September 30, 2011

Another Dream, Another Text

Last night, I pretty much told friends of mine that they should have a baby. I know better than this... But I was feeling all baby-loving from the sweet girl I'd just passed off, and may have said something like, "I think all my friends should have babies so I can borrow them. You know, since that's not really in my foreseeable future..."**

"Actually," the husband replied, "You know it's only ever nine months away..."

I laughed as I looked down at my phone. Someone had texted me.

It read: "I had a dream that you had a child out of wedlock the other night. :) Just read your post. :)"

Let's chalk that one up to bad cheese and impeccable timing...

**remember last year when I said I didn't know if I wanted to/should have kids? This is where I stand now; I want to be actively involved in parenting the next generation, but what that looks like and whether my own biological children will be involved is still a mystery. Pretty sure I don't need to think much more about this until I am either married or 32.

September 29, 2011

Dreams & Texts & Fall-back Crushes

A far-away friend texted me this morning:

A: So...this is weird, buuuut...I had a  dream about you last night. We were in a church, and you were getting married. I have no idea who the groom was, but he was good-looking and you were gorgeous...

me: I can't wait to hear details!! I hope I marry a good-looking man.
A: Assuming my dream was prophetic...keep your eye out for one with _________ hair ;)

me: Ha ha. Will do... All three of my fall-back crushes* have _________ hair.

A: Hm...well, apparently my subconscious knows your type. He's into __________ too...that was a major theme in my dream/your wedding. It was a very philanthropic event :)

me: I'LL TAKE HIM! I'm not going to read anymore into your dream, but two of the three are still in the running.

A: Lol! Good call. I would much rather have you consult Jesus instead of my dream (which was undoubtedly a product of the slightly-off cheese I had with dinner last night...)

*For those of you unfamiliar with the concept of a "fall-back crush," they are those people who, when faced with a drought of romantic possibilities, you start considering as date-worthy, sometimes against your own will and often against your best judgement. I once rebuked a friend for her "Plan B" by pointing out that he was, in fact, more of a Plan Z - to be considered only in the case that Plans A through X had fallen through, and even then, only marginally. (She is now married to a Plan A sort of man.) I should clarify that not all "fall-backs" are terrible people. In fact, very few of them are. They're just people who are not viable options for one reason or another. I should stop talking now, and NO, I am not going to tell you who my fall-backs are.

The point of this post is just that it was a funny conversation, and WHO KNOWS which dreams are inspired by Jesus and which are sponsored by slightly-too-old cheese. I certainly don't know. And I love my friends.

September 27, 2011

An Arts Update

Erica Mah. Fantastic Vancouver musician. This song is lovely and sad and SHE IS PLAYING TWO INSTRUMENTS AT ONCE!

Kings of Leon. They suit me this week. The quality of his voice is just right.

Arcade Fire. Specifically, "Rococo." Somewhere there are a lot of Arcade Fire fans that don't realize this song is actually about them.

Two weekends ago, I wandered through Trinity-Bellwoods Park and a maze of art tents (whoever rents those things must be making a killing). Highlights included:

Jay Dart, drawist. DRAWIST!! This brilliancy, combined with his beard art and reddish hair is enough to give me a pseudo-crush. And I discovered via his website that he went to Guelph. All the cool cats went to Guelph (what, what!).

Pam Lobb. I'd seen her work (and loved it) at Bluebird. Then I got to tell her so. If anyone wants to buy me some of her art for Christmas...

The Corey Canvas. Screenprinting of cover art for classic novels + birds + bearded cuteness = another pseudo-crush. If I ran a book club, I would have invited him to come out to it. We could read great literature and he could create cover art to commemorate all the books we read.

Erin Vincent. The day I saw "Cut-throat Bitch" from House in a coffee shop, she was buying some of Erin's art. I thought to myself that day, If I bought some of her art, I would be two degrees of separation from a famous actress. Plus, I really like this art. I told Erin this story. I want a whole series of her collages and assemblages on my wall.

This past weekend was Word on the Street, a book/publishing festival whose huge crowds have me convinced that the publishing industry is not about to become extinct. There will be (and already are) shifts in the landscape (that is SUCH a trendy phrase - shifting landscape...), but books, magazines and the love of reading are not going anywhere.

I subscribed to a magazine out of Montreal called Maisonneuve. I'm excited for the quarterly surprise of a shiny sheath of arts & opinions to show up in my mailbox; I am sure I will forget about my subscription just in time for the next one to arrive.

I also have a renewed desire to submit poetry for publication in a number of Canadian periodicals.

(I love Toronto.)

September 26, 2011

Happy Month-iversary to ME

I have been home from Spain for one month.

Where did it go? I don't know. But since I'm still thinking about Spain, I'm still blogging about Spain. One of my favourite parts of the trip (as everyone has been asking) is how much laughter there was. The days were not always easy, and things did not always happen perfectly. But we laughed. Oh, we laughed. Mostly, I laughed at K's incredibly fast wit. Here is a list of some of the funniest things she said during the trip. It all started with this one, on the plane:
Flight attendant: (speaking with a French accent) We're going to dime the lights shortly...
K: We're going to dime these things til they're nickeled!
After that, I kept a detailed log. These are in chronological order, and as out-of-context as my quote entries usually are. The great thing, though, is that in my head I can picture the context for each one and it has me giggling all over again.
I just touched my tongue to my arm, because I was curious. It's really salty! I'm a salt lick! (she licks her arm again)
(pointing at a cow with her walking stick) You! You are cute! You are a good-looking cow!
I'm starting to believe I could survive childbirth.
K: I will be quiet now, out of respect for the D-E-A-D.
Me: That makes sense, because the dead can't S-P-E-L-L.
Me: Let's see if we can stick our heads in there.
(there is a closed iron gate.)
K: If you stick your head in there, I will give you a cookie. Then I will leave you there, because you'll be stuck.
He said that the Camino is fuerte. I told him I am ALSO fuerte.
He ripped the skin off my pinky toe. And then poured iodine on it. And I didn't cry. So yeah, I could push a baby or two out. At least then your body is working WITH you.
Maybe I should be buying gold right now and burying it in my parents' yard. Because I don't have a yard.
When I was running, I was like, "I'm running!"
If you ever need to think unsexy thoughts, just think about my toe.
K: I don't know if I can do this. (swim in a pool)
Me: I don't think you can; Norwegians are a weak people.
K: It's true. We love being weak. And warm.
My hips are tired. And sore like I have just given birth.
There's a cemetery; how about I just go lie down and you can start shoveling dirt on me. I feel like that's the next logical step.
I waved. He waved back. It was a great story.
(five minutes later, another car) I waved, then he waved back. It was a beautiful moment.
Feel free to lick me dry!
(to the wind)
If I fall over here, on my back, I'm just going to stay here. It will be my new home. If I fall on my front, I'll roll over onto my back. And if I fall on my side, I guess I'll stay there. I like sleeping on my side.
This is a big piece of meat. It's as big as a sock.
Once upon a time, we accidentally walked forty kilometres in one day. It was a good story. The End. Love, Kirsten.
(singing) One foot, one foot, one foot in front of the other. One foot, one foot, one foot in front of the other.
I just made that up. It's a pretty good song.
Who has two thumbs and maybe nine toes and...
K: I don't think that bird knows how to fly.
Me: Um, I'm pretty sure it does...
K: Gasp! Oh, look, it just figured it out!
K: If I could relive five minutes, I would relive those ones.
Me: Of this whole trip, that is what you'd pick!? Must be some good chocolate croissant...
K: I was thinking five minutes of my life in general. It was a very good croissant.
I don't hate him. I just want to choke him a little.
Nothing like making an eight year old regret her choices in life.

September 23, 2011

Today is Brought to You By the Letter "M"

1. Mutemath. The day after a great concert is one part happy and one part sad. The show last night, a two-hour gig in a packed-out little venue in Buffalo, was phenomenal. I love this band. I appreciated the keyboard handstand, the interaction with the audience, and the outstanding amount of sweat pouring off each of the musicians. They are one of the few bands I've seen live more than once, and I would definitely go for a third show. And last but not least, the new album sound is sa-wheet. Sometimes when a band's sound shifts it stresses me out or makes me sad, but I am ready to get on board when Odd Soul drops next month.

Here are two new tracks that are now on repeat:

2. The Mentalist. It's back. And I love it. Although the first episode was fairly implausible, I am so in love with this team and how they have each other's backs. TEAM! Team, team, team. I love team.*

3. Mom & Dad for dinner. They're currently sitting in traffic, but pretty soon they'll be here and we will eat stew and biscuits and maybe baked apples for dessert.

*Name that quote!

September 21, 2011

Left Work Smiling Today. Again.

In the past two weeks, I think my boss has given me more praise than she did over the eleven months I spent as her nanny. IF this is an accurate take on reality, there are two possible conclusions.

1. Nannying is clearly not my life-calling.
2. My boss places a higher value on business output than she does childcare.

I am pretty sure both are somewhat true, but let's focus on the first.

I don't think I was a BAD nanny, but I am relieved to no longer be one. I wonder how much of my current job-happiness is still about the novelty of it and how much I'll retain over the long-haul. If my boss keeps telling me every. single. day. how glad she is to have me around, I think that the happiness will linger. 

It is a great thing to feel good at my job. And I feel the freedom to ask six thousand questions while I get the hang of how it all works. This is the first time in my adult life I've had a job where I feel potential and safety and confidence and freedom-from-anxiety all at the same time. Some of this is because of internal factors and some of it is external stuff and I'm gonna take it and enjoy this.


Yesterday, I found this on a friend's Facebook wall.

I couldn't look away. A little bit funny, but mostly awkwardly awkward.
And now I'm watching it again.


My interest in purchasing Nutrigrain bars went from non-existent to intentionally-avoiding-them.

September 19, 2011


In Spain, K and I had a conversation that went something like this:

Me: There's this situation in my life - (insert details here). I don't know what to do.

K: Well, how do you feel about it? What do you want?

Me: Good question... Logical-Beth understands that blah blah blah, so although I feel x, y, and z, I'd like to see etc etc happen.

K: And how much of you is Logical-Beth?

Me: (pause) About 10%.

This is a reoccurring problem in my life. Try as I may, I can't manage to be rational and logical as often as I want. I don't believe that my life should be ruled by my emotions; but I have realized it cannot and should not be ruled by reason alone either.

The problem is, Emotional-Beth and Logical-Beth have trouble getting along. They both like to assert their right-to-rule at the same time.

Today I woke up with this song in my head. I think it was a not-so-subtle manifestation of my ongoing internal conflict.

September 15, 2011

Questions for the Masses

Should I be concerned about a spider bite that is still present and sometimes itchy after 3 weeks?? (I'm not going to hatch spiders out of my shoulder am I!?!?!?!?)

How should I cut my hair on Saturday? Like this? Or this? Or something else?

September 13, 2011

8PM - 8AM Thoughts

Last night I went on a first-date-friend-date. What I mean is, back in January I met a friend-of-a-friend at my birthday celebration/art show. Then we became fake-internet-friends. Then we graduated to real-time hanging out. It was great. She is great.

She asked me if I am going to do another show sometime. I said, "I don't know!" and squirmed in my seat. I felt squirmy because other people have been asking me about that documentary dream I mentioned back in June, and it is currently giving me minor panic attacks. Not really - I won't let myself think about it long enough to panic. That is how stressed I feel.

Why did I ever tell anyone about this!?

A Vancouver friend is coming for a visit this weekend, and I know we will talk about the potential project. She is the first (and only) person I officially recruited to doing this with me. It will be good to work through all the muddle in my head.

Anyway. Last night I remembered that several people had asked me in January if I was going to print a book of my photos and poetry. I said maybe. I did nothing.

As I fell asleep, I thought about this, and how maybe I would do it now/eventually/instead of something actually difficult and demanding like making a documentary. And then I thought of another great art idea...something smaller than a documentary and bigger than cutting and pasting into an online template. It's a great idea (at least in my head it is) and only requires collaboration with one brilliantly gifted friend.

Then I fell asleep and had three dreams. I have been dreaming vividly this week. I don't know why. Last night's were good dreams, but don't correspond with my current reality. For some reason that really upset me when I woke up. Disappointment, perhaps, or sadness that life isn't always as good as it could be.

As I got ready for work this morning, I thought about all these things: strangely unsettling dreams; my brilliantly gifted friend; my upcoming conversation with my Vancouver friend; the good times making a new friend...

At the time, I didn't make the leap to gratitude, but I am making it now. I have amazing people in my life. And the panic and fear and disappointment?

It isn't going to overwhelm me. I am confident of that. One way or another, I will move through it and all will be well when I get to the other side.

September 12, 2011

Distraction of the Day

My new job has me clicking online a lot. And sometimes I get a little bit distracted. Today I discovered two websites that could have derailed me from accomplishing anything...

That Poverty Project: one man in western Canada is living through three radical challenges to help raise awareness and support to change the reality of poverty here in Canada and around the world. He's currently living out of a tent. Next up, live on $7.50/day.

Dear Photograph: Take a picture of a picture from the past in the present. Amazing. I've started thinking about what I will send in. This, of course, means I need to find some photos from my childhood. Or maybe more recent past? Who knows.

September 11, 2011


People have been asking me about work. So this is a public service announcement that I currently have not one, but two jobs.


One is long-term & half-time as an "Events and Communications Manager." The office is small and casual and I think I will really like it.

The other is more tentative. Ten hours a week for a non-profit, doing communications and admin. Very ad-hoc. If the funds run out, that is okay because it will help me pay the bills until that time, and will look good on a resume at that time.

For the first time in a longwhile, I feel like these are career-building jobs that I could really thrive in. At the same time, I am mildly afraid of "settling" into an "easy" life. That is not something I want.

Church today reminded me of this. Two weeks in a row of soft-but-certain conviction.

September 9, 2011

New Dawn, New Day, New Attitude

This weekend will be great because:

- I'm going to a bridal show with Nadine tonight.
(my boss: "Why the ---- would you do THAT?"
me: "Because it will be fun!")

- Two of my favorite cousins are in town tomorrow and we are hanging out.
(I like ALL my cousins, for the record.)

- The weather is going to be gorgeous.
(I'm not ready to relinquish my summer-wear yet.)

- I have some great books waiting to be read.

September 8, 2011

Things I Don't Want To Do But Find Myself Doing Tonight

  1. Sitting at home
  2. Killing braincells with mindless TV
  3. Washing dishes
  4. Blogging as procrastination (I still have not finished processing Spain, internally or externally. Maybe eventually that will happen too.)
  5. Applying for jobs
  6. Being grouchy for no particular reason


(I am 90% sure I will feel better in the morning and maybe even regret letting you all in on my pity party.)

Jackson Pit

I am loving this mash-up. You can download it for free, if you also find these grooves catching.

September 6, 2011

World of (Class) Warfare

Last night I was strong-armed* into watching an episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I can't find a video to embed, so you are going to have to click this link to watch it.

Is that too much to ask? I know clicking links is really passé, but I would like to discuss at least the first segment. Because it blew my mind a little. (I also recommend watching the Anne Hathaway interview: the most non-interview interview I think I've ever seen. They mostly discuss Scrabble, which I love. It is a great nerdly pursuit.)

Warning: Contains strong language. And strong opinions regarding US economics.

*I have very weak arms. And I really wanted to watch the show, so it wasn't much of a fight. In fact, there was no actual fight. We just watched it, laughed, and discussed.

September 4, 2011


I think I am getting sick.

me: My nose is stuffy,  my throat hurts and I keep sneezing.
friend: Yeah, those are symptoms of sick.

I kind of want someone to stroke my head and sing Soft Kitty to me. Is that weird?

In unrelated news, church this morning was precisely what I needed and it was good. First time in months that I have wanted to take my notes out later in the afternoon and re-read them so I can process more fully.

September 2, 2011

Baby Steps Aren't Sexy...

...but they can be beautiful.

I don't remember how I signed up for this "Fear-less" magazine online, but I'm glad I did. Magazine aside, their periodic emails are almost always encouraging and insightful and perfectly-timed for my current quandaries. This (abbreviated) note from earlier in the week was precisely what I needed to hear:

"It's easy to get impatient on your quest to be fearless. You read the books and the magazines, you feel pumped up and ready for action, and then you wake up the next morning and things are pretty much the same. When you're impatient and want to shake things up, you begin to think about doing something Big. Big things are deliberate, autonomy-assuring actions that change your daily life:
quitting your job, moving to another country, going back to university, that sort of thing...

Our contributors always talk about baby steps, little things, small victories. These phrases are not as sexy as the idea of a strong, independent man or woman telling his or her stuffy corporate boss to shove it and then starting a new life. But they are important. They're not called baby steps just because babies take them, but because babies need them to learn to walk. You have to gradually build up to a wholesome, satisfying level of courage and mindfulness. If you could do it overnight, everyone would.

I would never discourage anyone outright from making a massive life-changing decision. That would be tyrannical. But you have to develop a knowledge of the truth that rises above the romance of the situation and be able to say that yes, this gives me what I need for these reasons, and I will be able to handle it because I've been working on myself in these ways. The problems and resistance at the core of your being will follow you to any job and any city. No matter how much money or how many friends you end up making, you will have to live with yourself your whole life. And you know better than anyone that you can be pretty brutal to yourself...

"Following your dreams" and "doing what you need to do" are super cool, but you also need to respect yourself enough to 1) scrutinize the narratives you're fed, no matter the source and 2) make an honest attempt to know, accept and live with yourself... Life is tricky because being both short and fragile, you have to push it to the limit while also handling with care...


September 1, 2011

New Shoes

Me: I'm SO EXCITED to wear my new shoes today!
Nadine: Says the girl who should probably be wearing pants today...
Me: Yeah, they're coming. I'm just packing first.

This is today's theme song.


My parents are toooooooo cute. Wouldn't you agree?
It seems they are wearing matching t-shirts.

(enjoy the last few days of your holidays, Mom & Dad!)