The Crazy Diaries

25 Aug

On Monday I had to say goodbye to a very good friend at the office. He and his family are relocating to the east coast – an exciting homecoming for them and a really sad loss for those of us being left behind.

His version of cleaning out his desk had four steps: throw away the garbage, recycle the recyclables, pack what’s to be saved into a single banker box and turf the rest on my desk. I inherited all kinds of crap from this guy: pens that barely work, broken pencil crayons, Clorox disinfecting wipes…My work place has suddenly gotten very crowded. And unruly.

Amid all the debris, there was one gem: a black, hard-cover notebook. On the front there is a label with his name printed in tiny letters in the corner and inside he had used only one page on which he had written a to-do list.

No word on whether or not any of those things ever got done.

In life, I have a ridiculous obsession with stationary. I hoard the shit like it’s the only thing that’s going to help me survive the apocalypse.

And who knows, maybe it will.

Pretty papers, quaint correspondence kits, copious amounts of postcards (that I’m only now finding reason to use!); I’ve got way more of it all than I’m ever going to need. But my biggest vice are notebooks.

I collect them.

I see one in a store with a lovely cover or that perfect binding or a creamy texture to the pages and IT IS MINE. I decide that each one should be used for something very special and then I either save it for whatever that something special is (Note: I never find out what that something special is) or I use one or two pages and then never touch it again. There might be a support group for this sort of thing, I don’t know.

Anyway, because it has become such a problem I finally had to forbid myself from buying anymore notebooks. As my luck would have it, this display of willpower was soon followed by the revelation that I needed to start keeping a journal/diary again. My reasons are thus:

1) A million different thoughts and ideas can go through my head in a day, some of which I know I want to post. But by the end of the day when I get home I’ve either forgotten the essence of what I wanted to say or I’m too exhausted to write it all out. So yes, my aim is to pull a Bridget Jones and carry that thing around with me everywhere. I’m a writer, dammit!

2) Speaking of being a writer, I’m so not. Well, sort of, but really, any grammar-savvy reader will be able to tell right away by looking at my posts that a real writer would never allow half the shit I publish to see the light of day (at least not without the help of a very patient editor). But I want to be better at writing and I see keeping a journal as a good way to improve.

3) Finally, even though this blog is anonymous, there are still things I’m either not comfortable with writing or that I’m simply not ready to tell on the internet. Regardless, these things still need an outlet and sometimes just moving them from the mind into the real helps.

Having the perfect notebook is essential when it comes to keeping a diary. Making sure that it’s something fresh is also important. This is the book that you are going to document all of your most precious memories and darkest secrets in! Don’t those things deserve to be housed in a wicked-awesome tome?

Of course they do.

And yet, when my friend handed me that black, hard-cover notebook with his name on the label and to-do list on the first page, I knew right away that it was what I was looking for. It’s not pretty and it’s been bumped and spilled on already, but it also belonged to a friend. I don’t think I’m going to change anything about it; his name and list can stay.

I think this is going to work out very nicely. I’ll let you know how it goes.

The anti-peeve

22 Aug

Last Friday, Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere made a quaint little post listing off some of her anti-peeves (Note: she didn’t actually call them anti-peeves, but I think the term is pretty appropriate). The anti-peeve is the opposite of a pet-peeve, special moments throughout the day that make you smile instead of making you feel stabby.

I thought it was a rather charming idea and, seeing as I tend to gravitate towards angsting and ranting, I figured that this could be an interesting departure.

Also, I like making lists.

So here we go!

1. Going to bed early and falling asleep right away when I do.
2. Being greeted by my dog, who is always SO FUCKING EXCITED to see me.
3, The perfect stretch.
4. When I find money in my pockets that I had totally forgotten about (Stole this one from Emily because, let’s face it, that’s a pretty awesome feeling).
5. When my mom calls me at work for no purpose other than to ramble aimlessly.
6. Coming home after a long day of work and realizing that I haven’t scheduled ANYTHING for the rest of the day.
7. When my whole family is in a good mood. AT THE SAME TIME.
8. Going for a walk.
9. When I come over to Boyfriend’s place and all he does for the first five minutes is hold me.
10. When a song comes on that reminds me of my favourite people/memories (even if it also makes me a bit sad).

Your turn!

How your brother destroying your car can be a good thing

18 Aug

Today the following conversation took place between Meredith and I:

Man, if only I had waited to buy my new (to me) car! Imagine how sweet it would be to roll to work each day in a pinstriped Mustang GT? That’s me though; always jumping the gun.

As you may or may not recall, in an act that can only be described as sheer tyranny, Middle Brother decided to teach me some cosmic lesson by backing violently into my 10-year old Hyundai. And by that I mean he just wasn’t paying any attention. Still, many would argue that ignorance is merely a form of tyranny so, accident or not, my accusation stands.

Don’t worry though, he and his car made it through without a scratch. The universe works in mysterious ways.

Anyway, what with my car already being old and in need of some serious repairs before its face got smashed in, it came as no real surprise that the damage inflicted upon it made my poor Beast not worth the money it would take to get her back on he road.

It was a sad day. I wasn’t mad. I accepted it with a twinge of the heartache that I always feel when having to say goodbye to anything, material or otherwise, that has played a significant part in my life. This is especially true with vehicles. Vehicles take you to the places where you build your memories; they are an inanimate accomplice in the crime we call life and a sanctuary when all we need is a place to be quiet for a while (or to drown out our thoughts with loud bass and bad music. Or good music. Either way, sound system therapy).

I reflected – While the Hyundai wasn’t my first car, we certainly had our share of memories.

I got my first flat tire with that car (on the side of a busy 8-lane highway while speeding to a concert after arguing with my parents who totally didn’t want me to drive it to said concert and telling them “The car will be FINE! FRIG!” Yep… Good times). I also got my second flat tire with it but thankfully that was a significantly more humourous experience which I was much better prepared for. That car and I were run into a snowy ditch one winter (no harm, no fowl. It was actually pretty funny). For all its faults, that car was good to me. Still, when the powers that be speak, I do my best to heed and this was quite clearly a sign that it was time to let the ol’ girl finally have some rest.

And so began an agonizing few weeks of “car shopping”, an activity that I have decided is wholly over-rated and far too time-consuming (hense my extended absence). It sucked. Of course, a lot of that probably has to do with the fact that I couldn’t really afford to be getting a new car, but still, when you live nearly an hour from civilization, your only choice in pull up those big girl panties and ROLL.

Being immobile for the first time since I was 16 was incredibly frustrating (a feeling that was no doubt shared by anyone who wound up having to drive me around). My decision to bite the bullet and invest in a newer used car (granted, it’s not that new. I went with an off-lease 2006) instead of throwing away a few grand on another clunker caused a great deal of tension between Boyfriend and I (he thought like I should be holding off until I had finished paying off my credit card so I could get the new car I really wanted instead of settling for something else. I thought he was stupid and clearly incapable of understanding my situation. Or showing human emotion).

I spent days running around town and combing across the internet, trying to find the best deal only to end up losing the best deal and having to start all over again. I fought with Mom over colour and Dad over the make and model I chose. I lost sleep waiting to find out if my loan would be approved and prayed that I wouldn’t need a co-signer. I choked down the bitter pill that was my significantly higher insurance premium.

And then? When the smoke cleared?

I had my new car.

Everything worked out and, in the end, all the stress and frustration was totally worth it.

And you know what?

I’m actually glad it happened.

There’s the obvious benefit: I have a snazzy new car that I can be proud of and that I can rely on. Gone are the days that I had to cross my finger and hold my breath when I drove a few hours to visit friends. I don’t have to borrow someone else’s car when I go to the US and no longer have to engage in bloddy rounds of fisticuffs with anyone that dares insult my ride. It’s also a pretty sexy little number if I do say so myself, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

But really, it’s more than that. This is the first car I’ve ever bought myself and it’s the first time I’ve gone through the motions from start to finish alone.

My first car was a product of necessity – my parents bought me a totally unglamorous ’89 Sundance beater as soon as I got my licence. It wasn’t a sweet 16 present and it didn’t happen because I deserved it. We lived in the middle of nowhere. Me having my own car meant that they didn’t have to drive me to work anymore and that I could take on the role of chauffer for my three younger brothers. I resented that little tin can at first but soon came to love it like it was a living, breathing friend. You should have seen me BAWL the day the wreckers came to haul it away, long after I had to retire it (against my will). The two other vehicles I’ve driven since have been hand-my-downs (ups?) from Middle and Youngest Brother.

Picking out my own car, applying for (and getting approved for) the loan, setting things up with the dealership – it has all been a very empowering experience. Considering how little control I had when the situation first arose, I feel very in control now. I feel like an adult, guys. And for the first time in a long time (maybe ever?), that sensation doesn’t suck.

Now all that’s left is a name. With the exception of the Hyundai, I always name my vehicles (The Hyundai didn’t get a name because it was ABOVE being pidgeon-holed by worthless moniker. It was a formidable badass that was simply known as The Hyundai. Or The Beast. So, I guess it did have a name. Kinda).

So… It’s little, two door, fire engine red and is a sporty little diablo.

Any ideas?

You’ve got mail! (Or at least you will soon)

10 Aug

Well, dear reader, I finally did it.

Totally worth the $6

Yes, I finally managed to get my ass to a post office and pick up stamps for my postcard project.

Postcards! For you! (maybe)

Do you know what that means?

This is what mail boxes look like in Canada. See? We're learning!

If you sent me an e-mail asking for a postcard I can now officially assure you that it is IN THE MAIL.

No joke. See that? In. The. MAIL.

ISN’T THAT EXCITING??

Well I think it is. I had a lot of fun picking out and writing each of these cards and I hope that each person who receives one enjoys it too. In fact, I enjoyed sending snail mail SO MUCH that I’ve decided that I’m going to do an open call for the Postcard Project every month. Because, let’s face it, I like being the bearer of good tidings almost as much as I enjoy making people miserable! I’m like Ebenezer Scrooge on that fateful Christmas morning! Merry Christmas, Tiny Tim! HAVE A POSTCARD. (Fun fact: While writing this post I got distracted and wound up checking out what you’ve all been up to lately and LO AND BEHOLD, Bea of The Engagement Project ALSO made a Scrooge reference in a recent post. Woah.)

If postcard participants can do me but one favour (to add some substance to the fact that I’ve just upgraded this from “just randomly sending postcards to blogger friends” to “legitimate Project” status): When you receive your postcard, take a pic of it (you can pose with it, prop it against your cat, stick it in a cake. I don’t really care. Bogus points for creativity!) and then send it back to me. I’ll do a recap of each mailing and link the card back to you’re blog/Twitter account (Don’t worry, I won’t write where you’re from/real name/any personal shiz. Nothing that the internet doesn’t already know, I promise). You don’t have to, I just think it might be neat 🙂

Feel free to drop me a line at any time at yesthisisjam [at] gmail [dot] com if you want to get in on this postcard business.

Extra incentive? Humphrey and the Beaver are still up for grabs.

Ha ha, Humphrey and the Beaver…

Editor’s note: For your peace of mind, no stalking was involved in the Postcard Project, nor will it ever be. Unless you happen to be Megan, but only on good hair days.

Ivory soap makes everything better (and also funnier)

3 Aug

After writing my rather emo post yesterday, I decided that it was time to get out of the house for a while. I took Dexter for a nice long walk, rode my bike, breathed in some crisp country air and came back in feeling refreshed. And also dirty. Gotta love that country livin’.

I wandered my way upstairs to the bathroom to clean up and, wouldn’t you know it, we needed a new bar of soap. So I reached for a new slab of Ivory and this is what I saw:

It was as if that little bar of suds had read my mopey post about life and happiness and was saying, “I feel you, sista. I FEEL YOU. But you know what? YOU’RE GOING TO BE OK.”

And I was INSPIRED, people! The soap was right! Everything IS going to be ok! Life is too short to spend it being a weiner! Grateful, I tore off the wrapper and made sweet, sweet bubbles with that soap right then and there.

Which is to say I washed my hands. Don’t be gross.

This epiphany of squeaky clean proportions made me realize that maybe all I needed was a little pick-me-up to get me back in the game. I needed to laugh like it was my JOB (seriously, wouldn’t that be wicked?). And so, I turned to the one true source of endless hilarity in my life: the Internet.

Because I love ya’ll so much and because you put up with my whining and also because I love to spread the good cheer far and wide (and perhaps also because I’m running obnoxiously high on endorphins and therefore am hovering dangerously somewhere between peace-loving-hippie and sugar-addicted-freakshow), I decided that I would share with you all my favourite online destinations for hilarious good times:

1) Wizard People, Dear Reader

WPDR was released as a sort of alternative narrative (or “book on tape” as it is referred to in the recording) of the first Harry Potter movie. According to Wikipedia, the recording surfaced back in 2004 and was written and performed by the ridiculously hilarious Brad Neely. It was intended to be played in tandem with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (Philospher’s Stone for the rest of us) on mute but is just as capable of making one wet themselves when listened to on its own (if you are unable to sync up the two or just don’t care to try but still are morbidly curious enough to see the outcome, YouTube always has a few clips kicking around).

WPDR remains, to this day, the funniest thing I have ever experienced. I stumbled across it once in my 3rd year of university and I can swear to you with great sincerity that my life has not been then same since. This recording is the only thing in the world that can make me literally ROFL, even after the obscene about of times I’ve listened to it. If you check out absolutely nothing else on this list, let Wizard People, Dear Reader be it (Also, if it doesn’t make you laugh then we clearly can’t ever be friends).

2) Alex Reads Twilight

I make no secret of my boundless loathing for Stephanie Meyers’ runaway vampire-werewolf-“romance” hybrid series of DOOM. I quite honestly detest everything about it (but don’t worry, I made sure to force myself through ALL FOUR OF THOSE WRETCHED TOMES before coming to that conclusion. My opinion is an informed one). There have been many occasions where I have sat down and attempted to write out my reasons and feelings but each time my attempt at being diplomatic and well-spoken turns into a rant the likes of which no one has ever seen complete with COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF CAPSLOCK and I need to stop myself lest I risk inciting the wrath of many a crazed fangirl.

Maybe one day I’ll find a way to tell everyone how I really feel, but until then, I’ve got Alex Day to do it for me:

Love Twilight or hate it, you owe it to yourself to watch the whole thing (at the time this post is being written I believe he’s only gotten to chapter 14 but be patient, it’s worth the wait). This guy points out nearly EVERYTHING about this book that drives me so batshit insane (and I swear it’s not just generic hate. Watch the videos and you’ll understand. Hopefully.) and yet manages to do so in a way that is just so damn entertaining that you can’t help but laugh.

Did I mention he’s British?

Once you finish with his bastardization of Twilight, be sure to check out his other videos.

(Note: I believe his friend Charlie may have actually have tried his hand for Chapter 15, so make sure you don’t miss that video. And check out his vids too. Love them both.)

3) Fuck Yeah! Slightly Amusing

FY!SA is a Tumblog curating the best (and sometimes less than best) of all things funny on the interwebz. Usually meme-based and often offensive, this site remains very true to its moniker -it’s not always hilarious, but there’s a lot about it that is. Unless you’re an absolute prude or not one for the randomness that is internet humour, you’re bound to giggle at this one at least a few dozen times.

4) Hark! A Vagrant

I’m fairly certain that I fell for Kate Beaton’s quirky artistic style and refreshing and unabashedly Canadian sense of humour back in my Livejournal days (which is to say, quite some time ago). Her comics focus mainly on history and literature and making learning fun! Or something to that effect (or is it affect? Help!). She all at once witty and charming, clever and crude. Not everyone is going to get it. If you’re among those that do, congratulations. Your gold star is in the mail.

5) Comics Curmudgeon

Speaking of comics! There’s a lot to be said about a man who choses to spend a portion of each day ripping apart the funnies page in the daily newspaper and sharing his reviews with the world on his blog (not all of these things are necessarily good, but I happen to be a fan). A writer by profession, Josh Fruhlinger’s (Seriously. How do you even pronounce that?) commentary is as smart as it is cynical. You’ll never look at The Family Circus the same way again. Trust me, he’s doing us all a big favour.

(If this one sounds familiar, it’s because I used one of his reviews to better illustrate my romantically challenged BFF’s delusional mindset in this post here).

6) Regretsy

I am so glad that this blog exists.

Etsy is, in life, a pretty wonderful website. I love being able to cruise through the works of thousands of artists and vintage sellers from the comforts of my own home. There are a lot of really beautiful and unique pieces to be found there, it’s hard to choose sometimes.

Other times, not so much.

Thats where Regretsy comes in. Taking the bullshit that plagues Etsy to task, author April Winchell does not fuck around. Her commentary and creative comebacks are just as hilarious as her finds are cringe-inducing. For every time you’ve found yourself wondering “Where do some of these Etsy people come up with this shit??”, there’s Regretsy.

(For all of my fellow anti-Meyers out there, be sure to give the Regretsy Twilight category a gander. I’ll make you smile on the outside and destroy you on the inside.)

Okay, I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Hopefully I’ve given y’all a few things to procrastinate over if nothing else. Now it’s your turn! If you have a favourite online destination for the lulz, leave a link and description in the comments!

Unless it’s 4Chan. Because, seriously, enough already.

Brain soup for the soul

2 Aug

I’ve been quiet lately. I don’t mean to be. I don’t like it either.

But things have been happening, all of it out of my control. Some of it has to do with me, some of it doesn’t but because it’s what I seem to do best, you’d better believe I’ve been stressing out over the fact that there’s nothing I can do will make any of it better.

There are a lot of FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS wrapped up in all of this (like the fact that I’m having to replace my car after my brother rammed into it last week and having the worst frigging time doing it. Guess who can’t afford this shit right now? THIS girl). There are also some big things and some very sad things, like the news that came this morning that a family member died last night. It wasn’t entirely unexpected but at the same time we had all been so damn hopeful.

I’ve been doing a lot of listening to others lately and as disheartened as I’ve become by what I’ve been hearing, I’m doing my best to let it all provide perspective. It’s not just me that’s going through hard times, everyone is. And to be honest, it’s starting to feel like we’ve all been going through hard times for a long time now. So I find myself sitting back and staring into nothing for longer than I’m comfortable admitting and wondering if this is it and if I’ve been deluding myself into thinking that there’s some pinnacle of happiness that we’re supposed to be working towards when really this is all we can really hope for.

Of course, now that I’m writing it out like this I’m realizing that I never did believe in that magical state of perfect bliss so I’m not sure where that idea is coming from now. Life’s just a (hopefully) long, meandering joy ride down an old country road that is both pretty and wonderful but also bumpy and fraught with rough patches. You can get frustrated and drive like an idiot or you can be patient and not let the pot holes keep you from enjoying the view.

Or you can just compare life to an old school Super Mario game. Adventuring and good times but constantly having to stop and stomp on those effing Goombas along the way and the princess is ALWAYS in another goddamn castle (Field log: We need more mushrooms).

I have no idea what happened with those last few paragraphs.

Anyway, I’ve been throwing myself into my freelance projects to avoid dwelling on any one thing in particular and I’ve managed to be pretty productive which helps. I’ve actively been trying to say ‘thank you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ and just telling people how much I appreciate them more often and that helps too. I’ve also decided to stop running from things as much and to try and recognize just how beautiful everything is when I stop angsting over ever stupid hang-up. All of this has been helping little by little.

This posts sounds so melodramatic and I believe me when I say that’s not what I was going for. Really I’m just tired and running low on words right now (I know this post seems to beg to differ but seriously, how much of what I’ve written actually makes sense? Exactly). I’m working myself up to something cool though, I promise you that. I just need to re-group a little first.

Until then, I like this song. It makes me feel better too.

Thanks to each and every one of you who reads my blog and for your comments and your friendship. I’ve found such camaraderie since starting Almost, Maybe and I probably won’t ever be able to articulate just how much of a difference your love and support has meant to me. With great sincerity – Thank you.

This bitch is back in business (miss me?)

28 Jul

I’ve been “out of the office” so to speak since last Friday and, let me tell you, it feels like a hell of a lot longer. Because so much has happened, I’ve decided to jump back into things by providing y’all with a little “The Past 5 Days in Review” post.

You’re thrilled; I can smell it from here.

1) Because I know you’re all dying to know what went down this past weekend when I went to visit my Romantically Challenged BFF, I will not keep you in suspense any longer: It wasn’t all that bad.

Sure, she abandoned me within an hour of walking through her door (after I drove four hours to see her, no less) to go have a heart-to-heart with her 21-year old ex of two days. And, yes, I did have to spend two and a half hours alone watching MTV by myself (Editor’s note: In life, I make a point of never watching MTV. This experience made me feel old and caused me undue stress as it gave me even more reason to fear for the future of humanity). But when another dear friend texted me for drinks and I called her to say “ENOUGH” she, believe it or not, totally obliged.

Yes, dear reader, she actually ENDED the conversation with her ex and CAME HOME so that she could actually SPEND TIME with me. I know this sounds like it should be a given but seriously, this was some major progress for her. AND THEN IT GOT BETTER because when she got back she APOLOGIZED for ditching me and said,

“I’ve been such a moron about all of this. Talking to him tonight made me realize just how not right for me he really it. I’m so sorry.”

And I was all, “Shit, have you been reading my blog?”

And she was like, “What blog?”

And I was all like, “NOTHING.”

Just kidding, no one’s allowed to know about this monstrosity. I to think I was actually THIS close to finally buying a wig this weekend but I wasn’t sure how to explain that one away to her. The last thing I need is for her to randomly stumble across this blog, complete with photos featuring the wig-that-could-have-been, and thinking to herself, “Something about this chick’s sloppy disguise seems awfully familiar…” (Because the detailed descriptions of her romantic tribulations couldn’t possibly give it away. HA HA OH GOD. If you’re reading this, BFF, you know that I love you).

But she did, in fact, drop the guy like a bad habit and we spent the rest of the weekend partying and having a drama-free time and it was awesome.

Seriously.

2) Romantically Challenged BFF may not have been reading my blog, but judging by a recent post by the Comics Curmudgeon himself, Mr. Josh Fruhlinger, has been.

Check out his genius review of a recent instalment of Mary Worth:

You might have to click to get the full impact of how truly amazing it is.

Is he right or IS HE RIGHT?

3) Speaking of previous posts and the interwebz proving points that I made in them: Remember the guy that incited the rage behind this post? Y’know, Mr. I’m-taking-an-indefinite-hiatus-from-Facebook-and-dramatically-announcing-it-to-my-totally-indifferent-friends?

Yeah, well that was Wednesday. He was back by Saturday.

Point = made.

4) When I said that I was going to pick up some postcards while I was away, clearly what I meant to say was that I was going to pick up just one. But that’s okay, because I made sure this one was EXTRA special:

It's a BEAVER, y'all!

First one to claim dibs on this rare beauty gets it.

And on that note, I know that I also said that I would be sending a bunch of cards out to you, my dear readers, on Monday. I haven’t unfortunately, and the reason for that brings us to my next point:

5) Middle Brother backed into my car.

I had maybe been home for three hours on Sunday night and just as I was crawling into bed I heard my mom shrieking at me from the bottom of the stairs. I had parked behind Middle Brother’s car, like I’ve done many times before, but he didn’t know I had come home. He works a night shift so it was already pitch black outside and, running a bit late as he was, he rushed out, jumped into his car and gunned it into reverse – right into the front of mine.

It was a pretty bad scene.

Needless to say, my mobility (and thus my ability to get to a post office) has been pretty limited this week. I think my car is going to pull through but you had better believe that this ordeal has caused all kinds of drama (ironically, not with Middle Brother in the slightest), most of which can be blamed for the fact that I’m only getting back to blogging now. On the plus side, my inability to go places has helped me to save a ridiculous amount of money that I would otherwise be wasting on junk I don’t need. And it’s only been 3 days. Good times.

I guess that’s it for now. As always, if you want to get in on this postcard business, it’s never too late to drop me a line at yesthisisjam [at] gmail [dot] com. Other than that, posts of more substance are coming soon.

P.S. Check out my wicked awesome BlissDom Canada blog badge in the side bar! How wicked is that? Oh, I’ll tell you – It’s MAPLETASTICS, bitches!