Tonight’s Self-Care Routine:

  • Pick up lovely fresh groceries and cheap gas (87.9, y’all!). Pat self on back for bypassing ice cream section without so much as a wistful glance.
  • Put away lovely fresh groceries – meaning, do not shove items into any available crack but place items neatly in their proper place.
  • Update to-do list, checking off items completed and adding helpful reminders for things you will otherwise almost certainly forget to do.
  • Provide Elsie with food in exchange for cuddles.
  • Place today’s clothes NOT in a pile on papasan chair but actually in appropriate laundry bag.
  • Take luxurious hot shower, using nice body wash and the ‘good’ conditioner.
  • Put hair in a sexy bun and then moisturize.
  • Blog, allowing self to simply type whatever comes to mind, and keeping editing to a minimum.
  • Go to bed at reasonable hour, and fall asleep reflecting on an ordinary but wonderful day.

Smell Ya Later! (RideSharer’s Lament)

This is a true story, absolutely 100% free of exaggeration, embellishment or embroidery.


“This morning, a young man requested a ride.

When I picked him up, I just couldn’t decide:

Was his sense of smell deadened from years of abuse?

Or did he think cologne was a valid excuse

To forgo all societal bathing conventions;

I hope that seduction was not his intention,

As women aren’t usually too enthusiastic

When the scent of a man makes their bronchioles go spastic!


I wanted to tell him ‘Get out of my car!’;

I honestly doubted I’d make it as far

As the corner engulfed in that odious stench;

But I sucked up my misery, cuz I am a mensch.

I drove him uptown, each minute an hour!

No unit of time could diminish the power

Of that foul perfume, as it dug in its claws –

Surely this bastard is breaking some laws?


I tried to engage in some light conversation

But found that I couldn’t ignore the sensation

Of icy-hot knives stabbing into my nose;

Such was the force of the scent that he chose.

My eyes watered freely to try to assuage

That odious odor’s relentless barrage

But I suffered in silence, counting each second

While outside my window sweet SWEET fresh air beckoned!


After what felt like days, at last – we arrived!

I honestly couldn’t believe I’d survived.

He set out from my car with a smile and a wave,

Not seeing the under-dash finger I gave.

I wish that I’d mustered the courage to tell him

That even folks living in China could smell him!

I hate that his scent trailed me all the way home,

But at least this ordeal spawned a half-decent poem!”

A ‘Not A Blog Post’ Blog Post

One of the things I vowed that I would work on during this round of NaBloPoMo is my habit of discounting anything other than a formal blog post as ‘not a real post’. I have a tendency toward perfectionism, which inevitably leads to me giving up when I realize that I can’t possibly live up to the standard that I’ve set for myself. It’s silly, really – I spend half of my workday explaining to high school kids the value of hands-on experience and experimentation and creativity, and then I stifle those things in myself.

I suppose it stems from my self-esteem issues in high school. I was constantly petrified of looking stupid, and so I carefully guarded anything other than what I saw as my best work. But as I age and come to know myself better, I’m learning that limiting the parts of me that others see benefits no one. In fact, I’m finding that my imperfections and my efforts to work on them have brought me new friends that challenge me, new interests that excite me, and new knowledge that makes me a more interesting and well-rounded person.

Sooooo thank you for listening and allowing me to work my shit out in here.

Bipartisan Best Wishes

Hey America. It’s almost over. How are you holding up? Do you need me to get you a glass of water or something?

I’m trying to imagine how you’re feeling right now. After well over a year of watching your once-noble electoral process degenerate into a schoolyard brawl and your highest office become a joke, you must be exhausted. Whether you’ve been calmly researching your decision on your own or angrily launching yourself into the front lines on the Internet, you’ve had to sift through the opinions of millions of imperfect, biased people who formed their opinions based on the opinions of other imperfect, biased people. You did your best to base your decision on facts, but in a race where both sides are desperate to prevent the election of a candidate who they honestly believe represents the end of the America they love, how can you trust anything you hear?

But none of that matters right now. Decisions have been made, votes have been cast, and in a few hours (if all goes well – haha), either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be elected President of the United States of America. And regardless of which one you voted for, you will have to live with America’s decision for at least 4 years. And in light of that fact, I’d like to offer you a little advice from someone who understands what it’s like to live under the rule of an elected official you have little to no respect for.

Go High: If you lose, concede with grace. Declaring that an unsatisfactory result means the election was rigged doesn’t just reveal your ignorance of the fact that election fraud is exceptionally rare; it also undermines the public’s trust in the election process. And you just can’t afford to further erode that.

Have Faith: Remember that, flawed though it is, you do live in a democracy. Electing someone who promises to do things that you despise doesn’t mean that those things will actually get done. Look at poor Obama’s time in office!

Be The Change: If you can’t rely on your elected leader to fix things, get out there and do it your damn self!

That’s it from me, guys. I wish you the best of luck tonight. I’m off to tap class and then I’m going to watch the results come in with some friends. If you need a shoulder, give us a shout. We’re pulling for you!


Say It, Don’t F-G-H-J It!

Can I just tell you all how much I love speech recognition software?

Seriously, it has been a complete revelation for me in terms of blogging. As anyone who knows me IRL knows, communication is my strongest skill. I love to talk and I’m very good at it: finding the right word to express an idea or image, tailoring the language I use to my audience, and capturing and keeping the interest of that audience. When it comes to recording my words on paper, though, I find that my mind often works a little faster than my chicken-peck typing skills can keep up with. When I can see what I’ve written, the urge to go back and edit instead of writing more is overwhelming. I’m also easily distracted by things like a lumpy couch or a too-hard chair or Instagram ❤️ notifications. Sprawling on my bed with my eyes closed and letting my ideas come tumbling out makes for more vital, fluid writing.

If something in your life isn’t working right now, don’t just live with it – come at it from a different angle! It might take a few tries, but I promise you, there’s ALWAYS a solution.

With a Capital A

In honour of National Stress Awareness Day, I want to talk to you about Anxiety. Not anxiety – Anxiety. If you’re one of the 12% of Canadians who suffer from an Anxiety disorder, you probably understand why I feel the capitalization is necessary.

Oh, by the way – in case the fact that I’m writing this hadn’t clued you in, it appears that I am part of that 12%.

The first time I ever experienced anxiety with a capital A, I was 24 years old and having the time of my life working at this amazing summer arts camp in the States. And of course, as in all summer camp stories, I was in love. We bonded over our mutual obsession with an obscure web comic, and shared our first kiss by the shore of a starlit lake in the Adirondacks. It was a pretty magical summer all around. I won’t pretend I was never anxious about our relationship, but I feel like that’s just part and parcel of dating in an environment where all of your coworkers are young, cool and single.

I did find, though, that midway through the summer I started to feel a little off. I chalked it up to love-sickness and the rapidly waning quality of the camp salad bar, and made sure that I was always well-supplied with Tums. And then one day during a game of Cups with my campers in the dining hall, I was engulfed by what I can only describe as a wave of utter panic. I cast a desperate look at my (thankfully very intuitive) co-counsellor and dashed for the nurse’s office. I couldn’t explain what was happening, but bless that woman’s heart, she tucked me into one of the clinic beds mama-style and let me cry it out.

To this day I’m not sure what provoked the attack. I mean, we were past the halfway point in the summer and the boyfriend lived in Connecticut, so our relationship’s expiration date was on the horizon. But we still had a few weeks left, there was absolutely no reason for a meltdown on that particular day.

My second bout with Anxiety occurred a few years later, when I was out at a pub downtown celebrating a friend’s birthday during Nuit Blanche. I only knew a few people at the party, but I ended up clicking with the others as well and a couple of us decided to check out a few exhibits after the party broke up. As we were walking toward the event hub, I started to feel a strange tightness in my chest. My heartbeat began to speed up until it felt like it was trying to bust through my rib cage, and I could feel the pounding of my pulse even in my eyeballs. My breath was coming in short gasps. The sidewalks were crowded, but I managed to stagger through the crowd to an empty stretch of cold wet pavement. My new friend (no doubt reconsidering her taste in pals at this point) sat with me while I debated calling an ambulance, but after a few minutes my symptoms started to subside, and within 20 minutes it was like it had never happened. I spent the night on a friend’s couch as a precaution, but the feeling didn’t recur so I dismissed it and moved on.

My most recent bout occurred in late June of this year. After a few years of increasingly precarious employment in a new field, I decided to take on a couple of contracts in an old field, event management. Both of these contracts required a lot of self-motivation, which is just not my strong suit at all. I was obviously doing my job as required, but things were not going along as I had initially hoped, and so – naturally – I started to get a little anxious. And then a lot anxious. It came to a head on the second night of the event weekend. We’d been having some problems with volunteer retention (through no fault of mine), and the schedule for the next day was looking particularly barren. Now, I’m well aware that these things always work out with good leadership (which, despite my pre-event organizational issues, I always provide), but I think that by this point my body had already started the downward slide and there was just no talking myself out of it.

My heart felt too big for my chest. All my worries for the next day were engaged in a high-speed car chase around and around in my head. I lay down in my bed and practiced rhythmic breathing, stretching, YouTube guided meditations — hell, I even drank a glass of warm milk! — but nothing helped. I think I slept 20 minutes that night.

These are just the big events, of course; the dramatic stories you collect and carefully catalogue to help you make your case, because of course no one believes anything is wrong unless something is capital W Wrong.

I’ve not officially been diagnosed with an Anxiety disorder yet. I’ve tried, but as anyone who’s ever tried to seek assistance for an emotional or mental health issue can tell you, it is a fucking uphill battle. I will of course continue to seek help and support, but in the meantime, just giving myself permission to call it what I know it is has been the most incredible relief.

I’m tired and it’s 11:57. More on this, and my many other personal issues, in another post.

Happy National Blog Posting Month!

For those of you unfamiliar with NaBloPoMo, I will be posting one blog entry per day for the month of November, along with thousands of other bloggers from all over the world.

Everyone’s got their own reasons for participating; I’ve spent the last 4 hours trying to articulate exactly why I’m doing it again this year.  Who knew it’d be more than a single night’s work to sum up everything that’s gone down with me in the 11 months since my last blog post?

For tonight, I’ll leave you with this. It takes courage to tell your story. I’ve benefited greatly from other people’s stories, particularly over the last year, and I think it’s high time that I start paying it forward.

See you tomorrow!

❤ tK