Invisible Lady Speaks

Goodness, it seems like I've been gone for such a long time.   In truth, I was contending with my big move and all the unfamiliarity and stress and homesickness and so on, that goes along with it.  Finding your way around a new city is always both fun and, at the same time, a daunting process, but you do it.  You deal.  You discover new and exciting places and things and you try not to think about home and your boyfriend so far away and how you could be sitting on your well worn but delightfully comfortable couch right now, receiving a foot rub and drinking wine while saying rude things about celebrities.

And somehow it all works out.

So I'm finally jet lag free and staying with friends and soon to be apartment hunting for a place of my own, and eventually El Cerebro's, and I'm giddy with excitement and trepidation because, oh my God, what have I done, moving so far away from everything I know and love and what if I fail?"  Then the little demon on my shoulder, the demon with the big hairy balls, says,"You'll be just fine and if you fail, so what?  You start again."   And I know I should listen to that little troublemaker but sometimes, you just don't.

Then of course I got my period and we all know how that goes, lady readers.   How you can be excited and giddy one moment and a traumatized Scarlet O'Hara having a meltdown the next.  How just one tiny obstacle can wring out enough tears to fill a lake.  How suddenly all the optimism and hope you've been displaying are suddenly rendered into pools of dismay and fear and you are never, ever going to cope with this new life.

Ah yes, the hormones are a bitch.

Then the next morning you pour a cup of steaming hot, milky coffee, wipe the sleep out of your eyes and know that everything is going to be ok.   At least until lunch.

So I hope you are all well too.  I need to do some serious blog catching up!

The Way It Is

Do you ever have a day where you just want to chop all your hair off, dress like someone else and reinvent your whole life?  It happen to me frequently, usually after being inspired by spotting some sassy young thing with a funky short hairdo and attitude to spare, wearing clothing that's a cross between thrift store and punk rocker.  Young people can rock that look, I think. Try it when you're over 30 and you just end up looking like you've been sleeping under a bridge for a month and have friends in low places.  I know in my younger days I used to wear some creations my mother used to refer to as my "black plague" look and I definitely sported some hairstyles that would make a nun cry.  That's youth for you though.  If you're not dyeing, spiking, piercing, tattooing or otherwise destroying something, you're not doing it right.

It's different when you're older.  You're not old enough to be actually old, but you're not 25 either.  Your mind is still young and willing but you're body's sort of like "Meh. I'd really rather play Cribbage."  On a good day you still look good and youthful.  On a bad day you look like you were rode hard and put away wet.

And as a slightly more mature lady, if you try an edgy little spiky do and some rock chick gear (which is how you feel exactly, in your mind) you wind up looking like an asshole, because Jesus Christ, woman, you're in your forties now, where's your dignity?

However, I have compromised in that I'm not interested in looking like a 25 year old, Doc Marten booted hipster nowadays, but I don't want to suddenly wake up one day, throw open my closet and find a sophisticated, corporate lady wardrobe full of high-heeled pumps either.  I'd be horrified.  And I'd probably fall over.  I need some happy transition medium.  Funky with a maturer edge maybe?  I'm not sure I'm at all down with the idea that once you're 40 you have to dress like someone's great grandmother.  Hell no.

And you're not supposed to have long hair after a certain age, according to all those know-it-all fashion mags. I don't know what that age is, to be frank.  But it's sort of true.  I mean I see "What Not To Wear".  I see some rather frumpy ladies in their forties and fifties with long, one length, shapeless tresses and I think "Gee lady, you'd look ten years younger if you cut that hot mess!" They cling to their long Rapunzel locks because to them, that's the one thing keeping them feeling young and vital and secure and they can't see that it does the opposite.

Then you see other ladies in that age bracket and they have long hair and look fabulous.  I guess it depends on the lady and the cut.  But it's confusing, all the mixed messages.  My hair is fairly long.  Collar bone length I'd call it.  And as far as I can see, it looks fine.  I don't look older than I am and people always seem to think I'm younger.  But I don't know.  I'd like it to be long and wild and funktastic but I'm not sure I can pull it off anymore.  Maybe I need to cut it off and start thinking about something age appropriate.   I'd like to, but I'm terrified it'll make me look older or frumpier or like someone I'm not.  I'm so indecisive.  How do other women do it?  I used to know exactly who I was and what I wanted, but now I can't decide a thing without asking someone's advice.  Eek.

You men have an easier time I think.  I mean you all just get sexier in your forties and you can rock the cool outfits without looking like a complete douche.   Unless you're sixty five and still dressing like a 25 year old rocker, then that's just a sign that you probably did too many drugs back in the day.  Or you're Keith Richards.

I guess what this boils down to is, I really need a haircut and I'm shit scared the hairdresser will give me some frou frou corporate lady hair or else I'll look like a soccer mom.  Is it wrong that this scares me more than zombies?

It Reappears

My sincere apologies for being away for so long.  I doubt you all noticed, but still.

I was having a sabbatical from my computer for a while due to work craziness that left me a blur of slightly insane neurosis by the time I got home every night and all I could do most nights was fall into an exhausted slumber.  At least until I would wake a few hours later in a panic, feeling certain it was 10AM, I was late for work and about to get my ass fired. Of course, it would always be 1:30AM and I'd be crazy for no reason.  I don't know about you but I have the worst time trying to switch off from work sometimes.  I don't want to think about it.  I want to forget it.  I want to come home, eat something, drink some wine, do something impossibly dirty or civilized, depending on mood, then sleep peacefully.  Instead, I come home frazzled, walk on my treadmill, take a shower, eat with El Cerebro, start watching something on the DVR, fall asleep mid way through and drool attractively on my shirt, pry myself awake so I can get into bed, fall asleep again, wake up at 1AM in panic.  Fold, rinse, repeat.  It's not like my job is that important in  the scheme of things either, it's just that I have this inability to detach from it.

I think a lobotomy might work.  Or some large cocktails served by an oiled up, naked man.   Worth trying.

I'm also in the midst of a new addiction.  Quakers Crispy Mini treats.   Come to mama.  I pretend to myself that because they are slightly healthier than potato chips and I'm a chip fiend, that this means they are in fact, akin to chomping on celery.  Don't burst my bubble please.  I enjoy fooling myself.   Honestly though, you must try the Sweet Chili flavor.  They make life worth living.  At least until the next cocktail.

I've also been enjoying having today off, surfing online and making a little girlie collage of things I really want to buy clothing and shoe wise.  It's so much fun.  I have relatively few clothes and shoes compared to most women and of course, this is license for me to go get more.  I mean I'd hate to be under average you know?  I got rid of a lot of stuff a while ago and never replaced them so my wardrobe's feeling sparse.  Cue girlie delight at concocting an imaginary (at least for now) shopping spree.  Is it wrong I am coveting about 20 pairs of summer, high-heeled, wedge sandals?  Because I don't think so.  I saved images of the stuff I liked in a little photo montage.  I may even have stroked each image lovingly on my screen and called it "the precious".  Next, handbags.  I am giddy with anticipation.   No wonder men think women are nuts.  You can explain to an intelligent man for hours but they will never understand that a lady needs more than one handbag or pair of shoes.

Now to go catch up on some blogs that I've neglected for far too long.  Hope you are all well.

Excusing My Absence

This past couple of weeks has been a giant mish mash of dull thoughts and winter hibernation.  I feel like my brain might actually have been replaced while I was sleeping, by a cauliflower.  It seems incapable of coherent thought.  It does, however, manage to spend a lot of its time thinking about naughty things of a carnal nature.  I reckon this is because it's cold, winter and I'm pretty much snowed in which is making me cabin feverish.  And cabin fever has to relieve itself somehow, you know?   Lack of sensory pleasures means you have to find some fun in other ways.

Sadly, El Cerebro's been away on a work trip for the past ten days so not much chance to do much about that!  Instead I've resorted to watching bad TV and rating various gentlemen on their hotness.  Any show I watch, the men have to be rated for their sexy appeal.  And I'm hard to please, so don't think there are top marks all over the board.  Your standard, Hollywood, TV hot?  Doesn't work for me.  I need something with a little more personality.  A little more oomph.  A little more mystery.  And well.  Most shows seem to feature your catalog model types who just do nothing for me, with their chiseled chins and smoldering eyes.

I might be deficient in some sort of DNA.  Most ladies seem to purr over these perfect TV men.   Not me though.  Give me a devilish scruff with misbehaving in his eyes and I'll melt like ice cream on a stove top.  Give me a man with stubble who looks like he might like to drink some beer, smear me in chocolate and spank me.  

Strangely enough in real life, I'm not really interested in that sort of thing.  I doubt I could pull it off without laughing outrageously. Or yelling "Jesus Christ, not so hard!"  But my fantasy men can indulge all they want.   So tell me your fantasy TV men, ladies!  I need entertaining.

I hope you are all well?  I'm off to attempt to drive to the post office.  My life is that exciting currently.

Lazy But Content

Part of me actually believes I'll miss this seering cold when I one day don't live here anymore.  Because, complain as I might about the extremes, there's still a tiny amount of enjoyment in planning your days around Arctic style temperatures.   Justifying your coffee habit each morning and your hot chocolate each night.  Something about cozying up on your couch each evening when you return home, with a fleece blanket, some hot soup and ridiculously hideous but comfortable fluffy pajamas you hope no one will ever have the misfortune to see you in, is the guiltiest of pleasures.  It's quantifiable. You can be lazy in winter because that's what winter's for.  Staying home and taking stock.   No one can scold you about laziness when it's the same temperature as the North Pole. It helps when you have a big hunk of man to warm you up as well, I won't lie.

Besides, it's not like you can go for a jog.

That's what I tell myself anyway, as I slob around in old comfy red sweat pants with "Canada" embroidered on the leg, because I'm planning on staying home doing some work.  It doesn't matter that I wouldn't be seen dead outside in them or that they have an ink stain right on the back seam making it look like I had some unnatural colored anal leakage.

This week I have to take care of the unpleasant weeding out of possessions for my big move in March.  Whittling down all the things I don't need and working out how to move the things I do.  Although El Cerebro's not coming till later in the year, he's about as useful as a chocolate coffee pot (but luckily also as tasty I think!) when it comes to organizing things for packing.  He's like a lot of men, who think just tossing a bunch of clothing and items in a bag equates "packing".  It's exasperating to me who likes to pack in a way everything fits at its most efficient.  Underwear or socks rolled up inside shoes, every bit of space used.   Not him.  His packing always looks like he was escaping a burning building.

 He's the same way with the dishwasher.  I won't let him near it usually. I like to stack things logically and neatly and they always come out clean.  Him?  Things everywhere, all higgedly piggledy at all sorts of geometry defying, illogical angles.  No, no, no!

Don't get me started on his desk.   I think men just have a chromosome missing or something when it comes to logical order.  But at least they come with some excellent benefits too, if you know what I mean, ladies?

Yep, the man can put up a shelf!

Reminiscing Your Way Out Of Winter

Sometimes I think the French have it right, at least when they're not surrendering or making us look at Gerard Depardieu.  I came to this conclusion after a recent delightful afternoon enjoying mouth orgasms from eating croissants filled with melted chocolate, from a French bakery in town.

This made me remember that I went to France years ago, on a camping road trip with friends and when asked to sum up what was so wonderful about that trip, it's not the culture, the fields of golden sunflowers against a cornflower blue sky or the turquoise views of the French Riviera that are foremost in my  memories, it's the food.  Basically if you enjoy quaffing down scads of baked goods so delicious you'll melt, you will be at home in France with its exquisite cakes and pastries and fresh baked breads.  It's a wonder anyone in France has seen their own feet in decades.

Every day we were there, we would get up early, find the local bakery, stuff those still warm, almond croissants down our faces in blissful contentment while sipping strong, fragrant coffee and then, fuelled up on pastry and caffeine, drive all morning.  Before lunchtime arrived and everything closed down for the afternoon siesta, we'd stop in some rural village somewhere, once again find the local bakery and buy a bunch of fresh baked baguettes, get a lump of good, local cheese and some wine and go sit in a field somewhere to eat, drink and fall asleep in the long grass.

Every day was like that.  Eat, drive, eat some more, sleep, drive some more, find a place to pitch the tent, have a shower, go out and eat again, sleep.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  Heaven.

Compare with my current early morning start:  Smash alarm clock off the wall while grunting, "6am already, WTF?" in disbelief.  Drag shivering carcass out of bed and fall asleep on toilet while peeing.  Brew lame, no-name brand coffee and while it's doing its thing, take a shower that runs hot then cold at will, making me screech obscenities to all the neighbours.  Get dressed and drink lame no-name coffee.  Maybe eat a Poptart or if I'm really adventurous that day, oatmeal.  Stub toe on bookshelf.  Swear.  Check temperature outside.  Curse Canada and ask why it can't move closer to the equator.

Not a croissant or sunflower in sight.   Sometimes it's just not fair.

Oh Lord, A Serious One

I've realized lately that while some things in my life are not yet in a state of nirvana, I pretty much have a lot of sweet reasons to be happy and that I should learn to just appreciate what I do have as opposed to what I don't.

For instance, I have a boyfriend who bemuses me in his perfection.  Sometimes I look at him and I think, "This is what I've waited for my whole life."  And I'm genuinely amazed.   Partly to think that I could ever be that sappy and partly because no one is ever the right one, are they?  Yet somehow he is.

You see I used to be married.  My husband was difficult.   He wasn't a bad guy really, but he was a troubled one.  He had more issues than the National Geographic.  And I wasn't entirely aware of these issues before I married him, which made things extremely difficult later.  I loved him but I couldn't help him in any way.  He was jealous and devious.  He suffered from an extreme form of depression and anxiety.  He had a bad temper and was incredibly needy, due to abandonment issues stemming from his childhood and was not above resorting to emotional blackmail and extreme verbal abuse to get what he wanted.   He sat around at home all day, doing nothing and getting more depressed while I was at work.  And I was worried all the time.  Every minute of every day.  And worry makes you snappy and uptight.  And that made us fight.

And I got sick of the panic.  The dread of going home and not knowing what mood I'd find waiting for me.  The moment he'd next pick a fight over nothing.  The never being able to make him happy or solve his problems.  Wondering where the rent was coming from with one wage.  Knowing I'd have to get home from work and provide dinner and company and tread on eggshells all the time, while making him feel like the most important person in the world, even though I was exhausted and drained.

And it wore me down.  Year after year I got more tired, more depressed, less like myself.  Until I didn't recognize me anymore.  As though I was hiding away deep inside myself and this facade had replaced me on the outside.  I was introverted and quiet.  And I had to get out because, although my heart was breaking because he was so troubled, so mentally sick and I just wanted him to feel better and function as a normal human being again, I was fading away into a haze of depression and anxiety myself and I had to do something or go down with the ship.   The last two years we were married I was drowning and I'd forgotten how to swim.

So I saved myself.  I felt guilty over it.  I felt devastated.  I didn't respond to his  harassment or attempts to humiliate or belittle me.  His threats or his attacks.  I got out and I stayed out.  And slowly, over the last few years, the real me tentatively stepped out from her hiding place and found a path back.

El Cerebro gets me.  I never really expected anyone to understand me fully.  No one ever has.  But he truly gets me.  We are both mellow, laid back people who rarely get angry or frustrated.  We never fight.  We laugh at the same inappropriate things.  Where I used to feel aggravated and snappy, I now feel relaxed and happy.  I finally understand when people say, "he's my soul mate" or other things I previously thought corny.  We're like two halves of one entity.

Even I barfed reading that.  I do apologize.

But I never dread coming home.  I never lie awake at night worrying about El Cerebro or wondering what horrific mood tomorrow will bring, I just go with the flow.  I look forward to things again and although it sounds like such a small thing, it makes all the difference in the world.

Sundays Are For Nothing

Some weekends are a delightful waste of time.  When I was younger, I was driven by the unqualified belief that to be using your time productively, you had to be doing something at all times.  Creating.  Doing.  Nowadays, I’ve realized that you can provide satisfaction in your life by having periods of complete inertia without ruining anything at all.  Lazing around watching movies or napping or reading trashy magazines are all fine. 

This weekend I finally got my new laptop.   Getting the new machine demonstrated immediately just how antiquated my old computer was.   This one is a little powerhouse with a great powerful processor, a shiny bright widescreen, lots of hard drive space and giant quantities of RAM.  It zips through programs like a warm spoon through gelato. 

As if on cue, yesterday, while moving the last batch of photos and files to their new home over here, the old machine froze and died.  Like it had been holding on and now it didn’t have to anymore.

It’s really sort of sad.  But at least timely. 

El Cerebro’s parents are off on their annual three week vacation to Mexico today, making me drool with envy and long for balmy nights on their balcony drinking a cold Corona and looking at the ocean.   All I can see is a hazy, white frozen highway and some naked trees from my window.  It hardly seems fair.  Of course, they don’t get to witness the antics of a large, pale, naked, wobbling man in an opposite apartment, dancing to Madonna.  

So it’s really a trade-off.

Start the New Year With A Bang!

Another year, another adventure I like to say.   Actually I’ve never said that but it seems like a good motto going forward, I think. What will 2011 bring?  Hang Gliding maybe, I’ve always wanted to try it.  Or Para-gliding.  Maybe water skiing or becoming a better cook.  Who knows, it’s early days yet.  But I like the throbbing possibility that anything is within my reach, because the turn of another year means a blank slate ready to be written.  I’ve already been trying to drink more water and pledge my sanity to tomatoes instead of cheese, so that’s a start.

I don’t normally bother with resolutions, mainly because honestly, who ever keeps them for more than a week?  I’m like everyone else. I want to eat better, exercise more and be svelte and sexy by summer so I can let my pale limbs loose on the world without terrifying small children or dogs.  I’d settle for dogs.  I like dogs!  Small children terrify me with their incessant questions and their silent scrutiny, I’d really welcome a reason to blind them with my pasty white, untoned appendages.   

Instead of resolutions I decided to write a list of ten things, that in a fantastical, beautiful existence, I would absolutely accomplish this year.

1) Grow two more inches so I can finally be five foot eight and pants would fit me properly without hemming

2) Learn to appreciate good wine instead of whatever’s on sale

3) Go to Spain and speak Spanish complete with sexy accent and tantalize the locals with my giant beauty that is mainly just in my head

4) Do something naked and scandalous with Captain Mal Reynolds from “Firefly”.

5) Get a haircut that costs more than twenty bucks for a change and that doesn’t look like I drank a forty of gin and hacked it off myself with a carving knife

6) Do something else naked and scandalous with Captain Mal Reynolds from “Firefly”

7) Invent creamy, great tasting, yet aspartame and calorie-free chocolate that is full of vitamins and therefore good for you

8) Get rich from above invention and possibly win the Nobel Peace Prize

9) Go somewhere tropical and drink cocktails with umbrellas in them, till I pop.  These will be magic cocktails that are not only good for you but make you slimmer and look like you’re 25.

10) Maybe I could do another naked and scandalous thing with Captain Mal Reynolds from “Firefly”.  You know…three’s the charm and all that.



Happy new year, everyone!

Resolution Schmesolution

It’s at this time of the year a person starts taking stock of their life and resolving to fix all the holes.  We all do it, every year, and by January 6th we’re all over it and back to our bad ways.   We get all gung ho about exercise and our health then in a few days realize “what’s life without chocolate?” and gasp at the error of our ways, cutting out one of the things that makes life that little bit nicer.  

I’m hoping 2011 will be a nice balanced year.   I’ll do the exercise and eat the salad but I’ll also have a nice piece of good chocolate or a cupcake now and then.  I’ll drink more water but I won’t beat myself up if the odd glass of wine or beer or soda creep in here and there.   I’ll take a language class or something to keep my brain ticking.  I’ll start drawing again. 

I also will try to stop growling at Olay commercials featuring 17 year old pouting girls, promising to make all my fine lines disappear and turn me into some sort of feral, smooth skinned, supermodel, because obviously once you hit 40 you’re an eyesore that must be corrected or no one will want you to go out in public.   Surely there are better ways to spend our time than worrying that we’re too fat, too wrinkled, too old or too late?    It’s not constructive at all.

I’ve also resolved to learn to cook more dishes.  I don’t have a great repertoire in the kitchen, if I’m perfectly honest.  The few dishes I can cook, I can cook pretty well but I need some expansion in my menu.  I have collected some fine sounding recipes and aim to start actually producing them for dinner in the new year.  El Cerebro, being a man, and “a man” being a synonym for “I am hungry 100% of the time”, is very encouraging in my intention to use him as a guinea pig for my new meal ideas.   He’s even offered to provide Gordon Ramsey type advice if I need a little support.   Like there isn’t enough swearing in a kitchen while I’m cooking without a copycat of a blonde mop top Englishman turning purple and screaming “Call that Risotto, you fat little cow!” in my face. 

First on my new experimental menu - a breakfast snack: Bacon and cheese cornbread muffins.  Yes please.  For weekends only.  The rest of the week will be Special K and growling at myself in the mirror.

2011 is going to be a year of change, there’s no doubt about that.   I’m going to be moving in the spring, for work.  I’m going to be doing new things.  It’s kind of scary.  And kind of exhilarating. 

Hope your new year is equally satisfactory.  Be healthy but don’t deprive yourself either.  What’s health without happiness now and then?