Wednesday 28 May 2014

Truthful Tips for Driving a Car

Long before I had a blog, I wrote 'notes' on Facebook. No one seems to use this Facebook feature
anymore, but since I wasn't a blogger, I loved it and used it frequently. Yesterday I glanced through my old entries and found this one, from when I first started driving with a G2 (the local driver's learning licence that allows you to drive solo for the first time). I remember that first drive: I forgot everything I'd been taught, broke every traffic rule in the book, and somehow didn't die. After six months of honing my skills, I wrote this helpful list and when I reread it this week, it struck me as something that needed to be shared.

These are my recommendations for the next edition of the Driver's Manual.

1. Don't get cocky. Snow tires do *not* make your Yaris into a Canyonero.

2. Applying makeup while driving, because you are late, will not save you will consistently be tardy at green lights. And people will hate you.

3. While, yes, it is the City's fault that that telephone pole is so close to your driveway, you still need to pay better attention to your turn radius.

4. Singing loudly in the car is your right. Forcing neighbouring cars to listen to your blaring music is not.

5. Only new drivers use turn signals. I haven't found the part in the handbook that says signals are optional, but based on the drivers around me, it must be in there somewhere.

6. A fender bender is frightening; a fender bender is more frightening when the other driver involved is a crazy Asian woman with Medusa hair and technicolor lipstick who gets out and demands to know why you hit her.

7. Your car will collect more garbage than you ever thought possible. It will eventually start self-replicating and may actually take over your vehicle, staging a frightening coup where it finally pushes you out the door and hijacks you.

8. It is difficult and dangerous to lift your feet when going over traintracks if you're the driver. One superstition you may want to let go of.

9. Your cell will only ring when you've forgotten your handsfree thingy.

10. Driving 3 kilometers with your left blinker on, without realizing it, will keep other drivers far away from you and make you wonder what the hell they're all avoiding.

Monday 26 May 2014

Just Let Go.

Do you think it's possible to hit a point where so many things are happening, fluctuating, changing in your world that you just hit your max capacity and suddenly no longer care about anything? Please tell me you believe this is possible, because otherwise something is really wrong with me.

An inspector came by today and told me that he has concerns about the contractors my condo group has hired to do repair work to my foundation. I made a 'hmmmm' sound, weighed the situation, realized I would never convince the condo group to find someone new, and just...let it go. If the guy fracks it up, they'll have to hire someone else. What am I going to do, run around out back and question them on the depth of their digging or the strength of their cement? I literally have no idea what I could do, other than demand another contractor and potentially just have the exact same issue. So I let it go.

Tonight Corben meets the chief assessor for his service dog training. Corben is going through a stage where he thinks every dog around him is a plaything. This means he is likely going to try to wrestle with the assessor's own service dog. I warned him, and then I just stopped worrying about it. He's a nine month old puppy that's only about half-way through his training. The assessor knows this. What can I possibly do, short of drugging my dog or spraying the assessor's dog with vinegar (Corben's most hated thing on earth)? So I let it go.

Today Alan comes back to the house to get the last of his stuff. My house is in chaos because of this. I thought about running around and trying to spot-clean the place in between the boxes, knowing full well that anything I clean up right now will get dirtied again by the moving process. What magical powers am I supposed to have where having half the house's contents moved out was going to happen without the house looking like a bomb went off? So I let it go.

Instead I am sitting in the organized chaos of my dining room-turned-office and working quietly while listening to 80s rock music. I figure, between my dog chasing the cat, my foundation being dug up around me, and my home stuffed with boxes, I probably look like that quartet in Titanic that just kept playing til the ship sank.

But I've learned over the last couple years that sometimes my most helpful motto is, Let Go and Let Goddess. Take your hands off the wheel, people. Smile and stand back from the chaos. Watch it unfold. And wait...wait til the right moment presents itself for your intervention. You'll know it when you see it. Until then, get a cup of tea, do some yoga, and turn on the 80s rock. It's permissible to be overwhelmed and to admit some things are outside your control. Let go.

Back to work for me. I'll tell you how it all comes together. Because it will. It always does.

Friday 16 May 2014

Dog Drugs, Singlehood, and the Joys of Solo Time


Yesterday while I was doing my hair, Corben left the bathroom and ten minutes later I found him spread out on my couch with an empty pill bottle tilted down his throat. He’d slobbered the label completely off the thing, so I had to retrace his steps until I found some tablets on the ground and could determine what he’d taken. It turned out to be a sedative used by both humans and animals (small blessings), so when I called the vet I was simply put on ‘dog watch’—a minimum six hour monitoring of a nine month-old puppy for ‘signs of anything unusual’. Y’know, because 9 month old puppies never do anything unusual. Anyway, he spent the rest of the morning getting really fascinated with anything I touched. At one point he buried his head in the laundry and just inhaled, slow and deep.


Oh, and I’m single again. Yeah, I thought I’d write a big emotional thing here, but I’m fine. I mean it: I’m FINE. Truly fine. I don’t know if breakups are different the older you get, or if it’s because after divorce, everything feels a little less catastrophic…like if you had a leg eaten off by a shark, and then later a dog bit you at the park, and you’d just be like, “That’s nothing. Have you seen my peg leg?” The actual breakup happened a few months back, and I spent some time processing, and now I’m at the point where I’m not exactly single ready to mingle, but I’m also lightyears away from crying in the dark.

I think what’s surprised me the most is that I’m totally okay with being alone. I’m looking forward to it, in a way. If I want to eat cereal for dinner while standing in the bathroom because I’m doing my makeup before heading out to a movie, that’s ok. If I want to play Call of Duty for an hour instead of buying groceries, that’s ok. When I do buy groceries, I only have one insane set of dietary needs to consider, and that’s glorious.


Today my friend Pepper and I were discussing dating. Pepper is awesome. Her romantic experiences are within the realm of girl-boy things, whereas mine (as you know) meanders back and forth over the gender line. We were conferring on the complexities of trying to get men to talk about their feelings in an upfront and direct way. I told Pepper, “If I knew how to get guys to just talk about their feelings and practice appropriate self reflection and introspective observation, I maybe wouldn’t have ended up spending half my adult life dating women.”

Pepper pointed out that this means I have options, but it’s not that simple. I explained, “Yeah but then you get into the world of 'mental ninjitsu mixed with verbal acrobatics with a smidgen of passive aggressive assasination attempts', and then you'll find yourself seeking out the refuge of a strong hairy chest and monosyllabic conversations.”

“So, pros and cons to both,” said Pepper.

“Yep. At the same time, it's like choosing between two equally awesome tropical beaches, but also being stuck on two tropical beaches without an umbrella or sunscreen...eventually, it burns...”

Obviously, I’m not coming at the dating scene with the same wide-eyed na├»ve vigor with which I approached it as a younger woman. I think this means I’ll be a lot more committed to my mental ‘checklist’ of things that I will and won’t tolerate. As I’ve aged, I’ve learned that time is precious, and I’m wary of wasting it.

Unless, of course, we’re talking about laying on my bed, alone, playing Call of Duty for an hour wearing a sexy nightgown for no reason and eating Easter chocolate I keep hidden in the freezer. That…that is time well wasted.

Thursday 15 May 2014

Comiccon Cosplay: MJ and I Rock

For Ottawa Comiccon this year, MJ and I went as Tank Girl and Jet from the Tank Girl comics (and also movie). If you don't know these characters, here's a pic. (They have no set uniforms...basically picture what two quirky girls would steal and wear in a post-apocalyptic Mad Hatter's tea party of a world...)

We had a blast. Corben came with, and he did great, too. I think the pictures do enough talking of their own. Enjoy.

Oh, and if you don't already know, I kinda run this little site called Capital Geek Girls, so you can go over there and geek out with us. MJ and I do a YouTube show called Two Girls Talking there, and it's so bad it's good. Cheers.

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