Sunday, February 21, 2016

And there goes February...

February is generally my least favourite month, especially in Victoria. It is grey, like smokestacks dumping toxic fumes into the sky, kind of grey. Dismal really. It pretty much sucks the life out of me. I feel exhausted the majority of the time and would really just prefer to stay in bed for this month.

Unfortunately, I have that mortgage thing that needs to get paid off, which generally means going to work and doing that work thing, so I kind of need to not lie in bed all the time...

So how do I manage?

Well Andrea version 1.0 probably would have drank a lot or just buried herself in school & work hoping one day she would just magically wake up and it would be March and February would just be like waking up from a really bad dream. Stings for a bit and then you forget about it because you don't have to go back there, it's not "real," it's a dream. Unless of course February is best conceptualized as a re-occurring nightmare, which kind of sucks because that is really just what being depressed is like.

So how does Andrea version 2.0 deal? Well, first off, accepting that February is going to be a challenge is a great first step. Why deny it?! February is kind of dreary anyways but it is more so when you are me and you are depressed.

Acceptance is kind of important to me because it gives me a chance to plan, my plan of action for dealing with this crappy month. Now, I'm pretty in tune with myself, that I could tell back in September that this was going to be a rough winter and that I would probably need to find a pretty solid way to deal with it. And so, Hawaii happened.

And while everyone was feeling super jealous I was in Hawaii for a week, I encouraged those same people that the only reason I was in Hawaii was so I could make it through the month of February. So if a vacation that gives you a break from thinking about suicide is your idea of a fun time, I have to say, you need to work on finding a better definition of fun. Now it is not that I didn't enjoy my time in Hawaii, I did, it's fucking Hawaii after all but it is kind of hard to enjoy your entire 24/7 Hawaiian experience when you know you are only there because it really is just one of the many tools in your tool box that you utilize in the hopes that you will make it through the month alive. Personally, I would rather stay in rainy grey Victoria if it means I don't feel so depressed I need to flee the country to some sunny local in order to survive it.

And yes confessing all this feels super annoying to me, like some how I should be better than that and not be depressed and be able to magically cure myself by simply hoping on a plane to Hawaii but I can't. And really none of us can do that. If we could simply do that, there would be no depressed people. Obviously, not the case.

And so, when you ask me how my trip to Hawaii was, I want you to know that behind that glorious smile of mine and basic banter I throw at you (don't want anyone to feel too uncomfortable) I'm really just jealous of you. As if your biggest concern is whether or not you can get away for a vacation. Because I know nothing is that simple but god I really wish it was. I really wish for all of us that our biggest concern is whether or not we can afford to go on that vacation and escape for a bit and not whether or not we will be here tomorrow. Because the latter is depression and I don't wish that on anyone.

And so I will keep on smiling and pretending in the vain hope that one day I wake up, February is over, the fog of depression has lifted, and I don't have to try so hard anymore.

And if you read this and any of this rings true to you and you need to reach out to someone but you feel like there is no one, please know I am always here for you. You are not alone. This feeling will pass and you will feel better again. I promise. We will get through this together.


Lionel Richie knows things get better...hello!

Happy in Hawaii (it's all window dressing)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Another V-day adventure: Where's Paulo?

You may remember my good friend Paulo, if not, you have some reading to catch up here, I will wait.

It seems to be a v-day tradition of mine (no not venereal disease day but valentines day) to reflect on Paulo. Last year I shared a tale of some adventure that Paulo tried to get me to join him on but which got thwarted by US customs agents and this year I will share another tale about the beloved Paulo and US customs.

Actually US customs only get a small mention this time... this time, I was on my way to Hawaii that US customs detained me briefly for extra screening because of some suspicious items in my carry on baggage. Yes, I had two glasses cases, one to house my regular prescription glasses and the other to hold my sunglasses. I can only assume this was considered suspicious because I was in fact not wearing any glasses at the time and there was that guy the week before who tried to bring on a bomb to the plane hidden in his Ray-Ban sunglasses. Damn bombers, ruining protective eye wear for everyone traveling to sunny exotic locations via airplane from here on in.

So I arrive in Hawaii to a text that asks me if I have seen Paulo yet? If Paulo is to be found in Hawaii it sure wasn't on my Air Canada flight where I sat in steerage. So I can only assume Paulo decided to join me in Hawaii via some other route with less humans (e.g., private jet or naval carrier) and now it was up to me to find him. Kind of like a Where's Waldo but Paulo style which means trying to find a guy with no discerning characteristics. Good luck with that.

So here is what I can tell you... I can tell you where Paulo wasn't!

As we have already established, he was not on my flight to Hawaii...
Cute & adorable airplane selfie
Paulo was not in the rental car...not even in the trunk (a typical hiding spot of his!)
Car selfie
Paulo was not camped out in the backyard of the house I was staying at...apparently I was told, that the area I was staying in was a place people only ventured to if they had to visit family...

ghetto backyard selfie

Paulo was not on the side of this really dry mountain on the way to the Buddhist meditation center...
mountain on the way to meditate
Paulo was not at the Buddhist meditation center...

Me and a Buddhist monk (aka not Paulo)
Paulo was not at the bookstore where a giant snake tried to eat my head...

Me and a giant snake (aka not Paulo)
Paulo was not at the bowling alley (the bowling alley located in the rich part of town...fucking hipsters!)...
Paulo was not at one of the many scenic lookouts we stopped at...
I see whales but no Paulo...
And finally Paulo was not at the waste sanitation facility...btw this facility was located in the neighbourhood I was staying the ghetto...
Waste!! It smelled like it too!
After the waste sanitation facility and still no Paulo, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to see him on this trip.

After I arrived home, I received this text picture...

Pablo is Paulo in Spanish!

Apparently Paulo is now Pablo and he's hanging out in Mexico a Starbucks...that certainly narrows down his location.

Until next time, may your life be filled with all things Paulo or at least a nice sunny vacation during the grey month, also known as February in Victoria :)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

what to expect when seated beside me on an airplane

"If we get hungry I have scabs we can eat."

This was my insertion into the conversation my two friends were having about possible food options that would be served on our Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Honolulu. 

Random inappropriateness, that's me. But I don't just stop there, nope I have to take it just one step further. 
snack for the plane!

I pull up my legging to reveal my previously mentioned food offering. "I think it looks like Italy, see it kind of looks like a boot, don't you think?"

 This is seriously the awesome kind of fun you can expect to have on vacation with me, actually this is just me all the time. It is possible I get a tad more weird (or as I like to say eccentric) when on vacation because I'm not confined to the rules and regulations normal humans like to impose on one another. You know rules that suggest not discussing in public the possible nutritional value of various types of human tissue.

Not that I don't like rules, please don't misinterpret that!! I love order, rules, laws all sorts of things that confines ones rights and freedoms, I just like it best when I'm the one who gets to decide what should be law and what is considered normal. Hence, all my dictator fantasies. 

Now as much as I would like to turn this into another post about my love of dictatorships, I will instead loop back to the original intention of this post, which was to give you an insider's look at what to expect if you have the (un)fortunate experience of sitting beside me on an airplane.

 Flight One - Victoria to Vancouver

Nothing is more exciting than getting off Vancouver Island on to some adjacent land structure that is attached to the mainland (i.e., the continent of North America), in record time (i.e., not on BC Ferries). Sure the ferries are cool, like the first time but anything after that makes you feel like you want to bleach your skin. Too many people, too little space and takes way too long.  Flying solves one of those problems for you, and if you ask me it is well worth the price of admission. If you can't get rid of people or have access to lots of personal space, you may as well suffer these in less time than it takes to cross the Georgia straight on a fucking ferry.

I'm not entirely sure my seat mate would have agreed with this statement. He may have liked the ferry option because then he could have throw himself overboard as one last ditch effort to get rid of me. See on a plane seated at the window, you can't go anywhere but into the dark recesses of your mind. Which for my seatmate was a pretty terrifying experience I think judging from the fact he flew white knuckled the whole way. 

Yeah, he was freaking out and I did little to calm his nerves because I was afraid I would be very effective and he would falsely feel safe and secure in my presence. Naturally this would lead to him becoming obsessed with me (the unhealthy kind of obsession, not the healthy kind which are the ones I have). By the end of that flight, enough endorphin/adrenaline will have passed through his brain to create a strong enough delusion for him to think he is actually in love with me and I am his soul mate (not just seat mate). Then of course he would propose to me on landing, which would be very awkward, seeing as after I politely reject his offer of marriage, I would have to wait another 10 minutes before I could  exit the plane. 

Now i know what you are thinking, WTF Andrea, none of that makes any sense!? Were you reading Mindy Kaling's new book? Um, yes I am reading that but let me explain the context above.

First off, dude was hot and very stylish, perfect leading man material (i.e., charismatic serial killer), I sit down, we exchange pleasantries.  Then I go to put my bag under the seat and my pen falls out of the side pocket and rolls under the seat in front of him.

Now, if you know anything about me, I love my pens. After all, I am the gal who bought herself a $100 fountain pen because I liked the way it felt in my hand, perfectly weighted. Beautiful really.

Anyways, so my pen is rolling under the seat and I start to panic, I can't lose this pen, and no it is not the $100 fountain pen but it is still like a pretty awesome pen and I don't want to lose it in the bowels of the Air Canada cabin. So I dive in after it, with not much of a warning to my seatmate. When I realize the pen is out of my reach I look up to explain to him that I need to get my pen and that is why I'm forging around down below him not just because I want to get up close and personal with his moose knuckle (i.e., ball sack), which is what I end up getting a face full of as I turn to explain to him about the pen. Naturally this freaks me out more and I dive in even further to grab my pen, because maybe if I try harder my arm will grow and I will be able to grab it?!?!

Needless to say, I was down there longer than I wanted to be, it was the closest I've been to a dude's junk in like over two years, and it was extremely embarrassing for everyone involved. The good news was I got my pen.

So after that catastrophe I was kind of feeling awkward so I figured I would make a joke to lighten the mood and that is when I noticed he had pulled out a magazine and was reading an article on match making, meeting your soul mate on a plane. 

Well now I couldn't make a joke because then it would draw too much attention to the possibility of me being his soul mate, seeing as I was practically giving the guy a blow job over trying to retrieve my pen.

It was all so ridiculous. The moment screamed romantic comedy, so I pulled out my iPod and drowned out the experience with some Ellie Goulding.  Which I recognize is also kind of in the theme of what I was trying to avoid but whatever, it was the best I had at that moment.

In the end, if you ever have the experience of being seated beside me on a plane, you can expect the following: (1) your seatmate will be glorious, (2) your seatmate will not be the woman of you dreams, and (3) your seatmate will not give you a blow job. 

The last two may be mutually exclusive, not sure. After all, I 'm not a dude who got to meet me, be in my heavenly presence and not receive a blow job but I suspect that would be a horrible terrible experience akin to being eaten alive by cannibals. 

Selfie on a plane!