Category Archives: Family

Oh, hello again

Wow, I’m so forgetful sometimes! Like, for the last month, I basically forgot that I have a blog. But now I have so many things to update about – perhaps I will make SEVERAL posts before I once again forget that this thing exists.

So! I went to Alberta! It was a really fun trip. I went with my mom and my aunt. My sister had to work during our first full day, so we explored her neighbourhood a bit. Fortunately she lives far enough away from downtown that she wasn’t affected by the flooding. Her neighbourhood is really cute, lots of stores and restaurants and stuff. Also, it was SO HOT THERE. I’m not used to heat because I live in Saint John where overcast and freezing is the norm, so I immediately got sunburned on my pasty, pasty skin.

We spent the next three days in the mountains. Banff, Canmore, lots of beautiful lakes, waterfalls, and seriously, the mountains are actually so amazing. I feel like pictures don’t really capture them, but here is one of me at the top of the Banff Gondola anyway.

mountain

 

So pretty! We also did a lot of hiking, and then immediately made up for it by eating at a whole bunch of good restaurants. I was a little exhausted (or was it just heat stroke?) by the end of it, but I feel like we got to see a lot. No grizzlies though! We drove around in search of animals a bunch, but we only found mountain sheep. They were FINE I guess, but they were no bears.

Me and my mom at Moraine Lake.

Me and my mom at Moraine Lake.

Our last full day in Calgary was spent shopping at an incredibly massive outlet mall. Oh my god, it is such a good thing I don’t live in a place that has a thing like that. It had all the stores! I wanted all the things! I had to show some restraint because, you know, we had to carry it all back on the plane, so things didn’t escalate TOO much.

And then I was off to Toronto to hang out with one of my bffs, Jeff for a few days.

jeff

 

We went to a drag show (my first drag show!) and then another drag show (my second drag show!) and then a Tegan and Sara concert (my third Tegan and Sara concert!). Basically, we had a blast and it was just great to hang out with Jeff.

ivoryAlso, I finally met Jeff’s friend Ivory, a.k.a. the hottest drag queen ever. And I know what I’m talking about, I’ve been to two drag shows.

Then it was back to reality, but I’ve been finding ways to make Saint John at least a bit more interesting. Stay tuned for a Very Important Post about my experience at the Saint John Psychic Fair, my trip to the zoo, and SO MUCH MORE. No, not really. Just those two things, actually.

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Disaster zone vacay

Right now I’m staring at a half-packed suitcase and trying to figure out what to wear to a flood, and it’s quickly becoming apparent I don’t have a lot of disaster-appropriate outfits. Like, I don’t even own a pair of rubber boots! I only have one pair of capris! I’m kind of at a loss.

See, what happened is, I didn’t pick the best possible week to go on a trip to Calgary. It also isn’t the worst week – last week would have definitely been worse. (Also, I feel like I should stop being an asshole for a second and note that I feel really terrible for the people in the city who have been affected by the floods, because oh my god, what a terrible mess, the whole thing is pretty surreal.) But I’m still looking forward to the trip – my mom and my aunt and I are heading to Calgary to visit my sister, who has been living there for the past year. Fortunately, she lives in an area that wasn’t affected by the flood. We’re also going to Banff for a few days, and then I’m heading to Toronto for a few days to visit one of my bffs.

It should be a really good trip. I’m definitely excited about the part where I’m not working for a whole week and a half. It turns out that not working is one of my favourite things to do.

Clearly I haven’t been blogging much lately, and now I’m going to be MIA for the next little while, so again with the not blogging. But if you are for some reason desperate to know what I’m up to during my upcoming adventures, you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram. Or not! I’ll be back soon to post pictures of my outfits, and to update about my AFI movie project.

But for now, my greatest challenge yet – packing. Ugh. Packing.

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Pretend you’ve got it together!

I know I keep writing about how I basically do nothing on the weekend and then I temporarily feel OK because during the week I feel all rundown and crazy, but I’m gonna do it again! This past weekend I went to my parents’ cottage after promising to go for weeks and then not going. It’s actually super nice once I’m there, but for some reason it’s hard for me to get up the momentum to drive a whole hour away to St. Andrews just to hang out on a couch and play Scrabble with my parents (I beat them twice; all my online Scrabble playing has paid off). I would like to post pictures of the cottage, but my parents are crazy afraid of the internet and they won’t let me take pictures of their stuff for some reason, so I’m going to have to wait until some day when I’m there without them or they go for a long walk without me or something. I did manage to take one picture of me in a nautical-inspired outfit, and you can at least see a glimpse of my mom’s homemade seashell decor that basically covers every square inch of the place.

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The best thing about the cottage is that I feel so drowsy when I’m there. I pretty much slept the entire time, so when I got home on Sunday I was feeling totally rested for the first time in a million years. It turns out that sleeping properly is a good way to feel like things are OK! I already knew that cleaning, a thing that I hate to do and will probably always hate to do, is another good way to feel like I’ve got it together. So I did that a bit when I got home. Also! Flowers!

Tulips!

Tulips!

A person who has flowers is totally stable and calm and not stressed, that is just a fact, obviously. And check out my adorable new owl vase – it was a birthday present from my friend Natalie. Love it!

Also, I cooked again. The good thing about cooking in a slow cooker is I can make a ton of food and then I have lunch for the whole week and then that’s another thing I don’t have to think about and I love not thinking about stuff! This time I made chicken meatballs using this recipe.

Yum!

Yum!

Once again I replaced turkey with chicken because I can never find turkey at the goddamn grocery store for some reason! Maybe I don’t completely have it together yet. I’ll know I’ve really made it when I successfully buy turkey, I guess.

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For the love of skiing

I went skiing this past weekend, and I kind of have some FEELINGS about it, and now I’m going to write about them, so this is might be a sort of cheesy post. You have been warned.

My dad has been a skier his whole life, and he’s really good. Like, he’s not an Olympic skier, but he can handle any terrain, he’s fast and he just really loves the sport. It’s pretty much his only hobby, but it’s one he’s really invested in. He taught me and my sister to ski when we were little kids. I think I started learning when I was four or five, and I got to be pretty good. Not as good as my dad, who grew up in Quebec City, and went skiing literally every weekend of every winter throughout his childhood and adolescence, but pretty good. I never liked taking as many risks as my father and sister, who tend to speed through glades and moguls, but I was still capable of making my way down any double black diamond trail I encountered.

And then I finished high school, and I just stopped. I didn’t go on my family’s annual ski trip after I turned 16 for a number of reasons, and I don’t really have any friends who are particularly into skiing, so I haven’t so much as put on a pair of skis since I was 16 – literally a decade ago. This past fall, my dad kind of joked that I should go on a trip with him, and he was pretty shocked when I told him I thought it sounded like a good idea.

We meant to get someone to photograph us together wearing skis, but then we forgot.

We meant to get someone to photograph us together wearing skis, but then we forgot.

So, I ended up taking a couple days off work last week and we drove down to Sunday River in Maine for two days of skiing. Honestly, I had no idea if I would even be able to do it. I wasn’t sure if that whole riding a bike metaphor applied to skis. It turns out it totally does! As soon as I snapped my boots into my bindings, the whole thing immediately came back to me. It felt more natural than almost anything else in my life, to be honest. Definitely more natural than waking up before 10 a.m. or making small talk with strangers about the weather or cooking a well-balanced meal. The whole time I was gliding down the slopes, I just felt like, this is what I was meant to do.

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Oh hey, just stopping for a casual photo op.

I’m not saying I plan to quit my job and pursue a full-time career as a professional skier. I’m still just medium OK – though I did manage to not fall once all weekend and I (mostly) kept up with my dad! I’m just saying that I’m not going to go another 10 years without skiing again. If anything, I’d like to try a more challenging hill, because by the end of the two days I was getting a little bored of Sunday River’s super groomed trails. My dad and I might try to go somewhere else later in the winter/early spring this year. We’ll see. I’m just glad I finally got back out there, and it turned out to be a reasonably painless experience. Well, OK, my legs hurt like a bitch the day after, but now I know it’s nothing I can’t handle.

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I did it, y’all!

I should also mention that this weekend took place over the Groundhog Day weekend, a very significant time of year for my family, since my dad always insisted upon celebrating the holiday by eating KFC and drawing pictures of groundhogs. Yep, just some regular holiday traditions. I admit that we didn’t eat any fried chicken this year on Feb. 2, but we did end the day by watching the movie Groundhog Day. Somehow my dad had never seen it before! We definitely had ourselves a very merry Groundhog Day.

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$$$

Aside from the general fixing and clearing out and decluttering of my apartment – more on that soon – one of the major things I’m trying to work on at the moment is my relationship with money. I’ve written and talked and whined about my financial irresponsibility a lot so I’m not going to go into the whole thing. The basic summary is, I make money, I spend that money on Crap I Don’t Need, I end up with debt and this is bad, because going into debt over crap you don’t need is a stupid thing to do.

I would like a goddamn money tree now please, k thanks!

I would like a goddamn money tree now please, k thanks!

So over the past six months, I’ve been trying to be better. And I have been! I’m not perfect, but I am better. Here are some of the things I’ve done differently:

I opened a savings account. I got my first savings account ever about six months ago. Savings were not really a thing I considered before, because all my money was going toward the aforementioned Crap I Don’t Need (dresses, accessories, nail polish, lunch, dresses). In my defence, I was an intern/freelancer until two years ago, but I do wish I had started saving earlier. Now I feel like at least if I have some kind of financial emergency, it won’t destroy me, and I won’t have to turn to my parents to bail me out. I feel like I’m creating at least a small safety net, and that’s definitely a good thing for me.

I started a budget. Mint.com has basically changed my life. I’m kind of an all or nothing person, and if I don’t check my finances every day and see exactly where my money is going, I’m liable to spend it on that Crap I Don’t Need. With a budget, I can still allow for fun stuff like shopping and restaurants, I just can’t indulge quite as often as I might ideally like to if I had unlimited funds. I like Mint because every transaction on my debit or credit card shows up there, and I can’t deny the cold, hard numbers. So far, budgeting is kind of like a challenging game – I have to stay within certain limits, and it can feel restrictive sometimes, but it also feels satisfying when I manage to do it.

I stopped buying Crap I Don’t Need. This is probably the hardest thing for me, but I’m doing surprisingly well! Just this week Modcloth, my favourite clothing store ever in the whole world, had a 70 per cent off sale. Usually I would jump on instantly and buy half a dozen dresses and feel that weird rush of adrenaline I get from shopping. That’s a normal reaction, right??? But this time, I scrolled through the items, reminded myself there is nothing I need because I have like a billion dresses or so, and that was all. This might sound minor, but this is a big deal for me! I’m pretty sure I’ve bought something during every major Modcloth sale for the last four years. Which is…a lot. Glancing at my order history for that site is almost enough to give me a panic attack. Anyway, I’m doing this new thing where I don’t buy things impulsively, I only purchase things that I’ve thought about, that I can afford, and that I actually need.

I’m trying to be more financially independent. This is going to sound like a stupid thing to complain about, but my parents have always given me way too much financial support, and this needs to change. They can afford to help me – that’s not the point. Having them pay for my stuff makes me feel like I’m not a fully formed individual, and it’s not a nice feeling. I recently convinced them to let me pay my own car insurance (I know I sound like a brat when I talk about these things, but I DID have to convince them). For some reason, my mom is adamant about paying my cell phone bill, and it’s really hard to argue with someone who is trying to help you, so I’m letting that one go for now. Instead, I’m taking advantage of her generosity, and I’ve doubled my student loan payment, so now I’ll have it paid off in three years. I don’t have any other debt right now, so that’s something I can definitely handle.

These are all small changes, and basically I’ve just made it up to the level of a regular, mostly functioning adult as far as money’s concerned, but I’m still proud of myself. I just hope I can manage to keep it up.

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