Saturday, 29 December 2007


My brain finds faces in almost all textured surfaces. Popcorn ceiling, marble floors or counters, the way a shirt is wrinkled, the way a blanket is kicked off to the side, the grain in wood, the freckles on my arms. My brain looks at these things and immediately finds the faces in them. If there just isn't a face to be found, then it finds something else. A fish, a tree, an arrow.

When I close my eyes, images flash across the inside of my eyelids. It's as though I am viewing a slide show of odd and irregular photographs. An old man with a beard in a rocking chair. A woman with long black hair, eyes open but lifeless at the bottom of a lake. A redhead in an apron and a gingham dress baking cookies in a 50's kitchen. Two young girls with bright smiles, arms thrown over each other shoulders in familiarity and conspiracy.

These pictures are still, the people are never moving. It really is as though they are someone's photographs in a slide show. They move towards me, slowly, growing bigger and clearer until they fade out and a new one fades in, smaller and further away. Some of them are disturbing, like the girl in the lake. but many of them are simply snapshots of someone's moment in time.

I can pay attention to the details in each picture. I am able to run my eyes across the image and look at different parts of it without it going away.

This doesn't happen every time I close my eyes. In fact, it doesn't even happen often. But when it does, I am always amazed. Where do these pictures come from? Is this my imagination conjuring up photos or is some deep recess of my brain showing me back images that it's been presented with in 33 years of life. Are these stills from movies I've seen, books I've read, photos I've looked through? Or is there more to it? Do other people experience this?

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Christmas Day

Simple and perfect. That was our Christmas this year.

Over the past couple of years we have started to tone down the whole gift giving thing. We all generally have everything we need and we shop for ourselves throughout the year. Nobody needs more 'stuff'.

Our Christmases have become more about the visits and the family than they are about the gifts. We still do the gifts, of course, but we set some pretty reasonable limits and get things for each other that are mostly practical. We also share lists with each other of what we'd like for Christmas and I have to say that we even dubbed this year "Operation get what you want (no surprises)", because we shopped with each other for some things and even bought them under each other's noses. I think out of all my presents this Christmas day, I only received 2 or 3 surprises. And I'm thrilled. It is so nice asking for what really want and then receiving exactly that.

Our morning started out at my mom and stepdad's. I got there at 10 and ST showed up at 10:30. We had tea and juice and listened to Christmas music and had a good visit before opening our gifts. We used to go crazy overboard with gift giving and the piles of presents would barely diminish after an hour of opening. It would be overwhelming and you'd have too much stuff to really appreciate what you got. Weeks later you would still have bags of gifts sitting in your apartment that you hadn't unpacked yet. It was just all too much.

This year it was perfect. We opened presents and passed things around to see up close what everyone else got. We read the children's book my sister bought for my mom. An enchanting and lovely story called Brave Irene, about a young girl delivering a dress that her mom made, to the Duchess through the snow and wind. We flipped through my new cookbook figuring out how to sneak pureed vegetables into every food possible. We calibrated our pedometers, laughed over an upside down page in a homemade calendar (oops), cheered over a paper shredder, moisturizer, a tide to go stick and our favourite tv shows on dvd. We hugged and shed a tear or two and sat down to a breakfast of poached eggs toast and bacon with our stepbrother who had just arrived.

After breakfast we sat admiring the tree, visiting and drinking our coffee and tea until it was time to go to grandpa's.

At my Grandpa's we visited and snacked on delicious food. Pickled asparagus, olives, nuts and bolts, and chocolates. We sat around in the living room with the fire burning and it felt so peaceful and nice. My other sister and her fiance arrived with his daughter and we had our gift exchange with them before dinner.

Dinner was great and we skipped dessert this year because we are always too full from dinner anyways to really enjoy anything else. We played a couple rounds of apples to apples, while people started to make their exits in small pairings...first my cousins, then LT and J-Dub, next my aunt and uncle and finally the rest of us.

We drove home singing along with a couple of Christmas carols on the radio until one came on that I couldn't stand and we remembered our gift from LT, a cd case full of mixed cd's she made us. Off go the carols and in goes Justin vs. Britney. We sang along and out came the cheesy dance moves.

All in all, a perfect Christmas day!

Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all love, peace, happiness and joy today, tomorrow and everyday!

Friday, 21 December 2007

You're so money and you don't even know it!!

Vegas Baby!!!

I could write pages upon pages of our whole Vegas experience but I think for now I will just copy what I wrote in a little notebook while sitting at the California Pizza Kitchen in the Mirage casino at about 9:30 on Monday night. It was an account of our day so far.

Up at 9:30
bfast at the American Cafe. Omelette. Broke the creamer. Sussed out the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Shark Reef. Walked around pools and lagoon while drinking. Saw naked bum photoshoot, sat infront of elephant fountain. Won 15 bucks on slots. Met Sylvia for lunch at Burger Bar. Shared a kobe beef burger weighing in at $16.80 for just the burger. Half assed look through Urban Outfitters. Over to NYNY for coaster ride. Pounded a jager after to still my stomach and heart. Painful walk with drinks and new blister under toes. Back to room 30234. A rest and Blue Lagoon. Only 4pm. Took off shoes and socks to air out and rest dogs. Suited up and hit the gift shop for bevvies in lobby. Tram to Excalibur. Looked longingly at Oxygen bar, want to try. Will try later. Walked. Walked. Walked. Walked to MGM Grand and walked more to monorail. took monorail to Convention Center and a weird wait in an empty parking lot in a sketchy part of town. Shuttle to Wynn. Took pics of bathroom. Saw Spamalot. Giftstore called Buyalot, Bar called Drinkalot, food stand called Eatalot. Started to talk like this. JM had popcorn and beer in a plastic grail. Beer tasted horribly like plastic. I had beer/no grail. laughedalot, clappedalot, got showered by golden dotsalot. Walkedalot over to Mirage and ate @ CPK. Pizza mmmmm (the rest added later, back in room) After food, shopped @ Beatles store, walked to Harrah's and took monorail to MGM. Walked to NYNY, JM got ice cream. Walked to Excalibur and silently caught tram to our hotel. Pedometer reads 27 491 steps./ 12.92 miles. We're beat.

This next paragraph, I wrote on Tuesday night over time while at the Deli and then back in our hotel room at the end of the night. We were exhausted.

Up @ 9:30, watched a kid train for (and complete) a triathalon on mtv's made. Tram to Excalibur. Walked to MGM for the Grand Buffet. Blintzes, blueberry crepe, apple crepe, bread pudding, scrambled eggs, bacon, gnocchi, mac and cheese, broccolini. Walked to monorail and got off at Harrah's. Walked though and around Harrah's, Caesars Palace, The Forum Shops, Mirage, got heartbroken by LOVE cirque show not playing tonight, walked more through and around Treasure Island, Fashion Show Mall, cheap tix and the funny guy working there, The Venetian, drinking on the stairs in front of the canal, gondola ride inside and another funny guy singing to us. Ate a pretzel covered in rock salt and mustard. Walked to Paris, used bathrooms and took pics of lobby, crossed to Bellagio and watched awestruck at fountains, stayed for another show. Hallelujah and famous opera song by a tenor. Walked to Mirage - ate huge meal at Carnegie Deli. Sandwich the size of JM's head. Saw Mystere in awe. Giddy and tired walk/monorail/tram back to Mandalay Bay. Me -"I am so excited about drinking litres of water when we get back to our room." JM - "Me neither." Fits of giggles and tears. Bedtime pedometer 31 578 steps, 14.84 miles.

So that covers our 2 full days in Vegas. I will write another post covering our 2 half days in Vegas. We really crammed a lot into that little trip. I haven't even mentioned our night in Belligham yet!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Thank You

I actually wrote this about a week or so ago but held off posting it here until today.

I was in the shower this morning thinking about my last relationship and all the things about it. It has been years since we broke up and he is now married and, I hope, happy. He is a good guy and deserves to be happy...we all do. It wasn't a mutual breakup. I left him. I left him because I couldn't stay. I wasn't happy and I'd let it get too far to be able to fix it. I stayed unhappy silently for far too long. Nearly 6 months I'd say. 6 months of crying and dreading and feeling empty and lacking. 6 months without telling him that I was feeling this way. I kept thinking -Why can't he see it and figure it out and fix it?

It finally became so unbearable for me that I left. I broke up with him. I was sad for about 3 days and then I was done. I realized that I had mourned the loss of the relationship while I was still in it. He, on the other hand, was just beginning the mourning period.

So here I was, in the shower this morning, having an imaginary conversation with him. He was mad at me. He hadn't forgiven me for breaking up with him. And I smugly told him he should be thanking me. "For what?" was his angry reply. "Thanking you for what?""For letting you go. For letting you be free to find your wife. For whatever it is that you got from me. Learned from me. For all of that."

My next thought came straight out of left field (and from some other voice). "What do you have to thank him for?" I nearly shrugged it off but realized that maybe this is an important question. What did I have to thank him for?

Here is what I came up with.

I want to thank him for giving me the chance to learn what my weaknesses are. I want to thank him for giving me the opportunity to prove to myself how strong I really am. I want to thank him for being the best gift giver I have ever met. I want to thank him for giving me some pretty wonderful memories of our time together. And I want to thank him for caring about me and loving me as strongly as he did.

So thank you. Thank you very much for all of those things and more.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Did I mention I'm a goof.

Driving down 25th with ST the other day, this was the conversation we had...

ST: "Hey, look! All of the houses on that side of the street get the sun and have green lawns and all the houses on this side of the street must not get the sun because they all have frosty lawns. Hmmm....that sounds like a porn star, doesn't it? Frosty Lawns."

KT: "Yeah, an old one."

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Dreams and childhood memories

I watched a horror movie before I went to bed last night. Well, really, I just had it on while I was doing other things so I wasn't fully paying attention to it. Also, it was a movie I'd seen before so not all that scary or suspenseful. Despite all these things, I still had a bad dream this morning.

The dream started off with me as a kid going to a friends house for a slumber party. That in itself would pretty much be a bad dream for me. I had a lot of anxiety as a kid and I could not sleep over at anyone's house. I needed to be home in my house with my family. I remember very specifically a few planned sleepovers ending badly with me throwing up, shaking and crying until my mom came to get me. One time, my mom never even made it back out the door after dropping me off. I went into the basement and my best friend and three other friends of hers were dancing and laughing and I faked a smile and laugh and fake danced for a couple minutes. I somehow excused myself and ran back upstairs where my mom was still in the kitchen talking to my friend's mom. I don't quite remember how things went down here, but I left with my mom and without saying goodbye to my friend.

I have a handful of stories like that. Once I was playing over at a friends house with the intent of sleeping over. It was mid-afternoon and we were listening to the Beatles I Want To Hold Your Hand on her little record player. Every time the song ended we started it up again and swooned over Paul holding our hands. The anxiety creeped up on me and the moment my friend left me alone to go get us drinks or snacks or something out of the kitchen, I bolted. I just left. I ran home and my mom had to explain to her mom on the phone that I came home and wouldn't be going back. Her mom didn't want me playing with her anymore after that.

So for me, dreaming that I was a kid going to a slumber party isn't a fun thing. I got there and they had rented a horror movie. We were in a rec room and the floor was lined with sleeping bags and junk food. I put on a brave face and played it cool. Quickly though, things went downhill and somehow the other girls implanted under my skin a dozen or so hard little golf-ball sized plastic balls. I understood that this was likely going to kill me if I didn't get them out. The other girls were joking around and being idiots copycatting horror movies they'd seen and not taking it seriously. In front of me was a bottle of some blue Drano-like liquid with hypodermic needles beside it. The girls were laughing and poking each other with the needles. I was mad. I felt entirely pissed off at these complete buffoons and in my anger and fear, I joined in and filled the needles and started injecting them with Drano.

Next thing I know we are outside and trying to get to the hospital and this one girl is running across the street to a party where her boyfriend was. We are teenagers now and boys have become more important than living apparently. These two guys are trying to help us and I am trying to convey the seriousness of the situation. The other girls who have been injected are starting to believe me. They are sick and itchy and throwing up...we just can't get this one girl to come with us. the others start seizing up, collapsing and dying. We throw them in the back of this station wagon and drive off.

This is where I wake up.

I drift off to sleep again and dream of bricks of turkey meat with thin layers of skin on them that you have to peel back to get to the meat. I peel back the skin but then only pick at the meat, unable to actually eat it.

Oddly, that second dream seems to be having more of an effect on me than the first one in that I can't get the image of turkey bricks out of my head.

Ugh - turkey bricks. Gross