Oct 6 2012

Reflections on Teaching (the first of many)

Here at OISE (teacher’s college), we’re continually in a state of reflection.  I’m not sure I have ever done so much reflecting as I did this September, which is really saying something, considering that I spend most of my time in my head. Only Johnny Cash spends more time reflecting, but maybe not even him, since he did shoot a man in Reno just to watch him die, and that strikes me as more of an impulsive-on-a-whim sort of personality.

One lesson that I am constantly re-learning is just how lucky I am to be here- not only at OISE, but just to be in the position where I have such a strong foundation that I feel confident in coming back to high school to teach to other people.  Every day I am reminded in so many ways that I am in a rare, privileged minority to have had the excellent educational opportunities, supportive parents and family, and outlets for creative expression I did. I consider it a part of my teaching mission to “pay it forward,” and act as an advocate so that other students access the same opportunities I did. My parents were very involved with their children’s education, and I gleaned from their example the importance of student-parent-teacher dialogue and collaboration.

I didn’t have the most wretched experience one could possibly have in high school, but I was far from popular, and often felt that I was on the outside, looking in. Regardless of one’s position on the popularity totem pole, I think adolescence is a time of profound alienation and shedding identities like a snake sheds its skin, as we all struggle to find belonging and carve a place in the world for ourselves. One of the key tenets of my teaching philosophy is that creating a safe. supportive learning environment is essential for students feeling comfortable enough to express themselves and contribute to class discussions. That my students treat each other with kindness is just as important to me as the acquisition of specific skills or knowledge. This understanding of the urgency of kindness will reinforce that they do have an obligation to the world, and that that code of kindness and respect will linger on long after the semester ends.

I like teenagers a lot, and I find that they get a bad rap sometimes. Older adults forget how energizing and anxiety-inducing it is to wake up in the morning and find that the world has changed, every single day.  That’s what being a teenager is like, I think.  That’s how it was for me. It’s a daunting thing to have to begin anew, every single day. I have always found that teenagers’ potential are consistently underestimated and undervalued by adults. That frustration already adds to the already-difficult situation of being a teenager. High school is already a difficult time (I mean, who entirely trusts anyone who had a blast in high school?!), and I would love to do my small part to remedy that misery.


May 2 2012

Happy May Day! Happy Beltane!

This is why the internet was invented!

Thanks to Whitney Jefferson’s tumblr!

Happy (slightly belated by ten minutes) Beltane/May Day, my little mayflowers! (Not to be confused with the Mayflower, unless you’re a devoted re-enactor who’s bringing the Pilgrims over to Plymouth Rock.)

May (ha!) you all have a festive day heralding in the Spring season!  I felt a little bah humbug-ish today, since I had a distinct lack of floral styling, there was no dancing around a May Day pole in these parts, and I gobbled up every last morsel of my extra-delicious supper, completely forgetting to leave any extras for the fairies.  However, later this evening, as I was walking over to feed calves, I realized that I might have accidentally stepped into an entirely different realm.  A thick mist blanketed everything as far as my eye could see, and little mist-tendrils entangled themselves around my ankles.  All was quiet- a rather eerie sort of quiet, and there was this palpable feeling of anticipation.  My usually straight-forward chores had a certain sense of enchantment, and I think I have the magic of May to thank for that.

To find out more about the ancient Celtic holiday of Beltane, clickety-click over here.

No Beltane playlist is complete without the Canadian-Celtic songstress Loreena McKennitt.  Get chills- CHILLS!- when you listen to her Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance over here.

 

Much love and magic,

Kylie

 


Mar 25 2012

Welcome, Spring Equinox!

Miniature Horse filly with some spring fever

Required viewing for everyone!

Happy, Happy March, everyone! It’s an auspicious month, with a magical Leap Year beginning.  The cautious beginning of Spring, this month has brought everything from steal-your-soul winds to bizarre mid-Summer temperatures.  Fortunately, the weather has tempered back to a damp, slightly chilly, and earthy degree, so we have all the pomp and circumstance befitting the official-putting-away-of-winter-boots and the jubilant-wearing-of-duck-boots-and-wellies.  (I like to imagine this is all set to Cat Stevens’ “Morning Has Broken,” complete with Spring montages of birds trilling, green shoots unfurling, Canadian geese homeward-bound in “Flying V” formation, Stonehenge, allergies, people sweating profusely in too-warm coats, winter hobbit feet on full display in open-toed shoes, and the bright balls of light that are pale, pale limbs seeing the light of day for the first time in months.)

Not to get all yellow-daffodil-level-cliche here, but I really do feel like Spring is good for the soul, and there’s a certain magical sense of possibility and that something glorious and wonderful is really waiting Just Around the Corner.  While Winter carries her own winsome brand of enchantment, Spring is the season that makes one believe that every wonderful thing about the world exists, and is just around the corner.

Not to mention, Spring is Cadbury Creme Egg season in Canada.  In New Zealand, Cadbury Creme Egg season lasts for three months longer, so I was thoroughly spoiled.  Now, I’ve been reduced to being a scavenger, hunting for her next sickly-sweet sugary treasure.  In case you were labouring under the assumption that I could be the sort of person who buys a mountain of Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs, freezes them, and carefully rations them out, you’re labouring wrong.

 

Do you love Spring, or just like it as a friend?  What are your favourite things about Spring? What sorts of things do you anticipate Spring will bring for you?

 

Much love and did you know there’s such a thing as Cadbury Creme Egg McFlurries?

Kylie

 

 


Jan 26 2012

Surviving Winter With Minimal Suffering

tumblr_lwk8yvyupW1qzx6wko1_500Ahhh…such a great movie!

My dear friends,

Today was a day like any other.  A lot of day-dreaming, a lot of thinking how I could really go for a hot dog right now, a lot of time congratulating myself for drinking green tea, a lot of time wondering what my dog’s favourite song is, and then a lot of time genuinely wondering where the day went.  Except today was not quite a day like any other: I had to book an appointment to get my winter tires balanced and slapped on my car.  (Yes, I am aware that this is January, I live in Canada, and thus have already had to contend with snow for at least a month now).  I looked outside, and saw not-so-special snow flakes piling up so spitefully on my car, and blanketing the rest of the countryside with their treacherous lies of “Oh, there’s no ice over here…You’ll be saaaafe…Just a little bit closer….” and BOOM! Broken hip!  Although most winter guides have already come and gone in November, well, January *is* the month where all the holiday baking runs out, you feel pressured meet some sort of obligatory New Year’s resolution, and Seasonal Affective Disorder is in full, glorious swing.  January is also the month where one comes to the grim realization that maaaaaaaannn, there are at least two months left of this suckitude.  So here are some tried and true words of wisdom from someone who knows this weather all too well:

1) Maybe winter doesn’t have to suck. Like all your mom’s self-help books are quick to remind you, we may not have the ability to control everything that happens to us, but we certainly have the power to control how we respond to them.  Changing our mindset about winter just might allow us to enjoy ourselves, and appreciate the season as one of crucial of restoration.  Instead of seeing winter as something to endure, let’s try to see the positive things winter has to offer.  Look to Canada, Scandinavia, the Northern U.S. and other places who have incorporated winter into their culture, identity and pastimes.  And y’know, while we have to trudge through un-plowed driveways and warm up our cars well in advance, let’s give major props to our wintry ancestors, who wouldn’t really know whether or not they’d survive the winter. It lends an extra urgency to Christmas celebrations, eh?

2) Dress for the weather. Just because you’re wearing a pair of tights as pants, it doesn’t mean that Old Man Winter is going to take notice and crank up the sun.  To paraphrase an old saying from Somewhere Cold, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad preparation for it. If there’s a blizzard outside, don’t put on your Spring trench and ballerina flats.  For the longest time, and to my mom’s dismay, I’d be the idiot who’d wear little sneakers everywhere and spend half of the time assuring my friends that my feet weren’t freezing.  Two years ago, I finally got myself a pair of boots, and they changed my life.  I no longer prance from semi-dry spot to semi-dry spot like a demented deer ballerina.  If you have go-go-gadget arms like me, winter ushers in at least three months of cold wrists.  Step out of that most un-fun rap fame, friends, and get yourself some extra-long mittens to stave off the chill, and keep your eyes open for coats with long sleeves.  It’s a bit of a challenging hunt, but they’re out there, and they’re worth it!

3) Make sure others can dress for the weather, too. Donating your surplus warm clothes and coats to the less fortunate will give you a warm, fuzzy feeling elsewhere: your heart!

4) Try to exercise. Think of those rosy-cheeked snowshoe and ski enthusiasts you see in weekend adverts, forget that they’re models who are likely posing in front of a screen, and head out for some winter fun of your own. Skiing, skating, sledding…endless possibilities to take advantage of!  Plus, if you fast-forward to a dreary, rainy Spring day, you’ll be wishing for an afternoon at the skating rink, followed with hot chocolates (extra chocolate, extra marshmallows).  My former boyfriend got really ambitious last winter, when he was training for a fitness test.  Regardless of the cold, he would run laps outdoors at top speed.  Flush with admiration(while he was flush with wind-burn), I had the oh-so-important task of logging his progress…from my seat on the (indoor) couch.  If you’re cabin-bound, try to do some indoor exercise, like tackling a long-procrastinated project around the house, or spending a few minutes dancing, or head out to the gym with a friend.

5) Comfort food! Comfort food is always the right choice, regardless of the season.  This winter, though, take advantage of the special pleasure of stews, hot soup, dumplings, fancy bread, pierogies, heavy beer, mac and cheese, Korean BBQ, cinnamon rolls, holiday baking, turkey, heavenly mashed potatoes, and every possible combination of sugar and carbs.  Leave those microwave suppers and “salad-for-supper” meals for warmer times, when they might actually be filling.  Winter is time for hibernation!

6) Try to keep your house kind of clean. In wintertime, we have Ab Fab marathons to watch, hot chocolate to drink, and skates to think about lacing up.  We don’t really have the time to be scrubbing mountains of dishes, nor do we have the will to.  A dirty house can put a damper on your spirits, so try to keep your house semi-clean on a regular basis, with the hope that you won’t have to summon massive reserves of energy to spend the weekend cleaning house.  Since we’re indoors more often in winter, our surroundings play an even bigger role in our moods and motivation.

7) Treat yo’ self. Wear your favourite outfits on undeserving days.  Have that second lunch.  Spend the entire day crafting a winter playlist.  Splurge at the grocery store.  Buy yourself flowers.  Top up your savings account.  Put off your chores to write in your journal.  Hot drinks that are heavy on the Bailey’s. Call your friends to hang out, even if you just saw them yesterday.  Buy fancy coffees with flavoured shots, whipped cream, and a high sprinkle quotient.  Take your vitamins. Look at puppies doing cute things on Youtube. Daydream.  Anything you do to cheer yourself up, by all means, do it!

And there we have it! An exploration of our winter patterns, and a pretty formidable list of ways we can make the most of this winter season!  I’m sure you have your own winter survival secrets squirreled away, so share them with us, won’t you?

On to the next round of hot chocolates!

Kylie


Jan 2 2012

Welcome, 2012!!

HPIM0815Little Rabbit, Big Carrot

Happiest of Happy New Years to all of us! I was going to say that 2012 is upon us, but it has already barreled through the door.  Since I like to pretend it’s December 27th for the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve (maximum pyjama-wearing and holiday-baking-eating!), I generally feel a little sluggish and unprepared for the new year.  That might also be because I’ve been eating fudge every single day for the past two weeks.  It’s the candy of candy!

Even though I’m feeling a bit scatterbrained and fretting that my 2012 calendar isn’t up yet, I’ve been mapping out my visions and schemes for 2012 in the midst of the merry whirl of Christmas activities.  I usually hate change, and despair that another year has slipped away so quickly (maybe it’s all the fudge that’s responsible for the dramatics), but I’m ready for 2012.  Frankly, 2011 has kicked me in the teeth- -over and over- -and didn’t even apologize for breaking my retainer. Wow, what a year.  Worldwide, it was a year that we really stood up to the fight, and on an itty-bitty- individual level, I did, too.  Not in a political-economic protest sense, but just in living courageously in the face of some way-harsh-Tai adversities.  This past 2011 shall henceforth be known as The Year of Character.

To be sure, 2011 brought along some life-altering gifts: giddy, joyful reunions with both silver and gold friends, a dazzling and imagination-boosting trip to Las Vegas with my then-boyfriend and his family, a leather jacket that I’ve been pining for all my life (fine leather goods!! Yes!), as well as exciting work gigs like conference-planning for The Canadian Museum of Civilization, copy-editing and general-persnickety-ness for The University of Ottawa, and charmingly-enumerating for Census Canada.   There were newborn puppies, music that changed my world, the fact that I can still earnestly say that a song changed my world, unforgettable small moments of triumph, connecting with mentors and like-minded spirits, eternally-supportive family and friends, writing inspiration, watching the entire series of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” romance, laughing so hard my face fell off, joyfully watching great things unfurl in the lives of my loved ones, and the smug satisfaction of having taken my vitamins regularly. I also discovered “Breaking Bad.”

Yes, 2011 offered heart attacks of happiness on a platter, and then it hit me over the head with it.  Plus, the grapes were mushy.  In no particular order, here’s the Airing of my Grievances: I started the year off with skin cancer surgery and skin grafts, and continued that enchanting trend into the Spring, where I had another skin cancer surgery on the lower rim of my left eye, immediately followed with reconstruction surgery.  While basal cells and cool scars aren’t new to the neighbourhood, this was beyond my comfort zone (er, if one could actually be comfortable when people are hatcheting away at one’s face for fun and profit), and I had to sidle up to some deeply-carved insecurities and fears about health and beauty.  The summer brought forth more skin cancer treatments, which kicked my ass more than I’d care to admit.  A favourite aunt and dear confidante of my mom was diagnosed with cancer for a second time.  We have a lot of reasons for hope, which is glorious, triumphant news, but the initial blow was deep and lasting.  Six years ago, she won, and we’re all visualizing another victory.  It was a year of major stresses for my parents and siblings, and it’s so hard to watch the ones you love suffer.  It was a year of many uncertainties and set-backs for my friends.   While I had an abundance of non-monetary opportunities, it was still a year of shaky and scarce employment for me, and the stress of that seeped into every little corner of my life.  There was an awful lot of slouching in front of my computer.  I didn’t manage to make major coinage, as I had hoped. There was a little bit (and even a little bit is far too much) of comparing myself unfavourably to other people.  Deliberate hermitude.   Fluttering worries pinioned to the pit of my stomach. And to cap off an agonizing November of silence, I was unceremoniously dumped…on my birthday.

So, December wasn’t all prancing around and Mariah Carey, but I still managed to have fun.  I was staggeringly mature about the break-up (after having written some melodramatic e-mails to my friends, obviously), and surprised myself with my humour and resilience.  After a reluctant dip in reality, I realized that this was definitely a blessing in disguise, and that the actions of others are in no way a barometre of my self-worth.  This entire year has been a test in building character, and I aced it.  I might be bruised and hobbling- and where the hell is my hat?- but my heart is open and my smile is so bright, we all have to wear shades.

The Year of Character taught me a great many lessons; pummeled me with them, to be more accurate.  The state of my life and the state of my world haven’t exactly been unfolding according to “plan,” and I’ve been angry about it.  Really angry, actually.  I didn’t really realize the extent of my anger, nor did I come around quickly to even recognizing these hastily-suppressed feelings as anger.  I sincerely believed that my guilt and anger at this arrested development (the upcoming AD movie was a massive bit of good news in 2011, by the by!) was important, because it would somehow “motivate me” and “keep me on track to my goals.”  Hmmm… O hai, Catholic guilt!

My new plan for 2012 is to let go of the plan.  I’m no longer wringing my hands over the way things were supposed to be.  I’m letting go of my anxiety-addled expectations that this must happen by exactly this arbitrary date, or I’m this doomed failure of a human being. To clarify, it’s not like I’m going to while away the days in pyjamas covered in a fine mist of processed cheese products, or just give up on everything.  I’m still aiming for a year of new love, happiness, health and mucho succcess, but I now realize that I can more easily achieve it by being extra-kind and compassionate to myself and others, and by trusting that this present moment is exactly the way things are supposed to happen.  Over-investing myself in an arbitrary plan, trying to control the uncontrollable, and punishing myself when things don’t work out is a sure-fire recipe for unhappiness.

I’m launching a revolution against the tyranny of expectations, and my victory will be sweet.  Oh man, that sounded like a voiceover for a second-rate video game for 15-year-old boys, but my background is in War Studies, so I guess you should all just feel grateful that I haven’t made any “you sunk my battleship”-themed jokes.  Yet.

Yet.

whoihavbecomeYou…read my mind, PostSecret

So, what sorts of visions, goals, resolutions, major and/or minor epiphanies do you have in store for the newborn year?  I wish that your 2012 is nothing short of magnificent!!

Three cups of holiday cheer, and a cup of an unidentifiable liquid that was pushed back to the recesses of the fridge, to you!

Kylie


Nov 11 2011

We Are The Dead: Remembrance Day

“This had all come up with the blackness and suddenness of a thundercloud.  A few days ago nobody had even thought of such a thing.  It was absurd to think of it now.  Some way out would be found.  War was a hellish, horrible, hideous thing- too horrible and hideous to happen in the twentieth century between civilized nations.  The mere thought of it was hideous, and made Walter unhappy in its threat to the beauty of life.” – “Rilla of Ingleside,” L.M. Montgomery

Remembrance Day is tomorrow, and it is the most sacred and solemn of days.  We wear poppies, recite “In Flanders Fields” and observe a moment of silence at 11:00 am, on November 11th, but I think the real impact- so much as one could feel without having actually experienced war firsthand- endures far longer than a moment.  It sneaks in our thoughts while we’re outside on a particularly grim day, and we think of how awful it would be to have to dig a trench and die to hold on to it on such a day; only to have it occupied by the other side a scarce few days later.  We see our remaining veterans stand proudly by cenotaphs.  While they’re now in the twilight of their lives, they were barely children…16…17 years old…traveling from the ends of the earth to face a certain hell with an uncertain outcome.  Most of their comrades live on only in bits and pieces: in the tales of family history, in a mass cemetery far away, or through lucky researchers and interns (like me!) who have the privilege of sorting through their forgotten archives and miscellaneous artifacts, in an attempt to piece together a life through the smallest of details.  We reassure ourselves that we will never face that situation again, but then we realize that “Never Again” rings rather hollow when war, genocide and poverty are very much alive and well in the world.

Something I really appreciate about Remembrance Day is that it is such an enduring “holiday” in Canadian society; each new generation seems to understand the solemnity of the day.  Perhaps Afghanistan will replace Belgium as a historical visual in their minds, but the sentiment stays the same.  Ordinary people forced into harrowing, unfathomable situations.  The occasion is not one of political affiliation, nor is it a day to glorify ra-ra military heroics.  Remembrance Day is a day of loss, of mourning, of memory, of desperate gratitude.  We do not glorify, we grieve.  We are united in our grief; past, present and imagined.

“Blackadder” is one of my favourite series, and I leave you with the final scene, when they go “Over the Top.”  “Good luck, everyone.”

As some of you know, I adore the War Poets of the First World War.  Their poetry and their life stories really resonate with me.  The raw brutality and utter senselessness of war, written with such terrible and wonderful words, makes you howl with bitterness, anger and grief, and seeps into your soul.  I thoroughly recommend checking out some of their works, even if you think poetry isn’t really your cup of tea.

With much love and a heavy heart,

Kylie


Oct 31 2011

Happy Halloween!!!!

dayofthedead

Oh, for the love of yams, how I love Halloween!! Our imaginations can run unbridled, and the night takes a spooky turn when spirits reach out from beyond the ether… Plus, free candy from strangers?! Sweet!!  What I really appreciate about Halloween is that the whole holiday is really about letting your inhibitions run free and indulging your inner child.  Forgo your sensible supper and give yourself a stomachache from too much candy.  Forget about your minimalist decor for one night, and litter the place with cobwebs and jack-o-lanterns.  Pretend it’s 1994, you’re a rather emo teen, and “The Crow” just came out.  Dress as silly or as scary as you’d like.  Recite “Hocus Pocus” word-for-word, much to the joy of your fellow movie-watchers (oh hey, last weekend!) Tell ghost stories, and then try sleeping with the lights out!  Like Anne of Green Gables says, be “deliciously scared.” Think about Samhain (the original holiday behind modern-day All Hallow’s Eve), your ancestors, and what messages they’d have for you today.  For a holiday that involves a lot of dressing up, it’s refreshing that Halloween doesn’t pretend to anything other than what it is.

What are your favourite ways to spend All Hallow’s Eve?

Three pints of apple cider and lashings of candy corn to you!!


Oct 20 2011

Things I Love Thursday, October 20th 2011

tumblr_lqcr6mKuG21qebf0gOH HECK YES!

Greetings and salutations, my autumn ghostlings!

The glorious late summer season was fleeting, as it always is.  Seemingly overnight, we awoke to a crisp chill, V-shaped formations of migrating birds, and foliage so breathtaking that it compels us to pull over to the side of the road and stare in awe.  (I learned the hard way that driving very slowly on deserted country roads is not always appreciated by the people who suddenly appear in your rear view mirror).  For many of us, fall invokes feelings of change and fresh starts, long after our school days are  finished and we’re free from the tyranny of grammar exercise sheets.   For me, fall inspires me to tackle procrastination-city tasks, to concoct plans (and freak out!) for the end of the year, and to hustle a little more.  I mean, I willingly vacuum my mom’s decorative harvest wreaths, for gosh sakes! We scurry around and batter down the hatches in preparation for winter.  Our minds race wildly, too, as we enter Halloween season, and (less) people give you strange looks when you ask them if you want to share ghost stories.  The other seasons have their own charms, but autumn offers much more scope for the imagination.  Witches and ghostly apparitions for all! So, before it quickly disappears the way of late-summer, let’s revel in everything that this season has to offer us.  Here’s a list of my (somewhat autumn-related) treasures of the past while:

* Snuggling with my boyfriend after not seeing him for the past two-and-a-half weeks (people who have busy travel schedules or who are in long-distance relationships are rolling their eyes now).  Yes, I sound clingy, but it really is a wonderful feeling! He’s made some pretty exciting job and living arrangement changes, and I’m so happy that they’re reaping some pretty positive results.  OK- enough gushing!

* Looking forward to rock climbing this weekend. I’ve let myself settle into  bit of an exercise slump.  “Oh, I just loaded the dishwasher, so I’ve pretty much earned the right to bust into the Halloween sweets for three hours, and sit beside my parents to openly mock their love for ‘Three Men With Two-and-a-Half Brains Between Them.’”

* Fall TV. I know the constant re-runs in the summer are supposed to be a subtle reminder for us to go outside and do stuff, but I just found myself stubbornly remaining in front of the television, trying to pull mind-tricks and mentally will that the next episode be a re-run of “Criminal Minds” that I haven’t yet seen.  So happy that that trickery is over with in September! My favourite shows are “2 Broke Girls” and “New Girl,” although I have my reservations: “2 Broke Girls” stars Kat Dennings, who tops my list of “Let’s Be Friends and Have Some Beer” list, and she has great comedic chemistry with her lovely co-star, Beth Behrs.  However, some of the jokes try very hard to be witty and trendy, and land unceremoniously in “harsh and ignorant comments about immigrants” territory.  I do hope they cut it out, Uncle Jesse-style, or else I won’t be watching.

“New Girl” stars everyone’s favourite flawless angel, Zooey Deschanel, and I really like the way it’s turning out.  The only thing that has me calling shenanigans on that show is how the show’s marketing and, indeed, the three other male characters, act like Zooey D. somehow isn’t the hottest chick in their vicinity.  She’s supposed to be socially-awkward on the show, but it’s always endearing and no one is actually uncomfortable or wierded-out.   I also find it thoroughly bizarre how the press surrounding “New Girl” is all like “THIS IS A MILESTONE!  ARE WE READY FOR SOMEONE WHO LOOKS LIKE THIS TO BE ON MAINSTREAM TELEVISION?!?! ARE WE READY FOR SOMEONE WHO IS YOUNG, THIN, WHITE, AND ATTRACTIVE BY EVERY MEASURABLE STANDARD TO BE ON OUR TV SETS?!” Wait, what sort of people have we been watching dance, bicker in an operating room and solve crime dramas all this time?!  Why are they pretending that she’s this grotesque creature- -or, at the very least, unconventional in any way- -when she has a contract with Rimmel Cosmetics, for pete’s sake? I lump these people in with the same chuckleheads who tried to convince us that Tina Fey wasn’t pretty.

Wow.  I clearly have a lot of feelings about this…

* Unhinged ranting on the internet?

* Roasted pumpkin seeds!

Alright, I think I’ve confused and terrified everyone enough for this week’s edition of TILT.  What have you guys been swooning over lately?

Cheers over sugary spiced cider,

Kylie


Sep 8 2011

Things I Love Thursday: Navel-Gazing Edition

4599694345_727cc9e102_oThanks to rodmanstreet.tumblr.com

No, no, I’m not going to clutter this post with MySpace-esque poses of me (duck-faced, gazing upwards, attempted expression of profound boredom and ennui, and dark-eyelinered) or with unnecessary Facebook updates like “Kylie Cumming ate porridge for breakfast. Yum! MY LIFE IS SO MUCH BETTER THAN YOURS!!!”

And now I’m hungry for porridge and ego trips.

The brain-rattlingly-awesome Mademoiselle Alexandra Franzen mused a little bit on Ye Olde Days of Past and Yore, when Ye Youth of Ye Olde Days of Past and Yore would continuously write lists along the lines of “~*~25 Things You Didn’t Know About Me~*~” and they would reveal such scintillating details like who they last spoke to on the telephone, whether they preferred kisses or hugs, and what they were doing an hour ago.   I decided to be a copy-cat, and write my own version of indulgent drivel- all while remembering the days before we realized that this was indulgent drivel and felt a sense of collective embarrassment.

Here are some things you may or may not care to know about Kylie J. Cumming:

* Last night, I helped deliver a baby calf who, given another minute in there, who have certainly died.  I’ll write some more on “Magic” and take some pictures of her soon!

* These navel-gazing things were my JAM in university- and not just first-year uni, when the high-school influence was still strong.  If I spent enough time and energy meticulously proof-reading my essays as I devoted to these “Getting to Know Meeeee” things, I would be a Rhodes Scholar a million times over.  Or something like that.

* I have a tooth that suddenly just up-and-quit.  It’s still there, although the root is calcified, but it’s protected by loads of sealant.  Hopefully, that will keep it from taking a long walk off a short plank anytime soon.

* My friend Ali and I once tried to convince our friend Kelly to drop heavy objects on us from great heights, in hopes of not having to write our exam.  Fortunately for our skulls, she kindly declined.  She is a good friend!

* I swear I really liked school, and was a keen student.  I swear!

* One time, my hand got stuck in an elevator door.

* The last person I talked to on the phone was my boyfriend.  Well, technically, I think I sent him a text about this very sad video on youtube, in which a cat was run over (they did not show that part) and his cat friend was trying to revive him.  There was a Spanish vocalist singing about (presumably, since my Spanish is limited to about four words) very sad things, and there were two dudes in the background, shootin’ the breeze, which served as a foil to reinforce how sad and tragic it was.  However.  However. The more I watched it, the more I realized that the live cat wasn’t trying to revive his cat friend; he was trying to mate with it.  I’m a farm girl, I know of these things. Okay, I’m not from a cat farm, but still.  So I shifted uneasily in my creaky chair, feeling bad for both the cats and the other viewers who were probably sobbing uncontrollably watching the video.  But I had to sit and watch the video (which had been re-looped) until the very end, because it somehow felt disrespectful to the dead cat’s memory to change to that Kelly Rowland video.  WHY AM I SO AWKWARD?!?!

* It took me a very long time to text that.

Alrighty, then! I think that’s enough navel-gazing for me today.  I have to stop myself, because I really could go on…and on…and on…

Receiving these sorts of quizzes and blog entries are quite fun, I think, because you can tell a lot about a person and their life through these little details.  Even the mundane details are fascinating to me.  How about you?  Do you find these sorts of things to be a nuisance or a welcomed nostalgia trip? Care to share some random details?  I’m all ears! We can pretend we’re on a camping trip and we’re playing the toilet paper game!

Cheers to you!

Kylie


Aug 21 2011

Overheard By A Tall Person

My dearest Height of Lifers,

I haven’t taken the Overheard By A Tall Person feature out for a spin in quite a while. Does that mean that I haven’t had to dodge all kinds of idiotic comments like so many games of dodge ball and I’m not even in this gym class? Alas, no. I’m lucky in that most of the comments I get now are of the well-meaning but mind-blowingly repetitive, annoying and kind of intrusive variety. Yeah, it may wear me down to hear this tripe on rewind from gormless idiots who somehow feel entitled to ask random strangers highly-personal information, but I am genuinely lucky that I don’t have to endure hate-crime-level harassment. A sense of perspective is always important.

All that said, since many comments I get are like cut-out snowflake versions of each other, there haven’t been too many memorable, truly bizarre/hilarious ones of late…except for last week.

We lay our fair scene at the gas station (not even the gas station in Verona, I’m afraid). I’m filling up my car, as one does at gas stations, and I see this older man (for visual clues, see the over-enthusiastic Texan from “The Simpsons”), staring at me with a big grin on his face. The wheels are turning. He gets really close, even though is pump is on the other side, and asks me how tall I am. Before I could respond, he bellows the question at me again, just in case I missed it a second earlier. I don a long-suffering smile, and give a “oh, pretty tall” in my reply. Missing the point, he goes, “6’2?” I was so shocked at him actually getting my height right (most people who try and guess my height come out with a “7-million-foot-eleventy?!”), so I answer with a surprised yes. He then starts telling me about his grandsons, and how they’re 6’6. This is a pretty common element of Stupid Tall Comments, but a lot of people blather on about their suuuuuuuper-taaaallllll uncle who stands at a towering 5’9 SO TALLLLL!!!!, so at least the grandsons were undeniably tall.

Up until that point, this exchange hasn’t been anything memorable. Same tedious-chats-with-strangers, different day, y’know?

UNTIL!

We’re talking about the grandsons, and their hobbies, and yadda yadda yadda, and then he brazenly looks me in the eyes, and brazenly goes: “They’re too young for the likes of you, anyways.”

THAAAAAANNNNNKKKKKKKKKKKKKKSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!