alarm clocks be damned

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Source: sundayinbed.tumblr.com via Heather on Pinterest

words can’t describe the satisfaction i felt in turning off my alarms (yes, there are more than one – what?) this morning. this wasn’t the regular morning, catch a few more zzzs, snooze kind of off. nope, this was on a much grander scale…

we’re on vacation!!

grand indeed. and even though i wanted to smash the alarm to bits, i’m already blissed out enough that i just calmly put them to their own rest for a little while.

there are still about six more hours to ride out in the office, but come noon (sharp!) the pilgrimage to everett begins and we’ll check out some lacrosse as a way of kicking off two lovely weeks of not waking up at the ungodly hours.

draft night

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every year, the bellie boys humour me and save me a seat at the draft table. sometimes they even listen to some of the things i say. (or they pretend to, at least. ūüėȬ†)

clearly, i was rather focused – serious business, here

the one thing that makes me love draft night so much is that i just¬†adore¬†the anticipation on the faces of the kids that are eligible and the big old smiles when their names are called. it’s so great to feel the buzz of excitement in the room. i don’t care who they are or where they’re drafted, happiness is contagious and for that reason, it’s a great event to be a part of.

in related news,¬†il indoor published the follow up to my first west coast report this morning and it was a review of the monday night’s wla draft.

West Coast Report: Thunder roll the dice on Matthews in WLA draft

i’m with the guys in red

beat arthritis

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me & nannie

it’s just like time to fly, fly along. nearly two months ago, i put my name forward to take part in a yoga fundraiser for the benefit of the arthritis research foundation. the organization helps combat a laundry list of autoimmune diseases like the one that plagued my beloved nannie. i introduced you to her and to my plea for your support¬†when i first signed up, but with the event just around the corner, you can bet you’ll be hearing more and more about it.

if you can, please consider helping out in one of the following ways:

i said it then and i’ll say it again:

what better way to work against something that defined the life of someone i loved so much
than using something i love to battle it?

read my original post

connecting with femininity

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there are a few topics that have been swirling in my mind lately, so much so that they are messing with my mojo. i just can’t sort out my words when it comes to the passionate thoughts i’m harbouring and without putting words to them, i don’t really feel so satisfied sharing words on anything else. this is one example.

femininity. i’m trying to work out what that means to me.

my knee jerk thought is of frills and lace, flowery dresses and aprons in soft colours. right away, i recognize that as an antiquated thought pattern. femininity can not be glued to old expectations and only tinged in hues of pink.

Source: katflower.blogspot.com via Heather on Pinterest

what has being a woman come to mean? what do we expect of ourselves and each other?

these seeds of thought were planted in a staggered row. it wasn’t just one thing, but many. little sprouts emerged from the ground and bound together. singly they may have gone unnoticed, but as they’ve grown and become bigger and stronger, they’ve formed these massive curiousities about myself as a woman, about the women around me and about my relationships with women and with men.

when i stumbled into a conversation on twitter, it got me thinking. while my partner in tweets launched with speculation about the increasing number of violent incidents involving girls and young women. i speculated that, as a gender, perhaps we’ve given up our connection to femininity as a trade-off for more masculine tendencies. at some point along the road, we threw equality out the window and began chasing sameness instead.

in another example, as part of the maybe baby program i participated in, i was blessed with the opportunity to hear dara mckinley speak about her experience of new motherhood. i’d expand on what she shared, but she’s done it much more eloquently in what that conversation prompted in her, this letter to her daughter.

the reason that both of the examples rang so deep into my soul is because when i let go of all the ego and finger pointing, i know i have been guilty of both. much of my identity has been built around being “one of the guys.” i have always worked in male dominated environments and found myself surrounded by men. under those circumstances, i have adopted habits that are distinctly male. i’m aggressive, can be abrasive and sometimes cold, but i could never put my finger on why, stepping outside of the situation, that sometimes left me feeling really bad as well. with my behaviour followed my goals and female relationships never quite made the cut. i’ve always had girlfriends, but never in the way that you see in movies or read about in books. with girlfriends there always seemed to be so much more work involved: the feelings, the talking, the communicating. when i really break it down, i’ve never been comfortable with my femininity and the huge lesson that realization brings with it is that no matter how regarded masculinity is as strong, femininity is so much more powerful. it’s also harder to tame.

a younger version of me would curse who i’ve become for investing so deeply in the belief that, despite what i preached in my twenties, men and women are vastly different. we were designed that way. just as we need dark to define light, night to define day, black to define white, we need masculine to define feminine. what i am struggling with now is how or why we cast our innate femininity aside in favour of blending in.

in the company of many women, feminine is the new f word. while it isn’t always overt, it has often come to be seen as a weakness or an insult. it’s been my experience that while much more subtle, misogyny is perpetuated by women ourselves far more than by the opposite sex. we hurt, bully and criticize each other far more frequently than is done by men. while men may control us in certain arenas, we support that in the every woman for herself approach we take to living together.

borrowed this image from the modest mom blogseems excessively stiff to me, too, but it makes a point about role reversal

femininity. i am attempting to work out what it means to me. in doing so, i am trying to catch up on years squandered on efforts to fit in with the opposite sex. my friendships with men will never pale in their importance and i believe that balance, as with anything, is key in life, but there is a woman in me who is also thirsty for the kind of self-knowledge that i think can only come from time spent with my own gender. until we can embrace the goddess in all of us and summon the courage to live as the people we were meant to be, we will never be able to feel fully satisfied.

ask around and you’ll see that femininity has a different meaning to everyone. one friend identified it as sexy, another said gentle and sensitive. by definition, anything a woman does can be considered feminine and we all know that a woman can do anything.

in truth, my definition is very similar to the first i presented up top. femininity to me is soft and nurturing, caring and giving. it’s also the most challenging endeavour i have accepted in a long time. much easier it is to hide behind strength and power than to be tender and vulnerable.

what is femininity to you? how do you celebrate it?

there’s a cat in my basket

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i finally got my bike home in time for the weekend. since christmas it had been stranded at my folks’ place. first thing after work on friday afternoon, kevin and i applied all the goodies that came with it ~ the bell, the basket, the seat with the heart on it. once we were done, i took it out for a test run, walking it down the stairs of the building and dragging it back up, riding around the ‘hood in between. from the get-go, i’d made jokes about sitting kemah in the front and taking her out for a ride. i didn’t really harbour any faith that she’d go for it, and i’m certain that if she felt the thing make the slightest move, she’d bolt, but she rather enjoyed the very stationary basket once she made the discovery.

we called this one grady’s photobomb.

the caption should read: seriously? what is this shit?

dresses and cakes

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did you know abbotsford is the berry capital of canada? true story.

today was the memorial for my friends’ mother and my friend, pauline. sadly, i kept thinking about our venture to the valley and i’d feel a spike of excitement because for some reason i had it in my head that we were going to see her. then i’d remember the whole purpose of the trip. it was nice to see steve and to remember how much his friendship means to me. it was nice to see his boyfriend and some old friends as well. bittersweet reunions, i also got to introduce everyone to kevin. i doubt i’ll ever live it down that i suggested kevin wear a suit. though he hardly put up a fight, he did make a few comments showing concern he’d be the only one. bingo! the room was an abundance of denim and plaid, but his lilac shirt did fit in with the purple dominance. that was my first suit exposure. (swoon!) in my own wardrobe story, i’d had one dress in mind before i was getting ready this morning. once i put it on, it just didn’t feel right for the day. as kevin pointed out, “it looks good, babe, but are dancing girls really appropriate for a funeral?” i looked down. yeah, my dress featured a silhouette of a woman’s body. probably not best. quick switch and i was wearing my current favourite dress¬†and feelin’ good. after settling in and initiating the catch up session, something across the place caught my eye: dress #1. yeah, for the first time in my entire life, someone at the same party was wearing my dress! (even though i didn’t actually wear it out, that’s a close call!) for the record, i totally wore it better. (it was very similar to this only featuring gray, turquoise and scarlet¬†and the aforementioned dancing girl.)

*.*.*

tonight, i was thankful for ufc. while i think the events barbaric and a little bit embarrassing, to each their own and to kevin, it means something. he enjoys it and, when he can swing it, usually goes out with a buddy or two to watch. once he’d dropped me off at home, he hit the road for his own engagement.¬†i have no idea where my night went, but i’m not complaining. no plans translated to catching up on the pvr queue, decluttering and tidying the apartment and putting into action my aspiration to making my mom a birthday cake. yes, i go through phases of virtual obsession with cupcakes, but i rarely aim for a bigger end product. it’s definitely a more time consuming endeavour and the attractive factor is way¬†harder to master. in the end, i winged it. white cake, vanilla icing, raspberry jam spread in between the two layers. i’ll have to rely on those sampling to report its worth. while i may be vegan, my dear mother is not and, for that reason, i opted for a recipe that included eggs, butter and milk. (do you have any idea what kind of torture it can be to not be able to test during the icing phase? sheer torture. that’s what kind.) it became apparent rather quickly that cake decorating classes would be a very worthy investment.