Sunday, December 26, 2010

Om shanti shanti shanti

Day 17: A picture of something that has made a huge impact on your life recently.

I've recently started practicing yoga. At first in Malison's gym with just her and her boyfriend, then even more recently at a hot yoga studio that just opened nearby.
I have never felt more peaceful in my life. Not just happy or calm, but like all the chatter in my head has...not stopped totally, but at least slowed down to manageable.
PS. Why are my posts so short lately? I think this has something to do with the kids being home on Christmas vacation.
PPS. I hope you all had the exact Christmas that you dreamed of.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Favourite Cousin

Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you.

This is my favourite cousin. She is one of the strongest people I know.

She travels to far-off places alone--and not ones that are familiar to us as Canadians like England and France, but places like Nepal and Isreal.

She is going through a really tough time in her life right now, but still she remains positive and optimistic. Taking on one challenge at a time instead of letting it all push down on her at once.

She runs businesses, she makes time for friends, she stays fit, she's never lazy. She makes me want to be a more energetic and take advantage of everything life has to offer. She's very inspiring.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tomorrow? The World!

Day 15: A picture of something you want to do before you die.

I read this as: if you had all the money and time you could possibly imagine, what would you be doing? I want to travel the world. There are so many sites I want to see and things I want to learn. I'm always jealous of other people's travels: I want to hike the Annapurna trail; I want to sit in a cafe at the top of the Alps; I want to check out the Taj Mahal and the Tower of London, and the Eiffel Tower, and some Buddhist temples and all the eight wonders and a bunch of museums and soak up as much history and culture in as many places as I possibly can. I can read every book about the lives and deaths of Russian royalty ever written, but seeing where all this happened would make it that much more real. I can take classes in the history of Greek mythology, but seeing the Parthenon and all the other temples dedicated to the gods would bring so much more understanding. I can watch movies about East and West Germany, but standing where the wall used to be would make it more...just more.
And that's just the stuff I know about. What more have I not learned? What can Africa teach me? What's in Asia that I've never heard of? What can India show me?
I have a lot that I want to do; looks like I'm going to need to live for a very long time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Church of Football

Day 14: A picture of someone you could never imagine your life without.

There are many people I could never imagine my life without: my kids, my parents, my bff.... But that's not who I'm going to write about.

A few years ago, Twin A begged me to let him play football. I was very hesitant, but finally gave in. I had no idea that him playing football would be such a positive experience for all of us. At the time, I was very unhappy. It was a time of my life that I felt very alone. I was considering joining some sort of religion just so I had a group of people to call my own. Enter the Church of Football. The football schedule is all encompasing; it takes up most of the week. So we spent a lot of time together. It's where I met Malison (and through Malison I met her boyfriend and Cake Mix), and it's where I met two other families that I consider really good friends. I know that these people will be around for the rest of my life.
I can never express to any of these people how thankful I am to have them around. I know they are there whenever I need them (even when football season is over). They are an awesome support system and I not only can't, but don't want to, imagine my life without them.


Monday, December 20, 2010


Day 13: A picture of your favorite band or artist.

Yes, this is a picture of the cast of Glee. They are, at the moment, my favourite artist. I don't have a favourite band because my favourite music is whatever I can sing along with. That could be anything from Neil Diamond to Owl City to any Christmas song to Eminem to whatever kind of music my kids force me to listen to. Luckily, Glee does it all.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Day 12: A picture of something you love.
I love this place. The food is so yummy. I always get Bento Box B with sashimi (no wasabi). I eat there often. At least once or twice a week. I've introduced many friends to it, and it's just about unanimously a favourite among them.
My very favourite thing about this restaurant is what it symbolizes. This is the first place I ever went to have a meal by myself. I was always afraid that people would look at me funny for being alone. They don't. Nobody cares. And if they did care, I like to think that they admire me for not being afraid to take time to myself in public. It's silly, I know, but I view this restaurant as the first step of total independence.
Go me!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Day 11: a picture of something you hate.

I hate cliches.

I hate being thought of as a cliche. I cannot be put in a box and labeled.

Most especially, I hate the answers that come when you ask people what their pet peeves are:

"I hate intolerant people." What does that even mean? Everyone is intolerant of something. Granted, I'm not that fond of anything that deliberately physically or mentally hurts someone because of their race, religion, or sexual orientation, but I have to say that I'm very intolerant of whiners. (Quit faking, ya big baby.) Does that make me an intolerant person that other people should hate?

"I hate how Christmas has been so commercialized." Really? You hate when someone thinks so highly of you that they lose sleep trying to think of the perfect present for you? You hate how everyone joins together as one big community and sings and smiles and tells perfect strangers to have a merry Christmas? You hate how excited your children are when they tell you what the shopping store Santa said to them?

"I hate [insert driving behaviour here]." I read somewhere that anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot and anyone who drives faster than you is a moron. The funny thing is, we've all been the driver that has made a mistake. When I cut you off, it's because I didn't see you, not because I'm deliberately trying to ruin your entire day.

But the biggest thing I hate today? The fact that I'm responsible for putting the lights on the Christmas tree. I hate putting the lights on; I always scratch up my hands and I always end up with either extra tree or extra lights at the end.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

...and stuff

day 10: a picture of the person you do the most messed up things with.

Have you ever seen a snowman sitting in a chair, watching the basketball game at a busy lounge on a Friday night? We put him there.

Have you jumped in a cab after a night out to find that a wise man from a ceramic nativity scene is in the inside pocket of your jacket? We put him there.

Have you ever spotted a plastic soldier, cowboy, Indian, or exotic animal in a flower pot in a hotel lobby? Chances are we put him there.

We've spent entire nights ending every sentence with "and stuff." We've bought an entire cake just to eat the icing. We've conducted many social experiments to see what people will do when they find a snowman or wise man or plastic toy in an odd place. I mail her birthday cards in the wrong month; we buy each other magnets from wherever we go because someone once didn't buy her a magnet because it cost too much; we think we're hilarious.

I promise day 11 will not be about my bff. Stay tuned...and stuff.


Monday, December 13, 2010

The first of many love letters to my bff

Day 9 - A picture of the person who has gotten you through the most.

Just after high school, I had a boyfriend. We had a very...passionate relationship. We either loved each other intensely or hated each other intensely. We broke up a lot. My bff was always there, not as the kind of friend who says "there, there. It'll be ok" but more of the kind of friend who says silly things that make me laugh.

Then I got married and had kids. And throughout my kids' lives she has been there with all sorts of teacherly advice. "Make sure your kids play team sports. We can tell which kids are in team sports" and "don't ever buy cups, Christmas ornaments, anything with an apple on it for teacher gifts. We only like gift certificates. For Chapters and Starbucks. That's it. Don't think outside the box."

And I got divorced. And I had a new boyfriend. And we broke up. And I've had medical problems. And throughout it all she's been there. Again, not with any sort of sympathetic coddling, but it doesn't matter what's happening in my life, if I'm not laughing my ass off by the time our conversation ends then she hasn't done her job.

Thanks bff. If you were here, I'd hug you. Just kidding; that'd be really awkward.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Not seasonal

Day 8 - A picture that makes you laugh.
'nuff said.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Yes, I know how lame this is

Day 7 - A picture of your most treasured item.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In which I don't follow the rules of the game...again

Day 06 - A picture of a person you'd love to trade places with for a day.

The truth is: nobody's life is perfect. So while there are aspects of just about anybody's life that I find appealing, there are other aspects that I don't.

Some of you have a perfect marriage. And I want that. But I don't want to trade places with you because your husband is not who I want.

Some of you have an unlimited source of money and presents and vacations. And I want that. But I don't want to trade places with you because I don't want to have to deal with what you have to deal with to enjoy it.

Some of you have the perfect job. And I want that. But I want the job that's perfect for me, not the one that you have.

So basically, I want what you have. I want the fame and fortune and success and happiness, but I want my own, not yours.

Who would I trade places with for a day? Nobody. I'll get there on my own.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Memories...misty, water-coloured memories of the way we were

Day 05: A picture of an old memory.
I remember this day...kinda. I was three. My grandma crocheted that dress and the locket was from my godmother (my dad's oldest sister). We were getting family pictures done and the picture before this one was of the whole family--mom, dad, big brother, and me. I was sitting on my mom's lap and I must have been wiggling because I do recall that I told her numerous times to stop squishing me. Hence the pout in this picture.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I wish it was more interesting

Day 4 - A picture of my night.
I worked on these. Twin A insisted I make him a pair of mittens. So I did. They are orange and have a very manly bug walking across one of them (so as to make them more masculine). A friend of his saw them and is getting his mom to buy him a pair. I don't like to duplicate what I've already done before, so his friend is getting fish. And maybe on the other side, if I can figure out how to do it, an octopus. Today I take over Junior High. Tomorrow, the world. Mwah-ha-ha-ha.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Too many to name

Day 3 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show. (And by picture of the cast from my favourite show, obviously it means an explanation of everything TV-related in the history of my life with no actual photo.)

One of my pet peeves is people who condescendingly (and it *always* sounds condescending) say, "I don't have a TV." Like they are somehow better than you because you choose to spend your evenings watching your "programs" while they undoubtedly volunteer for some under-funded charity that simultaneously saves children and animals, while also training for an ironman triatholon and spending quality time teaching their children to understand finances and the small print on contracts. Judgemental bastards. (But not you dear reader; I totally don't mean you.)

I, however, spend my evenings watching TV. I'm not embarrassed to admit it. Every evening, after the children are in bed, I sit on my couch, knit, and watch TV. My kids watch TV too. And play video games. And often eat junk food. Yep, I'm that mom.

My favourite shows (in list form) are (in no order whatsoever):

1. Glee
2. Parenthood
3. Grey's Anatomy
4. The Office
5. The Biggest Loser

Those are the ones I try never to miss. There are more that I really, really like. And listing them would make this post even longer, but, ironically, I'm in the middle of a really good book and I need to go finish it now.


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Instructions for Day 2: Photo of myself and the person I have been closest with the longest.

There are many people I've been close with for a very long time, but this guy has been there for the longest.

In the toy store, he presses every single button on every single toy and then giggles like a little kid.

He bakes all the muffins and shortbread cookies. He makes more cookies for Christmas than they would ever need at their Open House. This is to account for the ones that will inexplicably disappear out of the freezer beforehand.

He rarely read me stories. Instead he made up cool adventures about a kid named Bartholomew Snuffenhouser.

When we go for a run, he always tucks in his shirt and pulls up his socks. Then waits for me to say, “You are not leaving the house looking like that.” Then he giggles like a little kid.

He always made sure to tuck me in whenever he came home from work—whether it was 10 at night or 4 in the morning.

He only answers the phone if Mom’s not home, no matter where she is in the house or what she’s doing.

When I’m sad or frustrated, he’s the only person in the world that can make me cry just by looking at me.

When I told him I was pregnant, he looked confused, and said “but I’m not old enough to be a grandpa.” He seems fine with it now.

I got a brand new manual typewriter for my 10th birthday. Him and I had daily correspondence for the longest time on a roll of toilet paper. (It was endless and cheaper than paper—he is, after all, Scottish.)

All my friends are jealous of the relationship I have with him. He’s my running partner; he’s there whenever we need him; he’s someone who believes in me no matter what I’m trying to accomplish.

Believe me: I know how lucky I am.


Friday, December 3, 2010

15 things

My cousins are doing some sort of 30-day challenge on facebook. I have no idea what it is or where they found it, but I thought I would shamelessly steal it for my own use.

Day 1 appears to be 15 random facts (and we all know how much I love lists...and random facts) and a picture of myself.

1. This picture was taken at my brother's wedding. I was dancing with him. Despite my hurt feelings of late, he's my brother and I love him. He's a wonderful person and I know that he is there when I need him and that one day we will be close again.

2. I purposely picked a picture that was dark and hard to see.

3. I like how my arm looks in this picture. It looks tanned and toned.

4. I had a job interview in June. I drove back from a function in Calgary, hadn't been home yet, and was not feeling my finest when I met with the interviewer. It didn't go well. Actually, it was really awkward. Today, six months later, I emailed the interviewer and asked for another chance. I hope it works out; I'd be perfect for this job.

5. When I go to a bookstore, I cannot leave there with only one book.

6. Same with any store that sells yarn (except with balls of yarn, not books. Obviously).

7. My very favourite blogs are The Bloggess and Dooce. And I also really like Notes From the Trenches. These ladies are hilarious and they often make my day.

8. I love getting mail. I have two friends that are very good about sending me mail through Canada Post. Thanks girls.

9. I'm really proud of my kids. They are only beginners at being teenagers, and I may look back on this sentence some day and sadly shake my head, but for now they are really awesome.

10. I went out with my former coworkers for lunch. I miss those people. They can be counted on 100 per cent of the time to get my sense of humour.

11. I love Disney animated movies. I didn't like Lilo and Stitch at all though. Not even a little.

12. My favourite number is 12.

13. I have a problem with starting projects but not finishing them. I have a lot of mostly done sweaters, mittens, purses, scrapbooks, cross-stitches, writing projects, and various miscellanious projects having to do with my damned living room. I need to dedicate time to unfinished projects; perhaps I'll start a club.

14. As much as I love to read, I've only been involved with one book club. It was a club dedicated to reading books from our childhoods. We read Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret. It was a fun club, but it ended because most of the other participants are teachers and summer ended so they all went back to school and had better things to do.

15. I don't think seeing my name in print will ever get old. Every time I see a new magazine with my byline I squeal a little.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas letter

I'm considering writing a Christmas letter. Part of me thinks that these letters are kind of lame: that people don't really want to know that I went on a bunch of holidays, that my kids go to school and participate in sports, and that I may or may not have run over a squirrel last September. On the other hand, it's easier than writing out a whole bunch of hand written cards and there are some people that I don't talk to all the time that might be interested to know what we've been up to in the last year. On the other hand (maybe my multiple amounts of appendages is something I should put in the letter), Christmas letters are written for a large audience and what if what my 14-year-old cousin doesn't have the same sense of humour as my 90-year-old ex-grandma (that's my ex's grandma in case you're wondering)? Do I use my boring and polite this-is-what-we've-done voice or my...well...real voice?

Or, do I do like last year where I deliberate about this forever until it's too late to do either?


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Santa

My Christmas list:

1. There are so many seasons of so many shows that I want to own. I gave a list to my mom but I doubt I'll get any that I asked for. Here's why: my mom is afraid of her computer. She's certain that the minute she even walks within a foot of it while holding her credit card, her information will get out into the world wide webs and suddenly evil people will start using it for nefarious purposes like buying shoes. So basically, if what I want for Christmas is not at Costco or Mark's Work Wearhouse, I'm not getting it.

2. I may or may not have mentioned my living room (over and over again). I finally got the desk upstairs, but I have yet to make the curtains or the throw pillows. And also, despite the fact that it's on my list of things to buy when I graduate, I have yet to get new living room furniture. There's always something that comes up that's more important: trip to Mexico, trip to San Fransisco, phone bill.

3. I could use some extra energy. I'm not sure if it's the subject of the article I'm working on right now that is making me lazy (because it's amazingly boring) or the fact that I am naturally lazy, but lately I only want to snuggle in my bed and read. And if not on my bed then I'll take the couch and TV.

Thank you for your consideration Santa.
[Lily Starlight]