Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Respect - A Not-So-Distant Relative of the Ghost of Christmas Past?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T - find out what it means to me...Guess what?! You're about to, really! There are a bunch of other things I really want to write about, but since the holiday season is right around the bend (hurrah), I thought I would throw this one into the mix before I broach anything else. As usual, this decision is not based on purely objective rationale, but rather, on my general dislike for 90% of society as a whole. Now, you may think what you will, but I am certain I am not the only person who feels this way, and the holiday season just accentuates this feeling. It's almost as though the blinking, brightly coloured lights and high-pitched Fa-la-la-la-la's serve as fuel, and feed this fire, this lack of respect towards others.

Where should I even begin...Since I brought up the holiday season, I think I will run on that tangent. The battle, I have found, begins before even entering the shopping mall. Actually, it begins before you even park. A lack of respect can often be observed as one TRIES to find a parking spot. Everyone is always in a rush for some reason, and it's as though any common sense they might have also goes out the window. The parking lot no longer serves its intended purpose, but rather, is transformed  into a battle to the death. People forget all about their side mirrors or rear-view mirrors, they drift around corners like they are auditioning for the latest installment in the Fast & Furious saga. In the event you are lucky enough to come across an empty parking spot, you should also be ready to duel, as there is a high to very high probability that someone else has spotted it too, and is now tracking you, like a mountain lion would it's prey, just waiting to snatch it up at the last second, leaving you back at square one. And don't for a moment think that someone will respect that turning signal indicating you are parking there - it is every man for himself.

Let's now assume that someone had enough basic respect to stop their vehicle, and allow you to cross safely at the crosswalk, designated mall entrance. After a few near-fatal misses, you have now reached what I like to refer to as the pinnacle of Hell. This my friends is where the battle ups it's ante, and the blood-lust begins. Everywhere you look, there are people - and not just people, but MASSES of people. People with children, people who live in retirement homes and move slower than a snail, people who are also letting the holiday stress get the better of them and having public disputes with their loved ones, who are equally stressed by this holiday shopping experience. When you walk into any given store, your mission is no longer just to make it out with "only what you NEED to buy", it is now to try and locate what you need, purchase it, and do so without taking out a few people along the way. Everyone has bags upon bags, and yet no one seems to be aware of this - anytime you try to make your way through a crowded aisle to get to whatever you need, you risk an eye because no one can keep the bags down low, at their sides, the way one should. To add to the stress, there are always a strict minimum of five children throwing various tantrums, screaming, crying and running between your legs out of control as you try to dodge the aforementioned mags. And then, just when you think you have finally done it, you reach for that item you so desperately seek, and someone gets to it before you do, snatching it right up from under your hands.

Feeling mainly defeated, but still slightly hopeful, you attempt to locate a store employee. Let's take another moment to remember that this holiday shopping period stresses out everyone, including the store employees. When you finally manage to locate one, you enter a 15 minute queue - not ideal, but you do want that thing you went to the store for. After a seemingly never ending wait, it is finally your turn! You explain to said employee what your situation is, and kindly ask "Was that the last one, or perhaps do you have another in the back somewhere?". The response you often get "Well if there's none left on the shelf, I guess there's none left!", often accompanied by one of those smug looks like he/she is just soooooo much smarter than you. Well, if you were smart, you would do your job - this means instead of giving me attitude, you would walk yourself into the back-store and check, I won't even know if you actually checked, but I will smile and say thanks even if you humoured me and only pretended to check, or at least offered to check another store location, or order it - anything really.

That scenario I just mentioned, it's a little like washing and rinsing your hair - repeat. in. every. store. After this long day of attempted (perhaps even successful) shopping, one last obstacle stands between you and home base, aka, your home. The damn parking lot - again. Remember everything I wrote about that parking lot earlier, well now, consider this - there is a good chance everyone has had the same general kind of day you have, so there is an even better chance that they are now just as irate with everyone around them as you are. This means that people have even less respect for you, your space, your car, and the obvious crosswalk you are so carefully and frightfully trying to traverse. As you finally reach your car, you can only hope that buddy who was parked thisclose to you before didn't leave a nice dent, and breathe a sigh of relief when you find your vehicle intact. As the cars slowly crawl out of the parking lot, you hear horns honking, see people (maybe even me!) swearing in their cars at the idiots in front of them and a few people are even kind enough to utilize sign-language, letting other motorists know exactly how they feel about them.

Listen up folks - I don't like most people in general society. I don't. And it isn't because I am not a people person, it is because of scenarios like these. No one seems to realize that the world's population is on the rise, and as such, it means you need to be more aware of your surroundings. It means you need to have respect for people's personal space, and throw out an apology once in awhile if you invade it. It means you have to understand that you are not the only person that is frustrated, but that yelling won't get you any further. It means you have to try to keep your cool even when you are about to lose your shit, it means you need to be the bigger person. Respect is a tough game - it is much easier to let your emotions get the better of you, and it is easy, especially during the holidays, to make yourself #1 and push others to the wayside. Let this holiday shopping season be a season of change - take a deep breath, and ask yourself - is this how I want to be treated? If you answer no, then remember that - keep yourself in check when you find yourself in one of these less than ideal situations, respect others and their space, and they might just do the same...But "might" is the operative word.

-Milie B.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Rules Of Engagement

I must admit, I debated for quite some time whether or not I should even write this one. Given that my blog is advertised not only on my Facebook, but also my Twitter and Skype (and my Skype consists of all my colleagues from work on my team), I had to give some serious thought about what my audience might think. And so, on that note, please be advised that this post is personal - it talks about sex, MY views on it, and to some extent my experiences. If you don't want to know about it, then stop reading now. To my mom and dad, in the event you are reading this, I am sorry if this tarnishes the image you have of me, and to all others, don't you dare judge - I have chosen to "air some dirty laundry" that I am certain you have dabbled in as well. I'm not idealistic, I am realistic.

For quite some time now I have noticed this very unfair trend whereby anytime females act in a manner that displeases males, it is labeled as typical chick behaviour. We are not allowed to want to spend 3 consecutive days with you without being clingy, if we are the slightest bit emotional, then we must be PMSing. One of my all-time favourites though is the dilemma single ladies face vis-a-vis sex. I have faced this dilemma before, and it's an interesting one.

When you are in a relationship, the fun thing about the relationship is that you have everything you need on-tap. You have love, affection, compassion, and that physical aspect better known as sex. All of the aforementioned items gel much better when paired together, but they also happen to exist independently as well. It's a damn good thing they exist independently these days - I can deal with not being loved by someone or having compassion, but honestly, after a month of no sex, I start to get really bored. Let's be honest here ladies - a vibrator will only get you so far, and when it's been your best friend for a month, it starts to get old. And that is after a month - imagine being single for a year. Longest.year.EVER. Luckily though, having sex outside a relationship is less frowned upon these days. I said less, there are still those who judge.

The problem with sex outside a relationship though is that there seems to be a common misperception from the males that we as females cannot detach sex from emotions. If we are having sex with you, it is because we want something more, because we are emotionally involved. If we aren't in a committed relationship with you and we call you twice in one week, we "must be after something more". Did you ever stop to think that we too might be after the SAME thing you are - JUST SEX? Is it so far fetched to think that maybe you did a good enough job the first time around that you have left us wanting more? I mean, I know this isn't often the case, but some of you have left such an impression that I wanted more - after all, when you come across good cake, or good coffee, you often want it again, so why would sex be any different? A good Friday-night relationship, with pre-established Rules of Engagement, is not such a bad thing - it's a non-relationship with many of the same perks a relationship has. However, the rules must be clear from the get-go, otherwise complications will arise.

First and foremost, no emotions. If this is going to work, neither party can feel anything for the other party - there cannot be anything past raw sexual attraction. If there was ever even a slight crush in the past, don't even bother - same goes if you are doing this in hopes of it resulting in a relationship. Second, though it is strictly sex, there must still be respect. This happens to be a mutual itch that you are scratching for one another - it is not grounds to treat the other person like dirt, or in any manner that might be degrading. This girl (or guy) is not easy, nor are they a slut or sleazy or skanky. Be discreet and for the love of all things holy, don't advertise it as though the person is an escort - have some class and discretion. Lastly, just because it's a purely sex deal, doesn't mean you can't set a mood every now and again. A dinner out once in awhile certainly won't break the bank, and a few drinks has been known to get things flowing nicely.

Why I am writing this? Because in the past, I have found myself in instances where I was single and free to do what (and who) I wanted. I remember one occasion in particular where a friend whom I had lusted after for months propositioned me - I thought, why not? He was the first guy to ever make me scream in bed, which means he must have been doing something right. Now maybe I'm crazy, but if a guy rocked your world like that, something tells me you would be calling back for seconds as soon as possible, no? I know I did - and he mistook me calling him back as me wanting a relationship. Sorry buddy, not so much - your brain is sexy , but it isn't what I was after. Although in retrospect, perhaps he was upset that he had not played/ used me, but rather, roles were reversed. I can imagine it might be odd for a guy to suddenly feel used, though I can't imagine why since so many have done it to women. Regardless...

My parting words? I'm single now, and I have my go-to people. You can think what you want about me and the way I choose to live out my relationships, but just because I do something you don't agree with, doesn't make it wrong. I am a strong and confident woman, and I am not going to go a year ( or more, gasp!) without sex because society doesn't agree with my views on the subject. There are far worse things happening in the world than my calling the doctor at 3am on a Friday to get my rocks off. It's just sex - everybody does it, so why is it sooooo taboo? So long as you stay safe, remain respectful, and abide by whatever pre-set rules you and your lover set forth in the beginning, there is no reason to frown upon it as though it is an outbreak of Typhoid fever. If I can respect your choice not to have a Friday-night relationship because the thought of having someone who you aren't in a relationship with touch you disgusts you, you can certainly make an effort to respect the fact that I don't have a problem with that exact situation.

-Milie B.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Reel Life vs. Real Life

Alright - it has been exactly a week since I last wrote. My apologies. The last time we met, I was battling some badass bug that had decided to attack my throat. As luck would have it, this bug also attacked my lungs. Yes, what I thought was merely a throat infection turned out to be pneumonia. Instead of gargling with some salt water, I found myself with logging 16 hours of sleep per day while getting reacquainted with Zithromax. The good news is, I can finally breathe again, I can eat solid foods and I have the energy to actually write.

I recently went out with bambi and Darleya to catch a flick...While the boys were away, we thought it would be great to see a chick-flick, something we knew we had no chance of ever going to see with a significant other (not that I have one, but they both do). Our choice - Life As We Know It. That's right, we opted for the cheesiest one out there at present time. I would like to mention that it did not disappoint. Within 20 minutes, I looked to my left, then my right, only to find my girlfriends in the same state as me - sniffling, teary-eyes and mascara running down our cheeks while frantically looking for some tissues. The circumstances in the movie were horrible, and though none of us had ever lived through anything remotely trying as what these people were going through, we could all relate to the pain and emotion the characters were experiencing.

Watching this set the wheels in motion for this current post. What is it about these chick-flicks that has us so hooked? Or even reality shows in general? Perhaps my target is moreso reality shows than the movies, but I have come to realize over the last year that too many of us spend time idolizing things that just don't exisit, or that are so far from what reality actually is. Let's take anything (or most things) produced by MTV, The Real World being a prime example. I watched the entire last season of The Real World: New Orleans with bambi religiously. We each had our favorite characters, and would spend a fair amount of time discussing these. But more fascinating than the characters was the predicaments they seemed to always find themselves in, and the whole notion of the show to begin with. Life is so much more complicated than the images we are fed. Who really lives with eight COMPLETE strangers, in a pimped-out house without having to worry about money? And really, who is lucky enough to say that their biggest problem in life is a weird roomate. Not me, that's for damn sure. And yet these people are made out to be role-model types. People somehow think that being on The Real World is an accomplishment, something to strive for - why is that? And more importantly, who managed to convince today's youth of this, because this person is not only psychotic, but at the same time, a genius.

Allow me to take you through a week in my life. Everyday boasts some routine activities - showering, gym, meals and work. But my work is not going out and having fun and being carefree. My work is in a cubicle, with deadlines, working with some people that I like, and some that I don't like at all. I depend on my salary, and if I lose my job, I am up shit creek without a paddle. Pardon the expression. I feel like these shows are propaganda, instilling non-accurate depictions of what "real life" is in today's younger generation. Everyone wants to live this "fabulous" life where everything is taken care of for you, where responsibility and accountability are notions of the past, where by some miracle, you can dress in designer duds without having to work for any of it. Whose "real" life is this? It certainly isn't mine.

No one appreciates what they have anymore, and we are always seeking more, seeking something better. We are fed images of glamour and wealth on a constant basis, and find ourselves comparing our lives to these images. And for what? It would be nice to have the world handed to me on a silver platter, but I am 95% certain that if I did, I would have the same level of intelligence as Paris Hilton - I too would think that Walmart is a place that sells walls. I would much rather have a little less, and know that at least I worked for what I have. I would much rather save up for a vacation and enjoy the anticipation that goes with it than just mindlessly jump from one continent to another just because "I can". When I close my eyes at night and go to bed, I know that I have made a difference in someone's life, and it isn't because I was photographed wearing the newest Louboutin's. I go to bed with a sense of accomplishment, I don't need thousands of random strangers worshipping me in order to have self-worth.

So I guess at the end of the day, my point is the following - if you aren't happy with your life, do something about it, be proactive. But, don't for a second allow yourself to be fooled by "reel life" - everything is orchestrated, and nothing is ever really as it seems. Life is not like the movies, and problems are not resolved after an hour and a half of romantic comedy sequences. Life isn't a fairytale, and living vicariously through reality-tv lushes will more than likely leave you feeling quite disenchanted. Life is what you make of it. And if you spend your time idolizing others, and lusting after things that only about 10% of the world's population can actually afford anyways, you will always be let down. Work hard, and play harder, and above all, remember - as poor as you may be, all the money in the world can never buy pride, and you can take pride wherever life brings you.

-Milie B.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Lesson In Pissing Away Hard-Earned Money

In the not so distant past, I indicated to all you faithful readers out there to be on the lookout for my write-up on how to effectively go about pissing away your hard-earned money with Good Life Personal Trainers. And, I also very recently informed you that because I had so many things I wanted to write about, I was compelled to write my ideas on Post-it notes, which I then cleverly placed above my laptop. What a fanstastic idea!

Remember how I said that the gym is one of my thinking places, or rather, my go-to thinking place for my blog entries? Well, imagine how thrilled I was when I awoke this morning ill. And I use the term "awoke" loosely because honestly, I was up all night in pain. My throat is presently being invaded by some sort of nasty microbe, and this microbe has rendered my throat useless insofar as swallowing anything is concerned, and has found a way to send searing pain into my ears. I know, I know - you wish you felt this awesome, but not everyone can be so lucky. Now due to this unforeseen invasion, I thought it wiser to skip the gym, and look at my Post-it notes - after all, this, I suppose, is their intended purpose.

Now referring back to that day when I was at the gym and overheard random girl's life story, I realized that this girl was pissing away her money with a trainer. I have long suspected that Good Life doesn't necessarily hire the most "professional" people. My suspicions first arose when I signed up, and many of the frontline staff could barely be bothered to smile at me upon my entry into the club - no need to state that a "Hello!" was also out of the question. I contemplated getting a personal trainer for a few sessions until I saw (many of) them in action. The norm seems to be that you come in, get a quick warm-up in to get the heart rate going, and then the trainer takes over. Now if you ask me, a trainer is someone who is there to keep you focused on your long or short-term goal. That person is there to show you what you need to do to achieve results faster than you would on your own - this is actually Good Life's gimmick. They are there to motivate you, show you what to do, and how to do it effectively. Apparently, they are also finely versed in the art of training vocal chords as well.

I have watched these trainers in action for the last 10 months, and I can now understand why people keep on with them - because all they do is talk. Talk, talk, talk. Incessantly! I know so much about strangers' lives, it is borderline disturbing. Every trainer I see feels compelled to shoot the shit with their clients, all through the session - how's life, how's your boyfriend, how is your job - really? why do you hate it, why don't you look for something else, last weekend I got soooo hammered, etc. I think you get the idea. This leaves me to wonder what are these people really paying for, and if you don't see any results, is there any recourse? I can only speak for myself, but if I am paying you to be my personal trainer, I don't want to hear about your life, and I certainly don't want to spend the hour that I am PAYING for, WITH YOU, to dish about mine. What I want expect is for you to to guide me through exercises, to show me what moves will give me the killer booty and flat abs I have been working so hard for, to show me how to do exercises properly, without risk of injury. I want you to motivate me, and if I am getting off topic, for Christ's sake, get me focused! I am not paying you to be my friend - I am paying you to get me in shape, fast!

Now, perhaps I seem a little too annoyed or angry about this, especially when one considers I don't even have a personal trainer with Good Life, but it bothers me when I see people pissing their money away. And don't get me wrong - as a smoker, I KNOW that I am pissing away money with that, but tobacco companies aren't exactly promising me anything either, except maybe the eventuality of cancer. It bothers me that people my age who work really hard for their money, or even older people who have neglected to stay in shape for the last decade or so, are spending money on a service that isn't living up to it's promises. What adds fuel to my fire is that Good Life trainers do NOT come cheap, and since they must make monthly quotas, they are always convincing patrons to sign on for more lessons. If you were to spend your time as it was intended, working out, then I wouldn't object, but I feel as though the trainers are, to a certain extent, holding back their clients. They are in a way taking advantage of them, taking their money, without delivering on their promise to get you in shape. Think about it - you pay to get in shape, you stay exactly where you because your trainer is a Chatty Cathy, Chatty Cathy informs you that you haven't quite reached your goal and reccomends more sessions, and then the cycle starts over again.

Now, we covered how common "common sense" is these days, but my hopes with this post are to open up your eyes and raise awareness. You can attain those weightloss and fitness goals ladies and gentlemen, and they are very much within reach - just tell your trainers to shut up and do their jobs. I don't know about you, but it would be much easier to persuade me to buy additional training sessions if I was seeing actual results. But then again, I'm not polite enough to just let them talk, and continuously siphon money out of my account without me seeing results.

-Milie B.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Will You Be My Friend?

Growing up, my dad was in the military. This meant that much like clockwork, every three to four years I could expect to move to a new city. Sometimes even a new province. Often, during the moves, I was shipped to northern Quebec to go spend some quality time with my grandparents while my parents took care of the actual move, and proceeded to unpack kid-free. I will always remember the summer I returned "home" to Ottawa. I arrived in the middle of July. I was five years old. I remember going outside to ride my bike up and down the street (because back then, we didn't have an Xbox to play with) in hopes of meeting some kids my age. I quickly befriended two boys my age who lived a few houses down, and before I knew it, we were kickin' it daily. Several weeks into this newfound friendship, we were swimming in my froggy pool when a young girl appeared. She had long, dirty blond hair, red corduroy shorts, a white, short-sleeved blouse with little red flowers, white leather sandals, and a Burger King crown. She was friends with the two boys, and wanted to know if she could come swimming. The audacity! She just shows up in MY backyard, wants to join and doesn't even know me?! As it turns out, she was pretty cool - she kept me around, and I somehow became her best friend. She is the person who probably knows the most about me, and to this day, is my closest friend in the world.

Friday, as my work day came to an end, I found myself looking forward to an evening with her and our Halloween hostess. An evening of good food, good wine and of course great conversation. The evening didn't disappoint. We arrived and enjoyed some wonderfully tasty food, followed by some Cheetah Surge and a few glasses of red wine we had developed a whole new appreciation for while at the Wine & Food Show last weekend. As bambi and I left, our parting words were, "We'll see you tomorrow!!", knowing full-well that Saturday would be just as awesome. Saturday had been in the works for a few days now. Shopping at a new, yet-to-be-discovered place that R3's girlfriend had been gushing about, dinner, and just some quality girl-time. We all headed out late Saturday afternoon in search of treasure (a.k.a. some awesome designer finds at Hush, above mentioned store) and coffee. After our incredibly successful treasure hunt, we headed to The Grand to replenish our energy with some drinks, and well-deserved carbs. We left more than satisfied, and piled into the car to head back home.

When we got home, there was no question about what the first thing we would do was - we would get into lounge gear. We settled into the couches, armed ourselves with dessert and attacked Season 2 of Sex and the City. As I watched, like every other woman out there who has ever watched, I found I could relate. I looked at my friends and saw that we too, were much like Carrie and her tight-knit circle of friends. And as I looked closer, I found that there wasn't really anyone else I would enjoy my Saturday night with as much as with these friends. They enjoyed my company and who I was, they themselves were nothing short of a joy to be with. They are ladies I know I can count on and that I can trust. They are my go-to network of supporters when I am feeling down and need to be indulged, and they are my "I will slap you if you don't get it together!" reality check when I need it. THEY are my friends.

As I drove home, I couldn't help but think of Facebook and the obessession with having all these "friends". Really, what is the deal? Don't get me wrong - I think there are many uses for Facebook, and some of my friends belong in this group of people with 1500+ friends, but it is mainly a networking thing. I am talking about the people who don't network. The people I went to highschool with, barely whispered a word to, and are re-adding me after they have realized 8 months down the road I deleted them from my friends list back in February. I would love to know why they want to re-add me. After all, I do know you, and I guess you were an aquaintance back in high school, but did I miss something along the way - were we friends the whole time? And considering you weren't even aware that I moved away for 10 years and didn't even graduate with you, can you honestly tell me that you value our Facebook friendship status - it took you until now to realize I had even removed you.

I have long wondered what drives this need for the most friends. Are these friend whores particpants in a game of who knows more people? Are these people naive enough to think that everyone they meet is actually their friend? Are these people trying to re-live the glory days of high school/ college/ university, or perhaps trying to re-invent themselves and differ from the person they once were, a person who didn't have quite as many friends back in the day? And at the end of the day, does it matter? Should it matter? I hope you don't think for a moment that I have answers to any of the above questions - I only ask them...

In my early Facebook days, I also found myself trying to locate as many people as I could. People I had grown up with, people I had once gone to school with, people I had lost touch with or worked with. As the weeks passed, I too felt good about having all these friends, and it then dawned on me that I never actually spoke to 60% of the people I knew. I knew them yes, but they were by no means my friends. They aren't the people I call when I am feeling like everything sucks, and they certainly aren't the people I spend my Saturdays with, shopping, having dinner and enjoying Sex and the City with - they aren't my friends. Now, don't get me wrong - in the past months, I have met alot of new people, and I have added them to Facebook as friends, but I also keep in touch with these people - they enrich my life. I know their phone numbers, and when they text me (though some still need to learn about time differences), I answer back without so much as a second thought. It has taken me a long time to realize it, but knowing 1500+ people will never change your life unless they are all your friends. And real friends are few and far between. I would much rather have 10 friends and know they will be there no matter what than know 1000 people I can't rely on...

To all my friends - to those whose calls I don't screen, those who hear from me on a regular basis, those who spend hours with me as I agonize that I cannot find jeans that give me an ass or shoes that fit properly, those who understand my somtimes twisted logic and know that I will always be mildly neurotic - thanks for being my friends; you mean the world to me and make my life better. Which is exactly the way it should be.

-Milie B.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Klassy With A "K"

First off, I feel as though I should apologize for not writing sooner. Secondly, thank you for your patience - I know I said I would write frequently, and it seems as though life keeps getting in the way. I have actually had to resort to sticking post-it tabs above my laptop in order to avoid having my brilliant topics escape my mind. Honestly! There are no less than 10 tabs, all of which are issues (?) I need (want?) to address...Or at the very least, voice my opinion about.

As you may or  may not have noticed, today's topic is all about class - but with a capital "K". The kind of class that is usually reserved for week-long cottage parties or Vegas expeditions where only your friends, or complete strangers see you at your abolute worse. When you don't need to worry about shame, because you know everyone is just as messed and incapable as you are. Once again though, my ever-watchful eye caught one of these Klassy people at gasp! a very public event last Friday.

As my work day wound to an end, I found myself getting mildly dolled up for the Ottawa Wine & Food Show. Dark skinny jeans, crisp white v-neck tee, black blazer and black knee-high leather boots. I was dressed a propos for the occasion, without looking pretentious, like I was on my way to dinner with the Queen herself. My friends and I had long awaited this night - it seems as though in previous years, we had never been able to get our acts together long enough to map out any type of plan to attend. We had finally reached the follow-through stage.

When we arrived, we saw all types of creatures. Some over-dressed and pretentious, there were others for whom the notion of mirrors and a hairbrush were foreign, and most people were dressed as my friends and I were - clean, but with a little something extra. As the night wore on, we ventured from country to country, in the search of our new favorite wine, of a new restaurant we hadn't yet been to, but now HAD to try based on a mini-portion of appetizers. What was great as well is that everyone in the area knows about this weekend - those who are smart go on Friday, when there are less people, and you can still move around without feeling completely claustrophobic. Those who weren't quite as hip to the game went on Saturday and got to enjoy the great outdoors as they waited in the monstrous line. *Ahem, suckah what?!* Most people you know probably go on the Saturday, and this is actually a great thing - this means there are less chances you will run into a disliked or awkward coworker, or "friend you don't really talk to anymore" - this means you are likely to run into the crowd you normaly run with, even though no one told anyone else you would be there...See how the Friday is better, even though it doesn't go quite as late.

As the night wore on, my friends got a little tipsy, but never drunk, I stopped drinking because I had volunteered to be the designated driver, and everything just got silly. People evcerywhere were laughing and in a great mood, no one was snobby, a great time was obviously being had by all. Too much of a good time for some. As 21h00 rolled around, we found ourselves being ushered out to the coatcheck - ugh...bright lights! As we got ourselves organized, we turned around to see a young woman, approximately our age, being held up and supported by two or three of her closest friends, who seemed embarassed to be bringing her out in this state.

I understand that it is fun to go out, and have a good time with your friends. I also understand that it feels good to sometimes let go, booze it up, and drink until you can't tell your hand from your foot, and you wonder how you got home. Bars are there to cater to that exact need. But the Wine & Food Show, really? Come on, have a little more class than that. This is not some place where people go to get hosed on a  Friday night - this is a place where regular people can go to have a "more sophisticated" time once a year, so they can avoid the "drunks". Now, I am not saying this girl was a drunk, but she certainly was drunk, and I am willing to bet she saw it coming a mile away, and simply chose to have a a few more when she clearly knew that disaster loomed. I am still wondering how she got the guts to do it! I was once drugged at a bar, and my friend had to carry my sorry butt out of the bar in a similar state, and I was absolutely MORTIFIED. To have people see me in THAT type of state. I am certain if I had had my camera with me, I could have turned this into the most perfect demotivational poster there ever was.

One can ever be sure of who is waiting around the bend, and if there is one thing I have learned, it is that the world is very small. This is often thrown around, but I don't think people truely realize JUST how small it is. If I am going out to some fancy event, that I know happens only once a year, and that a very high percentage of people in my city are also attending the same, said event, then it is only logical that I will likely run into someone I know. I could also run into people I don't know, but am supposed to meet in the future, unbeknownst to me at that time - this is NOT the type of impression of myself I would like to leave anyone. And so, if i can impart and words of wisdom, it is to stay classy at all times. Always be aware, and remember that someone is always watching. Leave the "klass" at home, and leave classy events with your head held high, and a million dollar smile - not draped over your two best friends, head down in shame, trying frantically to put one foot in front of the other.

-Milie B.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Not So Common After All

One of the most wonderful things about my best friend's boyfriend is that he has recently taken up hunting. This statement should not be mistaken for my condoning the hunting of Canadian wildlife - no sirree. Rather, I love the fact that he is out of the house for a whole week (along with the other roommate). This week 10 days of male-bonding within close proximity to beer, cigarettes and guns also gives way to female bonding, better known as "Guy - I'm crashing your place for a week!". During this week 10days, I get to indulge in some healthy cooking (cause my friend makes the best YUMMY healthy stuff), guilty-pleasure t.v. shows that we are otherwise almost too embarrassed to admit we watch, chick-flicks and above all, some SERIOUS girl-talk.

That's right, girl talk. It sounds all fancy and very well-to-do, but, much like men, we too have stuff we like to dish about, things that get our knickers in a twist and above all, things we need to vent about. Which brings me to today's subject. "Common" anything.

The plan for the evening was simple, and well-laid out. We would get home, bambi would do some work, I would take my best shot at baking gluten-free red-velvet cupcakes, we would make dinner, and then go to the gym...Maybe even cap off the night with a little Sex and the City, Season 2. But alas, due to a moderate-to-severe lack of common sense-decency-respect of other people's living space, a wrench found it's way into the perfect plan. Knowing full-well there was an "issue" with R3's glorious, algae encrusted fish-tank proudly displayed in the kitchen, we were naive enough to think it would "be ok" until the boys were back...WRONG. Luckily, we had seen this disaster approaching like hurricane Katerina, and had placed a call to our closest fish-tank expert Sunday night - her visit fit perfectly into the above mentioned, well-laid out plan. No one counted on what came next.

As the tank was opened and the situation assessed, it sunk in that we would no longer be going to the gym (ok, there are certainly worse things in the world, but you know how it is when you get into a routine). Due to the fact we had been cooking until now, we had managed to camouflage the rancid odour the tank was emitting - the picnic was now over. The lid came off, and I am pretty sure that the smell coming out of that tank could rival that of a rotting carcass. I am also pretty certain all three of us threw up in our mouths a little. The amount of CRAP in that water was unreal. Even more far fetched is the fact that there is a fish living in this filth. And less far fetched than that is that R3 knew this tank needed to be changed for at least the last, oh, I don't know, 6 months, minimum. The tank had actually gotten disgustingly clogged to the point where the air filter popped off whatever it is usually attached to, and the tank clouded - wait, no, it murked (<- this is another new word I have invented, feel free to use it)- over in about 36 hours. It was an army-green brown opaque mess. And it smelled like death - really.

I don't think I need to go into explicit detail about how revolting this whole mess was (and think - I was icing the cupcakes and WATCHING this go on - I watched and I was grossed out), but what was even more disenchanting is the fact the whole situation could have easily been avoided - very easily at that. I have found in my recent years that people seem to have lost this thing we once referred to as "common sense" (or decency or respect). I really don't think that in a house where 3 grown adults live, there should be any type of need for a chore chart - I think that when you live with 3 people, you should know better than to leave all your stuff lying around. You should know to keep common areas cleans, to pick up after yourself and to put things in the dishwasher. It's not just about keeping a house or area clean, it's about having enough respect for those with whom you spend the most time with that you don't need to be reminded, like a child. Granted this fish-tank incident is nothing like the hot water tank incident from a few weeks ago, it still put a damper on the evening. A little common sense would have led R3 to the same conclusion that everyone else reached (and pointed out to him, I would like to add) over two months ago.

And so, I would like to know if someone can please re-iterate to me what "common" sense is. Or decency or respect. And I ask because everywhere I look around me, it seems to be more and more obscure. People are rude, selfish and have almost complete disregard for those around them. But above all, the "common" aspect seems to have vanished - it has now turned to rarity, and dare I say, it might even be on the verge of extinction.

The million dollar question - can it be saved?

-Milie B.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's like, you know, like...

If you are anything at all like me, you have a thinking place. A spot where, for one reason or another, you do your BEST thinking. Wait a moment, I lied - I have two. But you probably still just have one. Just kidding.

Mine are as follows:
  1. The shower - This is where I do my best thinking. I am not quite sure what it is about lathering shampoo, or getting facewash in my eyes, but every time I am in the shower, my mind drifts to the issues that have left bumps in my day, to future plans, to brilliant ideas (well, I think they are brilliant, so that's all that matters).
  2. The gym - The gym is a recent one. Originally intended as place of solace post break-up last January, it had the opposite effect. I instead found myself agonizing over my break-up even more, taking apart and over-analyzing every last detail. This was obviously counter-productive to my "healing" process, but since it was keeping me in shape, and I was bound to a one-year contract, I figured I should probably keep going. Recently, the gym has become my thinking place for what I post on Bursting At The Seams. The gym is my new goldmine.
As mentioned above, I like to think at the gym. I do my stretches, power up my sassy metallic-pink iPod and just run. It is during this run that I let my mind wander, and begin to piece together whatever interesting story or social commentary I deem worthy of being posted here. I hear my heart beat faintly, my feet beating the treadmill and whatever mix I have pieced together that drives me to run. Normally, by the time I hit the 3-mile mark, I am drenched, thirsty, feel like a million bucks and I know what I am going to write. Until this Tuesday that is. I was caught off guard - so much so that I don't even remember what I origianlly intended to write about. As I moved from the treadmill to the floor/weight area, I overheard a girl (woman?), close to my age, talking with her personal trainer.

*Sidenote: Be on the lookout for a following post about pissing your money away with Goodlife Fitness Trainers

As I listened to her conversation - and I would like to point out I wasn't eavesdropping, EVERYONE within a 10 foot radius could hear her clear as day - like, every other word was like. Ugh, shudder. I understand that today's youth has some issues with communication, and is working very hard at massacring (<-- is this even a word? it doesn't matter, I am inventing it as of now) the English language, but this was a young professional. And like, ok, I like, get that she was like, talking to her trainer all like, friendly and stuff, but come on! Really, come on! I was astounded at how dumb this girl sounded when she spoke. I am certain she is very smart - as I listened to her conversation, I could sympathize with her situation, and have myself made the same decisions she was relating to her trainer - but I was exhausted just listening to her.

Listen up folks - the word "like" should be used when you discuss something that pleases you. I, Milie B. like shoes. I also like apples with peanut butter, and I like Kenny Powers of Eastbound & Down. You can also use "like" when comparing something - This drink tastes like @ss. But "like" is not a word that is to be inserted after every other word in a sentence because you are too lazy to string together a grammatically correct sentence. Put some effort into it. I spoke like (see, correct usage right there) that when I was 15, and I was embarassed when my mother pointed it out. When I speak to people, I organize my thoughts, then let them flow out. Also, at the age of 29, I feel the way I speak reflects on who I am, what type of education I have, and how I might present myself in a real-world situation such as a work environment. Imagine speaking like that in a job interview - I am sure she would be their first pick, really.

So, in closing, I would like to say two things. Firstly, if my English is questionnable when I write here, it is because I have often been told that the way in which I organize and express my thoughts is part of what makes my charm. And know that with each keystroke, I spend much time reflecting on my choice of words, and my words are chosen to articulate my points as I see fit, in a manner that I feel will best demonstrate my point, whatever it may be. I also go back to delete, and re-write, and delete and re-writre again MANY sentences because I feel they don't articulate my point(s) well enough. Secondly, to all those anglophones out there, I am a francophone - if I can put together a grammatically correct sentence, then you should be able to as well. This is my second language, and I still don't know if I should be proud, or appalled, that I can speak and write it better than many of you can. My stomache is gurgling and begging for food, so I am off to appease it, but will be back soon enough. Until then, think about what you are going to say before you say it.

-Milie B.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Pond is Pretty Bleak

After my last post, or rather, my horrible halloween timing in telling a certain gentleman that I have a "thing" for him, I began to re-examine this whole notion of dating, and what it entails. It is not only rather time consuming, but quite frankly, I am starting to wonder if there really are any "dateable men" out there. Allow me to extrapolate.

My dating life, if I were to attempt to sum it up in one word, could only be described as disastrous. No one has a more finely tuned radar than I as far as picking out losers is concerned. I should also mention that the term losers doesn't refer to the nerdy/geeky population - I mean guys with no respect, no game, no nothing. Is it too much for me to ask that you have a job, maybe pick up the bill, perhaps open a door? Am I out of line to request that you are actually single and no longer living at home, that you have a driver's license? You don't even need a car - just the license! And, while I have your attention, just a heads up that I don't play the "sharing" game, in the event we make it to the bedroom one day (and this stems from yet another fabulous dating experience). My radar is so finely tuned to these guys that you could fill a room with successful men, and only one loser, and I would pick him out of the bunch, no doubt about it.

MEN - WHERE ARE YOU? I have actually reached the point where my best friend in the world has offered to screen guys I am interested in so that SHE can weed them out. Ouch - I never thought it would come to this, I really didn't. They (whoever "they" might actually be) say that you attract what you give off. Now, I may be far cry from a saint, but I am certainly not the devil incarnated. Like most girls my age, I am always a willing participant in an evening out sprinkled with dinner, drinks, loud music and dancing. I am always a willing participant in trips down south which are fueled by energy drinks, caffeine, Tequilla and little sleep. However, I am also an even more willing participant in quiet nights in with friends, drinking tea, playing cards and watching movies - truth be told, I much more of a homebody than I should be for my age...One of my cousins said to me recently "Guys your age aren't looking for a party girl, they are looking for a girl to settle down with, a motherly-type figure". Well, my experience has taught me that this is most certainly not the case. I am not a party girl, though I do enjoy partying once in awhile, and I am certainly not going to begin a first date with "Hi - I'm ready for marriage, a home and kids". Which begs the question - where are these decent guys my cousin referred to? Where can I meet one?

I took a gander at the famous Plenty of Fish dating site recently, and wow - trouble looms. Every guy really is the same - and when I did have a profile on there in my early dating days (aka, last spring) I was far from blown away. Honestly, I want a guy to tell me what I can expect one year down the line. I know that for the first year we are gonna go on a ton of dates, we might vacation, we'll see and do stuff that neither of us has done before, or haven't done enough of - but what's the long-term reality? And I don't ask because I want to get into a long-term thing off the bat, I want an idea of what I am signing up for. I want to know if after this so-called "honeymoon phase" whatever we have going on has any actual lasting potential. Can you make me laugh, can you deal with my loud mouth, will you berate me for enjoying some top 40 music on my way to work? Do you know how to compromise, do you have emotional capabilities, will you be my shoulder when I feel as though the world is crumbling around me, will you be my friend first, and my lover second? And more importantly, if you answered yes to any of the above, do you actually mean it, or do you think I am not hip to your ploys to try to get in my pants?

One of my favorite songs, Love Ain't (care of CunninLynguists) has a verse that hits home: "You'll catch bigger fish in the sea if you manage not to drown in it". Well said. I am a decent swimmer, and let me tell you, I am on the verge of drowning. I certainly hope this figurative sea has better fish than the pond in my area, because I keep hearing about all these wonderful guys, but I am beginning to believe they as mythical as unicorns.

-Milie B.