than "pleasing haven of miniature cosmetic goods."

Last night I fell asleep while watching television so I was a bit groggy as I brushed my teeth and washed my face. I reached for what I thought was a mini bottle of aloe vera gel and started to spread it on my nose (side note: on the last day of our holiday I got the worst sunburn of my life on my nose. It started to peel and blister so I applied a soothing cream ... and had an allergic reaction. My nose is almost neon red. The skin is peeling and rashy and is blistered and raw. Shawn has started calling me his little leper. Pure aloe vera gel is my new best friend.) So last night I was tired and not really paying attention as I started gingerly dabbing the aloe vera gel on my poor nose. It stung like a motherfucker. But my nose has been quite stingy throughout this whole ordeal so I kept dabbing away until my eyes were watering and my nose was on fire and I look at the bottle and realize that I'm not applying pure aloe vera gel, I'm dousing my wound with hand sanitizer. You know, the stuff that's made from 2 parts alcohol and 1 part evil? Yeah. My nose is probably going to fall off my face.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

She Drives A Vegetable Car

I'm home! I'm back! I'm ... tired.

Our holiday was wonderful and I have a million things I want to write about and a million photos to share but today is my first day back at work and I'm drowning.

So. Photos and words to come. One day.

I do need your help today, though. You see, Vegas isn't exactly the easiest place to eat healthily. I probably managed to eat four vegetables over the course of the week (and two of those vegetables were tomatoes and jalapenos on a hamburger.) A week of drinking ridiculous amounts of booze and eating ridiculous amounts of fried food and cheese has left me feeling chubby and cranky and gross. I'm on a diet is what I'm saying. I've never really followed a capital-d Diet before and I'm not going to now; I'm more interested in just doing my best to eat real food. Nothing processed. Nothing fried. Nothing neon-coloured. The problem is that a week of eating in restaurants and buffets has spoiled me and I've lost my inspiration to cook. I need recipes, peeps, and quickly. My thighs plead with you to send me recipes for healthy (tasty! spicy! exciting!) food that will get me back on track. The bowl of ice cream that I (shamefully) inhaled last night while Shawn was at band practice is a clear indication that I cannot be trusted to do this alone.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Going To The Chapel

Dear Cat,

Today you got married. Today I stood beside you as you said your vows and married the man of your dreams. I am so happy that you are so happy. I'm so happy that you've found the man that makes your heart smile.

You've been an excellent friend to me. I've known you for 15 years now and you have never let me down. You have listened to me and never once judged my crazy. You have danced with me and shopped with me and cried with me when things turned pear-shaped.

I am currently fairly inebriated (and by "fairly" I mean "extremely" and by "inebriated" I mean "I tried to get into the wrong hotel room") but believe me when I say that I love you to bits. To bits, you hear? Love, Hills xoxo

Friday, 3 September 2010

You Gotta Wrap Your Fuzzy With A Big Red Bow

I cannot thank you enough for your comments on my last post. I got the news late Tuesday and then spent all day Wednesday in a bit of a tear-induced, sleep-deprived haze. Your kind words were like fuzzy little hugs I received all day long on Wednesday. It's made me a bit of a shmoopy mess, actually. I keep rereading your comments and emails and tearing up a little. I've fallen madly and completely in love with the Internet again is what I'm saying.

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In happier news, today is Turtle's birthday! Happy birthday to my gorgeous, brilliant older sister. Thanks for being so sane when I am so crazy. Thanks for reminding me that family is important. Thanks for never forgetting to bring the gin to family events. Love you!

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Tomorrow is Bow's birthday so happy (almost) birthday to my sweet, beautiful younger sister. Bow doesn't read my blog but if she did I would say thanks for being such a good puppy sitter. And thanks for not turning Wolfgang into slippers that time he refused to poop anywhere except on your living room rug. For a week. Love you!

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In much much happier news, Shawn and I leave tomorrow for Vegas. I am so excited. Work has been insane this week (I wish I could tell my work stories but I don't want to get fired) so this holiday is much needed. I've spent many minutes doing the silent angry cry in the office bathroom this week. I plan to make up for it by spending many many minutes drinking alcohol by a pool this weekend.

Hope everyone has a fantastic long weekend!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

When I Was A Young Girl I Used To Drink Ale

This is Barney with his greyhound Tara. Tara was a racing dog. Barney rescued her after she could no longer race. Every day Barney and Tara would sit in the pub and drink beer (ale was his first choice but he'd settle for a Guinness if he didn't like the ale on tap.) Barney would buy a package of pork scratchings and toss them down to Tara as he sipped his beer and told his stories. Barney had the best stories. He told tales of the war and of his Italian girlfriend who he had to leave behind when he was shipped back to England. He would talk of his (British) sweetheart and the life they had and the children they raised before she was taken from him by a faulty vessel in her brain. Barney was a bit of a ladies' man. You could tell from the twinkle in his eye.

The pub was never very busy during the lunch hour so even though I was the only one working, I could sit and listen to Barney talk. Half of the time I had no idea what he was saying; his accent was thick and his voice was muffled and too much drink made his tongue thick. I didn't mind, though. I just loved to listen to him.

I left England five years ago and have only been back to visit once. I used to phone Barney every Sunday but it became too difficult; his hearing was failing and he would get frustrated and emotional and I couldn't stand to hear him upset. I resorted to sending him cards and letters, telling myself I would send something at least once a week. Once a week became once a month and then once a month shamefully became a few times a year.

When Shawn and I got married, I told Barney of our plan to honeymoon in England and Ireland. In every letter he sent me he would ask when I was coming back to England and every time I answered that I was coming back "soon." Our honeymoon got pushed back to 2009, then 2010, and then, far past the point of it being even remotely acceptable to call it a honeymoon, we decided on April 2011. We've been talking and planning for weeks now, trying to figure out a way to make our trip happen. I have been so excited to tell Barney that we weren't going to visit "soon" but had a definite date.

Tonight I found out that Barney was admitted to the hospital last week with kidney failure and passed away. He lived a good, long life and spent his later years lonely and in pain. I know that he is at peace now, or rather I tell myself that he is at peace now, but selfishly I feel sad. Barney was a dear, sweet man and my life was made better because it included him. I just wish that I had managed to make it back to England to see him one last time.