HAPPY NEW YEAR! So long 2014 pt. 1 (The Worst Year Ever)

The end of days is almost upon us.

Well, at least the end of days ending in 2014.

The end of a year is usually a time of reflection and recollection, of bittersweet smiles and gentle laughter. But not for me and not this year.

This year I say good riddance! So long 2014, I never liked you anyway!

Sure, you were the year of cool trips to our neighbour down south (Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, a Portland Adventure) and the year of bitchin’ hikes and getting to know my Niece and Nephew. And I suppose you were also the year of my return to writing which is something both my Dad and I are grateful for.
(Admit it, Dad, you’re thrilled to have my blog entries spamming your email!)

And yes, I guess the camping trips and all of the amazing STER Dates were pretty memorable. Plus you were the year that brought me the ‘X-Men Days of Future Past’ and ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Movies which is something I will always remember fondly.

But you were also the year that brought me the ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ and I’m not quite ready to forgive you for this.

Also there was that nasty little incident in March but let’s not go into that.

Despite many magic moments which I will obviously scrapbook the heck out of, 2014 really was a very difficult year and I really am thrilled to see it end. Nothing raises the spirits quite like the idea of bringing forth a New Year in which to make new memories.

I am genuinely stoked for 2015 as I have a lot of things planned for the next year and am hoping to adopt a new laissez-fair attitude. (Or, at the very least, just stop being a complete spaz.)

Farewell 2014. If nothing else you certainly will be remembered.

Happy New Year, dear readers!

Good Day

This week has been a bad one. Well, this last month has been a bad one, but I prefer to lay the blame on this last week.

You see, dear reader, I’ve had some major setbacks in my recovery over the last month (pain in my hip/back/knee/entire body, as well as a lot of difficulties with my concussion) which have finally succeeded in bringing me down, down, down. Plus to top it off, after several weeks of complaining about a leak in my kitchen, my sink finally exploded resulting in water damage and an unfortunate conversation with my landlord.

This is my "Don't Mess with Me" Face. I know, I know, I'm pretty intimidating.

This is my “Don’t Mess with Me” Face.
I know, I know, I’m pretty intimidating.

Still, the sink is now fixed (mostly) and my physiotherapist recommended I look at the difficulties I have faced over the last month as hiccups rather than setbacks (smart man).

This is why I have decided that today is going to be a Good Day.

Screw feeling sorry for myself and letting bitterness take over, I am choosing to be happy today and that’s that.

Discovering that Happiness is a choice we make rather than a condition is something that has taken me 27 years to learn and is something that I still struggle with constantly. I am naturally an anxious person and a constant pessimist (though I prefer to identify as an optimistic pessimist: I believe the glass is half full but I’m going to knock it over anyways) which makes it difficult for me to remember to be happy.

But I’m trying.

And it’s working.

Happy Friday, everyone, I hope it’s a good one!

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A Letter to My Brain

Dear Brain,

I would appreciate it if you could turn off for a moment, just stop thinking and read this letter. I promise you can think afterwards (or, at least I promise you can think about what I am trying to tell you after). Sound fair?

No?

Well, suck it up buttercup and do it anyway.

In the last decade you have changed, in a lot of ways for the better (yay!). But there are still a few things that are bothering me.

For starters, why is there always something bothering me? I have developed into a constant ball of anxiety, hyper aware all the time and obsessive about things that really don’t matter. The future is going to happen whether or not I have analyzed every possible outcome ever at least twice and then once more with dinosaurs in place of people. I get that a lot of this is due to the accident, but it really isn’t doing us any good.

Stop it.

Secondly, stop worrying about what people are thinking about you. It’s been 27 years, by now you should have realized that people aren’t thinking about you. They really aren’t. And if they are it’s probably something good. Honestly. People don’t usually spend a lot of time thinking about people they don’t like unless they have problems with envy.

Thirdly, can we be done with envy now?

Fourthly (Is fourthly the correct word? Should it just be Fourth?), you are a giant chicken! Stop it! Mistakes are inevitable and are honestly kinda fun. Think about some of our best memories (yes, you are allowed to think for a second). Most of those would have been classified as mistakes if I’d stopped to really consider it. Would you like to have not done those things? No? Me neither! So stop preventing future good memories by being a giant wuss. Sure, sometimes things will not end up the way you hoped, but that’s really not the end of the world.

Fifthly (I should really Google “numbering”), let’s work on our self-confidence, shall we? Self-worth is important. Let’s just fake it until we make it. Repeat after me: I like me.

I have some other “issues” but to be honest they are all kind of repetitive, all stemming from this ugly anxiety and nervousness. But that’s ok, now that I have drawn your attention to it we can just be done with it. No Twelve Steps, no overthinking things, just a new positive attitude and a more “healthy centric” life style, both mentally and physically.

I have to say, I really am looking forward to this. There is always room for self-improvement and it really feels like it’s a good time to start.

Thanks, Brain, for listening and, even more importantly, understanding.

Sincerely,

Instinct. (S.M.R.P)

horne2

Two Thumbs Up!

 

Liebster Award Nomination? Yes, Please!

Yesterday I was nominated for the Liebster Award by A Girl Named Wanda, a new blogger who I think is pretty darn cool. She has a great voice and is a lovely read. Check her out! 🙂

Liebster Award

The Liebster Award! Finally! I won something! (Or was nominated. Whatever. Celebratory Wine is still in the cards for this gal!)

Up until my nomination I had never heard of the Liebster Award so I obviously Googled the heck out of it. The Liebster Award is a peer recognition award designed as a way of discovering and promoting new blogs.

Based on what I have read people seem to either really love the Liebster Award or hate it to the fiery depths of their souls. The biggest complaints against it seem to be the chain-letter aspect where it forces you to tag other people.

In my humble opinion anyone who complains about that aspect is a grump. Seriously. In the blogging world Peer Recognition is really the only recognition that counts. And if you yourself are being recognized why on earth would you not want to pay that joy forward?

And yes, it does come with its own set of rules, but that’s a small price to pay for recognition when doing what you love (writing).

In order to accept the Liebster Award nominees must:

  1. Link and thank the person who nominated you
  2. Answer the questions they asked you
  3. Pick eleven awesome bloggers to nominate (preferably those with less than or around 200 followers)
  4. Ask them eleven questions
  5. Let them know by commenting on one of their posts

Since I have chosen to accept this award (and have even practiced several acceptance speeches in front of the mirror and while on the phone with my Dad) I will answer the questions submitted to me by Wanda and will also nominate 11 bloggers to share in this honour.

(And yes, skepticism aside, this is an honour.)

Continue reading

The Selected Works of an Aspiring Egomaniac

For my Dad’s birthday this year I made him a pretty cool present. I gave him a book titled “The Selected Works of an Aspiring Egomaniac”, a collection of my writing throughout the years.

I spent weeks gathering together stories I had written, from my first stories (Belle’s Adventures) to school assignments, from fanfiction to angsty poetry, as well as some of my favourite blog entries. I edited them into a nice trade paperback, cut all of the pages by hand (as apparently Staples doesn’t print trade sized documents), illustrated it, and had it bound by the awesome Meadland Bindery. IMG_4275

I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty sure I won “Best Gift” this year. (Take that, David and Julia. In your face, Mom.)

I’m incredibly proud of this book and, though there is only one copy in existence, I believe it is a sign of more things to come. I am working on several projects that I wish to self-publish (likely only making 12-15 copies as that’s more than enough to cover the people I know who will actually buy them, and because it’s most bindery’s minimum). This is not something I plan to make any money on (or, in all honesty, even breakMy two books: "Belle's Adventures" and "The Selected Works" even on) but it’s something I am excited about.

Still, I have a lot to do before that happens. In the meantime, dear reader, I hope you are content to read this blog as well as The (Western) Canadian for all of your fiction and humiliation needs.

And if that’s not enough to tide you over I will share with you an excerpt from the book. A blog entry from 2006 (my original blog, BrandedExplorer, hosted by LiveJournal) complete with an illustration:

Halloween 2006

It might be Halloween bringing out the strange in life, or it might be the fact that I have become a magnet for strange men and crack addicts but I got hit on by two very strange men in the space of two hours today. Both times made me very uncomfortable but I suppose I should take it as a compliment … Right?

Situation One: while working at the National Bank I offer a strange man with dreadlocks down to his waist a candy (we have a basket out for Halloween and I’m getting paid $12/hour to sit on my arse and offer them to customers) He replies “I’ll take the Mr. Big. Because I’m big” *eyebrow raise and wink* I laugh nervously. “You know what I mean right? Big?” I fidget uncomfortably and tell him that I get it, he winks again and leaves.

Situation Two: while shopping at the Real Canadian Warehouse a strange cashier with a mullet starts to talk to me about my New Zealand toque while ringing me in.

“You ever been to New Zealand?” At my nod he continues, “Auckland?”

“Yup, I actually went around South and North Island.”

He nods appreciatively. “Anyone ever propose?”

“Not that I can remember.”

“Cool, cool. I read about this one girl who went to Egypt and a guy offered her ten thousand camels so he could marry her. I’d offer you ten thousand camels, but I don’t have any.”

“…thanks…”

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Thank you, dear reader, for your continued reading.
Sincerely,
SMRP

PS. And, just because I love it so much, here is another illustration for you, this one is from “The Ugly Duckling” blog post:

Overcoming OCD (Or, Driving Myself Nuts)

Dear Reader,

I can’t tell you how nuts it makes me that my big announcement, The (Western) Canadian blog reveal, was my 109th post. It honestly makes every fibre of my OCD being cringe, so much so that I almost wrote a second filler post on Thursday just to change this.

But I didn’t.

Why? Because I am trying to overcome my neurotic tendencies.

I wish I could say that I am satisfied with my progress, that I am thrilled to have overcome my love of even numbers (or multiples of five and duplicates). But I can’t. Honestly. I just twitch every time I look at the numbered posts in my WordPress Dashboard barely resisting the urge to backdate a post and change it.

109.

One hundred and nine.

There is nothing appealing about this number. I suppose I can content myself with the knowledge that the first digit and the last digit added together make the number 10? 10 is a perfectly acceptable number and meets not one but two of my “what makes a good number” criteria. But somehow this just feels like grasping?

Alas, I suppose progress is progress regardless of how mental it makes you.

In other news, as I am sure you have noticed (or not, I have no idea how observant you are), triSARAHtops has undergone a few changes in formatting and style. I have also added some new categories and edited the old ones. This wasn’t for any particular reason, mind you, I am just a bit bored with my old set up.

Ok. That’s a lie. I am hoping to make it more “eye-catching” in a vain attempt to gain more followers (or at least encourage Kevin to start reading it). The fact that I have 17 subscribers drives me almost as nuts as my 109th post.
(Disclaimer: I adore and am thankful for each and every one of my 17 subscribers. Honestly, you folks are brilliant and obviously have very good taste in literature. And I bet you dress well too! No, my annoyance has nothing to do with any of you. I just hate the number 17.)

But never fear dear reader! My disdain for the number 17 won’t stop me from writing for you twice a week.

Until next time, mon ami!

PS. Does saying something in French make me sound more sophisticated? Or just pretentious? And are the two mutually exclusive?

100.

Each time I publish a post WordPress congratulates me on a job well done. In their stock congratulations message they have let me know how many posts I have successfully shared and over the last few weeks this has fed pretty strongly into my anxiety. I have watched the numbers go up: 89, 90, 91 and so on and so forth all the way up to my post last Friday, number 99.

The pressure was on.

(As an aside, I tried to do an “I’ve got 99 problems but a post ain’t one” joke here but it kept failing miserably … I suppose I should give up any future dreams of being a rapper.)

My OCD refuses to let me just put any old post up for the 100th and with that in mind I have spent the last few weeks planning something cool to mark the occasion. It’s mostly written (in my mind if not on paper) and includes a special surprise for my readers (Dad).

But then life happened and my plan has been unfortunately delayed for at least a few weeks.

Over the last month I have finally regained my writing momentum and though it is possible for me to wait until I can complete my Special 100th Surprise before posting my 100th post, I am terribly afraid of losing that momentum. I’ve got a good schedule going, and I don’t want to fall into another black hole of writers block.

So instead you get this: an excuse as to why my 100th is nothing particularly special (above) and a thank you (below).

Thank you, dear reader, for reading my blog. It is for you that I write (that’s a lie, I write for me, but saying I write for you just sounds so much nicer, don’tcha think?) and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate knowing that someone is actually enjoying my work (Or maybe not enjoying. For all I know you could be a masochist who just really likes bad puns, rants, and comma overuse. To each their own). Still, whatever the reason or however often you read my blog, Thank You.

I love writing this blog and hope to continue it for a long, long time.

Sincerely,

SMRP.

PS. To make up for my lack of humour in this post I give to you, dear reader, a rare picture of a Yeti in captivity.

2014-06-29_1404066374

“Have you heard the joke about the Abominable Snowman?” “Not Yeti”