Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 39 of 52: And that's why I'm single... part 3

So let me first say that there is no official part 1 or 2 of this blog topic. Why? Well because I think you can really consider each and every blog post as an example of why I'm single. And no i don't mean that in a negative way, I'm actually saying that in a factual and objective kind of way.

I'm quite enjoying where I am at right now in my life, which just happens to be a "relationship-free" moment of my life. Despite the occasional and less frequently occurring desire to be intimate with someone (read: fuck someone's brains out) I'm pretty much good with not having a relationship. Why? Well, right now the costs of being in a relationship outweigh the benefits of having regular mind-blowing sex with someone (and those other things that boyfriends provide that my best friends don't already provide...I'm not sure what those things are so just use your imagination and fill in the fucking blanks already!).

Yeah, relationships are just too much work for me right now. So I'm just going to pass. After all, let's not forget I am a perfectionist and for me to be in a relationship I have to be at my best and I will accept nothing less. It is a painful truth for many people that I am voluntarily off the market, except for my team of health care professionals, they all tend to be in agreement that it is best I not be in a relationship right now. And do we really want to argue with science? I mean if we do, it is kind of a slippery slope and the next thing I know you are telling me evolution is a hoax and I'm actually listening to you instead of walking away from you. And there is just something wrong if I start giving my valuable time to crazy people.

And speaking of crazy people. I do have a knack for dating crazy unstable people. Maybe I see myself in them, I don't know but it is probably best for me to try a relationship with someone who is less crazy than me (and he definitely has to believe in evolution, I'm sorry that is a deal breaker).

I have to say being single actually requires work, not as much work as being in a relationship but at times I even started to wonder... Yes there were a few male friends of mine (not best friend tier) who felt the need to pursue me with gusto. And some of them actually made me have to spell it out for them. Life is a lot easier if I just don't answer your text and then you never bother me again. But for some reason these particular humans found me ignoring text messages as a sign that I wanted to communicate more with them.

It was very confusing.

I'm not one for beating around the bush, when I don't want to date you, I can be pretty up front about it. For example, "No I don't want to date you because you smoke and I would never date a smoker. It's kind of a non-negotiable item actually. And yes, I used to smoke and I respect your right to smoke but that doesn't mean I would ever date you. In fact, I find you kind of unattractive because of the whole you smoking thing. And I kind of like to date people I'm attracted to."

Sounds like I'm being pretty clear, doesn't it?!

Yes, well some people just don't take no for an answer. And guess what another deal breaker is, you not listening to me! Yup, it's true. I now aim to date men that respect my opinion as opposed to my previous type of "I hear your opinion Andrea and you will now change it so it is exactly like mine and if you don't that means you don't really love me or value being in this relationship." Harsh, right?! Yeah, trying to stay clear of those ones. ugh

So while I'm not dating smokers or controlling co-dependent assholes, that leaves a whole bunch of other men, that to be honest I don't know who they are exactly because I'm not talking to them right now. But let me tell you, there are very attractive single men EVERYWHERE and they just happen to float across my radar every now and then and I have to overt my eyes for fear that eye contact will be established and then they will start talking to me and then I will start talking to them and we will have a nice banter and then blah blah mind blowing sex is happening. I just can't risk it. And no I'm not over-reacting!

And here is why. Because when I was talking to attractive men, who were single, I was too busy trying not to flirt and act too interested in them that I just came off super anal (yes, more anal than I normally am!) which I will admit is kind of entertaining. Especially when I get the hand sanitizer out. But really it just got me thinking why the fuck are we wasting each others time here anyways? If I have no intention of dating  anyone right now, why hang out with those attractive single men?! I don't know about you, but I have enough friends and the friends I do have are not ones that I fantasize about them throwing me up against a wall and ravishing my body. Why hang out with someone where all you can do is think of what sexual positions you would like to try with them, especially when you have no intention of trying any of those sexual positions with them in the foreseeable future. Seems like a very inefficient use of my time and theirs.

And don't say to me that maybe I should just have sex already because there is nothing wrong with that. And I would agree there is nothing wrong with sex, sex is awesome, I love it; however, sex is wrong for me, right now in my life at this particular moment. That is my decision and it is backed by my health care team of professionals, people who actually care about my well being and not how well I'm going to get them off if I have sex with them. Yes, you telling me to just have sex is so transparent as to where your intentions really lie. Because let's face it, if we have sex, it will possibly be the best sex you ever have in your life and for me it will likely be just some other experience with some guy who cared mostly about blowing his load than anything to do with my pleasure. I get that not all guys are that way just the majority of the ones I happen to have sex with. Which I'm sure is an anomaly, right??!! After all, men have a long established history of caring about women and their needs!! Wait a minute!! No they don't. They actually have a long established history of objectifying women and not considering them human beings...

Yes I'm being sassy over here so chill the fuck out and laugh already. (BTW - the next guy I date will find me super hilarious AND not because he is weird but because I AM super hilarious).

So in sum, there are a lot of very attractive, single men out there. Some of them will be selfless in bed, some may even be intelligent and 98% of them will find me super hilarious. And that is awesome but that doesn't mean I want to date any of them right now. Also, I'm pretty sure those men will be around next spring when I'm more likely to take up the adventure of dating again. Until then I just don't care to put the energy into that right now. And that's why I'm single...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Week 38 of 52: Andrea in real life

The reason I always answer good to the question, how was your week? is not because my week was good but because I can never remember what I did yesterday let alone for the whole preceding 6 days to yesterday! So good, seems like a reasonable answer to give and likely not to provoke further questioning of my said week, which I cannot remember. 

It is often after this exchange of social niceties with people, that I pause and consider the high probability of me being diagnosed with some form of dementia if I was over the age of 60. This thought usually causes me to panic and think "OMG! What did I do this past week?! Why can't I remember and why can't i even remember what I did yesterday??!!" This will lead to additional panic and then some more panic and then I will pull out my iPhone.

Why pull out the iPhone? Because my iPhone has an uncanny way of making everything ok. In these types of instances my iPhone Twitter app is what comforts me as I know it will prolong my inevitable dementia diagnosis.

Thank god for Twitter! Yes, Twitter provides me with a lovely reminder as to what I actually did the week before. Why? Because I generally try to tweet once a day about something...anything...

You may argue that I would only tweet some things I got into and certainly not everything. And most likely my tweets would leave out the gory gooey good stuff that happened during my week. 

I would retort, what do you think my life consists of anyways??!! hot tubs, cocaine and orgies??!! This is Andrea 2.0, I won't step foot in a hot tub because of the germs, I won't do any drugs that will interfere with my spiritual journey of self growth and my running! And yes, right now my definition of drugs would include mind blowing no orgies! And after I rant at you a bit about that, all offended and shit that you would even think such things of me, I will add (probably in a very snarky way) that clearly you don't follow me on twitter. Because if you did, you would know, I will tweet about anything.

Picture of bloody foot.
For example, my bloody foot got two mentions and a picture today after I finished my run. True story (see picture of bloody foot). Yes, I tweeted that picture and yes it got three favourites from some of my awesome ultra marathoner followers. [Note: I also emailed my coach about my bloody foot sans picture and surprisingly he has not is possible that he has something else to do today other than read about my bloody foot]. 

Anyways, what is not surprising, is that the three favourites of my bloody foot all came from ultra marathoners. After all, they would be the ones most likely to appreciate a bloody foot, a likely occurrence for them after running 100 miles...maybe not so likely for them after doing the measly 15k I did but a bloody foot none the less.

Yes, one would think that bloody feet happen after runs a little longer than 15k and that is probably very true. However, those people who run longer than me and have bloody feet are not me and I apparently missed a spot the last time I cut my toenails. I cut my toenails a couple of days ago, after my toenail cut up my other foot and blood got everywhere. It seems, that the only way I remember to cut my toenails is after they cut up my feet and soak my socks in blood. I probably should try another reminder system, one that is less bloody. As this frequent blood loss from overgrown toenails may be partially contributing to my iron deficiency.

Feet: post-blood.
So yeah, that's what happened today from about 8am to 10:30am (actually tweeted the picture of the bloody foot at 10:18am if we want to get specific about it). 

Some other stuff happened this week to me, stuff that did not involve bloody feet (true story!). 

According to twitter, this past Monday I retweeted @TheCesspit's review of some restaurant in Victoria that served meat. That tweet got a lot of traction from the twitterverse, not as much as a bloody foot does, but that isn't really surprising is it?! So other than the fact that this tweet proves nothing beats a bloody foot, even a restaurant that serves stupid amounts of meat, it proves that I am an awesome friend. Yes, I'm talking about me being an awesome friend!! Let's face it, I must be awesome because I still retweet @TheCesspit's reviews even when they are about restaurants that serve slaughtered animals and I'm not even eating meat right now! Sure @TheCesspit writes reviews containing many astute observations of Victoria's culinary scene but more importantly he quotes me in his reviews. And that is always worthy of a retweet.

On Tuesday, Twitter reports that I used the Pythagorean Theorem in my pattern making class. Yes, it is true, i totally geeked out in my design class. I brought some much needed humour to a class that generally riddles me with anxiety (I got heartburn from the first class!) because it involves drafting patterns and pattern making requires accuracy and I'm so OCD when it comes to being accurate, I tend to over think it. Like for example, using geometry to test the accuracy of my measurements. I will say that was a first for the instructor. And I will have you know that I was only .5 off using the Theorem versus measuring the line with a ruler (i.e., the normal way designers do it). 

Twitter also reported that I was upset my coach wasn't paying enough attention to me. Yes, Princess Andrea was out in full force after her failed experiment with math in design class. I'm not sure how many emails I sent my coach last week (I was really anxious) but it was many I'm sure. And no he didn't respond to them in a timely fashion (read: immediately) and yes that frustrated me. And yes I am aware that I am being unreasonable but that has never stopped me before...

On Wednesday, I put out a call to the twitterverse for shit to be slung at @TheCesspit because he totally bailed on our morning run! Digestive issues!? Seriously dude?! If I didn't run every time my digestive system acted up, I wouldn't be a runner. My stomach is always upset about something, likely due to me being riddled with anxiety all the time, and I just can't let it win and neither should you!!

On Thursday, Twitter says that I spend too much time on Twitter. I also offer a rationale as to why I prefer my own company over spending time with others. Apparently it is because when I hang out with people I am giving them a portion of my life and let's face it most people don't deserve it. However, I seem to have no issue with spending time on twitter and sharing my life with it...I'm sure some technophobe is fucking losing their shit right about now after reading that. Haha. 

On Friday, I retweet some guy blasting coke for trying to bring out a healthy coca cola product. Yeah, true story. I can't really confirm that Coke did in fact try to be healthy (although there was a picture of the new Coke in the tweet) as I don't own a television so i have yet to be inundated with commercials full of polar bears being active and eating vegan meals; however, I am sure those polar bears make wonderful brand ambassadors for coke! 

On Saturday I retweet a beautiful photo of fall (see photo below) and a quote about how life is too short for me to be at war with myself. Yeah, I think me and my team of health care professionals are well aware of that issue. You know, the issue where my perfectionism becomes negative and I end up beating myself up for whatever bullshit expectation I placed on myself at that moment. And let’s just say that this week was full of bullshit expectations that could not possibly have been met, the type of expectations that truly belong in a bleak Dickens’s novel and not in my life.  

That brings us to Sunday, today. According to Twitter I apparently had a bloody foot…did I mention the bloody foot yet?!

This was NOT the awesome photo of fall I retweeted but it is a photo of fall.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 37 of 52: Paulo #nofilter

It rarely happens but Paulo (not to be confused with Paolo my festering infected lipoma) has unearthed himself from his cave...he is on the grid for a full 9 hours and in that time he is going to contribute to my blog this week.

FYI - I do this to all people who insist on showing up in my life with little lead time around the time I have to post my weekly blog entry. And yes, calling me as your seaplane lands in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, is just not enough time for me to prepare myself mentally for your arrival or send off a blog post.
Paulo angry - so mean!

You may recognize Paulo from his portrait on my living room wall. A beautiful photo I must say (I took it), of Paulo and a smoking firecracker, moments before he threw it onto the beach, which was littered with sea lions below. The only evidence that we did spend three days terrorizing the city of San Diego together (oh and there was also that new age massage therapist we picked up, he kind of spearheaded the whole reign of terror). Sigh...good times. 
Paulo is one of my friends who has elite membership to my best friend tier. Yes there are two other tiers, simply called second and third tier. Most humans I acknowledge fit into one of those two categories. As for the rest of the rodents, they do not exist within my friendship tier structure and as such cease to exist in AndreaLand. It is better for everyone that way, I assure you.

I have been friends with Paulo for 12 years, we never lived in the same city and once we lived in the same time zone. Paulo is one of my favourite humans to travel with, mostly because our trips are so random. I mean how many times throughout your travels have you just happened to come across a mass burial site or a gay porn studio? Totally random shit that I blame on our complete lack of planning and over reliance on spontaneity as a valid way to make decisions, when we hang out together.

Paulo is what some people refer to as an international citizen, kind of like Jason Borne but without all the guns (not that I’m aware of). Paulo and I first met in the biker town of Sherbrooke, Quebec. We bonded over a ridiculous amount of $1 tequila shots we kept ordering at this skuzzy biker bar, that surprisingly did not smell of urine (note: neither the bar or tequila smelt of urine). It is still unknown as to how many tequila shots we consumed that night and some historians quote it as high as 67. I'm pretty sure it was more like 24, although I was with Paulo and stranger things have happened in his company. What I am sure of that happened that night, was the start of a beautiful friendship and that Paulo did throw up in the river. I remember the vomiting well, as I held back Paulo’s long flowing chestnut colored hair as he polluted the town’s fresh water supply for a good 20 minutes. The next day the town issued a water advisory and we have been tight ever since.
The sign outside Paulo's cave

It may seem odd that I have decided to also name my friend, the pustule, Paulo. Except I spell the pustule’s name Paolo. Why did I name my infected lipoma after my good friend Paulo? Well if you met him you would understand. And since you will never meet him, on account of him being a hermit and all, you will get a glimpse into the mind of the great Paulo via this blog post. And when you are done reading you will...likely take up bomb making in your basement or wonder what else you could have done in those four minutes.   

Thank you Andrea, for finally giving up control and letting me type my contribution to your blog all by myself. (round of applause)

Being that this is Andrea's blog I should probably write about Andrea. You might think I'm some bumpkin with no internet and no connection to the outside world surviving on pine cones and beaver meat but if you ever spend enough time alone in an area where there is nothing else to distract you, you gain a sense of clarity for all things Andrea.

First off, you find yourself thinking she is a hot piece of ass and would make a fine mountain wife but then you realize how utterly uptight she has become. Actually, she has always been uptight but now she seems to have perfected the art. I'm not sure if it is because she is turning 60 next year but she makes you want to take her down to the store and buy her a nice leisure suit so she can play Canasta with the girls and chill the fuck out slut. 

Within minutes of my arrival, Andrea suddenly became aware of the fact that she had no food fit for human consumption, as a result of her crazy rawfoodatarian diet, other than a glass of water, which certainly would be laced with chia seeds or some other nonsense. It was apparent, rather quickly, that we needed to hit up a market.  So she took me out into public where the level of mental illness and over tightened personalities roamed freely in the streets where I was defenseless from having to interact with them.  I then realized that Andrea may not be as uptight as I initially may have thought. Although, she suffers from something that more people should be able to appreciate.  That is, she “gives no fucks” about what people may think.  So when she speaks it is honest, genuine and with no holds barred.  If you can’t handle the heat get out of the kitchen.  So, with that in mind, when I consider the interpersonal interactions I have had in my life (most recently they are with wildlife, who happen to make excellent dinner companions) it is easy to see the failings of society through their lack of ability to speak truthfully without fear of what someone may think.  Society has rolled itself up into social lives, which are broadcast out into social media and in blogs, so we want to appear avant-garde or cutting edge in order to feel as though we are accepted.  Eating hemp hearts, and making kale smoothies doesn’t make you interesting, it makes you boring and the same as everyone else.  Are we all clones?
Paulo's actual guard dog (#norabies)

On our trip to the market, I saw men with more bryl cream in the hair than they have oil in the cars (hybrid of course), they had a “look-at-how-bent-out-of-shape-I-am-getting-about-not-being-served-first” look on their face. Does it really matter? Worrying in terror about what organic food they will put in their face tonight, just so they can talk about whatever trendy superfood they tried on the weekend. I didn't have the heart to tell them that organic food has a greater carbon footprint than the regular vegetables you could get form a local farmer. Not to mention the carbon footprint from the manufacturing process of their hybrid car which is parked in the closest parking spot because they just came from the gym and do not need the exercise. 

You see it all in Victoria. Over plucked, over processed bleached and over colored hair, people that look like they fell face first into a MAC cosmetics counter (and that is just the men), running around with their i-whatevers taking for granted the beauty of the world around them in every part of life. Selecting the superfood du jour from whatever birch bark magazine they read this week. I overheard a lady at the meat counter ordering candied salmon and smoked salmon due to some healthy heart diet she and her husband were trying. I suggested to her that she may want to try exercising instead to avoid a coronary. 

According to the black eye I have, my suggestion was out of line. She had a lot of weight behind that punch. 

So with the supermarket finally under control, thanks to Andrea and her fine mediation skills, I decided that the next time I leave my sanctuary of woods, pine cones and critters it will be for a much shorter burst.  Now, it is what you people call 10pm and bedtime, so I suppose I should have my seasonal shower, and hope for some real intimacy with a potential mountain wife, or the attractive neighbor with the pretty mouth.  It seems to be the one thing that puts me in the mood to contend with the approaching winter.

---Paulo # nofilter

Thank you Paulo for that very vivid description of our short time together. It will have to serve as a pleasant reminder for me until the next time you resurface to disrupt the delicate urban landscape the rest of the world calls home. And what is wrong with clones Paulo?! I would love to have clones, which I could control and make do my biding. #justsaying
Skies look like bruises when Paulo visits

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Week 36 of 52: My friend, the pustule.

Well this past week I had another lesson in patience. The lesson I keep being given because the message never sinks in.

So earlier this past week I was sufficiently nervous with anticipation for this Sunday’s Zoot 10k race. A race where I felt I would have the energy and motivation to actually race it and finally have a more accurate idea of what my race pace is. Apparently, according to my coach, my pacing is all over the place, which makes it hard for him to predict paces for me. Personally, I think the urgency behind determining my race pace is driven more by the fact I don’t think my coach likes to be wrong.

So as I was gearing up for the race and freaking out just enough to know that I actually cared about the outcome of this race (a good sign I’m not feeling depressed), I began to dwell on the potential race outcomes. Interestingly enough, I found that each reiteration of the outcome become increasingly intense and more negative. As race day neared, and I fell further down my negative thought spiral, I tried to reminded myself the lessons I have learned from my meditation practice.

In mediation we don’t live in the future or the past but experience the present. But instead of me meditating during these anxious moments, I was just hanging out in my head, panicking about outcomes that hadn’t even happened yet. I was convinced that this was going to be the worst race ever for me based on absolutely nothing objective. Even my coach thought it was odd that I did not feel incredible about my running. Yeah sure, I was running faster and stronger than I had over the past year and a half. But underneath it all I felt a tiredness. A tiredness I knew to well, the tiredness that goes with iron deficiency. The tiredness that fucks up your runs despite your best mental efforts.

So yeah, I was freaked out. Freaked out because I had convinced myself that my iron had dropped again, despite the fact that I was taking 300mg of iron daily for the past month (kind of makes that unlikely, actually). And that come race day, my iron would be so low that the race would feel like it was lasting for an eternity and that would make me hate absolutely every second of that race. And ultimately would make me hate running. I have had too many experiences of that I was not looking to collect anymore of them.

On the other hand, I told myself if I wait around for me to feel super awesome before I decide to race, I may never race again. So despite my paralyzing fear of having a horrible race, I decided I was going to do the race and just accept it for whatever it turned out to be. And instead of me dwelling on what could be, I was just going to focus more intently on the preparation before the race. The proper eating, the getting enough sleep, the meditation. Basically I was going to focus on doing everything right in that moment. I could dwell on the race outcome after I had actually completed the race. Yeah, I know, not ideal thinking either but it is the compromise I gave myself at the time. Baby steps people!

So there I was feeling all renewed and shit to do this race and that is when the lesson of patience was delivered to me…again.

This time in the form of an infection. An infection that had been growing in my body for the past few weeks (now that explains the tiredness!) had decided to become an issue I could no longer ignore.

Quick backgrounder: the lipoma, benign tumor made up of fat cells, that had been living on my upper back the past 8 years had decided to become infected. Apparently my body had all of a sudden decided to reject my lipoma in the weeks before my race (awesome timing right!?). And because I had no idea what was going on (hello, I can’t exactly see back there people!) or any idea it was even possible for a lipoma to just become spontaneously infected (although apparently it happens ALL the time) the infection got pretty bad and required me to be on antibiotics. And at first, when I started the antibiotics, I thought, no problem, I can still race, this will clear up in the next few days. Aren’t I super cute and adorable when I’m all delusional?!

Yeah, it didn’t clear up. Two days before my race, I ended up hanging out in the ER waiting to have my infected lipoma drained by a doctor (who was absolutely lovely btw). After draining the painful lipoma for 30 minutes, wherein the entire ER got to hear me scream in pain (read: swear repeatedly), I asked the question we were all waiting for:

“So, can I run?”

The doctor starts to say yes, in a very hesitant way, and then emphasizes the strict cleaning procedure that will need to happen if I do run.

And that is when I realize I’m coming off like a crazy running addict, like all us runners are perceived because most of us are crazy addicts about running. However, I’m trying to change that, I do NOT want to be that addict anymore. I’m trying to be healthy. I’m trying to live a recovery lifestyle. I don’t want to be compulsive anymore.  So I try another approach.

“So, if I take some time off running, will this infection heal quicker?”

The doctor looks relieved that she is actually dealing with a rational human being (rare in the running world) and says “Absolutely!”

“Well then I guess I’m going to take a break from running.” And I smile. I smile, not just because I was high off the endorphins from the 30 minutes of excruciating pain I just went through but because I was finally not acting in my typical obsessive compulsive way about running. Either I was finally learning something here or this was just some variant of my anal controlling personality. You know that part of my personality that frequently doses my hands in sanitizer because I have “germ issues”. Because seriously people, it does seem super unhygienic of me to get bucket loads of sweat in the gaping hole in my back, doesn’t it?

It is nice for me, all of us I suppose, to think, that in this life, we can grow as people, and actually learn some important lesson, like patience or living in the moment or whatever. Sometimes I think it is just more realistic for me to accept that maybe I will never learn the lesson of patience but instead I will just get better at making my anal controlling personality work in my best interests. I guess it doesn’t matter because in the end, the result is the same.

Despite your best efforts, you will end up with that pustule on your back, and you will have to deal with it puking out infected lipoma for the next few days and you will be in pain and no you will not be running and there is nothing you can do about it. I think what I have learned is that I would rather not freak out about the things I cannot control and instead just let them unfold as they were meant to.

So did I finally learn the lesson of patience? For now I feel I have, and when I forget that lesson, as I always do, I will get another lesson delivered to me to help me remember what I need to keep working on. I just hope next time the lesson doesn’t come in the form of an infected lipoma. #JustSaying

Me running (pre infected lipoma)