“K” is for “Kicks to the Head” – An A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Post

K

For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^


Those who know me these days would be hard-pressed to believe that I was ever involved in any kind of sport, but I did actually go through a period of a few years during which I was quite involved in Tae Kwon Do. I got into it when my boyfriend of the time did, and I ended up enjoying it a heck of a lot more than I expected to. I wasn’t confident at first, because I’ve never been good at anything even the littlest bit athletic, but one thing that I have always had is a decent amount of strength in my legs, and that played into Tae Kwon Do very nicely.

The repetition of practicing  kicks was both soothing, as well as being an excellent workout. I loved doing my forms, and although I wasn’t a fan of the jogging at the beginning of every class, I actually rather enjoyed sparring with my classmates.

Sparring wasn’t the best though. Contrary to the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan of being the center of attention back then, I really enjoyed going to competitions and fighting all out. There was something extremely cathartic about really genuinely fighting someone with all my might. That said, it was a bit of a double-edged sword, because as I was trying to kick my opponent as hard as I could, so she was trying to kick me as hard as she could. And as I was never the greatest at dodging, the result of these fights was usually more than a few kicks straight to the head.

Upon further thought…that may have been around the time that I found my brain decided to stop working properly. There’s something to think on. :3


Did you ever participate in any kind of sports? Did you enjoy them? Feel free to comment!

“J” is for “Jason” – An A-to-Z Blogging Challenge Post

J

For the A-to-Z Challenge 2017 I’m writing all about myself. Every post will be some random fact or bit of information about me that you may or may not have already known. Maybe you’ll learn something! Feel free to let me know! ^_^


Is it cheating to talk about my husband when my theme is to talk about myself? Well TOO BAD! 😀

Jason and I first met in high school when I decided to crash my best friend’s science class one period. She sat in the back corner, and there were no seats around her, so I literally sat on the floor next to her the entire class. Jason happened to sit next to her as well, and for a while after that I was referred to as “Kelly’s weird friend who sits on the floor”. Simultaneously, I incorporated Jason into a ridiculous story my friend and I were co-writing for fun, because as a goofy geeky guy who was really into Powerpuff Girls at the time, he seemed like an excellent comedy relief.

Eventually we started hanging out more because – DRAMA! (j/k) – I was dating one of his best friends. We went to lots of the same parties, went to movies/bowling/shopping/etc in groups, and so on, and to be perfectly honest…we didn’t really like each other that much. Mainly it was teenage stupidity; I was the chick who was dragging his buddy down, and he was the guy who was always around when I wanted to be alone with my boyfriend.

In the second year of college, my boyfriend broke up with me and headed all the way to Sweden to do a term there for school. Around the same time Jason decided to leave the program he’d been in at his university and moved home. As a result, we started hanging out together a lot more, with the other few mutual friends we had who were going to the local university. When faced more with each other on a more personal level, it eventually began to become clear that Jason and I actually had a fair bit in common, and were a lot more suited to each other than my previous boyfriend and I had been. Then, one day, he asked me out, and the rest, as they say, is pretty much history.

We’ve been together now for nearly 15 years. We have a house, a beautiful daughter, we co-host our YouTube channel, and we spend our days enjoying each other’s geekiness. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes we fight like cats and dogs – but it’s definitely love. No two people who weren’t in love could have put up with each other’s foolishness the way we two have. XD


Do you have a significant other? If so, how did you meet? Feel free to leave a comment!

It’s a Bug’s Life

I have a confession to make. I can hide it no longer. I am a Clutter-Bug.

What the hell is a Clutter-Bug, you ask? Well, what does it sound like? My life and my mind are filled with clutter. Mountains of it.

Don’t mistake me for a hoarder, although material possessions are a little bit of the problem. Physically I do have a lot of hoarder-type clutter around my house. I have an entire shelf on my bookcase that is nothing but blank notebooks I’ve never used, and there’s a whole stack of drawers in the dining room that are filled with good old fashioned junk, like rubber-band balls and dead pens. I have a bit of a hard time throwing stuff away, even when I know there’s no point in keeping them.

But the type of clutter that I’m talking about is the kind that distracts, the kind that disguises itself as disorganization and generally messiness. There are almost always clothes on my bedroom floor, for instance, even though we have a hamper in there. I leave my phone, my tablet, and my Playstation Vita wherever I happen to be when I’m finished using them. There are books on top of my headboard that I haven’t touched in weeks. There are boxes of baby clothes sitting in my hall that I simply haven’t bothered to put away, even though it would take five minutes to cart them down into the basement.

I seem to have a mental block that consistently keeps me from ever putting anything away, thus cluttering up my house. It’s an illness. A terrible, debilitating illness.

But it goes further than that, because clutter can be mental as well.

For instance, in my closet there is a huge stack of jeans taking up a good three square feet of space. None of them fit. They vary between being a size or two off to being so tiny that I would have to get liposuction and a stomach staple to ever have a chance of fitting in them again. And not only are these jeans clutter in the literal sense of taking up space and never being used, they’re clutter in the mental sense because I have to think of them every time I look at them. Every time I open my closet I see this stack of jeans and they make me miserable just for the sheer fact that I know I can’t fit into them. I know I could fit into them if I worked really hard and restricted my calories and stuck to a daily exercise regimen and completely stopped drinking anything other than water and so on and so on and so on…you see? Mental clutter.

Most people do this kind of thing to themselves to some extent, but I, my friends, am an expert. I am the Queen Clutter-Bug. May all lesser Clutter-Bugs bow before me.

Original pic via photoalbum.davison.ca
Original pic via photoalbum.davison.ca

For another example, I have this habit I call “self-fulfilling failure to fulfill”. Basically, I have a mental list in my head of all the things I want to do, or need to do, and no matter how many things I am able to cross off the list I manage to add twice as many more. In this way my list is never complete, and my internal list-maker starts twitching like a drugged-up jackrabbit. It doesn’t matter if I’m working my ass off or sitting back and trying to relax, I have this never-ceasing mental clutter of half-finished to-do lists gumming up my brain.

It’s a horrifying condition for a writer because while I should be writing and working on my platform, I’m instead obsessing about a million other things. I can’t get any writing done around my husband or daughter because I’m so easily distracted by everything they say or do. I can’t get any writing done in my own bedroom because I can’t stop thinking about that basket of clothes on the floor or those damn jeans in my closet. When I do get around to writing I’m plagued by a thousand non-work-in-progress-related thoughts like whether I should be planning some blog posts in advance to give myself more time, or whether I should scrap this fan fiction stuff and just concentrate on my original work, or should I log onto Twitter and see what the other writers are doing? It’s a constant barrage of voices in my head yelling at me about everything except what I’m supposed to be writing about.

“Why aren’t you more active on Twitter? How do you expect to gain followers when you never say anything interesting?”

“Why are you focusing so much on this stupid supernatural romance stuff…it will probably just ruin your image for when the zombie horror novel is done.”

“Oh crap, did I write a blog post for tomorrow? Crap, I didn’t… Crap crap crap!”

It spirals on and on, until I have so many thoughts in my head that I can’t pick out any one particular one. And then I get very, very tired. Queen Clutter-Bug begins to slow down. She crawls into a dark spot and the other Clutter-Bugs swarm around and begin to eat her.

Image via science.kqed.org
Original image via science.kqed.org

But there is hope! Or so I’m told. There are cures for rampant Clutter-Bug-ism, such as meditation, relaxation techniques, and – if you’re a particular kind of person – alcohol. Scour the internet and you will find a million different suggestions for calming the shouting voices in your brain, the ones that keep you from ever being calm or satisfied. There are methods, if only one chooses to seek them out.

Or if you’re like me you can find your own release; little joys that keep you from going utterly insane. How do I dispel Queen Clutter-Bug? I do things that are completely against her nature. I purposely pick something that I know is material clutter and I toss it in the trash, sighing pleasurably all the while. I snuggle up with my daughter and watch cartoons – great brain-blanking animations that somehow keep your mind from thinking about anything else. I watch B-movies with my husband – films so absurdly terrible that you can’t help but just sit and laugh the world away.

My methods may not be ideal, nor might they work at all for someone else with similar Clutter-Buginess issues. But we all must deal with our issues in our own way, and for me these things are Clutter-Bug Raid.

Which reminds me, my mile-long mental list includes spraying some Clutter-Bug Raid. Excuse me, I really must get to that ASAP.

Tea-riffic…(Haha, I’m So Clever)

We all have our weaknesses, our little addictions. About a year and a half ago, while doing some shopping in Halifax with my inlaws, I discovered one of mine. I had noticed this store before, but never bothered to go inside. This time I ventured in and promptly stared in confusion at the giant wall of shiny, silver canisters plastered with labels of black, white, red, green, yellow, blue, brown, and purple. I was a little flabbergasted, I admit, but the staff were almost unbelievably helpful, and after examining a couple of the canisters and feeling more than a little silly while sniffing at them, I left the store with my first packet of David’s Tea.

Those who follow my Twitter feed know that the day I just described resulted in a bit of an addiction. A lack of the stores near where I live keeps me from spending my life savings, but a location in the Toronto airport has allowed me to pick up a pack here, a pack there whenever I’m travelling to and from work, and I managed to bully my husband into picking me up a couple of containers for Christmas this year. My addiction has been well-supplied.

As I have quite a wealth of experience with the flavors of David’s Tea at this point, I thought it was about time I share some information on what I’ve tried, what I love, and what I suggest.

(And now seems like a good time to mention that I am in no way affiliated with David’s Tea, nor are they paying me in any manner. These are just the opinions of a very satisfied customer!)

Customer Service:
This may seem like a funny thing to start with, but I really felt the need to share my level of satisfaction with the customer service at David’s Tea. I’ve only visited three different locations, but I’ve dealt with approximately ten different employees, plus a customer service rep from their website, and I’ve thus far had nothing but good experiences. I’m sure that somewhere, at some David’s Tea location, there is probably a disgrunted brat of an employee who huffs their days away, but I’ve not come across one myself. Every employee I’ve dealt with has been extremely cheery, helpful, and friendly. They’ve helped me (and my husband) pick out teas, expressed their opinions and preferences, asked about my own preferences and made suggestions based on those, encouraged me to examine and sniff the teas, offered free samples, and in general just treated me as though I was a friend. Two employees in particular (both of whom work at the Toronto Pearson Airport location) happily take the time to ask me about my day and my travel plans while scooping up my tea. It’s just very calming and refreshing to have a happy face smiling at me and treating me well while I’m picking out my purchases. I’ve dealt with enough rude, ignorant cashiers and customer service reps to be able to really appreciate the nice ones, so keep it up DT employees!

Accessories:
It may seem a little silly, but part of what makes the tea so great for me is the accessories. Two months ago I purchased one of David’s Perfect Tea Mugs and I couldn’t be happier. It’s a clear mug (so you can watch your tea steep) and a very fine mesh steeping basket. There is also a cover which doubles as a saucer to put the basket in once your tea has finished steeping. I positively love it, and the basket is wide enough that it is fairly easy to clean by hand. By comparison we also have the David’s Tea by Bodum travel mug. At first I liked this one, and I do still like it for traveling, but it has a fatal flaw…it’s a royal pain in the arse to clean. The mug itself is long and thin on the inside, and the mesh filter that is meant to push your tea leaves out of the way tends to get gunked up pretty badly. The combination of these two issues pretty much demands that it be washed by a dishwasher; by hand just isn’t going to work. Since I spend so much time out West where I have only a small sink to clean my things in, this doesn’t work well for me.

In addition to the Perfect Mug, I’ve also purchased one of their Perfect Spoons. Basically it’s just a pre-sized spoon that measures out the exact amount that most David’s Tea recipes suggest (1.5 tsp), but it is awesome in its simplicity. I make a perfect cup of tea every time with its help.

OMG, the Actual Tea:
I’ll be honest, I’m up to about 30 different varieties at this point, and I’ve loved almost all of them. That may just mean I’m a tea maniac, I’m not sure. But for the sake of sharing, I’ll talk about a few of my favorites, and one in particular that I didn’t enjoy.

It’s difficult to choose an absolute favorite, but pretty high up on the list is Amaretto. One of the teas my husband got me for Christmas, this concoction of Lapaco, almond, apricot kernels, orange blossoms, rose blossoms, and flavoring smells exactly like a bottle of Disarona Amaretto. That is to say, it smells delicious. Seriously, I could just sit there and sniff the tin. But then, I’m a little looney. As far as flavor, it is a little weaker than some of the other teas, but when brewed a little strong it also tastes quite a lot like Disarona, only hot and without the alcohol content. Depending on your preferences, that could be an upside or a downside. I’ll let you decide, but for the record, for me it’s instant love.

Also high on the list is Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait. The mix of apple, hibiscus, raisins, carrot, yogurt bits, strawberry, rhubarb, and flavoring may be a little tart for some people, but to me it’s a delicious treat that makes me feel like I’ve had dessert. The best part? If you forget about it and it gets cold, it just ends up tasting like strawberry juice!

The last one that I’ll mention (before I end up giving you a blow-by-blow of every flavor I’ve ever bought) is Dragon Pearls. I was first attracted to this green tea simply because it seemed so neat…each of the “pearls” is hand-rolled from green tea leaves scented with jasmine flowers. As the tightly rolled little balls steep, they unroll (showing you just how meticulously miniaturized they really were) and release a very soothing scent. When I actually tasted it for the first time, I melted. Green tea is not for everyone, I know, especially not without some kind of addition such as honey, but personally I find Dragon Pearls to be incredibly calming and delicious. It is the kind of tea I would enjoy with some warm biscuits and butter. (Damn it, now I’m seriously craving some biscuits and butter…)

Now, to be fair, I have tried one tea that I did not enjoy at all. That one is Super Ginger. I bought it as a trial pack of teas meant to help when you’re suffering from a variety of ills. This mixture of ginger, green rooibos, pink peppercorns, black and white pepper, and flavoring is supposed to be a soothing cold remedy, but I had a seriously difficult time forcing it down. I found the overall flavor very spicy in an unpleasant way. It may have helped burn the cold out of me, but it wasn’t worth the cringing horror I felt whenever it was time to take a gulp. Better luck next time, DT.

So there you have it: yays and nays. But mostly yays. 😛 Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a delicious hot cup of Cookie Dough tea to imbibe.

Time flies when…

I’ve been slacking off with the blog lately, not because I’m too lazy or don’t have anything to talk about, but because it seems like the days are getting away on me the past couple of weeks. Today, for example, it seemed like all I did was wake up and do a bit of housework, and all of a sudden it was lunch time. Then before I could sneeze, it was supper, and in about an hour and a half it’ll be the baby’s tub time. From there I pretty much go to bed, as the hubby and I like to pass our nights before bedtime watching movies. So for all intents and purposes, my day is already complete. I’m plucking this post out while the baby watches a cartoon (in other words, while I’ve got two seconds to myself).

I think this is a phenomenon that happens to everyone when there is a looming event on the horizon. The ‘event’ can take many forms, but in my case, this particular time, it’s the date of my flight out West. I recently got my itinerary for my flight out to the oil sands, and ever since it’s seemed like the days are just disappearing behind me.

Much like attempting to finish, edit, and publish a novel, starting a new job in a new province is an adventure, and as such I’m a mixture of nervous, excited, and curious. For one thing, my flight out to the work site will be my first ever time on a plane. Yes, that’s right, I’m 28 years old and have never been on an airplane before. So that’s pretty exciting (and nerve-wracking). In addition to that little tidbit, this will be my first time ever traveling alone. As I’m a full-grown adult that shouldn’t be a big deal, but it’s an interesting concept to me. The only trips I’ve ever taken have been with family or friends by my side. I’ve never traveled more than a couple of hours drive without at least my husband, so flying three quarters of the way across the country all by myself is going to seem odd. All I can say is thank god I’m flying, because without my husband to keep me on track I’d probably drive to Texas or something.

Another thing that I’m anticipating (whether for good or for ill) is the camp I’m going to be living at. As funny as it may sound, I’m actually looking forward to this experience. I’ve been assured that the camp is clean and has good food, and all in all I think it’s going to seem like the college dorm experience that I never had. When I was in college I first lived with my parents, and then in an apartment with friends and my hubby (then boyfriend), followed by just my hubby (boyfriend) and I, and I always felt like I missed out on the dorm experience. It’s not exactly an ideal way to live, I know, but it’s still something I would have liked to try out, and now I’m getting a similar chance, albeit belatedly. I might end up hating it, but at least I’ll have tried it, you know?

Of course, there’s also the job itself. I’ve heard good things so far from colleagues I have out there, but I won’t really know until I get there. I’ve been out of work (that is, career work) since October, so it’s going to be strange to go back. Part of me thinks it’ll be like getting back on a bike, but another part of me can’t help thinking that I’m going to totally forget how to do any of the things I used to do. At the very least, it’s going to feel weird being back on a work site after all this time.

Finally, it’s going to be strange leaving my daughter behind for two weeks straight. Compared to other prospective western jobs and the position my husband recently left so I could take this one, two weeks at a time won’t be bad at all, but it will still be odd. So far, since she was born a year and a half ago, the longest I’ve been away from her at once was something like 36 hours or so. While I know she’ll be fine at home with her father, and I’m sure my two weeks will go by fast as I’ll be working 12-hour days, it’s still a pretty large stretch between 36 hours and 336 hours.

All in all, my life is speeding toward a pretty significant event. So, of course, you’ll excuse me if things like blog posts get temporarily pushed aside. Life will resume eventually, I promise. 🙂

Future (Pointless) Possibilities

People regularly let their pasts dictate their lives, but how many of you let your future dictate your life?

I’m particularly bad for this, and I’m not sure if it’s one of those things that’s weird and unique about me, or if other people actually share this ridiculous problem. Feel free to let me know!

The issue goes like this: I’ll be trying to accomplish something, but a particular facet of my immediate future makes it extremely difficult to accomplish this task. Let me give an example… When my husband and I were still living in our old duplex, we had let the basement get ridiculously messy. There were cardboard boxes everywhere, old furniture that needed to be thrown out, and even the stuff we were storing down there was just plain all over the place. I must have tried several dozen times to build up the gumption to go down there and straighten the place out, but I never managed to convince myself to do it. Why? Because at the time we were looking houses, hoping to buy. Every time I would try to convince myself to clean the basement, all I could think was that soon enough we would be moving, and all the stuff down there would get packed into boxes anyway. In other words, I couldn’t be arsed to put in the effort knowing that it might have been effectively pointless.

Does anyone else know what I’m talking about?

I’m feeling that way right now as well. I recently got word that I’m being offered my job at the mill back once the sale is finalized and the place gets up and running again. Putting aside my feelings on that particular subject and whether or not I’ll actually end up back there, knowing that the possibility is there is making it exceptionally difficult to write. The thing is, I know that I can’t write while I’m working. I just can’t manage to work in the time. Eight hours (or more) of work, plus seven or so hours of sleep, plus meals, showers, dealing with baby stuff, errands, and household chores, and I’m lucky if I get ten minutes to myself. Knowing that, I’m finding it very hard to write now, because that nagging little voice in my head is telling me I’ll never finish my novel by the time the mill starts (estimated August), so there’s no point in bothering to work anymore.

Does that make any sense?

It’s a stupid attitude, and one that’s plagued me for quite a long time. I don’t know why my brain works this way – you’d think I’d be motivated to write harder to try and finish before my time gets taken away from me – but it does and I can’t help it.

That said, I do want to finish this damn novel, so if anyone wants to perform a localized lobotomy on whatever part of my brain causes this insane way of thinking, please give me a call.

30 Days of Truth – Day 26

Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?

That’s a bit of a loaded question. Well first of all, if we’re talking about something like suicide, then no, I’ve never thought about giving up on life.

If we’re talking about “giving up” as a more general term, then sure, lots of times. I had moments when I was younger when I would have loved to give up on society because I felt awkward, ugly, immature, and any other number of things that most kids deal with at some point. When I was in college I considered giving up on my program in the third year because I had a sudden bout of “What the hell is this, why am I studying it, and what the hell was I thinking when I enrolled in it?!” When I graduated and couldn’t find work after several months I considered giving up and finding another path to take. When I started working at the mill and realized that after four years of college I knew positively jack I wanted to give up and run home and find something different to do.

That’s part of life, isn’t it? Wanting to give up? It’s whether or not you do that makes the difference.

30 Days of Truth – Day 25

The reason you believe you’re still alive today.

B…because I continue to breathe and eat?

Okay, I’m being a smart-ass, I know, but seriously…this seems more like a question for someone who has gone through manic depression or tried to commit suicide. As I’ve experienced neither, I’m not really sure how to answer.

So, I guess, the reason I believe I’m still alive today is because I’ve taken care of myself (more or less), never gotten into anything self-destructive like drugs, and just, kinda, continued on. That’s how living works, right?

30 Days of Truth – Day 15

Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.

I’m curious to see how some other people have answered this question because I feel strongly that there is a lot that the people of this age could live without if they were arsed to give it a shot. I’m not saying that I’m not just as bad (take my internet away for a few days and I’m a goddamn lost puppy), but it does make me cringe when I see people rushing to answer texts the second they get them, regardless of what else they’re doing at the time (*cough*driving!!!!*cough*).

So as much as the materialistic part of me wants to list things like the aforementioned internet connection, my iPhone, and my collection of novels-I’d-get-teased-to-no-end-for-reading, I’m going to choose something significantly more logical.

I couldn’t live without my vitamins. Okay, I could live, but it wouldn’t be particularly enjoyable. I take Vitamin D to combat the dark weather we get six months out of the year, and a B-complex vitamin because I have low B-12. Without the B-complex I get very tired and lethargic, and without the D I get extra tired and depressed during the winter. Additionally, without both of them my allergies seem to be a hundred times worse. When I’m taking my vitamins I rarely have to take anything for my allergies, but without them I seem to be stuffed up all the time.

Those two little supplements make my life a lot more enjoyable, basically, and if I had to choose between them and my internet…well, I have to admit it would still be a terribly hard decision, but I’d probably choose the supplements. lol

30 Days of Truth – Day 7

Someone who has made your life worth living for.

No questions asked, absolutely my daughter. She’s a gorgeous, smart, hysterical little combination of my husband and I. She never ceases to amaze me and make me laugh, and I could happily lay and watch her sleep for hours because she’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. She brings me no end of happiness.

This is a short one because there’s simply nothing else to say. My daughter is my perfect little ray of sunshine, case closed. 🙂