Nostalgia

If my 19 year old self knew that my 27 year old self would find staying up past 10pm “a late night”, my 19 year old self would have found a way to not grow up.

It’s true. I have changed so much in the last few years. Honestly, I’m sure a large part of it is because I moved back to Victoria, stopped being single, and started taking work seriously (also known as growing up). But the changes still surprise me.

Gone are my days of drinking wine alone out of the bottle while powering through hours of the Disney Channel and eating my weight in Fuzzy Peaches until the wee hours of the morning. Instead I now power through whatever looks interesting on Netflix, avoid fuzzy peaches like the delicious downfall they are, and drink wine with Kevin. (Kevin makes me drink from a glass. Jerk.)

One would think that I’d be pleased by these changes and I suppose I am. Still, part of me is nostalgic for late night Oreo runs in my PJs to the 24 hour Shoppers Drug Mart down the street. I sometimes long for the after work liquor store stops, buying enough wine for a dinner party of ten (two nights in a row) while avoiding eye contact with the semi-cute cashier. Now that I am in my late twenties (*gasp*) I have romanticized those days of my youth, forgetting all the misery and health issues (probably stemming from my diet of Miss Vicky’s and beer, followed by fruit gummies and wine with the occasional carrot thrown in the mix for good measure). I have glossed over the nights of crying into my chocolate milk, forgotten the days of -25 weather and mosquitoes (though blissfully those two things never occurred at the same time). My five years in Edmonton were such a defining experience in my life and, in my aging mind, they were glorious.

Now I spend my time hanging out with one of my two friends or Kevin, generally getting a fair amount of exercise (though, as previously mentioned, I avoid any kind of exercise that might slim down the middle. I enjoy my spare tire, it saves money on belts.), or sitting at home browsing Pinterest while pretending to do my accounting homework.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still the same comic reading, sci-fi/B-movie loving, dork who spends time looking up dinosaur videos and funny cat pictures on the internet. I’m just a more responsible one. (In other words, my internet browsing stops at ten pm when I pass out on my couch, rather than taking me deep into the night.)

Ah, growing pains.

chickennostalgic

Back in the Day

An Apology to My Readers (or, Humouring My Dad)

I need to start off this post by explaining that my Father is a bully. He has spoken to me almost daily for the last year about the importance of writing more, and how I am in danger of losing readers because I have stopped posting. (Really, he means that he’s going to stop reading as he’s really my only follower. Thanks, Dad.) He has also insisted that I write an apology to my followers (him) for my lack of posts.

So, here it is.

Dear Reader, I am sorry I have not been writing. Luckily for you I am a huge believer in excuses rather than sincerity, so please read on so I can explain why my dazzling wit has been absent from your life these last twelve months.

Reason Number One: I am currently dating someone and am only really funny when I’m alone, drinking wine straight from the bottle and watching Gilmore Girls on a Saturday Night … and every night. (In all honesty I actually miss those evenings. My sweat pants have been so lonely on my shelf this last year!) Don’t get me wrong, my Gentleman Friend is a fine one, but it’s hard to write hilarious dating stories starring the guy you actually want to stick around.

Reason Number Two: Pinterest. Yup. It’s true. I, like every other woman between the ages of 20 and 50 have succumbed to the Pinterest Phenomenon. I am well and truly addicted with over a thousand pins that I have never looked twice at. The thrill of hitting “Repin” has become my crack and the hours spent browsing crafty crafts that make me feel horribly inadequate and not creative at all are hours well spent. (I’m not gonna lie, I’m even browsing Pinterest right now, on my phone, as I write this.)

Reason Number Three: I am intimidated by my own hilarity. Need an explanation for this one? No? Well, Ima give you one anyway! Every time something moderately funny happens, or every time my Dad comes up with a semi-inspiring speech on why I need to “stop wasting my talent” I go back and read old posts. And damn, am I ever funny! My own brilliance gives me a horrible anxiety. How can I ever live up to my Golden Age of Blog Posts? How can I satisfy my one reader? It’s terrifying!

Blogging is a hard life, though it’s one I still believe in.

Hopefully this apology will inspire me to write more, or at least guilt you, dear reader, into continuing your subscription to what promises to be sporadic mediocrity.

Sincerely,

SMRP.

J’ai vraiment intelligente! Toi aussi?

I suffer from a constant need to apologize. It’s a very Canadian trait, and can be (is) pretty irritating to those around me. I (always) say something awkward? I’m sorry. I win the board game? I’m sorry. Someone bumps into me with their shopping cart? I’m sorry.

I saturate the internet with longwinded blog entries and rants, filled with improper grammar and an obvious love affair with commas? Really, I’m sorry.

The most unfortunate side effect of this is that, when lacking in things to apologize for, I create them. I will take the most minor infraction and grovel at your feet. Honest.

In this instance, I am going to apologize to you, dear reader (Dad) for my original introduction to this blog. It really gave you no information at all. This was completely deliberate on my part. It was a gimmick. I wanted to be vague; I wanted to give myself a false air of mystery so that you would be compelled to keep reading. (Did it work?)

But I am here to rectify that!

This blog entry won’t be a rant. Instead I am going to take this opportunity to tell you 12 things about myself. 13 if you count my propensity to apologize – ah heck, let’s count it! I may as well go for a baker’s dozen!

So, without further ado, I bring to you twelve facts about SMRP:

1) I love dinosaurs. This stems from my childhood believe that triSARAHtops were named after me. Even after the crushing disappointment of learning that it is, in fact, spelled triceratops, I still love dinosaurs. Jurassic Park FTW!

2) I talk smack. A Lot. And I only talk smack for things that I can’t back up. I also like to challenge people much stronger than me to fisticuffs. It’s part of living dangerously.

3) I have horrible taste in Television. My love of classic shows like Dr. Who and Veronica Mars is balanced by my obsession with Highlander and the BBC Robin Hood. The cheesier the show, the more I love it.

4) That being said, I also have terrible taste in Music. For every Josh Ritter and Black Keys album on my Ipod there is an equal number of Miley Cyrus and Glee songs. (My latest obsession? Score: The Hockey Musical Soundtrack)

And, you guessed it,

5) I love, love, love bad movies. Conan? Amazing! Excalibur? Hilarious! The movie Outlander actually made it into my Top Ten Movies of ALL TIME. (Aliens? Check. Vikings? Check. Time Travel? Check. A freaking Dragon? CHECK! What’s not to love?)

6) I have an uncanny ability to make every situation awkward. ‘Nuff said.

7) I cheat on “Which House?” quizzes so that I can end up in Ravenclaw when I really belong in Hufflepuff. (Can you tell I’m a diehard Harry Potter fan?)

8 ) I have a serious obsession with Travel. I collect travel books and make collages. Taped to my closet door is a list of destinations I need to visit and things I need to do before I turn 35.

9) My signature dance move is the Penguin. It’s pretty amazing.

10) I can’t bake under pressure. Explanation? A batch of cookies made for my own gluttonous enjoyment? Delicious! A cake baked to bring to a friend’s house? Densely disgusting.

11) Following number ten, I have a love of alliteration and rhyming. Honestly, I write terrible poetry all the time just to get my fix.

Which brings me to …

12) I love to write, but I was crippled early on by misplaced arrogance. When I was younger everyone told me that I could and should write, which went straight to my head. Now I only write for myself as I am too terrified of people thinking I didn’t fulfill my “potential”.

So, do feel as if you know me any better?

Enough Already with the Melancholy! (or, Privileges of Prairie Living)

Panic attack aside, I suppose we all need to grow up sometime.

My move back to the West Coast is fast approaching and it is mindboggling how quickly the time has gone by. With only a month and a half left I am finally realizing the consequences of my decision. My entire post-high school life has been lived out here. College. Breakups. The finale of Gilmore Girls. How does one leave this behind?

I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on the soon to be nostalgic moments of my Prairie life. There are so many things I will remember fondly as I block out the miserable memories of -40 and bed bugs. I have so many memories from what now seems like a short four and a half year stint; too many memories to list.

But my OCD won’t let me leave this alone.

Instead I am left with a list of things I will miss the most, in no particular order. I bring to you, my friend, the Privileges of Prairie Living:

1)      Whyte Avenue and my False Sense of Popularity: as a side effect of working on the avenue I am constantly running into people I know. I loved this whenever Victoria friends came to visit; it made me seem so much more popular.

2)      The High Level Bridge at night: Standing on the High Level at night, with the stars out and city lit up, will probably be my most vivid memory of Edmonton.

3)      Bad Movie Nights: there is something to be said about deliberately watching “bad” movies. Listening to Tana and the guys’ running commentary is even funnier than an evening at Chimprov.

4)      Artisan and O’Byrnes (especially my hard earned and extremely precarious “Bro Status”): Breakfast and Pub Times with the boys, quoting Aqua Teen Hunger Force and telling bad jokes while watching them (attempt to) hit on the waitresses. +5 for awesomeness.

5)      The Elmhurst: the most epic apartment building and tenants of all time. (Also, Telephone Pictionary and Zak’s comic book collection for the win).

6)      My roommates (especially when accompanied by Hot Chocolate and Bailey’s)

7)      Improv! Festivals! Pretending I am Cultured!: I love, love, love the sheer number of things going on in this city.

8)      Nerding it Up, TV on DVD Style with Jeff/Geoff/Tana/Tim: Entire evenings (or days) spent watching BSG, Doctor Who, Dead Zone and Chuck (always watching “just one more episode”).

9)      Prairie Thunder Storms: we do get electrical storms in Victoria, but they are nothing like the ones out here.

10)   Monday Night Yoga and Cocktails with Nicole

I am notoriously indecisive and have, though I’m embarrassed to admit it, spent the last few weeks sure that something would happen and I wouldn’t end up leaving (as has happened for the last two years). Now, with 41 boxes of my stuff gathering dust in Victoria, I’ve had to realize that I actually am moving. This is really happening.

“Hello Point of No Return, I am pleased to make your acquaintance. Please excuse me while I breathe into this paper bag for the next half hour.”

 

Milestone(s): Chronicling Disillusion (or, “Pretentious Self-Reflection”)

There is a moment in every one’s life where they are faced with an extremely unfortunate reality; you are not the person you think you are. Sometimes this is a good thing. You are better, more noble and interesting than you ever thought. A veritable hero!

Usually that’s not the case; usually you find out that the perception you have carried about yourself, the grand idea that you are, in fact, a good person is wrong. Ulterior motives are revealed. Manipulations come to light. You are not just knocked off your high horse; you are thrown off and kicked in the head by the hoof of reality.

It’s not pleasant.

There are two main ways to react to this revelation. You can A) say a big “Fuck You” to the person or event that brought your glaring character flaws to your attention or you can B) do something.

In my case, I chose option A) for as long as I could. Years of denial and self congratulations formed a horrible habit. A failed relationship? Fuck you! A constant conflict with roommates? Really, Fuck you! I knew who I was and I was comfortable with my intentions and integrity.

The fact that I was going through, and had gone through a very difficult time was a ready excuse. A sign held in front of me, preventing comprehension whenever anyone tried to talk to me about my attitude or my reactions. “Excuse me, sir, but you are in fact full of shit”. It wasn’t something I was doing wrong; it was their reactions to the situation that were wrong.

Yes, I was emotional and flawed, but I was also right, God dammit!

At least that’s what I thought.

Very recently, a really good friend of mine finally got through. She wasn’t mean, just very blunt. She tore through my excuses and gave me some new perspectives. To say I was floored is an understatement. I’ve been told these things before, but hearing them from someone completely uninvolved in the situations really took me by surprise.

I am not the person I thought I was.

Now, this isn’t to say that I am a genuinely bad person. I’m not. There have always been things I do not like about myself, but I do try. I always make an effort to include people and I try to be nice to everyone until they give me a reason not to.

I like people and I like to be liked by people; this is actually my biggest flaw. I can be totally unimpressed by a person, but the second they don’t like me I am desperate to be their best friend. I crave approval and am left in a complete funk when I don’t receive it. I knew this about myself, but until I talked to my friend I didn’t realize how damaging it truly was.

This one conversation, a short hour out of my life, has genuinely changed me. There are still a lot of things I need to work on, issues I need to examine and problems I need to sort out, but it’s no longer a daunting task. In fact, I’m looking forward to it.

This revelation combined with my upcoming move is really giving me a chance to examine myself and become the person I want to be. Ladies and gentlemen, I am finally going to grow up.

Introductions: A Staple in Polite Society

This blog is at once both fiction and non-fiction; beautiful and mediocre. It is, like our dear Author, a collection of non sequiturs and half-completed projects, and for that fact alone it promises to be spectacular.

Who is our author you ask? She is a Branded Explorer, and a (self professed) creative genius trying desperately to fill up her spare time between life-changing events and catastrophic moments. Self-consciously narcissistic, our author has only recently returned to the world of blogging after a 2 year hiatus.

Originally hailing from the beauty that is the rain-soaked Vancouver Island, our author, a dazzlingly witty and extraordinarily clever artist of many talents, now resides in the photogenically challenged frozen north that is Edmonton. She abhors taking pictures of people and generally sticks to subjects that won’t talk back.

But that’s not all!

Endeavoring to explore all things creative, our author moves beyond photography and delights in sharing the very worst that people have to offer. Usually no more than a few paragraphs, her satirical genius more than speaks for itself. Sometimes only words will do.

There is more I could say in introduction, but the only true way to learn about this author is to read on … and on.

Enjoy the journey, dear reader, as it is often more fun than the destination.