Welcome to my foray into the blogging world. I don't promise to be your source for political and social commentary, but I will always endeavour to be entertaining, charming and witty (and by witty, you may also want to read that as sarcastic . . . I sometimes mix the two up).

You will see a mix of poems and/or song lyrics, my skewed little musings on life, the odd rant or two, and hopefully I can pass along some inspirational pieces – either from my own personal experiences or from those who inspire me.

I will try not to work Bruce Springsteen into everything I write, though it will be difficult as he does impact a large part of my waking world as well as a good portion of my dream world.

Enjoy. Be kind. Come back often and visit.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

365 Questions – The great procrastination

Dear Diary: My new year’s resolution is to finally deal with my procrastination problem . . .

How am I doing so far?


It’s seven months into 2017 and I’m finally (finally) finishing my 365 questions project from 2016. I had full intentions of finishing before the year was out, but I got distracted. Distracted by a 6’2” funny, loving, devoted, sweet, handsome, political, quirky bird-and-reptile-loving man from Bradford.

It’s funny what happens when you start something new, like our 365 questions project. I didn’t have any expectations – I just thought it would be a good challenge that would get me writing on a regular basis . . . that was my main hope. However, I owe a debt of gratitude to this mind-mining expedition as it garnered a totally unexpected, happy by-product: the man in my life. 

I dated him for six months  before an amicable but sad parting of ways. We just weren’t in the same place on the relationship sphere. While we did break up, we continued to follow each other on Twitter. Long story short, he read my blog faithfully and finally reached out to me last August wanting to try again. He claimed I “woo’d him through my blog.” 

Each week he would read the answers to my questions and they would give him insight into the type of person I am. And, he decided that he wanted to get to know that person even more. It’s coming up to our first year anniversary and I can honestly say that I love this man. And I’m so grateful this project brought him back into my life.

But, more on him later as he has done enough to distract me from the task at hand . . .

304. If karma comes back around, are you going to be helped or hurt?
I like to think karma will be gentle to me. I try to live positively and treat others how I would like to be treated. I’m probably not the most generous person on the planet but I think my karma account is definitely not in overdraft.

305. If one hour a day was designated to nourishing your soul, how would you spend it?
Hmmm. That could mean different things on different days. Nourishing my soul may mean making sure I get to the gym to enjoy a great workout for an hour. On a different day, it may mean hanging out with the people I love. Sometimes your soul needs a little sweat, other days it needs a bunch of hugs.

306. Listen to your heart right now. What’s it saying?
It’s saying that I’m a pretty lucky person to have so many wonderful people in my life who I can love and be loved back with equal ferocity.

307. Do you have a secret talent?
I can burp the alphabet, and write backwards almost as quickly as I can write forwards. I have tried to master the art of writing with my non-dominant hand but I need to practise more.

308. Do you have a crush? If so, who is it and why?
No one is really coming to mind. There’s lots of people I find attractive but I don’t think that really qualifies as a crush.

309. If you were ever sent to jail or prison, what crime would you most likely have committed?
I do suffer from the occasional bout of minor road rage. I’m not proud of this behaviour but unfortunately it’s still something I haven’t been able to successfully eradicate. I joke (or do I?) that when I’m old, I’ll purchase an old clunker and run over (or into) all those people who tick me off on the road.  Use the sidewalk you silly yoot! Find your turn signal dumb ass! For Pete’s sake it’s your job as the head car to get as many cars through that advance arrow – not completely use it up for your turn! So, I would likely go to jail for vehicular manslaughter I’m afraid.

310. Are you a dog or cat person (or neither) and why?
Definitely a dog person. Dogs love you unabashedly and without reason. My boyfriend Jeff and I often talk about our future dog (or dogs). We have jokingly named them, Amok, Akimbo, Shenanigans, Willy-nilly, Hodge Podge and Frank. Our newest dog name is Naproxen. We just think these would be funny names to call out.

311. Do you remember your dreams? If you do, what has been the craziest or most memorable one?
I have epic dreams. I’m totally exhausted when I wake up because of my over-active dreams. I don’t always remember them all but can remember certain aspects of them. My stress dreams usually involve golf. I can’t put the tee in the ground. My clubs are all wonky. One time the course went through a subdivision and I was going crazy wondering how I was going to avoid all the people walking around. I also have angry dreams. One time I got so angry at my sister Andrea in a dream that I woke myself up when I kicked my bedroom wall – as I was kicking her in my dream. My funniest dream story – not necessarily the funniest dream – concerns one of my angry dreams. I dreamt that our cottage neighbours were encroaching on our property – using our beach and running around all over the place. I was shouting obscenities at them, yelling at them to get off my property. It turned out they were the kids from Up With People – the touring group that goes around raising money for various charities. I was horrified. I told a friend and co-worker about this dream and a few weeks later I was working away at my computer and this young man popped into the doorway of my office and announced with a cheery grin: “Hi! I’m Joel from Up With People and I just wanted to apologize on behalf of our group for trespassing on you property.” I managed to mumble a sheepish “thanks” amid a very red face. I discovered that Up With People were indeed on campus doing a show at the college where I work. My friend put Joel up to having some fun with me.

312. What does sexy mean to you?
There are always those certain body parts that make a person attractive to another. Me, I’m all about nice hands. You can have an amazing body but if I get creeped out by your fingers, it’s all over. Body parts aside, there’s nothing sexier to me than someone who gets my sense of humour and who can make me laugh.  Wins me over every time.

313. Do you consider yourself more religious, spiritual or neither?
I grew up Catholic and will always consider myself Catholic . . . it’s just part of the genetic packaging. But I would definitely consider myself spiritual before anything else. I believe in faith, people and some kind of higher power – and that may mean different things to different people.

314. Ask three close friends to tell you what one of your core gifts are. What were they?
I did this exercise with a few friends and it was a truly humbling and beautiful experience. Three core gifts I was told I have are:
  • The ability to make whomever I’m with feel they’re the most important person at that time
  • I’m grounded and have a way of grounding others
  • I’m unapologetically me
315. Are you superstitious? What are some of your superstitious traits/habits?
Yes! And especially so when it comes to sports. When I played baseball and we were on a winning streak during a tournament, I would ensure I went through the same preparation routine before coming to a game. And while watching my team – the Montreal Canadiens – during the hockey playoffs I will watch the first game. If they win, then I’ll continue to watch and do everything possible not to miss a game. If they lose that first game, I don’t watch for the rest of the round. Yes . . . I’m strange.

316. If you could be in the Olympics, what sport would you like to compete in?
I would love to compete in the decathlon. The training would make me a machine!

317. Do you believe the death penalty is a deterrent to murder?
A 100 per cent deterrent? Probably not. I think people will kill regardless. It may deter some people as I’m sure we all have those days when our thoughts go a bit dark, but the average person does not give in to those thoughts. 

318. What do you like to do when you’re feeling sad?
Depends. Sometimes I just want to be left alone. Lose myself in some Netflix binging. Other times I need to reach out to someone and cry on their shoulder.

319. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?
Worse thing . . . that’s pretty subjective. Other than making my parents’ lives hell during my drinking shenanigans in my 20s, I feel pretty bad that I chose to play in a baseball tournament rather than go to the funeral for a really good friend’s father. It was bad judgement call that my older self would probably do differently.

320. Have you ever had a crush on someone of the same sex?
Definitely. As I’ve said before, I’m attracted to people regardless of whether they pee sitting down or standing up. I wrote a song for a female friend I had a crush on. Some of my female celebrity crushes have included Katherine Moennig, Joan Jett and Chrissy Hynde. Girls in leather pants . . . sigh . . .

321. What’s the most unflattering trait/habit a person can have?
For me it’s negativity.

322. Do you love celebrating your birthday?
Definitely! I love celebrating all my milestones.

323. If you could have plastic surgery on one part of your body, what would you change and why?
I love my body and wouldn’t pay to have plastic surgery. That being said if someone offered it to me free, I might consider losing some of my belly fat. I work out on a regular basis and eat healthy 90 per cent of the time but I’m not really willing to put in the type of commitment that would earn me a six pack.

324. What’s the most romantic thing someone has ever done for you?
Hmmm. No big grand gestures come to mind . . . I’ve tended to be the romantic one in most relationships. I love that my boyfriend Jeff stocks his fridge with food I like – that’s really thoughtful and romantic. Sometimes it’s those small, every day things that make a difference.

325. What’s the most memorable present someone has ever given you?
One of the most recent memorable presents someone gave me was an antique drum. My friend Kristin gave it to me for no special occasion. I had admired it at her house one evening and a few months later she gifted me with it. The following year she gave me a smaller drum and I’ve turned both of them into cool little tables.

326. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Dark chocolate and Dancing With the Stars.

327. If you could be on a reality show, which one would it be and why?
I’m not a big fan of reality shows. The only one I watch, and I don’t really consider it a true “reality” show, is Dancing With the Stars. But, if I had to choose one, I’d go practical and choose one of those HGTV ones like Tiny Spaces or Brojects and get them to convert our cottage boathouse into a Bunkie!

328. What story does your family always tell about you?
When my mom was alive, she loved to tell my friends (usually when she had just met them) how she “saved me from a life of drugs.” It’s quite funny. I was hardly a big druggie . . . smoked the odd joint in my early 20s. But she found rolling papers in my purse once and turned my room upside down looking for “drugs” which she never found. My parents also liked to tell everyone how hard it was to find babysitters for myself and my sister. We were climbers and very rambunctious. Our babysitters were paid very well.

329. Do you like or dislike surprises? Why or why not?
I don’t like the “being the centre of attention” type of surprises. Especially ones where they put a silly hat on you in a restaurant for your birthday and sing Happy Birthday. And post-50, I’ve decided that trying to throw someone a surprise party is too much stress. When we planned my sister’s 50th, she actually was part of the planning. This made everything so much easier – with picking a date and making sure she got there on time. We did incorporate a few surprises for the event though, just to make it extra special. But for myself, I like the more subdued kind of surprises. The kind where a friend gives you a gift for no reason other than they saw it and thought of you.

330. What would be the two things you’d need to survive on a desert island?
After recently watching a season of Alone, I think one item would have to be some kind of multi-purpose tool that could serve as a weapon-slash-eating utensil-slash-shelter constructor.  And secondly, I think I would need some kind of big journal to write in . . . of course then, I would also need a pen. Okay, I need three things.

331. If you could go back in time to change one thing, what would that be?
I think I would have started saving money sooner. When you’re young, you don’t really think about those kind of things. And now that I’m approaching retirement, it’s something I think about often.

332. Are you more like your mother or your father?
I’m probably more like my father in that I’m a social introvert, love sports, don’t really care about fashion, am pretty much drama-free, have a dry sense of humour and am low maintenance and pretty easy-going. I also have his sense of loyalty and stubbornness.  I also look more like him than my mom. But I do embody several of my mom’s traits as well, including an excessive need to rake every leaf from the ground.

333. Have you had a near-death experience?
I was in a bad car accident a long time ago and while my car was totalled, it was hardly a near-death experience. But that’s probably the closest I’ve come to facing death.

334. Are you afraid of dying?
I’m not afraid of dying but I definitely will miss this life as who I am right now, with these people, in this world. And while I’m not afraid of dying, I do worry a bit about care during my senior years. I don’t have children or nieces and nephews, and I remember some of the things I did for my parents as they aged, so I wonder who I will depend on for those tasks when I’m not able to get around as easily. I tease my Goddaughter that she’ll have to change my diapers when I get older.

335. What’s your go-to Karaoke song?
I love singing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by KiKi Dee and Elton John.

336. If you could be one of your friends for a day, who would you be and why?
I’m going to choose to answer this question as a do-over for a previous question I didn’t really answer honestly. It was the question about what I would do if I could be invisible for a day. I didn’t answer it the way I wanted, because I knew Jeff was reading my blog and I wasn’t sure how he would react to my answer (we were still seeing each other when I initially started the 365 project). I wanted to answer that I would spend the day with him. Not to spy on him but to get a sense of what he goes through during his day so I could develop a sense of empathy and understanding for what he has to deal with on a daily basis. He commutes to Toronto every day for work, and as customer service tech, he’s not always dealing with happy people. Bad weather, worse drivers, rude customers . . . he must have some crappy days. I think spending a day in his (very big) shoes wouldn’t necessarily make me a better girlfriend but it might give me more empathy and patience.  

337. What’s one smell you wish you could eliminate from the world?
Really bad body odour.

338. What’s non-negotiable for you in a relationship?
Physical touch and good communication.

339. If you were a product in a television commercial, what would your tagline be?
Comes with an unlimited amount of hugs.

340. Would you ever pose nude? Why or why not?
Nude? Probably not. But my friend Kristin has taken some near-nude photographs of me that I really like – and she has seen me naked! I recently did a mini-boudoir shoot with her and was pleased with the photos.

341. If you could be a fly on a wall, what wall would it be and why?
These days it would be interesting to be a fly on the wall for any meetings between the Republicans. I’d love to hear what they really have to say about their esteemed president Donald Trump behind closed doors.

342. What’s one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?
Hmmmm, I’m pretty much an open book. Not too many surprises here. Though I suppose some people would be surprised to learn that I did attempt to kill myself in my late teens. Looking back now, I know it was a bit more than the usual teenage angst. While it was certainly a cry for help of sorts, I know I didn’t really want to die. After a particularly bad fight with my mother, I swallowed a large amount of pills – more in a pique of anger at her than anything else. I ended up telling my sister right away and she made me throw up. My ears rang for days afterward. It’s so important to talk to people when you’re feeling angry, sad or when dark thoughts creep into your head. I’m glad I had my sister and trusted her enough to share what I had done before it was too late. 
343. If you could start your own charity, what would it be in support of and why?
I would love to support young musicians or writers. It’s so challenging to start a career in the arts or be self-sustaining – even as a seasoned artist. It would be great to give some young people, or artists of all ages, the opportunity to spend time on their art without worrying about how they’re going to pay the bills.

344. Have you ever sent an email you shouldn’t? Explain?
I once sent an email and cc’d someone that I didn’t mean to include. I was giving another person information about the cc’d person (just general stuff – they had met them at an information event and wanted more details). I wanted to get the correct spelling of the person’s last name, so I added them to the email so I could see the spelling. I forgot to remove them before sending the email. I didn’t say anything bad about the person – just that she was very helpful and nice, but a little intense. I was mortified when my friend emailed me back right away and alerted me to the fact that I had cc’d the other person. I tried to retract it but I couldn’t. The other person was very nice about it and actually emailed us both back providing some of the information my friend needed from her original inquiry. I apologized profusely.

345. If it was 2 a.m. and you were at a stoplight…and no one else was around…would you go through? Why or why not?
I’m such a rule follower. Stop. Wait. Go.

346. If you could have a dinner party of five, with anyone dead or alive, who would you invite?
I’ve always been a huge fan of Kevin Kline and he seems like a really nice guy. He’d be on my list. Definitely Bruce Springsteen. Tina Fey and Robert Downey Jr. would be fun and I’d round it off with David Tennant because he’s great and I love his accent.

347. If you could have anyone as your personal chauffer, who would it be and why?
I think I would hire James Hinchcliffe. I found out about him from this past season of Dancing With the Stars and he’s hilarious. He’s also a Canadian race car driver competing in the IndyCar Series. He’d be a great driver as well as an entertaining one.

348. What food would you never give up?
Dark chocolate. I always have an endless supply of it in my freezer.

349. If you were trapped in a car on a road trip with five people from television, who would they be and why?
I had a tough time with this question for some reason and it’s another reason why I took so long finishing this project. A road trip needs great music, adventures and stimulating conversation. I think I’d have to say Hank Moody (Californication), Mindy and Danny from The Mindy Project, and Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy from 30 Rock.

350. You have your own personal Candyland. What’s in it?
Vats of Lik-M-Aids for sure. I used to spend my entire school allowance on them. It’s a wonder I have any enamel. And several large freezers of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate with coconut. Dark chocolate with berries. Dark chocolate with almonds. Dark chocolate with . . . .

351. What adds the most value to humanity – the arts or science? Why?
I think it’s a pretty even draw between the arts and science. They both contribute in different ways. Science and technological advances have certainly enhanced our lives from the aspect of medical breakthroughs and life improvements, but we need the arts too for our mental and spiritual well-being.

352. If you could blow $25,000 on anything right now, what would it be?
I would love to go on a fabulous trip with my boyfriend Jeff. I saw a post on Twitter that advertised a luxury tree house hotel tucked away in Northern Sweden that would be a totally cool place to stay. And, I would likely use some of the $25,000 to put a metal roof on my cottage or build a little bunkie on the property.

353. What is one thing you will never do again?
Smoke. I tried it briefly during my second year of college for a few weeks – simply out of boredom – and it’s something I know I will never do again. Gross.

354. Do you value animal life like you do human life? Why or why not?
I wouldn’t consider myself an animal activist or anything but I respect their lives to a certain extent – some more than others. I’m not a vegetarian nor am I adverse to killing mice if they get into our cottage. But I also don’t believe in senseless activities like trophy hunting or killing elephants for their ivory. Every living creature has a purpose and we need to ensure we do not lose any more species – whether furry, slimy or scaly.

355. If they made your life into a movie, who should play you and why?
I think Tina Fey or Janeane Garofalo might be good choices to play me. They both have dark hair, write and have a similar sense of humour.

356. Are we too politically correct or not nearly enough?
I think we may have crossed a line into the spectre of being too politically correct. I totally respect that we each have our own line that shouldn’t be crossed but it’s become challenging.  Sometimes I think we spend too much time worrying about tiny offences when they are so many larger ones that need to be fixed.

357. Have you ever sent an email you shouldn’t have? Explain.
Hmmmm. We seem to have repeated a question. Our bad.

358. What is your ideal way to spend a vacation?
There are two types of vacations in my book: one when you need to relax and recharge and the other when you want to explore. When I’m at the cottage, I want to recharge and relax so I do a lot of reading, play my guitar and sleep in. I’m not a huge traveller but there are a few places I have checked off my bucket list and others I still want to visit. On these kind of vacations I like to enjoy good food and do some exploring. I tend to lean towards the first kind of vacation though . . .

359. Who is on your celebrity sex list?
Katherine Moennig, David Duchovny, Kate Beckinsale, Ellen Page, and Robert Downey Jr.

360. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
During my first year of college I split my pants wide open at a Toronto disco. White pants. Did I mention it was at a disco? Sigh . . . .

361. If you could be on one game show, past or currently running, what would it be and why?
I think I would love to be on the new Match Game with Alec Baldwin as the host. It would be a ton of fun. It would also be fun to be on The Wall with Chris Hardwick. It would be funny AND I could win a ton of money.

362. If you could stay one age forever, what would it be and why?
Maybe 35? Your body is still in pretty good shape – and has the potential for good sculpting – plus you still have lots of energy and things haven’t started to ache yet. You have some good life experience so you know a few of the pitfalls to avoid and you have a better sense of who you are as a person. I must say that I have enjoyed every decade so far for very different reasons.

363. Do you have any quirky habits? If yes, what are they?
I don’t know if I have any habits that would be considered quirky. I like to have an uncluttered counter at my house but that’s just because I have limited counter space. When I used to buy People magazine I would get mad if people read me something out of it before I had the chance to read it. My sister could probably list many other things but she’s not answering the question.

364. If you could redo any kiss you’ve had in your life, who would it be with and why?
No redo here, but I wish I could remember my first kiss. I think it was with a boy named Michael who used to walk me home after kindergarten, but I can’t remember it.

365. What makes you laugh?
I prefer thinking comedies like Arrested Development over physical comedy – they crack me up. I also like silly stuff like The Mindy Project but I would classify it in the thinking category as well. I love when people do silly things. Jeff cracks me up all the time doing silly little things. I’ll press down on one of the veins on his arm and he’ll pretend to pass out. Or, we like to watch nature shows then create some of the animals with our hands. One of our favourite ones is the flying tree frog, though he claims mine is more of a lead-footed tree frog. Making him laugh makes me laugh.

Thanks for waiting :)