Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Three Or Four Hourglass

Happy third birthday to my Stelly-belly-stinky-pup!

What do you say you make this the year you stop eating poop?

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me Who's Playing Tricks On Me

I write about my life on the Internet. I post photos. I tell stories. I share aspects of my life - of my crazy - that I don't feel comfortable talking about face-to-face. Typing words into a computer gives me a certain sense of freedom that isn't necessarily logical. If I think it through, it's actually quite probable that people I know in my every day life - people who I don't feel comfortable talking to face-to-face about certain things - are reading my blog. So I get twitchy and take my blog offline ... and then I get emails and messages from you lovely bunch, reminding me why I blog in the first place. So thanks, lovelies. Thanks for letting me get a bit crazy sometimes and thanks for checking to make sure everything is alright. Everything is alright. I promise not to think too much in the future to avoid situations like yesterday's meltdown.

Friday, 22 October 2010

I Guess I'm Kinda Lost In Space And London's Okay She Don't Even Ask What Time It Is Anymore

Robin is leaving me again. She's only been home from Africa for three months and she's already jetting off again, this time for London. London! One of my favourite places is claiming one of my favourite people.

It's all happened rather quickly. She was offered an amazing job last week and she will be gone by next Friday. I don't know how I feel about it - I'm excited for her. But I'm (selfishly) sad for me.

I lured her to my place last night with the promise of wine and cheese and her favourite nibblies, fully intending to tie her up and stash her in my closet so she couldn't leave me. My plan worked against me, though, as the wine made me unable to do much beyond tearfully promising to visit next year. Plus Robin knows me well and brought a shiny thing (in the form of the most beautiful starfish necklace) to distract me.

So. My lovely friend is leaving again. I'm trying very hard to be supportive. I really am happy for her and excited for the adventures that lie ahead. I just miss her when she's gone. She's been my Robin since she moved to my neighbourhood when we were seven years old. I love her to bits. And I'm not just saying that so she gives me a free place to stay when I visit London.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I've Gotta Tell You What A State I'm In I've Gotta Tell You In My Loudest Tones That I Started Looking For A Warning Sign

I haven't written much about the sleep clinic because it's boring. It's boring to think about, it's boring to talk about. I can't imagine how boring it must be to read about. It's also frustrating. So far there has been a whole lot of trial and error without much progress. My doctor has determined what my brain is doing that prevents me from sleeping but can't figure out the cause. So. Boring and frustrating. Not exactly blog fodder. It's been a huge part of my life for the last five weeks though, and I'm only able to see now, on the other side, how it's affected me. For the first time in five weeks I feel like I'm seeing clearly.

Five weeks ago my sleep doctor prescribed a sedative to be taken nightly for a month. I had a few qualms about taking a sedative every night but I kept them to myself. I feel a lot of (stupid! pointless!) guilt about living in a country where not only do I get to see a sleep specialist, I don't have to pay for any of the medical services provided. I know it's silly because those resources are not magically applied to someone who needs them more if I choose to not see the sleep doctor, but it doesn't change the fact that I feel like a first-world softy. I feel like I'm supposed to be grateful and willing to try anything so I shut my mouth and nod my head and wear the doctor-prescribed evil breathing mask for six weeks until I'm doing the ugly cry in the respiratory therapist's office, begging her to take the mask back from me. (She did.) So I didn't ask any questions. I filled the prescription and I started taking the pills.

I started taking the pills even though the pharmacist who filled my prescription told me that they should not be used for longer than 7 consecutive nights and despite the literature he provided that literally had a full page of warnings and possible side effects.

For a while, things were great. I slept through the night, every night, and woke up feeling rested. I felt a little druggy but overall I felt better than I've felt in a long time. I experienced a few side effects but they were either insignificant (like the ever-present metallic taste in my mouth) or funny (like the time I got out of bed in the middle of the night, opened the front hall closet, put on Shawn's jacket, and returned to bed without waking up.)

Then something shifted, sometime during my second week on the drug and suddenly things weren't so great. I couldn't verbalize it at the time but I stopped feeling like myself. Waking up in the morning wasn't as difficult as it used to be and I didn't constantly crave a nap, but I was so groggy. I felt slow, like I was missing connections in my brain. One morning I put my running shoes on then sat, completely stumped, for what felt like a full minute before I realized that the shoelaces needed to be tied. I knew I was missing something, I knew there was another step, I just couldn't quite get there. It wasn't just shoes, either. Everything required my full concentration. I was terrified that I would leave the house without wearing pants or call my boss "dad" or something equally as horrifying so I had a constant commentary running through my brain. It was exhausting.

My third and fourth week week on the drug were horrible. I have never felt so dark or listless. And I couldn't see it. I thought I had the autumn blues. I thought I was rundown because of work stress. Shawn could see that something was wrong but I ignored his pleas for me to see my doctor. It wasn't until one night when I forgot to take my pill until an hour past the correct time and I ended up lying on the kitchen floor, sobbing and clutching my head because it felt like it would explode if I moved the slightest bit, that I realized that something was wrong. It took Shawn threatening to take me to the emergency room before I was willing to admit that the negative side effects of the drug were far outweighing the benefits.

I've been off the drug for just over a week now. The first few days were extremely difficult. I suffered from rebound insomnia which meant that my body had become dependent on the sedative and forgot how to fall asleep. Fortunately, by day three I was so exhausted that I started sleeping again. Every day I feel like I've reclaimed a little bit more of myself. I'm back to being bone-tired because my sleeping pattern has returned to being horrid but I don't feel desperate anymore. I don't feel like the zombie version of myself. The sun is shining, a little bit, and I'm so happy that I can feel it again.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Pleased To Meet You Wanna Greet You Then I'll Take You On My Way

Dear Shawn,

Today is the seventh anniversary of the day we met. If you had told me that in seven years we'd be married and have two monsterpups, I would have laughed at you. And then I would have told you to get me another drink because as you know, we met in a bar and we were both inebriated. We're classy like that.

A lot has happened in the seven years since we met. We dated for a bit. I moved to England. We stopped talking to each other. We started talking again. You visited me in England. I moved back to Canada. We moved into a tiny downtown apartment. We got engaged. We left our downtown apartment to buy a condo in a sketchy neighbourhood because homeownership meant in-suite laundry and no pet restrictions. We brought home Stella. We got married. We found Wolfgang. We've had a lot of adventures together is what I'm saying.

Happy 7th meet-iversary, dude. I hope we have many more adventures together.


Sunday, 17 October 2010

Everybody Loves A Winner So Nobody Loved Me

The lovely gift basket from Bow Wow Haus is sitting on my kitchen counter, ready to be mailed to ... xoxb! Congratulations, lady! Email me your address and I'll pop it in the mail this week.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

When I'm Really Getting Old At Twenty-Eight Or Nine

For the last six months or so, I've thought that I was twenty-eight years old. Whenever it came up in conversation, I would say that I was twenty-eight. It turns out that today is my twenty-eighth birthday. I feel like I've gained a year, like I should be making goals and resolutions with my new found time. This birthday seems a bit anticlimactic, I guess. I feel like I've already been here.

Instead of goals and resolutions, I'm sticking with hopes. I hope that this is the year I start to trust my knees and start to enjoy running again. I hope that I make it back to England. I hope that I find the guts to start yoga. I hope that I sleep more and worry less. I hope to not eat a single beet.

So here's to twenty-eight. Here's to a year of chocolate cake, homemade pizza / hockey dates with my husband, and puppy cuddles.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Bow Wow Wow Yippie Yo Yippie Yay

Bow Wow Haus in Vancouver is a lovely little shop full of any toy, treat, or tool you could possibly need for your pup. The lovely people at Bow Wow Haus have given me a basket of goodies to pass along to one of my lucky readers. Stella and Wolfgang were lucky enough to receive a few little goodies of their own and can vouch for the yumminess of the locally made treats.

If you are a Vancouver (or Greater Van!) local and you have a furry friend who could use some pampering, leave a comment and tell me your pet's name. I'll pick a winner on Friday, October 15th. Good luck!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

And It Looks Like Trouble And It Tastes Like Chocolate If You Want It

I have a mid-October birthday and I'm fortunate enough to be Canadian, which means that I've grown accustomed to three-day weekend birthday celebrations and turkey feasts for my birthday dinner with pumpkin pie in place of birthday cake. It is very difficult to be me, I know.

This year my parents are going to Mexico on my birthday which means that my birthday dinner is going to be less "Thanksgiving Extravaganza!" and more "happy birthday, do you know if we're out of sunscreen?"

So I'm making my own damn turkey. On Sunday. As in four days from now. Cue panic.

I've got the turkey covered, it's the other bits I'm worried about. Last Christmas was the first time I'd attempted to make a full turkey dinner and it was stressful and frenetic. I was ambitious with the number of dishes I made and didn't factor in the size of my stove and I forgot the sweet potatoes under the broiler and set the smoke alarm off and said "fuck" in front of Shawn's dad. I'm getting all clenchy just remembering it.

This year I need to focus on making dishes that can be prepared in advance. I've already vetoed mashed potatoes because there is no successful way to mash potatoes and make gravy simultaneously. I've found my potato dish in Jamie's America (it has a proper name but I cannot remember it - I keep referring to them as cowboy potatoes) but I'm a bit lost when it comes to the other sides. Suggestions are welcome (and desperately needed.) I'd like to do a green vegetable that isn't brussel sprouts and it would be nice to have a sweet potato dish, but I'll consider anything.

One recipe I am frantically trying to find is an eggless chocolate mousse (I know it's not really chocolate mousse unless it's made with raw eggs but eating raw eggs gives me the creeps.) Shawn's one wish for Thanksgiving dinner is chocolate mousse and I feel like I should honour his request, especially since I haven't actually told him about the lack of mashed potatoes (I figure it's best to wait until the actual dinner when I can distract him with the cowboy potatoes.)

So. Recipes needed. Especially eggless chocolate mousse recipes. Bonus points if the mousse recipe calls for orange liquor (chocolate + citrus = be still my heart.)

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Where The Grass Is Green And The Girls Are Pretty

For me, music is emotional. A song can take me back to a place or a person or a time in a flash and I feel the same feelings, albeit dulled by time. I hear Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" and I'm back in the old station wagon which is packed to its bursting point with my family and everything six people need for a week at the cabin. U2's "With or Without You" and I'm slow dancing with the guy who would go on to break my heart into multiple pieces, multiple times. Any song from the Killers' first album takes me back to summer 2004, driving all over England in my busted early-90's Astra. My life has a soundtrack. To say that music is important to me is to put it lightly.

There's something magical about live music done well. I'm not talking about flashy shows with lights and special effects and backing tracks to hide the fact that the musicians are sloppy and the singer's voice is lacking. I'm talking about shows - whether in a small club or a huge arena -where the musicians are talented and tight and the singer actually has a singing voice that survives outside the studio. I've been to many shows where I was disappointed with the quality of the live performance but I've been to just as many where I've walked away energized by the display of sheer talent.

I can't pick a favourite concert, just like I can't pick a favourite band. I love them or appreciate them for different reasons. Taking my dad to see Willie Nelson, after being raised on Willie's music, meant the world to me and I don't even like country music (though I make exceptions for Willie Nelson and the Highwaymen); Seeing Wolfmother play in 2006 in a tiny club (that has now been torn down to make room for a highrise) before they became well-known, standing inches from the stage as they rocked their hearts out; Spending three days at the Isle of Wight Festival 2005 but specifically, shivering in a field on a cold summer's night with the people who made England home for me, dancing to Faithless before stumbling back to our tent; Being blown away by Muse's musical genius and live performance; Watching Shawn live his dream of playing the Commodore when he opened for Steel Panther this year.

And now, watching Slash play the Commodore. It was loud and gritty and so rad that there aren't really words to describe it. Slash is a monster. He's a machine. About 2/3 of the way through the set, he played a guitar solo that had the crowd enthralled. It was long - easily 5 minutes but probably longer - and was ridiculous, self-indulgent, and amazing and as it came to an end he segued into "Sweet Child O' Mine" and the crowd went insane. Slash was awesome but the other musicians were equally excellent. Myles Kennedy and Todd Kerns harmonizing on Starlight was probably the best live vocal performance I've ever heard.

It was a fabulous concert, not just because of the talent but also the vibe of the crowd, the impressive air guitar performed by Shawn and his brother, and the poutine nightcap. It was exactly what my soul needed.