A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Archive for July, 2011

Sunday Tradition

Years before I was born, the family tradition began. My great-grandmother (Ma) cooks lunch for everyone. Now, everyone doesn’t really mean EVERYone. The lunch crew included my grandfather (her son), my grandaunt (her daughter) and her husband plus their three children, and my dad. As the family grew, so did the number of lunch guests. My cousins’ spouses and children, my mother, my brother, and I became members of the Sunday lunch club as well.

Ma cooks up quite the meal. There are always at least two meats. There’s always some form of potato, mixed vegetable and rice (usually white). The other things – broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, corn, asparagus, green beans, stuffing – vary from week to week. Ma makes THE BEST ICED TEA ON THE PLANET to accompany the meal. It. Is. Way. Too. GOOD! Plates are always full for a bit, and our tummies get full and stay that way for a little longer.

After lunch, we clear the table, and slip off into different parts of the house. My grandfather (deceased) used to sit a while at the dinner table, then head back to his bedroom. My granduncle (deceased) would go on and on about how great the meal was, tell funny stories, and fall asleep on a couch. Auntie helps in the with the kitchen clean-up. My dad and brother get back to the laundry, and watch tv (usually football or basketball) in the tv room right by the laundry room. The children scamper off into “the back” to watch tv. The rest of us pick a spot, and sleep on the floor until it’s time for dessert. Yummm! If it’s a birthday, we all gather around the dining room table to sing Happy Birthday, and get some CAKE! Once we’re able to walk around again, my brother and I take the little ones across to the pond and feed the fish with stale bread. Fun times!

A lot of people have Sunday traditions/rituals. When I have a family of my own, I’d like to do something special. Something everyone will look forward to every week. Just like Ma, I’d like to watch the dinner table cramped as the family grows, and enjoy seeing everyone under one roof, if only for a few hours on a Sunday. Even if I’m cooking from 7am until 1pm and no one arrives until 3pm.

I believe we need time to unwind. We need to know that, regardless of what went on all week, one thing is sure – We’ll share a meal with some of the people we love most and know us best. Whether it’s the first day or the last day of the week, Sunday just seems like the best day to spend with loved ones.

Sundays should be made of:

  • Beautiful sunrises shared with someone just as beautiful
  • Big breakfast spreads, complete with smoothies
  • Flowers for pretty ladies
  • Lazy/Play time outdoors
  • Late lunches with lots of chatter and giggles
  • Quiet sunsets, glass of wine in hand
  • Decadent desserts
  • Movies, blankets, and cuddles
What does your average Sunday look like?

It’s Me Again

Random things about me, in case you don’t know enough already. Hahaha.

  1. Things I am addicted to: Babe (What a sweet addiction!); days off; lime green things; Twitter (I’m getting over it now); Nico (baby cousin); starchy food; fresh air; the feel and smell of towels right out of the dryer with a million Bounce sheets; hugs and kisses from Babe
  2. Things that really annoy me: Noise when I’m trying to get to sleep; phones ringing; mispronunciations of my name RIGHT after it’s been SAID; waiting; excessive use of profanity
  3. Things that always make me feel better: hugs and kisses from Babe; tea (3 tsp sugar, enough cream to make it match my complexion); beach time; cycling; hot showers; walks; babies
  4. Things that make me feel guilty: Favours (I find it hard to accept and feel the need to pay back); when Babe is nice to me when I’m in superbitch mode; eating the last serving of a meal
  5. Things I think I know: Aside from everything? It’s important to love self; Love > Everything – Love (including religion, law, rules of society); money isn’t nearly as important as how you get it and what you do with it; life is both too long and too short to be unhappy, live in someone else’s shadow, or try to please everyone else; how to dougie, jerk, and catdaddy¬†ūüôā
  6. Things I‚Äôm really bad at: Remembering more than 4 names at social gathering, going in the ocean (I take the tiniest steps while shivering and shrieking that it’s cold), drinking water (major work in progress)
  7. Things I think I look good in: The colours pink (one day I wore pink and got about 5 compliments), turquoise/teal (according to Babe), and black; skinny jeans; dark jeans; layered tanks; short dresses
  8. Things I wish I was better at: Cycling (distance/endurance), artsy things (painting, drawing); hairstyling
  9. Things I wish I had more of right now: Food (I think I brought too little for lunch. Lol); exciting work (this job is not doing it for me); great apartment options (gotta mooove if I get this new job); money (to mooove… And not just to a new apartment!)
  10. Things I do too often but shouldn’t: Scratch mosquito bites; buy/eat ice cream; go home with a half-full water bottle; sleep too long (which makes me super tired); forget to call people

Go Braless!

Day 16 РSomeone or Something you definitely could live without

Bras. I really don’t understand why they are such a big deal in society. For a woman to walk around in public without a bra on… Can you imagine? It’s as though breasts are dirty, and need to be tucked away. Now, for the better endowed women, I understand the need/desire to wear a bra. It probably reduces sweat, make them feel less heavy, etc. For me, a little ol’ B-cup, bras make no sense. I often joke that I could just wear two¬†band-aids (to keep the headlights in check) or scotch tape and be good to go. When picking out tank tops, I always go for the ones with the shelf-bra. That’s one less piece of clothing I need. Really though, how did we get here? I did a little research, and my findings are interesting. I’ll share them as succinctly as I can without losing meaning, and provide some links for further reading.

Brief History

  • 1500s – Corsets became popular (for lifting breasts)
  • 1900s – Bras introduced (to provide ¬†more comfort than corsets)

More Bra History

Why Women Wear Bras

  • Support.¬†Pssh! I don’t need support for these lil babies.
  • Morality & Decency.¬†I have to comment that this is just ridiculous. It is a valid concern, but at the root, it’s ludicrous. Some women wear bras to SEX IT UP while other wear them for the opposite reason. Insane! Yes, I know there are various types for various purposes… Still, it’s crazy.
  • Unspoken Rule of Society.¬†I believe this is directly linked to Morality & Decency point.)
  • Anti-sagging. (Yes, a bra will left them for as long as you wear it. There seems to be some evidence, however, of bras causing¬†sagging. Imagine that!
  • Comfort (Reduces sweat and slapping.) THIS, I understand.
  • Illusion.¬†I admit that I have worn bras to make my breasts look larger on a few occasions. Kind of like applying white eyeliner to make my eyes look bigger. No? Not the same thing. Oh.
  • Exercise.¬†During a presentation on Shark Tank, a woman said something like, “When a woman exercises, the only things that should be bouncing are balls.” I’m with her on that one.
  • Breastfeeding.¬†Make sense. Leaking is real.

Bras have even been found to be a contributor to breast cancer!

Bra Alternatives

  • Camisoles
  • Tops with shelf bras. Nowhere near as ridiculous as a regular bra as it’s just an extra layer underneath the top with elastic under the bust area to keep it in place. These are my absolute favourites.
  • Adhesive cups. Theeese are pretty cool!
  • Disposable stickers. Some of them even give a little lift action!
  • Loose-fitting tops.
  • Leotards.
  • Men’s Undershirts.
  • Vests.
  • ZeeBraz¬†Still a bra, but looks pretty cool and less restrictive.
  • Breast Rest¬†This looks interesting… It’s sort of a support system that goes around the breasts, so they’re still out in the open and able to breathe. Worth a look.

I’m glad this question prompted me to look into the whole bra thing. Bras are a form of oppression for a lot of women. If you’d rather not wear them, don’t. Find the alternative(s) that work(s) best for you. I’m already thinking about the changes I can make, the purchases I should make, and the confidence I will definitely find within myself to be more comfortable.

Also, funny that I’m wearing these socks today:

Strength. Courage. Hope.

Want to read a bit more?

The Purpose of the Bra

Bra-Free Experiences

Going Braless Forum

More Detailed Info On My Points

I Know It’s Saturday

I’m doing 5 Question Friday on Saturday. Whatever. Who makes the rules anyway?! Here we go!

1. Vow renewal ceremonies-yay or nay?

Nay. All of the years of marriage are covered in that one ceremony. What’s the point of doing it again? The vows taken do not expire. They are not conditional. Nothing makes them null and void (with the exception of legal separation, divorce, etc., in which case, it would not be a renewal, but a starting-over-and-remarrying). Poverty, sickness, bad times… All covered in the vows. I see no need, no reason, to say it all again. Unless a couple is really looking for a reason to party, wants some attention, or didn’t really mean the vows in the first place. Orrr the first ceremony was a big rush and/or low scale (often the case with unplanned pregnancy), or just-made-sense more than the commitment was actually wanted (often the case when immigration/citizenship is involved). Other than that, nay. Lol.

2. What sound/s annoy you the most?
  • Pencils/markers on paper or cardboard
  • Cardboard scraping against cardboard
  • That hooorrrrrrible clicking/clucking thing people do at the back of their throats. fkj;fdkl;jhgk;hjkdfhjkghj;ghjkbn I hate it!
  • BZZZZZ! Flies, mosquitoes, bees, people… Doesn’t matter who is doing it. Me no likey.
  • The word “no” when I need to hear “yes”
  • The old Nokia ringtone. Can we all PLEASE say goodbye to 2001?
  • Frog croaking (YUCK!)
3. If you had to pick, would you have only all boys, or only all girls for kids?
For goats, I don’t think I’d care. I don’t want goats anyway. For children? That would be horrible. *leans close to microphone* I’d like two and two please.

4. Do you believe in alternative medicine?
What’s there to believe (or not believe) in? I believe in healthy living. Whatever works. Different strokes for different folks, right? Really, whatever makes the most sense. It’d be pretty difficult to kill a rat with a fly swat, and ridiculous to try killing a fly with rat poison.

5. Would you take a family member’s children and raise them if they needed it?
Right away, as long as I am able. As a matter of fact, I’d like to adopt a child, period.

5 Things I’d Rather Be Doing

It’s FIVE THINGS FRIDAY!

Ok, I may have made that up. Whatever. I think it’s cool. This Friday, I’ll tell you 5 things I’d rather be doing. I’m at work, and I don’t like it here, so I’d really rather do just about anything. Picking just 5 is harrrd.

  1. Making lasagna. This comes to mind because Babe and I were at the grocery store last night, and I said, “Think we should get ricotta cheese and lasagna pasta so I could make lasagna?” Babe said, “If you’re gonna make it…” That settled it. I didn’t get the items. Mostly because we had spaghetti this week. That’s just red meat overload. And Italian overload. In one. Still, I’d rather be making lasagna right now. Even if it makes the kitchen really hot. Lasagna is awesome. Work is not.
  2. NookBook shopping. I could really use new books for my Nook (Nooklebury Nookington). That, however, requires money on the card. The bank I use for such things is not one I’ve visited much at all. I rarely make deposits there. I should toss some money on it so I could buy things. Like NookBooks. And shirts for work. That requires having money that can actually be disposed of in such a way though, huh? Hmmm…
  3. Having lunch with friends. People I like. Food. Drinkage. (Yes, I made that word up.) That is what life is supposed to be about. Not 40 hours/wk of supreme boredom. *stares at office walls*
  4. Tanning on the beeeeeach. Yep. Under the sun. On the sand. Near the water. In the moment. Out of the office. *closes eyes for a mental journey*
  5. Visiting my grandmother. Hospitals are boring. She’s in one. I’d keep her company.

(From myglitters.info)

What 5 things would you rather be doing at the moment?

Iron Like a Lion

Day 15 – Something or someone you couldn’t live without because you’ve tried living without it.

I couldn’t live without iron. I have iron-deficiency¬†anaemia, and it can get pretty nasty. It’s the most common type of anaemia, but mine is a little strange. It seems that my body doesn’t store iron. Not only that, it has a bit of difficulty in absorbing iron in the first place. This means I have to intake more iron than the average person. Even more than most anaemic people. It really becomes difficult since, generally, I don’t eat red meat. I try to eat beef every now then since it’s the only meat I can stomach aside from chicken and turkey. I can’t eat beef everyday, so I supplement myself with spinach, apples, raisins, oatmeal, etc.

There have been a few times that my iron has been quite low. My iron level should be between 30 and 100, and the first time it dropped really low was when I was in university. I was extremely tired, had frequent headaches, found it difficult to concentrate, etc. Finally, I went to the doctor. After testing, the doctor told me she had no idea how I was able to stand up, let alone walk across campus to her office. My iron was at 4. Now the thing about iron is that it drops quickly, but it takes forever to build it back up. I had to visit the doctor every week, and she wasn’t pleased with how slowly it was increasing, especially considering the amount of tablets I was taking. I did all the little tricks like taking B12, and taking vitamin C at the same time as the iron supplements. Nothing worked. It became clear than my body was not responsive to the pills anymore. What did this mean? SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS, SHOTS! And not the fun kind.

Another time, when I was living off campus, I felt near-death. My mother called me one day, and just from the way I sounded, she became upset. She called my grandaunt and asked her to call me and see if she could figure out what was going on. Eventually, my great-grandmother and dad were calling me too. They all decided that I sounded awful. My mother later said that I sounded “like you didn’t have another minute to live!” Somehow, I made it to the hospital where they discovered that my iron was low AND my blood sugar level dropped (probably because I had no energy to make myself anything to eat.) I got iron shots, and IVs. It was great. My great-grandmother, mother, and father all hopped on a plane and travelled 9 hours to get to me. By the time they got to me, there was nothing left to do but wait for my iron level to go up. They sat with me day after day as I stayed curled up on the couch, covered by blankets. (With my iron so low, I was always freezing.) My dad force-fed me various things including beets (Yum!) and Guinness (YUCK!). He literally FED me. And HELD DRINKS WITH STRAWS for me. Carried me around. Even things that tasted good, I didn’t feel like eating or drinking. I can’t really describe the feeling of complete weakness.

That was the last time my iron has ever been that low. I don’t know what the level actual was, but I know that I need not ever feel that way again. Since that experience, I found an amazing product¬†that’s all natural and keep my iron where it needs to be. A little every morning, the right combination of vitamins, and iron-rich food in every meal, and it’s smooooth sailing. Most of the time. I snack as much as possible during the day on things like yummy mixes, apples, and fruit snacks¬†with the occasional sweets (to keep the sugar up and maybe give me some fake energy). I also drink VitaMalt when I think my meal may be a little lacking in iron-enrichment.

So, yeah. I need iron in my life. The snacks and food I’ve mentioned and the magic liquid iron probably save my life daily. I DID try living without, and I ended up quite… Lifeless.

Hyperbole and a Half: How a Fish Almost Destroyed My Childhood

Hyperbole and a Half: How a Fish Almost Destroyed My Childhood.

Have yourself a Funny little Friday! This story is a must read! Clicky the linky!

It’s Thankful Thursday!

Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†-Buddhist Quote

Honestly, I’m not feeling particularly thankful. I’m actually in a not-so-great mood. It’s not fun. You know… When your mood sucks. I’d rather be happy. I knooow, [mocking tone] haaappiness is a decisionnn. It’s just a decision I don’t feel like making right now. I’m gonna play King of Sorrow by Sade, allow myself to have a moment, and THEN, if I FEEL like it, I’ll decide to be happy. And thankful. Wait right here while I go do that, k?

[King of Sorrow plays as I sing some parts, and just cry during others. Then a few minutes of silence as I get myself together. Wash my face. Drink some water. Clean my glasses. Put them on for the first time today. Look back at the task at hand. Take deeeep breath. Sip more water. Choose to be happy. Think of all the things I should be thankful for, even if I’m not in this moment. Until I AM.]

Okay. I’m ready. It’s another Thankful Thursday, so you know a list is coming, right? Here are things I’m thankful for today:

  1. Life. My life, although I haven’t managed to like every single minute of it, is not too shabby. I breathe without labour. I have food to eat when I’m hungry. I have clean water to drink, cook, and shower. I have family and friends, and they’re real.
  2. Healthcare. My grandmother is in the hospital. For the first time in her life (aside from giving birth to her children). Two days ago, she felt very ill. Heart racing, feeling weak, etc. Yesterday morning was worse. The decision was made to call the ambulance. Her blood sugar level was almost 5x what it should have been. I visited her last night. She looked good. She was calm, relaxed, and well-taken care of by the hospital staff, and her children.
  3. Lunch. Babe made spaghetti last night. I wasn’t hungry by the time I got home, so I didn’t eat. Still, Babe made enough meat sauce for me to have some for lunch today. I just made some noodles this morning, and BAM! Lunch. (I love bringing lunch from home, and very much dislike buying lunch. Especially since the places around here are: hot dog vendors, the worst Chinese food ever, and a sandwich/pasta deli with super salty food.)
  4. Internet. Keeps me entertained at work, connects me with friends AND new people, keeps me in touch with Babe while we’re apart, loads of information at my fingertips… It’s just great.
  5. Grams’ humor. My grandmother is super funny. And good-natured. And positive. It cracks me up a lot. Here’s a bit of the exchange I had with her:
Me: Hi, Grammyyy!
Gram: Oh, look who it is! How you doooing?
Me: Nooo, how are YOU doing?
Gram: Me? I’m in TOP SHAPE! [This is her standard answer to the above question, no matter what!]
Me: Top. Shape? Then what are you doing in here?
Gram: Good question. What I doing in here, hey? This ain’ no way to spend a vacation now, is it?
Me: *laughs* No, not at all. *looks around room* You don’t even have an ocean view in this room.
Gram: Yes, I do! Look! *points at picture of a beach scene on wall*
Me: Oh! You do! I see.
Gram: *laughs*
———————–
Gram: Yes, everyone (minus Chris) was here today. All of them (my 8 children minus Chris) were standing up out there, working on getting me this room. The hospital was full.
Me: Oh, yeah, I heard there were no beds. That’s good you got one. And they were here to make sure you got sorted out.
Gram: Yes. The only one I didn’t see today is Chris. It’s his birthday. We were supposed to be having a party tonight.
Me: Party?
Gram: Yes, for his birthday.
Me: Oh, well I guess we’ll have to party later. When we get you outta here.
Gram: Yes, we’ll probably do it for Stevie’s (grandson) birthday. His is on [insert day here].
———————–
The woman was in the hospital, making me laugh, and talking about eating crab cakes, mangoes, and having birthday parties with cake. What a woman!
I have to say that I feel much better than I’d decided to feel a few minutes ago. Thinking of the things I’m thankful for and remembering the exchange with Gram… It really put things into perspective. And reminds me that I’m control of my happiness. Sure, there are sucky moments, and there may be times when it’s harder to pick myself up and be great… Sometimes, I may need a nudge from a friend, a lunch packed by my Babe, a nice email/text message, a surprise phone call from a far-away friend, a cupcake, or a can of COOOLLLD Coca-Cola… But at the end of the day, I can WANT to be happy, and MAKE. IT. HAPPEN. For knowledge of this, I am thankful.
HAPPY THANKFUL THURSDAY!
What are you thankful for today?

I Don’t Want a Secret Hero

Day 14 – A hero that has let you down (letter)

This is just silly. I don’t want to do this one, honestly. I peeked ahead, and this is one that I just knew I couldn’t be bothered to do. I’m not into heroes. Don’t have any. And today, I’m in a particularly off mood. I just want to go back to my bed, and not deal with today. I am, however, going to force myself to write this damn letter.

 

GUITAR HERO ROCKED MY FREAKING SOCKS in 2009. WOO! (Picture from Google Images)

Dear Hero,

I don’t know who you are. Apparently, everyone has someone like you… Someone to look up to. Someone to save them from distress. Or themselves. Someone to come rushing in at the precise moment when they’re needed most. Maybe you’re just not a good one. Maybe you’re so good that I don’t notice I need you, or that you came to my rescue. You just fix things, make things happen, stop things from happening SO fast that I can’t tell. You don’t let anything get close enough to me for me to notice. In that case, I guess you rock, and I should change my attitude and the tone of this letter. At the same time, you should show me a little respect. I should know what goes on in my life. Even the things that ALMOST went on, or COULD HAVE went on (if you weren’t there to stop them). How am I supposed to learn if I don’t know these things? Maybe there are people I should stay away from, things I should stop doing, actions I should take… How would I know this if you always save the day… IN SECRET?

Here’s how you can step your hero game up:

– Save lives

– Stop bad things from happening

– Make good things happen

– Let me know when and how you do all of the above things

– Teach me what I need to learn to be self-sufficient and live a more productive life so that YOU can go off and save some other person

Ummm… The end. Bye.

Alicia

Still life: Bent objects ¬Ľ OWNI.eu

 

 

 

 

This is just too funny. Just what I needed this morning. A good little laugh. (I had to make it little since I’m at work, with actual work-ish things to do.)

Still life: Bent objects ¬Ľ OWNI.eu, News, Augmented.