Archive for September, 2010

Not only is Jon Hamm one hot dude, but he’s actually pretty funny. As is Michael Buble . . . or should I say Michael Bubbly? Watch and have a giggle as I did.

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In spite of the many hours I spent working as a babysitter or volunteering at a daycare as a teenager, I would not naturally describe myself as a kid person. There are some people that are just built to adore the smaller members of our species, however I am not one of those people. Don’t get me wrong, I like some children. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’m pretty much obsessed with Abbey and I like the offspring of our friends, but I don’t really go around fawning over random babies or tykes and I find a lot of them poorly behaved and kind of annoying.

Basically, I think my problem is that I’m not good with dealing with beings that operate without reason and I find their tinyness unnerving. In fact my husband and in-laws will vouch for the fact that when I held Abbey for the first time, I was incredibly uncomfortable because I felt as though the slightest wrong move would bring about a tragic Lenny-esqe disaster Ie. ” I don’t know why her head fell off, I was just stroking her hair!”

Judgemental baby judges my infant decapitation joke to be in poor taste. For shame, Girl! For shame!

I have never been quite sure how I would deal with this fear when I had my own children, but I guess I figured that my smitteness would ensure I would intrinsically know what to do with them when the time came. And the time hasn’t come yet, which is good . . . but I still wonder what it will be like . . .

Last year around Christmastime, I had a moment of uncertainty. I didn’t really think I was pregnant . . . In fact I was 98 per cent sure I wasn’t pregnant . . . but I was feeling unwell and I had yet to have my time of the month so . . . that two per cent made me wonder. That two per cent was enough to instill a little doubt in me, and that evening, when we hit a crappy Toronto bar for my friends’ birthday party, the idea of having a kid tossed over and over in my head.

Could I be pregnant? Should I not be drinking just in case? What the hell would we do if I were pregnant?

While at the bar, we ran into a woman who was pregnant and it was like my fears were staring me in the face. Especially when she started pounding back booze and telling us her doctor said it was okay. That pretty much set my brain into alarm bell territory.

Oh geez, what if I am pregnant? What if I am a horrible mother? What if everyone realizes that I am a horrible mother and then doesn’t tell me? What if I ruined my child with my carelessness? Or what if I ruined them with my neurosis and overthinking? I really do think too much, don’t I? Why do I keep thinking about all of this anyway when I am probably not actually pregnant? I mean wouldn’t I feel that? Wouldn’t I intrinsically know that I was pregnant? What kind of person doesn’t know they’re pregnant, aside from those women on that TLC show? Am I really that dumb that I wouldn’t realize I was pregnant? What if I didn’t know I was pregnant and then had my kid in a Wendy’s bathroom? Oh my God, that would be the saddest thing ever, wouldn’t it? What the hell am I doing worrying about all of this?

As it was, I didn’t drink that evening, but I decided to stop freaking out and take a more logical approach to the situation. I would wait until the date I thought my period should come and if it didn’t come, then I would go to Shoppers Drug Mart and get the big test. And in the meantime, I made myself think about the more awesome aspects of actually being knocked up. Boy and I would be good parents. Judging from our baby pictures, the kid would be pretty cute. I had enough of a support system of pregnant friends that I could get good advice from them. My sister-in-law and I would have kids about the same age. Also, I had always talked about wanting kids. When I was younger, I had in fact been more convinced that I wanted children than I was that I wanted to get married. It had all been very abstract then, but the idea that I could actually be doing it and parenting with a partner I really loved would be amazing.

So over the course of the week, I kind of came to terms with it. It wasn’t something we had planned, but if that two per cent doubt I felt was right and I was pregnant, I could handle it and things would be okay. But almost as soon as I had reconciled those feelings within myself, I realized that I wasn’t knocked up . . . and while 98 per cent of me was relieved, about two per cent of me felt a bit disappointed.

This weekend while we were visiting my in-laws and Abbey, I had a dream that the two per cent doubt I had was on the money and that Boy and I had actually had a kid after all. I wasn’t sure what to make of it but later that morning, I held my niece before we left to go back to the city and when she buried her little shy smiling face against my chest, I realized two things:
1) I wasn’t afraid of breaking her anymore;
2) I actually felt a tiny bit wistful about our non-baby.

I still don’t feel fully ready to have a kid. I’m really enjoying my life in the city with my husband, I am just getting settled into a new job and we’re coming out of a period of financial instability that we still haven’t full recovered from. But I can feel the tides starting to change and I am starting to look at the concept of parenthood with new eyes. I still think I’ve got a little while to go yet before I want to embark on the kid thing, it’s slowly starting to seem like less of a pipe dream and more of a feasible option.

Who knows? Maybe there’s a kid person in me just waiting to be discovered.

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As I think I have mentioned before, growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money. We did okay, and I never went without the things I needed, but sometimes the things I got were . . . I don’t want to say crappy because I feel like that’s a bit of an insult to my parents but . . . maybe a little lower on the quality scale than I would have liked.

Now that I’m older, the frugality I grew up with has actually proved to be a good thing because, as an adult, I do seriously think about everything I am doing financially. I worked 30 hours a week on top of my class schedule to pay for school and I managed to graduate without debt. I made sure I had enough savings to cover my first couple of months when I moved out on my own. I keep the charges to my credit card minimal – never over $250 – and if for any reason I have to go over my assigned credit card budget, I work out a repayment savings plan and pay everything off in three months*. I am not a good debt person, so I do everything I can to live within my means and I think I’ve been doing a pretty good job of it, especially considering how tiny my salary is**.

However, constantly fretting about the bottom line gets a little frustrating/exhausting . . . and then there’s the issue of cheap versus durable. Sometimes, you’ll come across something that is a perfect marriage of cheap and durable and that’s awesome . . . but a lot of the time, cheap is also kind of a code word for $h!tty. And then you find yourself thinking “Why didn’t I just shell out a little more money from the start instead of pissing away money on something crappy?”

I have been thinking about this more and more lately as we get into the colder weather and I need to buy cold-weather appropriate clothes. This summer, I continued on with “Operation: Don’t Look Like A Schlub,” took the opportunity to spruce up my summer wardrobe and things went pretty well. I laid out a decent chunk of change, but I upgraded a lot of things and I felt pretty natty while doing it. I wore many dresses and skirts (and miniskirts which is new for me) and I ended up not only feeling better about the way I looked, but getting hit on like crazy which was a new and weird experience for me since I am not much good with the flirting***. So now that it’s getting colder, I wanted to keep things going and I’ve been investing in some new fall dresses, tights, skirts and accessories to help me stay warm and generally look like more of an adult. Now that I am a manager at work (shocking I know!) that means more facetime with clients, and consulting on jobs wearing ripped up pants and old faded t-shirts is kind of not impressive, so new things required . . . and one of the new things I need is a pair of boots.

Now if you don’t know me in person, which most of you don’t, let me just tell you up front I have gigantic feet. Unfortunately for me, I have always had gigantic feet, even when I was a little kid. The first time my parents brought me winter boot shopping, I screamed so loud when they tried to jam boots on my feet that they left the store in shame. They were in fact so embarassed by my caterwauling that they refused to go back into ANY shoes store that winter and instead of buying me boots, they taped mittens to my feet for the entire season, earning me the nickname “Monkey Baby.” (Do you see how much I love you, bloggerinos, to tell you such a stupid and embarrassing story?)

Anyway, the big foot problem has only gotten worse now that I am super-tall. While I get that it is better to have size 11 feet when you are 6’1″ so you don’t fall over, it creates a vicious shoe shopping cycle:
– I hate shopping for winter boots so I don’t go until it snows.
– By the time it snows, things are pretty picked over, so I have to get whatever fits me.
– Because I don’t want to blow a bunch of money on something I am being forced to buy, I buy “cheap boots” meaning they cost around $100 and are generally nondescript.
– Because they are “cheap boots,” they last only one season and die a horrible premature death.

Last year was in fact one of the most awesome years bootwise as the ultra$h!tty boots I bought in November died in February. Not only was I superpissed off that the boots got a hole in them after only 4 months of wear, but for some reason, shoe retailers had decided by that point that no one require boots anymore, so when I went to buy a second crappy pair, all the shoe stores had were flipflops. In Canada. In February.

Please let the stupidity of that sink in for a moment before moving onto the next paragraph.

So thinking ahead to the colder weather, I started wondering why I piss away $100 every year (or sometimes $200 if the first set of crappy boots dies) on something I don’t want and don’t like and it’s making me think about alternatives. Obviously, mittenfeet are out****, so what if I got boots I actually liked? What a novel concept! And after some digging around and talking shoes with a few people, I found these . . .

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways . . .

I am not a shoe person, but I have a major shoecrush?shoeboner?shoegasm? over these shoes. They’re prettier than most things I own . . . the only problem is, they’re like $500. Before taxes.

*BTW, that noise you just heard, somewhere off in the distance? Was my head exploding.*

So yeah, I’m feeling kind of torn about the whole thing. On one hand, I could get some kick ass shoes that I really like after a lifetime of hating shoes, but on the other hand . . . Five. Hundred. Dollars.

What say you, blogging audience? Is it better to buy regular boots that are cheaper but will need to be replaced or buy adorable boots that cost a bundle but will last a long time? When do you go practical and when do you go pretty?

*I had to do this once for my late June wedding but by the end of August, everything was squared away again.
** No joke, I recently found an old pay stub and what I made as an administrative assistant back in 2004 is approximately what I made on my last publishing paycheck this year. Also note, I have been working for this company for four years so this was after multiple raises.
*** I am not good at being hit on. Any time a stranger flirts with me, I automatically turn around and look for the hot girl behind me.
**** Or are they?!? 🙂

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By MIA, I mean "Missing In Action," not MIA the music star. However, if I could be brave enough to dress like that when I get knocked up, that would be kind of cool.

Wow, I didn’t even realize until now that it had been as long as it’s been. Granted, I am not particularly surprised. With the way things work with my job, the later half of the summer always gets eaten up by work craziness . . . plus, this year our summer was incredibly busy and I kind of have this rule that if it comes down to writing about my life or going out and living my life, living always wins.

So yeah, I guess this calls for a cliff notes kind of update:

Boy’s job stuff:

Boy got a new job! And it’s only an hour or so away from our place! This is the most awesome thing by far. He’d been unemployed since April and with summer almost over, it was making us both a little anxious about what we would do in the months ahead. However, the third week of August, he got a call about an application, went in for an interview and bam! New job! It was funny, we went out for dinner a while ago with some friends of ours who had gone through a similar situation and they said to us “Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like it will ever get better and then suddenly it does and you don’t know what the problem was,” and it was definitely like that for us. Not having to worry about money or the possibility of living apart was such a relief.

My job stuff:

I interviewed for a pretty awesome gig a few months ago and according to an inside line, I was in a shoo-in for the job. That is until the department I interviewed with was downsized and the position eliminated. This was a major bummer since I REALLY wanted that job, but I reasoned that at least they didn’t hire me and then downsize the position. Anyway, I was holding on in my job and feeling frustrated when someone in my department announced they were quitting. At this point, my department was already understaffed so I felt anxious, but this person’s departure left a spot open for me to slip in and gain some managerial control . . . which is what happened as of September 1st when I became head of my department. So yeah, I am still here slugging away, but this time it’s with a pay raise and some actual say as to how my job works. Granted, it hasn’t been that long yet, but I’m feeling much happier about what is happening now that I am not reliant on other people. I still have goals and plans for the future, but this is at least a good step forward.

Family stuff:

The last time I updated, things were a little rough on this front, but they’ve gotten better. I’ve written a lot about the problems I’ve had with my parents, but I wanted to definitely take a moment to say that as hard as things have been with them sometimes, they do actually care about me and they are supportive when I really need them to be. With all my job frustrations, they sat down and told me if things at work got too bad, they would jump in and be willing to help me out for a few months if I really needed to quit and look for something else. Although I would never take them up on something like that unless I was in a completely dire situation, it allowed me to feel like I had a little breathing room in a very stressful situation which I really, really needed. Anyway, we’ve had a couple of lunches over the past month or so (one for my mom’s birthday and one for mine) and we’ve talked and things have felt right again, which puts my heart at ease.

Friend Stuff:

We had some people distance themselves from us when we were going through these hard times. I even had one person say to me when I was explaining our situation (at this point we were still thinking Ben might have to move) “That’s depressing. I don’t want to talk about that.” While I know that these people didn’t mean to be mean, it still really sucked. Just going through something stressful like that already makes you feel like you’re alone and having people you consider to be your friends bail on you just heightens that feeling of isolation. So, to those of you who haven’t been through this with friends, here is my advice to you: It’s not all about having to say the right thing. Sometimes it’s about admitting you have no f*cking clue what to say and just checking in once in a while. Drop a line via e-mail. Swing by with some beer. Invite them over for dinner. We had some people do these incredibly simple things for us and they made a world of difference and made us that much more aware how kick ass some of our friends truly are. Thanks guys!

Miscellaneous Fun Stuff:

I was just updating my summer vacation photo album on Facebook and I realized that I have actually done a lot of stuff including:
1. Going to see Band of Horses, Broken Social Scene and Pavement live on Toronto Island. We thought it was going to rain but we had great weather for this. Unfortunately, maybe a little too great since I got pretty burned. Whoops!
2. Meeting one of my blog friends in person. Looking back on it now, it feels like a lifetime ago I was bloggin’ for the ‘Bee, but I am grateful I did it since it introduced me to a bunch of awesome people.
3. Going to see Patton Oswalt live at Just for Laughs. He was just as good as I was hoping he’d be.
4. Going to my art class’ art show. Boy helped set it up and had two pieces in it. As for me, I didn’t submit this time, but maybe next year if I am feeling braver.
5. Visiting my niece Abbey and her awesome parents. Seriously, a huge part of this summer would have been unbearable without these three people.
6.  Visiting with my Godmother who came in from Montreal. She is one of the nicest people ever but anytime I see her, it’s kind of funny because she is incredibly short and I am almost two feet taller than her.
7. Throwing a “dramatic reenactment” party with a bunch of my friends. Some people bailed last minute, but the people who did come were awesome reenactors.
8. Going to see Arcade Fire live. One of the best, if not the best, concert I have ever seen.
9. Hosting some lovely friends of ours and their three kids for a swim and dinner the August long weekend. Their kids are awesome and our friends are such good parents, it was a really nice afternoon.
10. Going to Boy’s extended family reunion. We didn’t know half the people, but we got to drink and hang out with Boy’s immediate family, so that was cool.
11. Celebrating my mom’s 59 birthday and my 28th birthday. I have a distinct feeling that 28 is going to be my year.
12.  Throwing an art show opening for Boy. He was a little bummed about the turnout, but people really liked his stuff and he sold some prints which is good.
13. Attending the 10th wedding anniversary party of two of our good friends. This might have possibly inspired us to throw an anniversary party next year, but we have to wait and see how that plays out.
14. Enjoying a fondue party with friends new and old. Melted cheese and groovy ’70s rock make everything all right.
15. Going to Fort York for the first time ever. Way to go History!

Not all of those things are in sequence and I am sure there is other stuff I am missing, but those are the biggies and they kind of help explain why I’ve been AWOL.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for now. I’m hoping once the craziness at work subsides, I’ll be able to blog more. To that end, I’ve even been in touch with a couple of people about guest blogging to kick my butt into gear, so I’ll update when that happens. But, in the meantime, here is a picture of my adorable niece. There is pretty much nothing cuter than this little bean.

Hope this blog post finds you all well and that you had an excellent summer!



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