I met my boyfriend on Twitter

I must have joined twitter sometime in 2010. I joined because my friend Jen told me to and stayed because all my favourite bloggers were there, the people were funny and it was a great way to get the news. Like anyone new to anything, especially twitter, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. I was grateful for the handful of people who engaged with me early on with likes and @ replies, making me feel like I was doing it right. FYI I know what I dork I sound like to non twitter people. Kurt (@kurtbronson) was one of these people. Because of this, he stood out to me right away. Also because I thought his little picture was cute and he was really funny. He stood out, but that’s all. Nothing more.

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Life for me (and him) went on, as it does. I dated people in real life. So did he. We chatted a bit online every now and then, mostly about music, but that was it.
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One day in May 2012 I woke up with the realisation that it had been over 8 months since I’d even had a date and the motivation to do something about it. I started asking people out…over social media of course, I’m not that brave. I sent out all sorts of messages to the guys I’d met in passing through work or hobbies or wherever. Not one of them said yes. Literally none of them. In fact, not one of them even responded to me! You’d think I’d be discouraged, but I didn’t really care, I had nothing invested in any of these men. Any discouragement I felt was because I was running out of people to ask for a date. Then I remembered that cute, funny guy from twitter. Because we had never even met before I thought I’d try to open the conversation in a flirty way and see where that might take us. I sent him a link to an Os Mutantes song and was like, Oh hey there. I was listening to this the other day and I thought you might like it. His response? Oh. Thanks. Why are you sending me this? Right. And I went back to pursuing men I met in real life.
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In late 2012 Kurt and I started engaging more than we ever had. Liking every Instagram pic, DM’ing about the perks of living alone, faving all sorts of tweets. Again, I know I’m a dork.  At the time I was 100% sure he was e-courting me. As it turns out I was 200% not even on his radar at the time. Then one day in late January we spent the day DM’ing back and forth about music and life and nothing and everything. As my friends and I extensively internet stalked him, trying to get a glimpse of what he might look like beyond his little avatar, he realised he may as well take a chance and asked me for hot chocolate. On Monday January 28th, we met. Then we had dinner that Wednesday and then again on Sunday. And then a couple of times every week since then. This past Tuesday was our one year anniversary, and when I had to cancel our fancy dinner plans due to illness, he showed up at my place with four bouquets of flowers and Thai takeout. Yes, I know how lucky I am.
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I’ll admit that life before Kurt was awesome. I was single for years (minus a few months here and there) and for the most part, I loved everything about it. I promised myself I wouldn’t get involved with someone unless they made my life more awesome, and the bar was high. Kurt blew that bar away, far, far, away. He’s even better than the guys in the movies. And I met him on Twitter. Who would have thought?

Happy Monday

Not that this is the kind of thought that requires confidence, but, I’m pretty confident that Friday is my favourite blog reading day. So many bloggers out there take the time on Friday to share fun events from their week, their favourite links and often just random thoughts. I love that stuff. But shouldn’t Monday get a little love too? Yeah, going back to getting up early and having 8+ hours of your day unavailable for doing whatever you want kind of sucks. But isn’t that all the more reason to share some happy/fun/inspiring things on Mondays? Here’s my attempt:

For your eyes: It’s award season in Hollywood. I don’t really care, as I don’t have cable or anything emotionally invested in who wins best picture or whatever. That said, I love the red carpet reviews that come from one my favourite bloggers, Brienne Walsh, during this celebratory time of year. She’s  just brilliant and she makes me laugh. She did the Grammy’s last night and the SAG Awards, whenever they were. I’ve been reading her blog so long it’s become something I really look forward to.

For your ears: It’s no secret that I’m a CBC fan. It was the soundtrack to my youth and it’s transitioned itself nicely into the soundtrack to my adulthood. Radio 1, Radio 2, even online Radio 3, I love and listen to it all.  One of my easy favourites happens every Sunday night at 8PM–The Strombo Show on Radio 2. Next to my boyfriend, it’s my number 1 source of new music. He plays a little of everything–old, new, punk, hip hop, folk. What other radio program will you hear BIBLICAL, Teenage Kicks, Fatlip, Nina Simone and The Proclaimers all on one episode? I’m seriously asking, because if there is another one I’d love to know.

For your health: I’m first and foremost a solo runner, but lately I’ve been going out on weekly runs with Katie. There is no question that Katie is more fit than me. I could train my hardest for 6 months while she sat on the couch eating donuts and she’d still be more fit than me. She’s my best friend though, so I don’t hate her. And, it turns out that running with someone who is faster than you is an AMAZING workout. A 6km run on my own is moderate at best, but alongside her it is one of my hardest workouts of the week. If you’re looking for a new way to challenge yourself, I would definitely suggest doing your regular activity with someone who outranks you just a little.

For the win: Things have shifted for me this past week as I’ve gone from craving time at home alone to real life social time with people other than just those closest to me. I spent a lot of the winter at home by myself. Being alone is awesome. But recently it’s started to get a little boring for me. This past weekend I ditched my usual routine of a hiking and movies and packed, like, 10 fun things into those 48 hours. It was great and I can’t wait to do it again!

Happy Monday. 🙂

Yes, I have tattoos. No, you can’t touch them. Part 3

I got my third tattoo the summer I turned 22. I was waitressing in Northern BC, fresh from four years at the University of Calgary. I spent the summer saving and preparing for a move to Oxford, England to pursue some big academic plans. I had a few courses left in my undergrad and big dreams of an MA in Political Theory, Anarchist Theory to be specific. Fortunately for me, those plans fell through. Thank god. Who would even do that?

I spent my time in Calgary doing what I wanted, nothing more and nothing less. I went dancing at Cowboys and drank free drinks. I went to punk rock shows the next night. I went to protests against the Iraq war and volunteered with refugees. I religiously watched American Idol and the OC with my dance-major roommates. I quoted Emma Goldman in class. I wore tiny little tee shirts with political statements on them that showed off my 22-year-old tummy. I just did what I wanted. I was “multi faceted”. However, with my impending move to England I wanted to reinvent myself. I wanted to be taken more seriously, especially in the activist community. More so, I wanted to eliminate all frivolous aspects of my personality and put my hardest face forward.

To solidify my hardened image, I made the decision to get my first overtly visible tattoo. Tree roots. I put a lot of thought into thisProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset one, more than any of the others before or after. I was living in the North, spending my spare time in the forest, it made sense to me.  The roots tattoo was to serve as a constant reminder that the roots of oppression can only ever be conquered by grassroots movements which are fuelled only by an individual’s own personal roots.

I thought I was so profound.

Unfortunately for me, I’m neither profound nor hard. And while I can be serious, I love the frivolous side of life. My schtick failed almost immediately. I met no activists, only old money elitists, and they certainly were not impressed with my hard-ass tattoo. My MA plans changed too as I realised the cost and the fact I was totally broke. Plan B. After I officially graduated with my BA I left England and spent all the money I had travelling around Europe. And then I moved to Victoria and started being me again.

So, moral of the story? If you try to be someone you’re not, or even hide someone you are, you just may end up with tree tattoo that looks like an octopus.

This tattoo, my third tattoo, was the first time I realised that these life choices I’ve started making weren’t just permanent statements, but invitations for personal invasion. It was as though the moment I got this ink, people–strangers–felt like they could just touch me. Grab my arm and pull it in, run their fingers over, and just generally get up in my space with out asking. Eventually I just started responding, Yes, I have a tattoo. Please don’t touch me. 

People are weird. Don’t do this. Tattoos are not invitations for touch. And the bodies they are on are not communal property.

Current Fantasies

Remember early November? I do. One of my many foot-in-mouth moments of that month was a comment I made to my boyfriend on our drive home from Point No PointNow we don’t have to go anywhere again for a long, long time  I declared, definitely in a grumpy tone. I was just so over leaving Victoria. I wanted to stay in my warm little house and hang out with my close friends and follow my comfortable routine and nothing else.

Well, things change. Now, I cannot wait until the next time I get off this rock. And I will get off this rock, in good time, to some pretty cool places too. But until that first February trip to Vancouver (to hang with my man Paul Simon) I’ll just have to sit tight with my fantasies.

Hike the Inca Trail. Shortly after my 29th birthday, I started announcing loudly and frequently that for my 30th I would be in Peru hiking the Inca Trail. I invited all my friends to join me, several showed interest, one committed. As my birthday loomed, my friend suggested we postpone six months. This worked for me as I had $0 saved for the trip. The six months came and went but my $0 bank balance never grew. Needless to say, the hike didn’t happen but it is still #1 on my travel bucket list.

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Cross-Canada Road Trip. I drove across Canada once in the early 90’s in a Volkswagen van with my family. It was all right, though my super annoying little brother kept crossing the invisible line I had drawn along the back seat. I’ve always wanted to do this trip again, minus the van, the parents and the little bro. A couple years ago some of my closest friends moved to Newfoundland so I now have the best excuse ever to make the trip. But as incredible as this vacation will be, it will require some serious time and money, neither of which I have buckets of.  I was seriously contemplating it for this summer, but I’ve had some cool opportunities for travel come my way recently (including to my favourite city), so this is another one I will have postpone, at least for now.

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Hawaii. I just really want to go here, for like 2 weeks. Katie and Trev are heading to Maui right after Paul Simon and it’s so hard not be crazy-jealous. I just want to lie on the beach and smell the flowers and have the easiest and most beautiful vacation of life. Sigh.

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What are your current travel fantasies?

I Invented My Own Fitness Challenge

The Challenge: The aptly named 6 Week Fitness Challenge

The Plan: Exercise every day for 6 weeks (January 5- February 15)

The Goal: Simply to get moving again. I’ve let exercise and fitness drop in priority over the last couple of months, this challenge brings it back to the forefront of my life. It gets me back into the habit of making time for exercise and doing it regularly.

The Details: A minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day for six weeks. The activities can be anything–walk, run, hike, swim, yoga. While 6 straight weeks of exercise does sound kind of daunting, there is no pressure to really challenge myself. If I went for a 30 minute walk every day, that would be a success. Another great part of this challenge is the high likelihood of boredom if I stick to my usual hiking and running. I’m sure that doing the same thing over and over again will get me exploring other options, different yoga classes, swimming, squash….so many new hobbies to uncover. Just no team sports. I don’t do team sports.
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The Exception: If I get sick, those days are exempt. Plus three rest days to use, if needed, whenever I want.
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So far: So good! Most of my activities have been shorter distance runs (under 10km), moderate hikes and 30-45 minute yoga classes. Katie (my super fit best friend) has kicked my butt a few times and tonight I’m going to attempt to play squash. So yeah, so far so good.

Smoked Salmon and Quinoa Cakes

These are so good and so easy and I would recommend that anyone and everyone make them for dinner tonight.

Ingredients:salmon cakes

1 cup of quinoa (uncooked)

8 ounces of smoked salmon or lox

3 eggs

1 cup panko crumbs

1 bunch green onions

fresh dill

sour cream

greens (I prefer arugula or spinach)

oil and balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Cook the quinoa. Let it cool or do what I do and put the pot in the freezer for 5 minutes. While the quinoa is cooling, chop up the salmon and onions into small pieces. Mix the quinoa, salmon, eggs, panko crumbs, onions and dill in a large bowl. Make little (or big) cakes and fry them on med-high heat. And done! I like to serve them on a bed of greens with oil and vinegar dressing and a dollop of sour cream.

Enjoy!

One More….

I’m fantastic at speaking too soon. I just knew that the second I posted my favourite albums of 2013, I would remember the one I forgot. I was right. The album I forgot was Phosphorescent’s beautiful Muchacho. Not only was it in my top 10, it was probably in my top 3. Have a listen.

What other albums did I leave out on my best of 2013 list?