Getting older is kind of awesome.

So, you know that quote:

growing olderYeah, that’s the one. Adam and I just got back from Urbanite, which was awesome. Now that I work from home, I know that finding events that get me out of the house are really important. And, yes, it’s distinctly possible I showered and got ready for this event approximately 30 minutes prior to showing up (it’s a work in process, this new life). Partly that’s because I really thought I was going to yoga, so I decided to hold off on my post-run shower. Yoga never happened, at least not beyond two sun salutations A.

Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. What is super cool, however, is how many amazing people we know and the fact that they were largely represented at Urbanite (you should come). What an amazing opportunity to connect with people I love and admire, especially two weeks after leaving my job.

On another note, I had three beverages and am, for the most part, what one might describe as “under the table”. Now, I’ve never been a big drinker (I’m all talk—I’m from Nova Scotia after all, so I feel the need to represent), but three? At least now in my adult maturity, only my legs get drunk.*

So here I am, blogging (while somewhat impressed at my ability to spell under the influence) and ordering pizza, because some things never go out of style.

You stay classy, Victoria. I’ll endeavour to do the same.

I frigging love my life.

xo Bay

* My legs are not the only part of me that are drunk. All the other parts, including and especially my brain, are affected by as little as two-thirds of a single adult beverage.

 

Oh Fall!

And this is another example of my idea of a perfect day and what I love about autumn, all rolled into one gorgeous photo:

perfect day

Wouldn’t I love to be doing this today! Followed up by some hot chocolate by the fire. Okay, I may be jumping the gun a little, seeing’s how it was close to thirty degrees last week, but still. Still. You guys: woodsmoke, pumpkin-spice and the smell of fall in the air. It’s The Best.

What do you love about fall?

Just go.

My niece Emily is currently in London, having an awesome adventure with a friend as they travel about the UK and Europe for the next couple of months. She’s such a courageous, fun, witty and intelligent girl. I’m immensely proud of her for stepping outside her comfort zone, where she has discovered, literally, the world is waiting for her, full of beauty and thrill, amazing wonderful sights and people.

adventurers

I’m so happy for her for taking this trip, all the more so because I never did pack up my backpack and travel about when I was younger. I still could, I know, but there’s something to be said for hitting the road before you need to think about details like rent, or a mortgage. Or before accruing a hefty amount of student loan debt.

My best friend Jen (from Nova Scotia) called me up one day, many years ago, to say she was packed up and taking off for a summer abroad. I was surprised; I didn’t know she was planning to live/work/travel about the UK and Europe between semesters. I got off the phone and told my mom about Jen’s plans, wondering if mom had known about the pending adventure. She hadn’t.

“Call her back right now.” Mom looked at me squarely. “Tell her you’ll meet her there. Take your savings and just go.”

Just go.

justgo

Oh god, but I wanted to. I’d been craving this adventure since middle school. I’d even deferred my university acceptance and scholarships for a full year to make it happen. My plans had been to work for a few months, then head out and see the world. Have some adventure. See things much bigger than myself.

Then, I met a boy (we all know how that goes) and I put aside my dreams while I was falling in love. I got accepted to attend a performing arts college (I’d auditioned on a whim), so I stayed put. I graduated from the performing arts college and slid effortlessly into my deferred scholarships and first-year university courses. I had part-time jobs to pay my tuition, because I wanted to avoid student loans.

A few years later, I met another boy and we fell in love. We graduated, bought our first home and got married. We both went back to school again, me for an MBA, he for a law degree (and, as you know, training to become an amazing and inspiring leadership coach, while still in law school, because law school is not enough to take on, right?).

I went on other trips and they were amazing: Hawaii, California, Bali and Hong Kong, Brazil and Florida. I beheld spectacular sights and experienced amazing people and cultures.

But my walkabout? I didn’t go. My backpack (which I’d bought) was used for school and then abandoned for a more practical school bag. It was made to hold adventure and dirty clothes, not my textbooks. I chickened out. I had tuition to save and I didn’t know the friend Jen was traveling with; I didn’t want to crash their plans and be a third wheel. Basically, I came up with a load of very reasonable reasons to explain why I simply couldn’t just drop everything and head out. That’s the thing about reasons: They’re very reasonable. That’s their thing. Here’s the dirty little secret your reasonable reasons are hiding: It’s just fear.

Some day I’ll go off and wander with a new backpack. It’ll be different, because that’s what happens. It won’t be worse or better. It’ll be as it is, and that is perfect.

Last year, our trip to France came about from a joking status conversation on Facebook—33 days later, we were in Paris, with our best friends. Seeing the Eiffel Tower had been a dream of mine for roughly ever. It was the most amazing trip of my life.

It was just the beginning. It just gets better, if you allow it. Each and every moment. Look backward with appreciation, not with longing. Regret only lives with you if you invite it in.

Pack it up. Don’t pack it in. Don’t let go of your dreams, but know that, over time, they will change. As will you. Be gentle with yourself and don’t compare what is to what might have been. What might have been is a myth.

jack_dreams

The following is from an article in the New Yorker called The Impossible Decision. This excerpt really struck a chord with me; how about you?

You can guess what these things will be like; you can ask people; you can draw up lists of pros and cons; but, at the end of the day, “without having the experience itself” you “cannot even have an approximate idea as to what it is like to have that experience.” That’s because you won’t just be having the experience; the experience will be changing you. On the other side, you will be a different kind of person. Making such a decision, you will always be uninformed.

Do you have regrets? What’s something you wish you could change? And what will you do to make it happen now?

How I know I have great taste.

Know how I know I have great taste? Because every time I go to pin some great outfit/look/style/hairstyle/item of clothing/cute animal on Pinterest, and it pops up with, Psst! Looks like you already pinned this,” I’m all like, “Yeah I did. Of course I already pinned it. I have such great taste.” Look at me, finding affirmations all over the place!

What I was going to do this weekend was take a photo of my shoes. Well, one of the things, anyway, was to write a blog about shoes. A topic, as we all know, that is very near and dear to my heart. In order to do so authentically, though, I felt like I need to take a picture of the shoe collection, which means I’d need to take them out of the closet(s). Obviously, in order to do that, I’d need Adam to not be here.

A birthday card from my aunt, uncle and family. I wonder if I need an intervention. What shoes would I wear to it...

A birthday card from my aunt, uncle and family. I wonder if I need an intervention. What shoes does one wear to an intervention…

I mean, it’s not like I’m hiding shoes, you guys, but I do have a lot of shoes and it very closely borders on what one might describe as having “a problem.” Adam is very much aware of this, but there’s no need to put it all over the living room floor loudspeaker. So, my plan was to do it this weekend, but then I got all busy HAVING WAY TOO MUCH FUN. This resulted in nary a posting by me. You probably noticed. Or maybe you didn’t. I don’t sit and stare desperately at my blog stats from which I determine my worth as a writer know whether or not you wait with bated breath for my next post.

I will do it, though. I could also do it with makeup. In fact, I will. If I broadcast it, then it’s not a dirty little secret, right? Nothing to hide = No problem. I saw a friend’s photo of her lipgloss collection and it was way worse than mine. Granted, she used to work for MAC and is a makeup artist, so as far as excuses go, she’s way up on me, but still. STILL, IT’S FINE. I’M FINE. I JUST LIKE THE PRETTY PRETTY COLOURS OKAY?

Moving on.

i love autumn

It is decidedly fall-y outside. No prob for me, since I’m all “I LOVE FALL—FALL IS FAVOURITE.” I actually like “autumn” better than “fall”, because it is a pretty word, but hey, they both refer to a season of pumpkin-spiced EVERYTHING, so it’s all good. Speaking of pumpkin spice, I know I’m not the only one who counts the first day of fall not on the equinox, but this way, instead:

firstdayoffall

That being said, it didn’t seem too autumn-y yesterday morning when I did swim across Shawnigan Lake, with my friend Gillian and her friend Mary. Gillian’s dad simultaneously kept speedboats and water-skiers from running us over and kept reminding us that if we reduced our conversation, we might actually reach the other side before next week. It was a valid point.

It was lovely and gorgeous and a perfect thing to do on a Sunday morning towards the end of summer. So was the BBQ afterwards (Gillian’s parents are da bomb!). 😉 And so will these be, whenever they show up:

starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latte

Wearin’ Mah Princess Pants

I have a dirty little secret, apparently. Or maybe it’s a pretty one. Who knows. All I know is that somewhere along the way, it has become wrong to like Disney princesses, or so I’ve been (repeatedly) told.

Oh yes, I’m on a soapbox. And, oh yes, this soap may smell a little bit pretty.

What’s wrong with a little princess (pun intended)?

Everywhere I look, there’s some article or person telling me that liking Disney princesses further solidifies the objectification of women and our shocking adherence to culturally specific (or non-specific) ideals of beauty. I’ve read that little girls have become negatively impacted by these idealized and impossible to attain concepts of beauty.

The debate rages with some fairly aggressive opinions, as though Disney is a reaper of souls, hell-bent on collecting little girls’ impressionable young minds like the witch in Hansel & Gretel’s gingerbread house collects children for dinner.

Good grief. I like Disney princesses because they are fairytales. Movies and stories I grew up with. They’re familiar and nostalgic and what? I LIKE FAIRYTALES OKAY? LET ME LIKE MY STORIES. GEEZ-AAAAH!

And Disney didn’t make them up (well, not all of them): The Brothers Grimm did (well, some of them). And, just for the record, while I have heard people complain that Disney took all the reality out in the same breath as complaining that the heroes and heroines are too attractive, I will assert that people would have a lot more to complain about if their precious Jennys and Johnnys were aghast at images of Cinderella’s stepsisters looking “more normal” while they CUT OFF THEIR TOES AND HEELS, SHOVING THEIR LITERALLY BLOODY FEET INTO THE GLASS SLIPPER TO FOOL THE PRINCE. Yep, I went there.

It’s a bit confusing to me. I mean, I grew up with these movies and fairytales, which I read in books (the scary originals—egad!). I lived in the ballet world, which is culture, right? So this Sleeping Beauty is okay, but this one isn’t? Guess which one messed with my body image and positive self concept (hint: It isn’t Disney). These movies were interpretations of stories. I don’t roam through my life wondering why I’m not actually a royal (well, maybe I do, but that didn’t start with Disney). Sure, I also wish I could fly, but I’m not in therapy because I’m angry at Peter Pan.

I mean, seriously. Do we honestly have so little to worry about these days that we are now attacking fictional characters? Because, here’s the thing: These are make-believe people. It is very clear to me that they are cartoons. Somebody DREW them. With a pen. I liked to watch these movies when I was little (okay, I watch them now), but I didn’t expect my pets to start conversing with me (at least not in English) and, unless I’m here and I’m wearing mouse ears, I don’t walk down streets expecting to see this:

beautywalks

Two points:

  1. I have noticed that increasingly, we worry that TV, movies and video games are causing people to distort their reality.Just for the record, billions of people have watched cartoons, movies and played video games without misunderstanding that what happened on that screen in front of them was, in fact, The Real World.
  2. While people insist that people are being swayed by the fictional images they see, we are ignoring the fact that we are all responsible for our actions, and when we are children, it is OUR PARENTS/TEACHERS/COMMUNITY, not Disney, who we should be depending on to teach our children real-time, real-life values.

    Maybe if we stopped pointing the finger and blaming others for not doing what we should be taking on and took some responsibility, we wouldn’t let so much rest on screen-based entertainment and we could just let kids enjoy them. Gasp.

The cartoons, movies and video games are ENTERTAINMENT, not babysitters or teachers, though I do think we can learn from them, too. I also think we get to choose how we react (much like with the Dove commercial) and I guess I tend to go with the positive, instead of actively seeking out more crap to be upset about (call me simple; I call me happy). Those people can feel free to keep picking something to be unhappy about, but I’ll go with this:

disney

I can’t help but think that perhaps there are bigger issues with which we could wrestle. Like, oh, I don’t know, WORLD HUNGER/INEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD AND WEALTH, FIGHTING IN THE NAME OF RELIGION, LACK OF MEDICAL ACCESS (after all, we can thank greed for the fact that TB is now back with a vengeance)… You know, just to name a few.

But no: We’re going to take down some colourful cartoon characters, who are, ahem, MAKE BELIEVE. Like Ewoks (no one says I can’t like an Ewok, but they’re not realistic, either. Just sayin’…).

And honestly, I can’t help but sniff out a little bit of hypocrisy: Are those that tell me I’m obliviously ascribing to what society tells me is beautiful really telling me I am wrong for liking them? Oh, tell me more about what I should like instead. So, I can only like what they say is beautiful, as opposed to what other “theys” say? I’M SO CONFUSED: WHOSE DEFINITION OF BEAUTY AM I MEANT TO BELIEVE? Oh, right: Mine. I can also find different things attractive (in case you thought I only find beauty in Disney characters).

What of these angry (annoyed? frustrated?) people who dislike Disney princesses for perpetuating stereotypical concepts (made by, um, us): Do they dislike real-life people who fit that same mold? Are typically attractive people bad for our children’s impressionable young minds? Are they nothing more than their looks? Wouldn’t that be a negative and narrow-minded way to interact with people. How shallow. You see what I’m doing here, right?

Do I think Disney princesses are pretty? Yes. Do I feel miserable because I don’t look like Cinderella? No. Though, I do like her shoes (more to come on that, my friends. I know you can’t hardly wait.). And I wish all animals were my BFFs, like Snow White’s. And sure, maybe my hair would be more organized if a bunch of little birds styled it.

Besides all that, I kind of think each of those princesses embodied some pretty cool traits: Loyalty, Honesty, Optimism, Bravery. I could go on. And don’t get me started on Merida’s makeover and the controversy over how she looks (SHE’S A DRAWING, PEOPLE—RELAX).

You know why cartoonists draw sexy or attractive characters (they do it for the males, too, by the way)? BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT WE, AS CONSUMERS, WANT. It’s a two-way street. We get what we ask for, like so much else in life.

To be honest, all the people I know (girls/women specifically) who really love Disney or did when they were younger, are pretty impressive women. They haven’t sat on their tuffets and cried that they needed a knight in shining armour. They’ve gone out and made this world a better place. So did the Disney princesses, in my opinion. They made me happy, too.

So, I’ve decided that I get to choose what I like, regardless of why. How backwards of me. 😉

Thank you, Disney: I love your stuff. Thanks for making make-believe so fun.

princess

 

 

I’m a Centurion!

Okay, that’s not true. I’m not an officer of a long-since disbanded Roman army, maurauding the hilltops of the world as they knew it at the time. But I did just notice that, officially, The View From the Bay has reached one hundred (100!) posts and I feel like this is kind of a big deal.

Seeing as how I am the author of this blog, I feel a bit like I have commanded a regiment of one hundred rowdy rabblerousers over the years. After all, some of my posts have seemed to take on a life of their own, refusing to pay attention or follow my orders. They don’t always straighten up and fly right, you know.

One hundred. Wow. Time flies when you’re writing for fun! Thanks for reading!

I feel like I should celebrate. Nothing too fancy, of course. Maybe just a cake. This will do nicely:

If not to celebrate 100 posts, then when, I ask you, WHEN?

If not to celebrate 100 posts, then when, I ask you, WHEN?

 

Magnumbo, She Wrote.

I’ve been taking yoga at a different studio as of late, which has been a refreshing change. I love my yoga studio, but they’re offering fewer classes when I need them (and after all, shouldn’t my preferences dictate the schedule?). I do my own Mysore practice at home four days of the week, so I like to get my led Primary Series on on Fridays and Sundays.

Today was my first Sunday led Primary at this new studio (it’s not a new studio—it’s just new to me). It was AWESOME. One of my favourite teachers who I haven’t seen in ages has been teaching there, so it was great to take her class again.

Now, Primary Series is tough. Ashtanga yoga is a particularly physically demanding style of yoga. And, I was sore from ballet class yesterday, so it was a little extra effort. This is what happens when you only pull on tights and plié every other month: just enough time in between to make it really hurt. Apparently I beat myself up emotionally and physically. I’m a big jerk.

The real point of this little vignette is that upon leaving class, I am, as they say, STARVING TO DEATH. That may be a little bit of hyperbole (is that an oxymoron? I think it is…). I have been known to embellish my tales from time to time. I was pretty hungry, though, because Ashtanga is practiced on an empty stomach. So, it was 11 am, I hadn’t eaten breakfast and I’d worked pretty hard in Primary.

Where does this leave us? It leaves us coming out from the studio in Market Square, directly above Wannawafel, where the fragrant and intoxicating aroma of waffles drifts upwards on its way to heaven and my nostrils. Do you know what waffles smell like? THEY SMELL LIKE HEAVEN AND VANILLA COVERED IN SYRUP AND WHIPPING CREAM WITH STRAWBERRIES. THEY SMELL LIKE DELICIOUS LOVE AND SEX AND EVERY SINGLE THING DESIRABLE ON THIS BLUE PLANET. Okay, I don’t actually think waffles smell sexy, but they do smell  pretty damn attractive to me. Maybe I do. Maybe I find waffles sexy. It’s impossible to say for sure (I’m pretty sure).

I didn’t get a waffle. But here I am, over 12 hours later, writing about them. That’s the power of waffles. WAFFLE POWER.

Oh hello. Some people tell me I look like Tom Selleck.

Oh hello. Some people tell me I look like Tom Selleck.

So, Netflix is pretty much the best thing ever. Not in terms of my time management, but in terms of my entertainment, it is a success. I am currently writing this while I should be going to bed, so there you have it. I’m too successfully entertained to manage my time. Well played, Netflix. Well played.

I love that I can watch entire seasons of a show with a single case of strep throat. Or a single case of laziness. Whichever the case might be (it is most often the latter). Some of the shows that have fallen prey to my inability to pace myself are: Merlin, Once Upon a Time, Bones and Dark Shadows. I’m pretty sure there are more, but now I’m distracted by Dark Shadows: Can you believe that storyline has been reduxed three times? It must be financed by Revlon or some other cosmetic company with an excess of smokey eyeshadow. So cheesy. And yet, I couldn’t look away.

What I really love is that you can watch every episode of ye olde favourites like Columbo, Murder She Wrote and Magnum P.I. I love them. They don’t make shows like this anymore. There’s so much facial hair, blue eyeshadow and shoulder pads. And so much ACTING. ACTING amongst the incredibly busy prop design. I suppose you had to act very much to overcome the details of the sets. I haven’t even mentioned the orchestra scores. There’s a lot of sounds (most noticeably the piccolo so you know when things get dire), accompanied by a lot of background noise and, blessedly, no laugh tracks at all. I wonder if I can watch MacGyver on Netflix… (just for the record, Adam and I already have all these shows and watch them regularly. It’s okay to be jealous. We’re very trendy.)

OMIGOSH, this episode of of Murder She Wrote has a guy whose pants go up to his nipples. At least to his nipples. I don’t know if people wore their nipples in the same place way back then (I’m kidding: I know nipples don’t move). It does NOT look good. Especially because they are cream riding pants <<read: they are fitted>>. Wow, and this lady’s pants go up extremely high, as well. This is clearly a thing, these pants going all the way up there.

The clothes in these shows are amazing. Magnum P.I. wore very tight short shorts. Actually, I don’t really know that for sure. I’m basing that purely on speculation. The last time I watched that show was probably during the original airing (holy crap I’m old). But seriously, I can’t remember what I ate for dinner yesterday: I can hardly be trusted with wardrobe recollection from a million years ago.

Also, my mom loved Tom Selleck and I used to think he’d be a cool stepdad. I still sort of do, actually: I could’ve been in movies. Or at least television (how I’m not in Glee or Once Upon a Time, I’ll never know). All you need is a famous parent. DON’T EVEN TELL ME I’M WRONG BECAUSE I’M NOT WRONG ON THIS ONE. Lily Collins. Liv Tyler. Angelina Jolie. Drew Barrymore. Charlie Sheen (oh jeez. I’m mentioning Charlie Sheen on my blog: He’s gonna be so pissed). Kate Hudson (I want to be her). I mean seriously, you guys: It’s not fair. It’s like junior high all over again, or anywhere I’m not cool enough to be on the list. I’m very cool. Ask Grimby or Adam. They’re not biased.

This isn’t a very intriguing post, but in my defence, I’m tired. Here’s a treat for you. You’re welcome.

Night, y’all.