The best thing to happen in my little corner of the world during this universally shitty year is that, through luck and friendship, I’ve found myself living in a light-filled apartment, and right now the sun is rising and the whole room’s gone golden bright.

I’ve been thinking about ritual — about little pleasant daily rituals, about more introspective lunar rituals, about (when we’re allowed to gather again) seasonal community rituals (celebrations, holidays, shared meals). Particularly when it comes to the little daily ones: there’s something inherently more appealing to me about this concept of crafting rituals than in the attempts at “building good habits,” “creating structure in a workday,” that kind of popular dialogue (especially at this time of year) about self-betterment. Even if they boil down to the same actions in practice. (Or in praxis. That’s a new word for me. Does it mean something distinct from practice? More of customs/practices than, say, practicing the clarinet?)

But I suppose the difference lies in intent: am I optimizing myself as if I’m a machine, a cog in the capitalist engine? (Listen, who knows if there are cogs in engines? Many, many people who are not me.) Or am I creating containers (a term I’ve heard from Chani Nicholas, from Shawn Hitchins that I’m trying out) that suit me and allow for flow, play, dilly-dallying, comfort, progress? It feels like that’s a crucial, foundational difference.

In the meantime, in between time, I’m trying on the ‘write in the morning’ thing. Coffee, a spot that is not my normal work-for-money spot, and I write. Write what? At this point, I don’t know and I’m trying not to care. A rambling journal entry, a rambling blog post. The point is the praxis/practice. Trying it on, does it fit?, tinker and tailor. (No soldier, no spy.)

Full moon tonight, and in its home in Cancer, which happens to be where the moon was when I was born. Yes, I am astrologically bragging; I am also a Leo sun. Point being (besides my auspicious moon), look up tonight.


I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy (a. lot.) and as a human woman who used to blog about basically every episode of television that I ever watched, it sometimes feels so weird to me that I just don’t anymore. That I just watch, alone, and then that’s it: thoughts, jokes or reactions just disappear into the void. But when I think about doing what I used to do in the early aughts/teens, it seems so so superficial, an epic waste of time, foolish to think that people would care about any dumb shit I have to say about an episode of television that originally aired anywhere from one week to 10 years ago.

But I miss publicly rambling. I ramble in my journal, but I don’t ramble online, and I don’t write-write. (Sometimes I forget that I wrote books. A bunch of them!) I like both. I miss both.

Should I do both? Keep myself in better company while I live alone in this period of enforced isolation? Tell you (hello imaginary reader) about my beloved Grey’s, about the shocking things I discovered in the 17th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, about the clouds outside my delightfully big windows. Flip my why bother, my why would anyone want to read it, my why do I think this is worthwhile to a why the fuck not?

There’s a part in Grey’s, season 12 maybe? (yes, google says s12 ep10), where Meredith is in Widow Grey mode: she tells her work-mandated therapist that she has gotten really good at being alone. Maybe, she comes to realize, she doesn’t want to be anymore. (And she has three kids, and a bustling job, and is teaching an anatomy class. She’s hardly ever alone!) While I sometimes like to fancy myself as Meredith Grey — particularly in the post-Cristina years, she is the character I most often map myself onto — never have I ever felt more Meredith than in that moment.

I have gotten really good at being alone. Maybe I don’t want to be anymore.
So, why not state officially and for the record that I would like to get less good at being alone, or — to be more precise — better at seeking out company, community, companionship, camaraderie. All the Cs. Rejoin the human world. Blog about Grey’s Anatomy.

i watch a lot of tv

hi old friend, old bloggeroo, have I ever been away for so long since you were first born? I dunno, there is no way to find out, because science has been defunded entirely, so it will remain one of life’s mysterious mysteries forever.

me in my totally normal bedroom.
me in my totally normal bedroom.

first let me tell you that Buzzfeed’s which Riverdale character are you quiz has declared me CHERYL BLOSSOM and to say that is my greatest accomplishment of the decade would overstate my other achievements in the past decade. I have just watched the latest episode — Faster Pussycat Kill Kill (how much do we love the episode titles? lots? yes. correct.) — and even though I, Cheryl Blossom, was not in it (for shame), it was a delight. Because Jughead and Betty went on a multi-pronged investigation and also HAD A MOMENT and it was all I need in my life. Just that. Emotional highs and lows and a murder mystery and references to “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Is Riverdale my new favourite show?

My old favourite show, the one I wrote about 200,000 words on, is about to end. Like T minus one episode until The Vampire Diaries is over forever. I’ve been very behind this season, but I feel like I have to watch the finale live, but I ain’t got cable. Who wants to invite me over? (No one, because no one reads this blog. I am literally typing to myself — hey calhoun what is up that fizzy water with lime you’re drinking is pretty tasty but could use an ice cube, i know you know.) I love all the callbacks to the beginning that TVD is dishing out, and the promise of the one and only Katherine Pierce, and the twists in the June wedding episode, and that they had a June wedding! I mean, cmon. It’s too perfect in that inevitable fated well-plotted way. All hail the masterminds of TVD.
SL382606.JPGMaybe it’s weird to mark one’s real, actual life with the cycle of a tv series, but shit it started when I was just publishing my first book, and it was two apartments ago, and so many romances ago hahahha JK JK JK I never date what is my problem. All to say, feels like an end of an era for me, even though I haven’t been writing about the show in a couple of seasons. Met some good eggs through the TVD fandom, and learned so much from all the clever badasses we interviewed for the LYTD books — top of the list there, Ms. Julie Plec. So generous with her time, when she is the busiest human that ever lived.

Aw, Little Me back in Mystic Falls, all dark and with bangs. Have a few weeks before getting my hair gussied up again, but I’m feeling like making a SYMBOLIC CHANGE. Should I go back that dark and bangy way? Hmmm.

I should be working this afternoon, because I am behind on a deadline, but guess what I don’t think I’m gonna. I think I’m gonna read my Murder She Wrote novelization which is incredibly boring but somehow very very calming (will Jessica Fletcher host the perfect Thanksgiving and solve the mystery of the strange notes she’s been receiving in the post? Yes, yes she will, because goddamn it she is Jessica Fletcher and the only thing she can’t do is drive a car).

And maybe eat some pizza for dinner because that is how I live my life.

For my luncheon, I made Chrissy Teigen (who is my new celebrity crush) (I know I am late on Chrissy Teigen but at least I have her in my life now) ‘s fish tacos from her excellent cookbook Cravings, and they were delicious and spicy — the H in Chrissy is for HOT, and I am talking about chilli peppers not supermodel sexiness but also that; in all ways, she takes the H, and this Crissy does not require the H. At any rate, since I was so industrious for one meal, it’s important to cancel that out with cheesy overpriced pizza. Balance of the universe, et cetera.

type type type. ending this ramble now, but I feel like I may be back soon.

hold on to your hats.

skeleton me

months months months since I have written anything here, or anything anywhere it feels like (though it is not entirely true).

Of late, I’ve been reading lotsa books by clever often funny ladies writing about their lives…

  1. You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
  2. Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
  3. Shrill by Lindy West*
  4. Sex Object by Jessica Valenti
  5. My Life on the Road by Jessica Steinem

I am less clever and not as funny but I am a LADY and why don’t I write about my life? I have a passing fancy to use this space as a kind of memory catalogue. Capture the stuff before my addled brain drops more memories.

I’ve started using my Overpriced But Fucking Gorgeous Rifle dayplanner as a kind of insta-journal with tiny notes about days and drawings of grey clouds raining when weeks are terrrrrible (and by terrible I mean stressful or frustrating — not actual human suffering level terrible). I like the practice; I feel like at the end of the year I’ll actually have some record to look back on and be like, Oh yeah me and Erin did watch 1,000 videos of Kate McKinnon being amazingly hilarious, I should do that again.

*blogging break to watch Solange*

So, so what. Maybe I will start posting here again. Maybe I will get my act together and start doing (some of) the stuff I dream about doing, be it small medium large extra large extra tiny.

Feels like it’s a weird year, a weird time for me — gonna capture it, remember it THOSE ARE TAYLOR SWIFT LYRICS my brain just substituted TS lyrics for original thought. Fuck what critical memory was dumped so I would recall the lyrics to fearless?

Blerk, as my sister says.

*Shrill was my fave of these 5, in case you were like is this list in order of liking? nope.

soft shock

Yeah_Yeah_Yeahs_-_It's_Blitzhi dearies, I forgot about It’s Blitz and oh geez what a delight. on repeat.

my Transformer: More than Meets the Eye program is going A+, and I survived the Go to a Party and Don’t Eat Snacks/Ribs/Cake or Over-Booze It Up challenge, and somehow also managed to stay awake til 2:30 in the a.m. having had only one wee cup of coffee a million hours earlier. And I had the best conversation about professional wrestling I have ever had in all my years of being an ECW editor: truly a delight. All my preconceived notions are being blown to smithereens, or crushed like a raw egg in Karen O’s hand.

Hurrah for that.

I’m working on a Writing Project, which I’m too superstitious/gun-shy/regular shy to talk about yet, but I can just feel myself wanting to run away from it so I’ll never know if I suck or not at this particular exercise. But it’s gotta suck at first. Why would I just start off being a #1 genius? Will keep reminding myself that.

Erin’s cat has been meowing at the wall, like he knows something is going on in there that we don’t know, and the ghost doorbell has been ringing and I don’t know for sure, but I might be in Act 1 of a horror film.

soup is just an evening smoothie

Heben, we made it! It is officially Day 3 and I made it thru the two days of light fasting, and am now drinking a Pumpkin Smoothie, which already feels heartier than the smoothies of yesterday. Bless, bless. (As they say in Iceland.)

Can’t tell you how excited I am to eat nuts and chicken today.

So fucking excited.

And I get a cup of coffee.

Nothing like deprivation to make normal things seem like the biggest treats in the universe. Geez.

how many vegetables can you eat in 1 day

I made it through day 1! yes, I did leave work early so I could nap away my caffeine headache and general light-headedness, but goddamn it here I am. Alive and full of vegetables.

Day started with a cayenne lemon water situation that I quite enjoyed; smoothie was okayyyy, but I’m not used to protein powder, so it was a little powdery in consistency and there’s stevia in it, which….I will get used to?? Anywho: that was the big meal, then vegetables and an apple for the rest of the day. I was surprisingly not that hungry, which is a good indicator that I was eating way more food than I needed when I was in charge of what to eat and how much. That said, I am so looking forward to eating chicken salad for lunch on Wednesday, I can’t even tell you.

I wanted to skip doing the yin yoga video this eve, but I did not, I did it and it was hard but also relaxing and great and high fives me for doing a thing.

My brain is a little dull and achy, but my mood is chipper and I’m feeling pretty proud of me for doing 1 of 28 days as instructed. And hopefully getting thru today will make getting thru tomorrow easier, cuz I know it’s legit possible for this human to survive light fasting, which is not even that light comparatively speaking.

Shout-out to Laura who had my back when my boss happened to bring my #1 favourite pie into the office for all to eat: “She can’t eat it, Jack!” Didn’t even smell it, or creepily watch anyone else eating it.

okay, nightie night!



At Laura’s request: I am back to the blogging! (At least for right this second.)

I’m one sleep away from embarking on a 28 Day Transformation challenge (I hope I transform into a unicorn or cheetah), and although there is a private Facebook group for questions and venting and all that good stuff, I just might post here too about what is happening and what is effing hard.

Here’s what I think will be effing hard: two days of “light fasting.” I have never light-fasted in my life, save for when I am asleep. I keep reminding myself that I will not be Actually Fasting, that millions of people fast routinely and they don’t drop dead at their desks, and that I have a lot a lot a lot of stored-up energy in my fatty fat deposits ready for consuming. But, also, no coffee for those first two days.

It’ll be fine, right? It’ll be fine.

It will be more than fine because I am super duper sick of gaining weight and never exercising and feeling lousy. So, challenge accepted. Let’s turn this tanker around. (I say that not to be disparaging about my size; just it takes a lot of effort to turn an ocean-traversing vessel to a new direction. I am that ship. Okay, a little disparaging about my weight gainage.)

Wish me luck.

Grandma Ottawa

1966, Innsbruck in the Austrian Alps, photo taken by my grandpa
1966, Innsbruck in the Austrian Alps, photos taken by my grandpa

When I was a wee little kidlet, I was convinced that my grandmother was actually the queen of England and it was a secret I had to keep (along with the non-existence of Santa and God). The evidence…

  1. My grandmother’s name was Elizabeth; ditto, the Queen’s.
  2. She lived in Ottawa, which is the capital of Canada, and heads of state live in capitals.
  3. She is British, born, bred, accent and all.
  4. She was ballpark the same age.
  5. Her birthday is on Victoria Day weekend, aka the time we celebrate the Queen’s birthday (though why we celebrate an old queen’s and not the present queen’s birthday I still haven’t sorted out).
  6. It was ‘fancy’ at my grandmother’s house & you had to use your knife and fork properly & be as polite as possible.
  7. She corrected you on your grammar (and to this day I strike out the “of” from “off of,” despite it now being commonplace to add the totally unnecessary preposition).

Undeniably she was the Queen of England!

1966, in Gatineau
1966, in Gatineau

In addition to her secret status as monarch, she was a schoolteacher who worked with deaf children, she read magazines in French to keep up her language skills, she learned to speak Polish (my grandpa was Polish) and participated in the Catholic church activities (despite her lack of religiousity, and his), she painted and sunbathed and was stylish and could be incredibly silly when the mood struck her. When she was a little girl in England, she rode a horse called Ginger. It doesn’t get much better than that. There are mannerisms of hers that I see my mother do, that I catch myself doing.

My mum & grandma, being rad.
My mum & grandma, being rad.

She was very, very old when she died last year, and her life had become not much of a life at all — her wits and wit long gone. So, for me, it felt like more of a relief than a loss when she died. But, as it turns out, grief comes whenever it pleases — months and months later, on what would have been her 95th birthday. She was my last living grandparent. She was a force.

microphone check micro-microphone check

um, hi. I stopped doing all the things I wanted to be doing for a good six weeks, two and a half months. but I’m fixing to get back into it.

Went to the nutritionist on Monday. She reminded me to prepare for the lazy days or the busy days when I’m feeling best and able (freeze burger patties! eat ’em instead of frozen pizzas on the can’t be bothered dinner days); to celebrate my successes (I do not buy flavoured yogurt anymore — goodbye bonus sugar!); and to always eat an afternoon snack so I am not so desperate for dinner. I love snacks!!

So that was a pep-up.

I also did a goodly amount of walking and swimming while on vacation and remembered how great that is, and now the weather is inching towards nice and the sun is sometimes out and goddamn winter, get gone with you.

so, Spring, hope, pep getting into step again, words being typed into this here blogging window, etc.