Practice

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To get better at anything, you have to practice. The consistency of practice was never something I embraced. When I was learning piano, I would sightread. When I sat for a test, I relied on my memory. I had skills that would save me and get me by. My mom always said, if you put just a little effort into it, imagine how great you could be? I was thinking, why be great when lazy was easy?

I am inspired by a friend from my childhood. We are facebook friends now. We never chat on the phone, nor do we meet up when in each other’s town. I am not outgoing in my personal life and keeping great friendships takes an effort or practice. Neither of which I am all that interested in. This friend of mine is a writer. She has a desire to be a published author. Just like me. We have many things in common still and as long as I can remember I have admired her. She introduced me to music genres that were foreign to me. She taught me about sports the way I hadn’t learned before and she understands politics in a way that resonates with me. For all of these things, she made an effort to work at or at the very least, she put in enough effort to make it look like an effort. I know how that works. Do just enough to do well.

My friend from Junior High has begun blogging again. Not for me, not for you but for her. She is writing with the intent to improve her skill. I stopped blogging in a way that was meaningful to me because someone said it bothered them. So I stopped and just documented things I saw. In doing so I lost a piece of me. I use writing as a tool to sort out my thoughts and ideas. It helps me understand what I am thinking before I realize what it running through my mind.

Friday night I spoke on the phone with one of my very best friends. I learned some new things about his life and learned some new things about mine. I thought about some of the new things and found myself angry at the circumstances. Angry in a way I hadn’t felt in a long time. This triggered other things in me and before I knew it, I was angry at a lot of ridiculous things. I texted him and asked rhetorically, “what is wrong with me today?” and he gave me a wonderful piece of advice. He said, “no idea. Breathe in, breathe out, and ask yourself why should what she does ruin one minute out of your day?”

Good point friend. Why indeed? She isn’t thinking about me at all. This is usually the advice I give people. It’s not often I need it given to me. But that is why friends are important. I have a few who will speak to me in a frank and honest manner. I suppose that is why I love them. I asked the universe for a friend who I could have deep and meaningful conversations with. I was given three. One I travel with. One I drink wine with. One I read with. I know I can call them when I need them and they will always be brutally honest with me.

During this time in history when the world is angry all the time. Places I used to go for fun are now frustrating and hurtful. It is comforting to know I have people who have my back and will talk me down from the ledge when I need it. I will continue to nurture those relationships, but more importantly, I need to write. I need to get my thoughts out. I need to continue to improve. Practice until it is easy and then practice some more because I need to do this for me.

You can expect this to be a different space. This is, after all, my blog.

The Friendship Dance

I learned that I don’t have friendships like those on sitcoms. I never had a band of friends at Central Perk, or hung out at the bar like the gang from How I met your mother. I wanted that…the college experience, of chums that you flop on their couch and pour your heart out to. That was never going to be my destiny.

I find as I get older there are friendships that mean more to me than I could ever imagine and friends that I could care less about…and that surprises me.

I had lunch today with an acquaintance who I have always had a certain connection with but because of circumstances, a friendship was not possible because of a conflict of interest in our professional lives. Well… Now that we have moved forward in our careers, it was decided that we both really want to be friends. We made that happen today and it was lovely.

I can count on one hand how many close female friends I have. Actually, on a couple of fingers. But ask me how many close male friends I have and they out number my female friends 3:1.

My new gal pal is the same. There are more male friends than female friends in our lives.

Why is that?

Without meaning to offend the entire female population, I am sure it has to do with how my brain is wired.

I also have learned this year that as I get older, the games females often play tire me out…or more importantly…bore me. I have no time to figure out the she said/she said of social-climbing. So I remove myself from that situation…permanently.

I like men.

I don’t have to worry about gossip or double meanings, men (typically – not always) mean what they say and say what they mean – no drama. That to me is restful.

I went out last week with men – just men. 3 of them who mean the world to me. We went to see John Cleese. It was a profound experience that none of my female friends understood, nor did they want to go. Cleese is a genius, a comedic god in my eyes and his presence on stage had me feeling as if I was in the presence of greatness. Then men I was with, understood that without me having to go into greater detail. They just got it.

People who get me, understand the humor and nonsense of the Fish Slapping Dance – click the image to see the dance. Seriously – Michael Palin’s dancing is marvelous!

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I love it when I am with my women friends and they just get it. It doesn’t happen often. I have 3 female friends who ‘just get me’ – in the same fashion as I ‘get’ Michael Palin and John Cleese.

Perhaps it isn’t a male/female thing. Perhaps it is a friendship thing.

As I age, I know what I want and surround myself with those who connect with me on the same level. I am selfish with my time and will only spend it with those who matter to me. The great thing about being older is the sexual tension of a friendship isn’t there. That alone is restful. Being friends with men because of who they are and what they stand for without the pressure of dating….delicious! It’s like grade 6 all over again! I LOVED the grade 6 boys, they were funny AND fun. The men in my life currently are the same, funny AND fun. Perhaps I have finally figured out what is important.

Friendships should be important, meaningful, fun, funny and safe.

I got rid of those her aren’t those things for me.

On Monday, the big #disneytrail reveal will happen. If you follow my social media feed, you may be wondering about it. It will be amazing and scary and challenging and more importantly, it will include some of my friends. Male and Female, people who make me feel safe, who make me laugh, who tease me incessantly and most of all, get me.

Why did it take me until the age of 46 to figure out this friendship game?

Better late than never.

 

 

Wanted: New Gay Husband

My parents did an excellent job picking out my God Mother. My God Mum is me but older. We both are in university taking and studying leadership, we both have the same taste in shoes, we both shop the same way, we both have passion for the work we do, we both have amazing kids and we think the same way. We understand what it means to slip on a pair of fabulous boots and have the zipper go up the calf. We get the one size does not fit all. Thanks mom and dad, you did good!

My God Mum had a gay best friend who would go shopping with her. The kind that like to look at fabulous shoes and give commentary of purses and men. I also had a gay best friend who would do the same but both of these fabulous men are no longer in our lives.

I do enjoy men but mostly I think they are stupid. Not in a bad way stupid… but in the way that they just don’t get women, or events or things! They don’t see life the way women see life. I have a straight male friend who tells me about how happy he is and I hear about his relationship and life and I just blink. Fantastic that you are happy and fantastic that things are great for you but what you just said makes no sense to me. I need a Gay best friend who can tell me why he is thinking that way. I need a gay man who will blink with me and we would discuss why the straight friend thinks he is happy so I would understand. I need that bridge, the person who gets both sides. I miss my friend. He moved across the country and things have never made sense since.

When I was shopping with my God Mum, I picked up an adorable little black bag the size of my fist. It was  black, beaded and had a metal clasp that held the two sides shut, with a hinge at the bottom. My God Mum said, “my gay husband would call this a condom bag because that is all that fits in it.”

True, it is perfect for that one night stand. Throw in cab fare for the next morning and a lipstick and BAM, you are set for a night on the town.

I miss that. I miss commiserating over men with a man who thinks more like me but understands what make men tic. So I am putting out a wanted ad.

Wanted:

Gay Male, 40ish. Must love shopping, dining, style and laughing. Must be great at gossip but not the mean kind – just the newsy kind. Must have job and could finance own trips to great cities and split costs. Assets include, wicked sense of humor, great Cole Haans and smart. Must love animals and children or say they do but lying is okay. Wine drinker a must!

Competition open until found.

What does your status update look like?

 

<—— Facebook Profile Picture

Facebook Status: ChatterBox  is filming a horror movie and is making me scream for the trailer.  My life is a cartoon.

 

Status updates on facebook make me laugh…well usually. People just randomly post stuff that is mostly meaningless. The posts I like are the ones that are seemingly bad but end up positive with a funny twist. Like this one (I am not posting who wrote these, if they want to come clean they will admit it in the comment section) :

  • Ended up at the hospital yesterday, after my week-long cold wouldn’t go away. Diagnosed with bronchitis. Got some super-terrific cough medicine, and now I feel super. Super! Like everything should end in exclamation points! Sometimes more than one!!

Tell me that isn’t funny? The guy is sick yet he still cracks me up. Now I know he is stoned too!! I now have all the information I need to understand how he feels without feeling depressed in the process. He very clearly articulated the problem.

Lets take a look at this one:

  • So apparently for the last house showing, I left out a bottle of Advil PM and half a bottle of Champagne for the potential buyers to see (two different rooms!). They probably saw that and stopped touring the house, thinking they were going to stumble upon a body.

    Totally should have smooshed up a bunch of pillows under a blanket in bed.

Not only did I laugh, but I now he is trying to sell his house! Very informative yet comical at the same time, win/win. Then there are those statuses that are funny but weird:

  • Wow. The amount of aftershave this guy is packing plus the friction of those corduroy pants equals a damn fire hazard.

Clearly he is on the subway people watching. Those are usually funny statuses.

My point is this, this is facebook people! People come here to laugh and forget about their crappy life for a while. When you post how sucky your life is, we all can relate because our life is sucky too. Save it for work. Crab and whinge to people who don’t care about you, then it doesn’t matter and you get it out of your system. Better yet, flip your status to the positive. Don’t write “I Hate Mondays” Write ” Friday, I miss you”. Says the same thing but has a different tone.

Change your tone and soon your tone changes you. I promise. Plus, I will like you better and really, who doesn’t want more fake facebook friends?

Speaking of Facebook friends…come be mine please pretty please? I will like you back, I promise 😀

The Edmonton Tourist on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Edmonton-Tourist/140714512611621

Now that I am dead, facebook can help me disapprove of you and other fun stuff to do posthumously

I have a couple of facebook friends who have passed on. I don’t mean they stopped updating their status’ because they are too busy to care if I know what they ate for breakfast. I mean… they DIED. This may be painful for some of my friends to read. So I will wait until you click over to another blog….it’s okay. I understand – just come back tomorrow okay?

When someone dies these facebook pages just sit there. Sure people come over to it and write things on the wall about missing them, wishing they were here…stuff like that. Unless someone knows your password to delete your page, then what? I have one “friend” who died 2 years ago. It was too painful for me to see their name pop up from the facebook monkey’s suggesting I write on their wall, or suggest friends to them. I had to unfriend them. Weird but true. I know they aren’t offended, they are dead. If they are offended…seriously get a life  haunt me already. Knowing them the way I do, they could care less if I unfriended them.

Mashable posted this

I Die lets “you” post a final message to your wall and loved one when you’re dead. After installing the app, you choose three “trustees” (Facebook friends) who are charged with verifying your death. Users can then record videos or craft any number of Facebook posts to be published posthumously. When your trustees confirm your death, your messages can be published all at once to your Facebook wall or released on a designated schedule.

I think I could have a lot of fun with this! Posting little messages weekly, reminding people things or just looking at them in a disapproving manner and saying – I can see your every move. I know what you are doing in the car when you think no one is watching. This could be the ultimate revenge!

But what would I say? And more importantly who do I trust (that is sure to live longer than me) to post this video to my facebook wall?

Well, first of all they must be facebook friends, so that rules out my Aunt who is on top of all kind of details and would be PERFECT for this job. The fb friends must also be tech savvy, meaning they can add/delete and set privacy settings with ease. This rules out Joe because he can’t figure out how to let me and AnotherGoalSetter see his mobile album on fb. It also has to be someone who – chances are – will live longer than me. They must be younger than me but not too young that it would be traumatic, so not the OffSpring. I think the best choice is The Photographer Farrah Fowler. She is my wingman and co-admin on The Edmonton Tourist Fan Page. She is reliable and loyal to the nth degree. My next choice would be Chicken Hawk. Chicken Hawk would make a list and add me to it. Then a neat check mark would go beside my name and poof! My posthumous video would be on my wall for all to see. My third choice (because Mashable recommends 3 fb friends for optimum performance) is FavNiece. She is smart, younger and knows how to do illegal cool stuff with technology. Excellent choice Edmonton Tourist, if I do say so myself. Note to my wingmen – contact Oracle regularly. He lives in Australia the future and will know when I die.

Now what should me message be? I thought I would record a few samples like “Uncle Bloefeld – it’s TRUE you do need dracma to get passage to Hades” or “the winning lotto numbers are…” or ” up the hill, around the rock, over the bridge under the Lodgepole pine tree, 4th from the left but to the right of the Mountain ash, is a box burried in a hole about 2 feet down”

but I decided the “look of disapproval” would be fitting for most people I know. It can’t be suitable for different events in many different contexts.

What do you think? More importantly, what would YOU say?

That Goes Well With Rice and other M-isms

Geek Squad logo
Image via Wikipedia

Genetic Offspring has a group of friends who refer to themselves as “the Geek Squad”. The say things like “be nice to me, I will be your boss one day.” They are funny x10. They call themselves Wilson (he’s mine), M, Burn A Cabbage, and Yak. There are many others I call Skippy and Sparky – I refer to all of them as Skippy and Sparky – those fellas are on the fringe of the core group of friends.

M is my favorite. He makes me howl with laughter. He is smart – brilliant actually, dedicated to his family, artistic, and creative x10. His motto is “it goes well with Rice”. M claims everything goes well with rice. Being the token Asian guy in the group (his words not mine) he feels it’s his duty to impress upon the importance of rice. One day he helped bring in my groceries and he offered to carry the rice, so I gave him my tiny 3 cup bag. He ranted and raved and was shocked … “That is it? WE have enough rice in our basement to feed all of Africa.” I often grill him about our cultural differences and what it was like to move here from the Philippines at such a young age. Bottom line is, Wilson did good picking his friends.

M came over last night because his ride abandoned him. He had cousins that live by us, but he chose to seek out Wilson’s family for help. First of all, that made me feel great. Secondly, I love it when he visits. He is very charming and charismatic. He needed a ride home because dodge people hang out in the creek at night and didn’t want to walk that far alone. So Wilson and M piled into my car for the 5 minute drive.

He began chatting about how hard it is to find a suitable pompom.

Huh? What for?

For a hat he MADE for his GIRLFRIEND – well, she isn’t his girlfriend yet, there has been no official asking, but they talk every night. I pumped him for all the important info, like…

1) Where is she from?

2)What school did she attend?

3)Is she smart?

1)She is from South Africa but Chinese.

2)She was home schooled and is in school for the first time.

3)Ummm she is Chinese.

Then they fellas talked about how cute she is. So I said, tiny with long straight black hair? M asked if I knew her… HAHA Just your “type” M.

I then changed the subject and said, make a pompom.. His response was YOU CAN MAKE A POM POM? I explain how and invited him over if he needed help.

Wilson doesn’t want me to help. He doesn’t want M to have an official girlfriend. He made a bet with the Geek Squad that all of them would have a girlfriend before M. The bet is a slap – that’s right a slap bet. My son is book smart not street smart….oh the shame.

Wilson, Why would you think M wouldn’t have a girlfriend before you guys? Answer: because he gets carried away and doesn’t play it cool. Yak isn’t there anymore to hold him back and advisehim because they are in different schools.

No offense to Yak – but if you guys WANT girlfriends, listen to M. He has it all figured out. He is charming, goofy, funny, brilliant, kind, thoughtful AND attentive. He will be the richest one of the group because he doesn’t hold back. He is a risk taker. Wilson looked at me and thought….hmmm..

I guess we shall see who is right, me or Yak. Meanwhile, I will wait with ice for the results of the slap bet.

I need a Sign or Confetti or maybe even Fireworks.

Neon sign.
LOOK AT THIS!

Do you ever wish there was a neon sign telling you when you have stumbled onto a great thing? I do. I wish it all the time. When I see something great I think, that’s nice. Then I go out for a while and spend time with friends and they tell me about this GREAT THING and now they can’t live without it. I then recall seeing it but don’t quiet understand what all the fuss was about. It was like I missed the memo and am trying to catch up.

For example, have you ever watched late-night TV and saw an ad for a Snuggie? Essentially it is a blanket with arms. The ad says you can wear it watching TV and eat popcorn! Or you could wear it to a football game to keep warm! The Snuggie just doesn’t make sense to me. I am able to eat popcorn if I have a blanket on me. All you do is UNCOVER your arms. When I go to a football game, I wear a warm coat. I might bring a blanket for my legs if it is really cold. However, watching a football game in Edmonton means, wearing a snowsuit, so the need for a Snuggie is just not there. I missed the memo on how great the Snuggie is. Oh and by the way, you can get one for your DOG, for when fur just isn’t warm enough.

Have you ever seen the ad for the Slap Chopper? I missed the memo on that one too. I use a knife. It helps me prepare tuna or egg or even ham sandwiches. The Slap Chopper, while it does look fun, just doesn’t make sense to me. It won’t improve my cooking the way a great recipe will or fresh ingredients will. But it WILL make kitchen clean up a breeze. Will it really Slap Chopper Man? I have my doubts. I missed the memo on the Slap Chopper.

Then there is Slim Down with the Sauna Pro 3. You wear these Velcro belts and then move around. You get hot and sweat off INCHES of fat. Really? Who knew losing weight was that easy! How different is that from wrapping yourself in Saran wrap? I think I missed the memo on that one too.

Clearly there is something wrong with me. I do not see what all the fuss is about. A neon sign would help, maybe confetti and fireworks. All I want to do is go out with my girlfriends and say “LOOK what I found! It is AMAZING!” and pull out something I bought on TV before they do.

I don’t think that is to be my destiny. I think I am the one at the table who is supposed to think of all the other crazy possible uses for that item. Maybe I just need to keep looking at the world differently then add my own Neon.

Laugh, Dance, Sing and Cry a little bit.

I have had so much coffee I am vibrating! None of it is from too much caffeine. I swear!It’s from happiness and bliss. Two days ago I put out the invitation for coffee. Well I challenged you to ask me, and wow did you ever! I had coffee with a sweet girl this morning before work and tonight was a last-minute coffee party with my scrappin’ girls! No, not Scrapping as in we fight and argue, but we use to scrap as in scrap-book. That isn’t as prevalent in our lives anymore but we still try to see each other semi regularly. We got all caught up on lives and changes and moves. Some bits were sad and some were funny but mostly I sat there thinking, “I love these Ladies!” When we were quiet for a brief minute, I would reflect on our past get togethers. We would go away for a weekend and put up with each others quirks and music because we had fun being together, laughing and crying and laughing some more.

This weekend I am meeting with another dear old friend ( sorry about the “old” part if you are reading this 😉 ).We were roommates for one summer. There were four of us who lived in a cabin while we were camp counselors. The space was large enough for two bunk-beds and several milk crates filled with clothes. Two girls were spotlessly clean, and the other two were borderline pigs (Yes I was a pig – shocking and hard to believe, but very true – yes I am being sarcastic) To this day, I cannot recall another 4 months that I learned so much or enjoyed so much. My biggest regret is turning my back and walking away. I treated that summer like it was a dream. Every time I think back to that time, I smile and think of the crazy cast of characters that made a lasting impression on me. I will always think of you guys very fondly. You taught me skills that I still use today. My campfire repertoire and storytelling skills are second to none. I can still make cake in an orange, I can still sing before dawn, and NFB Shorts get Googled by me now and then. I learned never to dry my face with Stinging Nettles. I learned it is better to be hands then face for “the Little Peoples Skit”. I learned the importance of a having a “song” for every occasion. I will still burst into song regularly throughout my day. It is always the right song for the right moment.

All those camp movies may seem fake, but they get the feeling right. I cannot wait to visit with her again!! This meeting up with old chums is very exciting for me. I don’t think I could do this a year ago. I am liking this new brave tourist who resides in me. Uh OH, I feel a song coming on….

So, help me if you can I’ve got to get
back to the house at Pooh corner by one.
You’d be surprised there’s so much to be done,
count all the bees in the hive,
chase all the clouds from the sky.
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh.

-House at Pooh Corner by Loggins and Messina