On taking risks.

Okay, so I’m not a big risk-taker. I guess, in retrospect, I have taken some leaps of faith, like deciding to go back to school full-time to get my MBA. In the midst of a massive global recession, no less. Okay, well, the market didn’t actually tank until my third week or so of classes, so really, it wasn’t that risky when I went in. But still. Still.

There are, however, some smallish risks (risklets?) that I take on a daily basis:

  • Despite knowing better, I continue to use Q-tips to clean my ear canals. 
  • I cut veggies (or fish, or anything requiring cutting) like a madwoman. Or so I’ve been told. Generally by people who have cut themselves seriously.
  • I use Groupons for haircuts, much to Adam’s chagrin. Those of you who know me understand the risk in this. Those of you who don’t can eagerly await a blog post on this very topic.
  • I wear yoga tights for pants. I guess that’s not so much risky business, but I am risking judgment from strangers. Or some acquaintances.
  • I jaywalk. I’ll even jaywalk in front of police, though only if I think I can disappear into the crowds before they catch me. It’s more of a calculated risk, this one.
  • I don’t always rewash my pre-washed veggies. Especially the greens. You know, the ones that say they’ve been washed nine trillion times? Or at least three times.

I know, I know: I’m INSANE. I’m practically a maverick. What do I think I am? Invincible? Well, maybe. Just a little bit.

However, just this very evening, whilst cutting (unsafely, of course) some veggies for a salad, I shook out some spinach from the bag. I even thought to myself, out loud, so I could use quotes when I blogged about it later, “I should totally wash these.”

As I put one in my mouth, I thought, “Meh, what are the odds of actually getting ecoli on my spinach?” Probably pretty high, based on some recent news, but that’s beside the point. I don’t even know what Cryptosporidium is, but it sounds pretty (I’m sure it isn’t).

In the face of this menacing peril, I laughed, because that’s what mavericks do when they take risks, grabbed a leaf, popped it in my mouth and began to munch it. This is about when I noticed something in the bag of aforementioned spinach. Upon closer inspection (said spinach is still being chewed in my mouth), I discover that “something” is, in fact, a beetle of some sort.

And then I died.

Okay, I maybe didn’t die or even faint. I did, however, spit all the spinach out of my mouth into the sink, along with the beetle, which went down the drain. I may have run the garburator. What? WHAT?! DON’T JUDGE ME FOR KILLING THE BEETLE. IT SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN IN MY SALAD TO BEGIN WITH. I don’t like bugs, though more specifically I don’t like bugs with eight or more legs. When they’re in my food, I don’t like any of them.

And no, I am most definitely not reassured that the beetle would’ve at least been clean, on account of his being washed at least three times, according to the marketing on the bag.

I’ve been all twitchy ever since. I keep thinking it’s on me. Or it’s called all it’s friends and they sneaking in under the doors.

I don’t have a picture for this post. No, I did NOT take a photo of the beetle. I’m okay with that.

Is it so much to ask for, really?

I know I’m fortunate. I live in a beautiful country. I was born to privilege compared to many around this planet. I’ve never had to wonder if my water was safe to drink, or if I would be able to get an education. I’ve always had enough food and a warm bed to sleep in at night. I’ve had more than enough, though I am aware I have often wished for more.

It’s the human condition, right?

I try to be thankful. I try to cultivate my gratitude. I try to be generous and loving. I try to help others. I try to spread joy and promote peace.

So, is it too much to ask that my pets get along? I mean, really, you guys. These animals? They’re not friends. They are not buddies. Some of them (ahem, Maui—don’t even try to look like you don’t know who I’m talking about) aren’t even civil.

All I’ve ever wanted is for pets that would snuggle up and be all cosy together. Okay, that’s a lie—I’ve wanted for much more than that, including, but not limited to: shoes, travel, unicorns (if they’re not real, then how do we know what they look like? Answer me that, Smarty Pants! I know—my logic is flawless.), magic (wardrobes, wands, wizards, etc), the ability to fly and more shoes. And shoes.

But still. I mean, if I was a furry creature, I would want nothing more than to snuggle up on another furry creature. IT WOULD BE THE MOST COMFORTABLE THING EVER. Amiright? Yes, yes I AM correct. I submit that it would be even more comfortable than leaping onto a freshly laundered and-still-warm-from-the-dryer pile of bedclothes. And that is saying something, because I have done that and it is truly lovely. Seriously. Try it. You won’t regret it. Chuck a couple of dogs and cats in there, plus perhaps an angora rabbit (though I think perhaps angora is a goat, which might make for a less pleasing snuggle pile. Goats are really grumpy bastards. And they’d wait till you were all comfy and then they’d go and do this just when you’re dozing off.).

Come on. You knew I had to get Goats Yelling Like Humans in here at some point. You knew that.

A coworker showed me a photo of her new corgi—his legs are SO short!—being snuggled by her cat. My cats don’t go near my dog unless it’s to take a swipe at him. He chases them endlessly. Especially Maui, which I think we can all agree is a bad idea. She will cut him. She’s tweaky and temperamental and erratic. She’s not all there. There’s a cost to looking that pretty.

I’ve seen homeless people’s pets behaving with much more appreciation and decorum than my own spoiled pets. Maybe not Grimby. I’m pretty sure he’d snuggle them if he could get near them without losing a bulgy brown eye. And to be honest, I think Hermes would be much friendlier and open to finding brotherhood if his unrequited love hadn’t been squelched like so many forlorn romantics before him.

I don't think she knows he's there...

I don’t think she knows he’s there…

This is pretty much as close as they’ve ever gotten. Best two out of three, I guess.

"He's looking at me right now, isn't he?"

“He’s looking at me right now, isn’t he?”

A placeholder

Gosh, I’ve been gone too long. I promised I’d write every single week and here I’ve gone and missed two. I’m sorry. I’ve wanted to post and thought about you often. I’m not going to justify it with an excuse. I’ll just say I’ve been doing some growing and learning and it hasn’t been particularly graceful (again). But it’s good. It’s perfect. I’m right where I need to be and it’s making me a better Bay. But it’s hard. March is hard this year, all around me.

I need to go to bed—I have a well-being plan I’m following right now, so bedtime is pretty important these days. I’ll write more about that later.

So, I don’t have time to write anything momentous and earth-shakingly awesome tonight (or even ridiculous and trifling). But I do have a new band to add to my list of favourites and to share with you. Thank you Songza and 8Tracks for showing me that I am, in fact, a hipster who adores indie music. My amazing coworker Jill said she knew it all along. I think it’s my shoes…

Passenger. I love it. The melodies, the lead singer’s sweet and funny voice. The lyrics. I was walking to work today when I listened to “All the Little LIghts.” I mean, really listened, and heard, the lyrics. I invite you to listen to it now. Really listen, and hear it.

We’re born with millions of little lights shining in the dark
And they show us the way
One lights up
Every time we feel love in our hearts
One dies when it moves away

What makes your little lights go out? Do you notice? Don’t let them flicker and fail.

Light them up. Light up your world. We can use a little more light.


The Free Way, or, A Canadian Takes the Wheel

The Free Way. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Freedom.* Who doesn’t like things that are free? Really? ‘Cause I sure do!

* Here’s an interesting and little-known factlet (not quite big enough to be a full-blown, grown-up fact): Whenever I type the word “freedom”, I add an “e” to the end. I just did it again, there.

Actually, though, what I’m talking about is the freeway. BECAUSE I DROVE IT YESTERDAY. TWICE. All by myself. Yeah huh. Me. Bay. Baysie. The princess. Her royal highness. I didn’t get lost or anything, either. Turns out it’s not as terrifying as I thought. I mean, sure—I miss my exit and boom: I’m enroute to Mexico, but you know what? I could use a little sun. And heck, I’ve been wanting to revisit SoCal anyway. I’m half tempted to “miss” my exit tonight on my way back to Van and take the I5 south by “accident”.

I mean, fuck it, right? What would Frodo have done? Bilbo? THEY WOULD’VE GONE SOUTH. Granted, they would also have been accompanied by dwarves, elves and a wizard.  As well as some huge dudes who were highly skilled in the ways of dispatching wrong-doers, which would surely be of great use, if not just great comfort, should I get lost on the tough streets of Compton. Or Astoria. You never know. Remember the Goonies? There could be robbers and pirate ships (I hope there are robbers and pirate ships, otherwise this Grand Adventure is a lot like a road trip).

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, on the interstate. Gripping the steering wheel like I was trying to strangle a salmon. I was a little worried about all the exits, since in the US, I’ve noticed that they like to sign the exits about 30 metres past them. How exciting. I was changing lanes like a pro, mostly because I was terrified of accidentally finding myself in an exit to Abu Dhabi (who knows where those express tubes go?). I was very Canadian about it, waving at everyone, ducking my head and saying, “Sorry, sorry: I’m Canadian,” with a very sheepish smile. As we Canucks are wont to do, eh?

You would not want to learn to drive a standard in Seattle. The streets are really steep. I mean it, guys. You want to have a magic touch with your clutch. You also want there to not be a Porsche behind you. To help you understand, I’ve created this graphic so you can see what I’m talking about:


This genuine photograph is 100% accurate.

This genuine photograph is 100% accurate.

And the street parking? Well. What can I say about it? They’re just car seats, right? You can get them detailed and that nervous-urine smell can be cleaned right out.


You can't tell, but you're parallel parking between an Escalade and a Maserati.

You can’t tell, but you’re parallel parking between an Escalade and a Maserati.

So, in closing, I will say I’m very proud of myself. I’m an all-star. I didn’t pee in fear once (I made sure to go before I left the restaurant, because I was nervous and figured if I got lost, the need to pee would only make my predicament more frazzled). Yay for not losing bladder control!

Lastly, I’m in the same Starbucks as last time I posted from here. And you know what? Chatty Keith is here again! And so is the beardy guy who’s intently taking over the world (or playing Mario Kart). They must be regulars. And for me to recognize that, I guess that means I am, too. YAY I’M PART OF THE TEAM. WE ARE A TEAM!

Sort of.

P.S. I didn’t lose my shit yet this weekend. Amazing. And relieving.