Fail

This won’t be a long one, and don’t expect any pretty pictures, cause I need to go to sleep now. But I thought I’d let you know, Dear Internet, why I’ve been so absent lately.

1. I discovered Pinterest. As you know, I’m mildly (hah) OCD, and this is definitely filling up my available Internetting minutes right now. It’s not at all that I need to PIN ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW!!!! Nope . . . Hmmmmmmm maybe I should like my Pinterest to this here blog? Things to think on.

2. I’ve been testing out new recipes like a crazy person. In my looking at changing the diet a little, I’m discovering the joy of lentils, and expanding my knowledge of the awesomeness of quinoa. Pictures may follow at some point. . .

3. I totally gave myself another concussion this weekend. Yeah, I said “another” – this is my second doctor-diagnosed concussion. And they’ve both been due to my problems with standing up near hard edged objects. Damn you, Kitchen Counter!!! I kept on with my mad schedule of baking and cooking ALL THE THINGS this weekend. Cause I’m dumb. And them with less than three hours of sleep on Sunday night, I was pretty much down for the count yesterday (unsurprisingly). Wheee. I discovered the evil of fluorescent lights today. Not that I didn’t already know they were evil. . .

Fail.

4. I’ve been preparing for the Lenten music season – new music and all that.

Anyway. I promise to try to be more diligent about posting, Dear internet. Is that good enough for now? I do have things up my sleeve, just so you know.

Any good new obsessions for you lately??

Hey 2012, what’s up?

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(Source: Nerd Boyfriend)

So. Do I have your attention now?

No? How about now??

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(Source: Who Is Matt Smith? )

Well, now that sexy men have gotten your attention, Dear Internet, I’ll get to my post. Which doesn’t actually have a whole lot to do with those images. Sexy as they are. . . Though, to be fair, I should probably even things out with some sexy woman action too. Just to be fair.

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(Source: Karen Gillan’s InStyle photoshoot

It’s a new year, and everyone’s getting all revved up about making resolutions and turning over a new leaf. Cause, you know, an arbitrary date management cycle has recommenced? Usually my resolution is that I won’t make any resolutions, cause it’s kind of a sham and hooey and they never get kept cause nobody ever makes really realistic goals for themselves. And then there are the tears and recriminations and apathy, and why start that vicious cycle when I only just jumped off the last one? Not that I’m a cynic or anything. But this year, something’s different. I’m at the cusp of making some changes in my life, and it just so happens that I want to start these changes now, at the turn of a new year. New Year’s Resolutions Bandwagon, you are being jumped upon by me, finally.

Grouped into a few areas, here are my goals for this new year:
1) Manage Money Like an Adult, dumbface
– don’t use the credit card as a crutch, if you can’t afford it, don’t go for it
– pay off the little bit of debt I’ve accumulated
– start actually saving money
– develop a proper budget

I’m planning on finally moving out sometime this year, so I really think I should buckle down and become an adult about money. Like now.

2) Get Healthy.
– start the process to diagnose a potential health issue I’ve been dealing with for the past six months
– develop a regular exercise schedule
– plan on changing some food habits, develop a healthy diet plan (where “diet” = the food I eat, not fad self-denial/starvation plan. Cause that shit won’t work for me)
– hike more. Lots more. And try to be more active in general

As I say above, I’ve been having some minor health issues since I finally got a job last spring. I guess the release of all the pent up stress of the two years previous messed up my system even more than I’d thought. And, having spoken with my doctor briefly about what’s going on, she agreed that we should definitely do some (wheeee. . .) testing and get to the bottom of things. And part of the treatment for the condition I might have developed include diet changes and increased activity. Which I wanted to do anyway. So. Win-win?

Now, what does this mean about my baking obsession?? Well, I’ll probably not change a whole lot, cause the things I bake, I bake them for other people. I’ll just have to pretty much not eat most things. And, I’ll probably start playing with new recipes, to test substitution options, and test the Healthy Baking Waters. But let me reassure you all now, there will still be pounds of butter. Cause, sorry margarine enthusiasts, it’s just better.

3) Make Decisions About Things That Have Been Pissing Me Off (finally)
– specifically, decide what I’m going to do about my choir issues. So there will be much research on choirs going on in the next few months
– find a decent paying Sunday choir gig, if possible. Cause I’m sick and tired of feeling like my opinion is invalid because I’m just-a-volunteer
– think about singing lessons, when I have more money at my disposal

4) Plan the Next Step, Career-wise
– start résumé revisions, cover letter writing, etc. well ahead of my contract ending
– start trolling job listings and job boards soonish
– think about where I really want to end up, and how each job I do apply to will help me achieve my goals in my career

5) Take the Time to Art
– use some of my cherished me-time to go back to sketching and painting
– play with new media, and mixing medias
– work on getting my technique back up to snuff, cause I’m feeling a bit rusty
– think about art classes, when I have some income to burn
– play with my craft obsessions and see how far I can push them into my art. Specifically, work on developing my own knitting patterns

During my vacation after Christmas, I worked on my first actual art project in YEARS. A friend of mine, with whom I have been lamenting letting our passion for our arts go in the name of practicality, challenged me to make something for her for Christmas. Well, being one effing-super-busy lady, I couldn’t do it in time for Christmas, so it became a post-Christmas project. And it felt good to be painting again. No, let me rephrase: it felt GREAT!! I’m about half done, so there’s more to do, but I’ve been putting off working on it a little because I don’t want it to be over. I guess I’m starting to realize just how big a whole I’d dug out of my heart when I decided to give all this up. So it’s time to start patching up that gaping hole, I guess.

I wish I could say I know it’ll all work out great. But I’m a confirmed pessimist and I’m not naive. But I can say right now that I am going to put everything into this, which is something I’ve avoided almost my whole life, and that’s both daunting and exhilarating. There are things at stake now!! I guess this is what it feels like to not be depressed? If so, I think I like it!!

I just read a great article about the physiological issues that might be at play in problems with maintaining weight loss. A lot of which makes good sense to me, especially since I watched my mom go through the whole crash-diet-massive-weight-loss-then-incremental-weight-gain thing my whole life. And I guess I could be discouraged since I’m likely to have to work hard at maintaining any weight loss I do accomplish, but it’s really nice to know that at least part of my overweight-ness can potentially be attributable to forces not entirely under my control. It’s kind of freeing, really. I’m also looking at the Mediterranean diet as inspiration for my new food resolutions.

Well. Anyroad, I think I’ve yammered long enough about this. Time to get back to work, Dear Internet!!

Any new resolutions this year for you, Dear Internet??

The posts that never come. . .

Okay. . . So much for resolutions like “I _will_ write at least one blog post a week!!” or “I need to finish talking about my bleep-ing Newfoundland trip!” or “I should sleep more!!!”

This “gainful employment” thing kinda sucks, aside from the money, the doing something awesome with my days instead of being eff-ing bored All. The. Time., the meeting new and awesome people, the money, and gaining useful experience for my CV. Did I mention the money? Cause two years of almost total unemployment paired with me still wanting some kind of life left me with one sad credit card statement. So money coming in is both very confusing and awesome. Confusing since it’s weird to see the bank statement increase bi-weekly. Though that does get sucked into the credit card pretty quickly.

And Christmas is coming.

Which leads me to a raft of excuses for why I’ll probably be AWOL for most of the rest of the year. See, I’m going to try to actually _do_ stuff in the next couple of months, along with working 5 days a week, singing Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, knitting a stupid number of X-mas presents, going to the gym 4-5 times a week, and baking the usual ridiculous number of cookies. Plus several birthday treats for the several birthdays coming up, and finally making good on a couple of presents the boyfriend and I gave a couple of years ago. Heh, you heard right – a _couple_ of years ago. . .

We’re so awesome. . .

And, oh yes, I almost forgot Hallowe’en. Because 1. I’m actually trying to make a costume for the first time in years (I don’t know if you remember how old I am, but it’s pretty ridiculous, since I’m not 7 anymore. Not that there’s anything wrong with other people who dress up who aren’t 7, _I_ just feel ridiculous), 2. It’s my Mom’s birthday and I have a new recipe I want to make for her (it involves potatoes. My mom _loves_ potatoes in an unholy way), 3. I have to carve a ridiculous pumpkin (I might not _have_ to, technically. But this is me, and if I can be truly ridiculous, I can’t help but be even more ridiculous than that), and 4. There’s not enough time this weekend to come close to finishing everything I need to do. . . Unless I don’t sleep of course. . .

If only that were a feasible option.

In addition to making myself waaaaaayyyyyy too busy, I’m also in a kind of not awesome place, emotionally. Which is part of why I’m filling my days too full, so I don’t have time to think about things. I’ve talked about the problems I’ve been having with my choir before, so I won’t belabor that point. But it’s getting to the point where sometime in the near future I’m going to have to make a decision. And I don’t want to. I don’t want to have to leave a choir I’ve been a part of since I was 6. I don’t want to have to be the one to tell my church’s priest exactly what’s wrong and why I’m leaving the Sunday choir. I don’t want to be the one to tell my choir director why the choir isn’t as good as it could, no _should_ be (i.e. Her. . .). I’ve been talking about this off and on for the last few years, enough so that the boyfriend is probably a little fed up with me. But there’s a reason I’ve put off looking for another choir, that I’ve put off telling the people who need to know what they need to know, that I’ve remained (increasingly) frustrated about the situation I find myself in. One reason is the convenience of it – the church is literally 2 minutes away from my parents’ house. Which won’t always be the case, if I can keep up this fully employed thing and move out next year. But more problematic is the emotional attachment. I’ve sung at this place for more than two decades, my grandparents are buried in the cemetery on the church grounds, I know and care for a lot of people in the parish, it’s my Dad’s church, I’m friends with a significant number of members of the choir. And this is all tangled up together in a big jumble of emotion that pretty much paralyses me. I’m in a kind of straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back kind of situation, and yet I can’t let myself do anything about it. Why should it be me that leaves? Why does it have to be me??

And after some gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair I came to a realization: for now, the good outweighs the bad. Just barely, but still. I’ve always been one to put friendship above my own needs, and why should I change that now? There are plenty of points at which I can reevaluate the situation, other times I can think about this.

In the meantime, I’m going to be looking at possible options. . .

Back to work! Any tough decisions on your plate, Dear Internet?

My morning pet peeve

Whenever I stay over at the boyfriend’s place overnight on weekdays, I end up at one particular subway station with this damnable poster staring me in the face.

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It might be the fact that it’s before 9am, it might be the fact that I’m by nature cynical, or it might be that this is one huge steaming pile of bulldunkle. But this, Dear Internet, seriously pisses me right the hell off.

Restore each other’s faith in humanity by _smiling_ at one another? Like that would do anything more than possibly lift one person’s day (marginally) at a time.

Because, with genocide, rape, third-world famine, the IMF, greed, war, child abuse, social stigmatization of women (in pretty much all cultures. We may have come a long way, baby, but there’s still this huge, long, bumpy, sabotaged road ahead), self-centeredness as a cultural phenomenon, apathy, tyrants, violent cults, the stigmatization of sex, female circumcision, injustice, the disappeared, the Holocaust, first world waste, rampant pollution, homophobia, the environmental crisis, the Tea Party, the Inquisition, the Crusades, residential schools in Canada, the marginalization of native communities, Fox News, large corporation’s governmental subsidies (especially when the corporations never contribute to the societies that are buoying them up and allowing for their massive profit margins), credit cards, I can’t imagine any one smile is going to have the power to negate these and the many other evils that exist.

I don’t think a smile is going to cut it.

Not for me anyway.

(And before any of you get up in arms about the items on my list and/or the order in which they’re placed, you should know that I wrote them down as they randomly came to me, and these are things with which I specifically have deep issues. You can disagree, that’s your prerogative. Just don’t expect me change my opinion because of yours. That’s my prerogative. If you get nasty, your comments will be deleted. Fill your own blog with your opinion, that’s what it’s there for. Rational commentary will be considered on a case by case basis.)

Quite the delay. . .

Oooohhhhhkaaaayyyyy. . .
A litany of woes, excuses, and a dash of lazy thrown in for good measure equals a week since the last post, the last post which was supposed to be posted two weeks prior to when it did go up. But I won’t bore you with the details. I’ll just say that suddenly being unable to sleep more than three hours at a time really screws up your productivity. Also, weather system pressure changes really suck.
And now my first post about the wonderful Newfoundland trip!! And a few photos, for some eye candy.
The trip started out auspiciously enough – I was getting a ride to the airport at 5:15 on a Saturday morning, so I had spent the last few days organizing and packing everything I’d need. And even though I know I set my alarm to go off in plenty of time to shower and finish up with getting ready to go. . . I was woken by my ride sending me a text that he was on his way (and he lives about 5 minutes away.) Crap. But I’m so organized it only takes me 7 and a half minutes to get down and load my stuff into the car. Luckily I’d had a shower the afternoon before (after swimming). From there on in, not a hitch: flight was smooth (even a large number of children wasn’t an issue. I guess their parents intelligently knocked them out for the flight or something), and we landed in St. John’s on time. The next hitch appeared in the form of (drumroll please) the rental. There were going to be six of us staying in the cottage together, so we needed something that could hold not only us, but all our luggage. So the car came in at 300$ more than the original quote, and we were only getting 100 km a day. In Newfoundland. Which is 111,390 square kilometres. . . And it would be 20¢ for every additional kilometre (just so you know, we did fairly spectacularly exceed our kilometre limit. . . more on that at a later date). And the cottage we were staying at is about an hour and a half south of St. John’s. . . Just awesome.
But that’s just the first few hours of our trip. We then went grocery (and, more importantly, booze) shopping to get stuff for the week, and then started on our way to the cottage. Nothing earth shattering happened on the drive down, though we almost missed Renews (the village where we were supposed to be staying). Our fearless leader called our local contact (I don’t know if you know the stereotypical Newfoundland accent? Well, he had it, and we were all seriously hard-pressed to understand anything he actually said. . . You should have heard how he pronounce ‘foggy’. Which was probably only as hysterical as it was since it was me and five gay men staying at the cottage. . .), but we eventually found the cottage, and got in. 
It was tiny. In the diminutive sense – 6.5 foot ceilings. . . (maybe 7′, but it didn’t look it). Adequately sized kitchen (though lacking in counter space, but hey – it’s a fricking cottage), tiny dining room and tv/living room completes  the first floor. And there are three tiny bedrooms and a good-sized bathroom. I was going to share a room with one of the others – a bunk bed. But it was a kid’s bed. And the ceilings were lower upstairs. . . They ended up sleeping on the couch downstairs. . . For some reason. 
Also – there was a pretty impressive colony of pill bugs infesting the building. Local colour.
That pretty much sums up what I remember of the first day (we went for a little walk to the harbour, and had some dinner, and then discovered the incredible uncomfortableness of the beds. . .)
Now that I’ve gotten you excited, here are some photos!!
View near Renews
very picturesque 🙂
coastal village shot (from observation platform tourism thingy)
Our little saltbox has a pedigree?? oh, wait, 2007?
Buttercup!
red clover
Queen Anne’s Lace
view of the cottage (looks much bigger than it is. . .)
WTF???
Renews Harbour
miiiiiiiisssssssssssst!!
starfish (poor thing)
local church (RC)
St. Mary’s shrine (slightly creepy when come upon at night
with the crosses all glowing. . .)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I did focus a little on the negative (see above. . .), but I don’t want you to get the wrong impression – I loved it there. I cannot wait to go back!! There were rough spots (and I am surprised we were able to spend a week together, all six of us, in that diminutive building and not axe murder each other), but there were also very special moments. And billions more photos yet to come. So, Dear Internet, fear not. I won’t be a misery monger about the whole trip. And I’ll try to stay light-hearted about the mishaps instead of whiny.
But, wildlife, hijinks, mishaps, and wonder galore are headed your way! And probably a whole post devoted to the flower porn from our visit to St. John’s botanical garden (in amazingly named Pippy Park!). So many pretty flowers, so little time (and too crappy a camera to really do them justice).
Been anywhere new lately, Dear Internet?
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By the way – why did it take me so long to start listening to Mumford and Sons?? Crazy me.