Smoke monster.

Everything is on fire.

Wildfire smoke from the interior of BC has made its way over to obscure the skies of Vancouver for another summer. Heat warnings and air quality advisories have dominated the news the last several weeks as we wander about in a sweaty stupor under the watchful eye of an unrelenting sun.

The smoke-filtered light lends an eerie red cast to the roads and sidewalks; its reflection on cars sparkles with an unnerving copper gleam.

A phantom campfire infiltrates my nose on every inhale.

Everything is burning.

Gone are the crystal clear, carefree outdoor summers of my childhood. There were still wildfires, certainly, but their numbers were far fewer then, and the evidence of them wasn’t known to pay us such close visits.

Now their belching by-products come to find us here regularly, traveling over the mountains to seek us out, settling down in an oppressive haze over metropolis and river and beach and ocean.

In 2015, at nine o’clock on a Sunday morning, I am shaken awake by my husband.

“Wake up, love. The sky is yellow.”

I must be hearing things, I could have sworn I just heard him the sky was yellow.

“You need to look outside right now. Everything is yellow.”

Okay, I’m pretty sure I heard him right that time. But what the hell is he talking about? I reluctantly stumble my way out of bed and over to the window. Shooting my other half a this better be worth it grumpy stare, I twitch aside the drape.

I’ll be fuckered. Everything is goddamn yellow.

Instantly wide awake, I throw on some clothes and snatch up my camera bag. I hear Nutty Hubby chuckling, “Yeah, that’s what I thought,” as I fly out the door.

The people on the streets are moving in slow motion, their upturned faces wearing expressions of equal wonder and dread. We drift together in ragged clumps and stare.

The nuclear holocaust sky stares back.

Now, in 2018, red and yellow summer skies are the new normal.

In September of 2017, the sun’s glare was so dampened by ashy particulate that you could see sunspots with the naked eye. I reassembled the specialty lens filter I had bought for the previous month’s solar eclipse and snagged a photo, something I never would have dreamed of trying as a hobbyist under normal conditions.

I guess the yearly apocalypse has its advantages.

Doesn’t make it any less terrifying, though. Temperatures in my city – referred to as “Raincouver” by the locals, under normal circumstances – managed to rival those of Mexico in late July. Fucking Mexico. Our province’s air quality is currently worse than that of Hong Kong or Beijing.

Tell me climate change isn’t real, I dare you.

And I’m just one little whiner from the city, where the smoke is as bad as things will get. I have friends and family who are situated in the worst of it, whose first rising thought each morning is Will my home still be standing tomorrow? Are those flames licking over that hill or is it just the sunrise?

I can’t imagine being in their shoes, or maybe I just don’t want to. This is Canada. We’re supposed to freeze to death, not burn.

And yet we are burning.


Shut up and drive.

It’s quarter past five. You’re in front of me on a bridge between two cities, just another set of wheels in a crawling interminable line of drivers heading home from the daily grind.

I can see your hands dancing. You are speaking animatedly to your passenger. Your eyes stay fixed on the road as we all inch slowly forward, but your restless hands are dancing, punctuating your speech, visiting the wheel only temporarily between gestures.

Your dark hair falls in short, springy curls that bounce with the emphasis of your words. Your passenger hasn’t gotten one word edgewise since I merged in behind you.

By the way, your left turn signal has been on for two kilometers.

It’s a Wednesday afternoon and the summer sun is relentless. In the frenzied rush hour turmoil approaching a major intersection, you swerve suddenly into my lane, cutting me off.

I am offered a brief glimpse of you impassively deep-throating a fat Fudgesicle, shoving it into your gaping maw with your non-veering hand as you breeze by. As you settle into place in front of me, I see your head continue to bob sharply over your frozen treat, devouring it with the kind of savagery I’ve seen dogs devote to fresh rawhide bones.

But your eyes in the rearview mirror are still dull and lifeless as you toss the naked stick aside and reach for another.

The passing lane clears. I move into it and leave your car behind, but the image of you and your soulless chocolate zombie stare follows me all the way home.

It’s nearing sunset on a cool evening. Past King Edward Avenue, traffic runs smooth as silk. I’m cruising down the last long stretch of road before my turn, singing along to the radio with my windows down and the wind in my hair.

There’s an alarming flash of candy apple red on my right flank as your car drifts over and tries to become one with mine. Thankfully I lean on the horn quickly enough for you to jerk back into your own lane and avoid impact.

My relief at escaping collision quickly gives way to anger. Your windows are down too. I lean across the armrest and scream at you to fucking pay attention, moron.

You refuse to make eye contact. You throw out a half-hearted wave of contrition and try to zoom ahead.

We still end up next to each other at the light.

I can see you shift uncomfortably as my eyes burn holes in you. You finally turn and meet my gaze. An expression of surprise and interest (?) crosses your face. And then you’re babbling, telling me you’re so sorry, you just weren’t looking, you’ll be more careful, if you’d realized there was a pretty lady driving right nex…wait…are you seriously HITTING ON ME after you almost just hit me, dude?

No no no no no. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

And what, if there was an ugly man driving next to you you’d have just plowed right into him?

Where’s the flying car from Grease when I need it? Or that Tesla Roadster Elon Musk sent into space? I want off this street and into the sky; as far away from your delusional ass as I can get.

Pluto might be far enough.

The Elimination Diet of Sadness

Sometimes we have to do terrible things in the name of being healthy.

Terrible, horrible, sugar-free, wheat-free, potato-free, cauliflower-“rice”-eating things.

Pray for me.

In a nutshell, I finally bit the bullet and acknowledged that despite all the progress I’ve made damping down the hellfire of my thyroid-murdering autoimmune disease through fitness, mindfulness and supplements, there was still more work to be done, and maybe I should quit whining about the poor digestion and hangover-like symptoms that inevitably follow eating shit I know is bad for me and just, y’know, stop eating shit that’s bad for me.

Trouble is, there’s a lot more shit that might be bad for me than I had realized.

Apparently, autoimmune diseases go hand in hand with having a gut lining like Swiss cheese. Funnily enough, this is generally not something you want your innards to resemble. Having a leaky gut means that a bunch of the crappier, more unhelpful things in your food, things that would normally get unceremoniously ushered safely and stealthily out the pooper chute, suddenly have the green light to waltz right on into the bloodstream instead and trigger all kinds of fun immune and allergic responses once there.

Imagine if a flash mob started a pillow fight in a glue factory. That kind of bullshittery.

Leaky gut can also interfere with iron absorption – which makes sense seeing as my body can’t store iron to save its life – as well as vitamin B12 absorption.

One of the symptoms of B12 deficiency is impaired mental function.
Don’t pretend like this doesn’t explain a lot about me.

So just how do you help repair your leaky gut so it’ll quit exacerbating your fucking autoimmune disease and making you stupid?

Well, according to Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD, you stop eating everything good in life and wallow in a pit of leafy green cruciferous misery.

I may be overreacting just a touch.

Truth be told, I love 99% of the things I’m allowed to eat on the AIP (Autoimmune Protocol).1 They’re flavorful, nutritious, and items I actively crave whenever I’ve been on too long of a sugar and fast food naughty binge.

It’s the things I normally love to cook/serve with those things that are tough to lose.

Seeya, soy.
Regards, rice.
Toodles, tomatoes.
Later, ‘taters.

And where there are some things I definitely knew ought to be off my table already based on personal experience (sugar, alcohol, dairy), there were a few no-no foods that took me by surprise.

Bell peppers? Fuck my life. Nutty Hubby and I practically live off roasted peppers.
Green beans and peas? Noooooo.
Sunflower seeds? But…but…
Almonds?! But healthy people keep practically screaming at you to eat almonds!

Sorry, them’s the rules.

Oh yeah, and no ibuprofen or other NSAIDs, and no coffee either, so I guess in the event that I get a migraine I’ll just have to stick with the old-fashioned method of wishing it away.

If there’s one thing my first AIP shopping trip did for me, it was alert me to just how much random shit goes into store-bought food. Twelve days ago I never would have thought a little safflower oil or mustard seed or maltodextrofragilisticexpialidocious snuck into a product could ever be a dealbreaker, but here we are.

It’s pretty astounding how many simple things I can’t buy now thanks to just one or two contraband ingredients. This chicken broth should be okay, right? No, it has corn starch in it. How about this beef broth then? Nope, tomato. (Never mind that there’s a totally separate “Tomato & Spice” version by the same company; apparently all the beef broth must be tomatofied.) Well, what about this other brand…CANE SUGAR?! SERIOUSLY?

On the bright side, I can have bacon! Oh wait, THEY ADD SUGAR TO THAT TOO.

Okay, breathe. It’s only for a month.
Welcome to my new mantra, by the way.
It’s only for a month, it’s only for a month.

Unless it’s not.

A month is the bare minimum a person should be strictly AIP before they can start trying to reintroduce foods. The reality is it can reportedly take several months or even years to see enough of an improvement to reach this stage.

I’m really, really hoping I don’t end up on the “years” end of this spectrum.
Because I’m only 11 days in and already the lack of potatoes is making me super envious of Mark Watney, and that dude was stranded on friggin’ Mars.

Yes, that’s right, I’m jealous of a fictional character who went through horrible thing after horrible thing trying to survive alone on another planet, because he at least had potatoes to eat and I don’t. I’m aware that my priorities may be a tad skewed.

Blame it on the lack of B12.

1 The 1% being kombucha. Fuck kombucha.

I wish Daylight Saving Time were a person so I could punch it in the face.

Well, maybe not an actual person. Real people faces are full of teeth and little bones and other things that go crunch and destroy your knuckles when you hit them.

Maybe my Daylight Saving Time punching bag could be the creepy Raggedy Ann doll a relative made me when I was a kid. Jesus, that thing was a nightmare. Just knowing it was in the same room with me made my skin crawl. I used to turn it to face the wall and bury it under all my other toys, but it didn’t matter. Nothing escaped those soulless black eyes.

Daylight Savedy Ann. Fuck yeah, I’d beat the living daylights out of her, easy.

Anyway, you might say I’m in a bit of a mood. I’m in a mood because I ended up coming to work several hours early because I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep because, after a glorious and unprecedented streak of actually being good at the whole sleeping-and-not-just-staring-at-the-ceiling-all-night thing, Daylight Saving Time had to come along and cock it all up like the infernal twatting cocktwat it is.

And okay yeah, maybe I’m not so much working as redditing, and it is nice to have the office to myself in the early hours before anyone else shows up, and the birds outside are warbling away sweetly to each other just like angelic little Disney caricatures of birds…

…but that still doesn’t make up for me being awake and dressed and sitting in a dusty office cubicle in my dusty office chair staring at a dusty ancient ugly hand-me-down computer monitor at an hour when I should be balled up unconscious under a down comforter in penguin pajamas with my feet crammed into blue fleecy socks with fluffy white sheep on them and not one solitary thought of the waking world to be found even remotely near to my head.

Part of me wants to believe I’m overreacting. It’s just one tiny little hour. It shouldn’t cause this much chaos. And yet – *gesticulates wildly at everything while scowling* – here we are.

Why? Why does that one miserable little hour have such an immense capacity to ruin everything?

And more importantly, is someone in the building making Cup Noodles or am I just hallucinating the smell due to sleep deprivation? I hope it’s the former, because I’m having enough of an existential crisis right now without phantom ramen coming into play.

Or maybe I have a brain tumor and DST is the least of my worries. Probably not, but it’s always good to keep your options open.

Fuck, I really want noodles now.

Goddamn phantom ramen.

Provoking the Predator, and other ill-advised methods of pain relief.

I don’t know what I did to deserve this.

Did I sleep funny?
Get out of a chair too quickly?
Have the audacity to bend over and pick something up without half an hour of preparatory stretching?

Or has my body just arbitrarily decided to select a new and unexpected focal point into which to pour all its malice and angst?

Whatever the reason, my spine has gone into protest mode in a fresh and horrible way far removed from the general full-body hypothyroid achiness to which I’ve become reluctantly accustomed over the years.

This is not the slow burn of chronic autoimmune assholery. This is FUCK THIS THING IN PARTICULAR stabby pain, and the fact that none of my usual tried and true pain relief tactics are working on it is sending me on a one-way spiral into murderous rage. We’re talking a serious case of pain anger here. I’m pangry.

(Urban Dictionary has several definitions of “pangry” involving a range of things from lack of sex to a desperate need to use the washroom. I reject those definitions and substitute my own.)

The rational part of me knows violence isn’t the answer.

The pangry part of me wants to take a steak knife to my own vertebrae.

This is by no means a new train of thought for me. I absolutely adore fantasizing about all the barbaric ways I could punish my body for its insubordination, and would, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids consequences.

Like, I’m pretty sure you can only endure so many migraines before you have at least one passing epiphany where a good old-fashioned DIY trepanning suddenly sounds like a FANTASTIC idea.

Similarly, around the five hour mark of trying – and failing – to find some way, any way of positioning my body at my work desk that might alleviate the feeling that a starved beaver was gnawing its way methodically through my backbone, I was more than ready to start gleefully plotting revenge.

I texted Nutty Hubby to discuss strategy.

Me: Oh. My. God. I have never wanted to just rip out my own spine so badly. Where’s a Predator when you need one?

Nutty Hubby: They’re not known to be accommodating.

Me: I don’t need accommodating. I need spine rippey-outey. Which is what they do for a living. If I keep provoking one long enough I’m sure I’ll get the desired outcome.

Nutty Hubby: Though depending on how advanced their scanning is, they may deem you as “sick” and therefore not worth the trophy.

Me: Fine. Whatever. They can kill me in any other way that suits them and leave my carcass un-trophified. Just so long as I’m put out of my misery.

Nutty Hubby: True, that would still work.

So the good news is I have a plan.

Bad news is that finding a Predator is really, really hard, on account of they’re kind of invisible most of the time.

I might have to settle for Sub-Zero instead. But nobody tell him he’s my second choice. Don’t want to hurt the poor guy’s feelings.

I got dragged along on a free vacation to Mexico and all I got were these lousy first world problems.

Look, it’s not that I’m ungrateful.

(Yes, I’m back. Kinda sorta. Hi. *waves*)

When your in-laws book a week long cruise to the Mexican Riviera and pay for you and your husband to come along, you say, “Thank you, you shouldn’t have!” and you do mean the “thank you”, even if maybe perhaps you mean the “you shouldn’t have” part just that little bit more because Mexico has never really been on your list of priorities, and neither has going on vacation with family members since you were, like, twelve.

But you don’t get to complain about free vacations, especially when you and the hubster are trying to be real adults and save up real money for a real home that doesn’t have salmon pink bathroom fixtures and kitchen cupboards whose ancient wood veneer curls like the Shirley Temple-est of wild birchbark at every edge, and when you also know from past experience that even with Christmas barely one foot out the door you’ll still already be desperate for another another holiday by the time mid-January strikes, even if it means spending more time with the people who are part of the reason the last holiday didn’t really feel that much like a holiday.2

At the very least, you know they mean well. And that’s more than you can say for most people.

So you make a big show of expressing your gratitude, and you book the time off work…
…and then you proceed to quietly judge every travel planning decision that differs from what you would have done. But of course you don’t actually say anything, because free vacation.

Not saying anything gets really, really challenging when departure day arrives and you’re trudging through airport security bleary-eyed at 4 o’clock in the goddamn morning to catch the heavily discounted flights your benefactors have booked, but on the bright side most of what you do try to say just comes out as something resembling, “Guh. Mrphrpl buhzzrf,” because eloquence does not exist at airport security at 4am.

You can qworpft me on that.

Two flights and a packed shuttle later, we boarded a very large boat. Nutty Hubby and I made a beeline for our stateroom and its heavenly cloud of a mattress to indulge in a much-needed nap, because at that point our brains were incapable of any kind of rational thought beyond “BED. BED NOW.” and you need your wits about you if you’re going to tackle the true main goal of any cruise: eating and drinking yourself stupid.

Conveniently, it turns out that keeping your face perpetually stuffed with gourmet food and booze is a great way to stop yourself from grumbling about how your retiree in-laws have scheduled everyone for the 5:30pm dinner seating when you can’t remember the last time you’ve deliberately sat down to an evening meal before 8.

We made three stops in Mexico. It was okay. We saw the beach where Nutty Hubby’s parents first met. I took photos of crumbling houses and churches and cacti and got bitten by sand fleas. Twice Nutty Hubby and I missed out on nabbing Heracross, a region-exclusive Pokémon (yes, we still play Pokémon GO, fight me) because we had tours to catch, and I swear we are not bitter about that at all. NO SIR.

Would I visit again? Probably not. I’m sure there are parts of Mexico you can go where you aren’t viewed as a walking wallet, but we didn’t end up in any of them, and I’d rather vacation somewhere where my husband can actually take a picture of me on the beach without a photobombing fruit or jewelry vendor butting in to ask if Señorita would like a banana or a bangle bracelet while she poses with the palm trees.3

All told, I arrived back home as pasty white as before (bless you, sunblock), five pounds heavier than before (curse you, 24 hour food service), and feeling loved and appreciated yet somehow still more stressed and exhausted than when we left (bless/curse you, Nutty Hubby’s family).

Then I made the mistake of checking social media, which I hadn’t done on the ship because WHOA expensive internet.

That’s when I discovered that four of my favorite YouTubers had been visiting Vancouver the exact week that I was away.

Would I have had the good fortune to run into them had I been in town?
Probably not.

Do I still reserve the right to tear my hair out over the 0.0001% chance I might have gotten to take a selfie or two with some of the awesomest people I follow online?

Welcome to my first world problem hell.

At least Mexico had margaritas to wash down the sweat and regret.

1 This is a lie. This whole post is me being an ungrateful little shit and I’m fully aware of that, but then again we established pretty early on in this blog that I’m kind of a terrible person, so this should be old news.

2 Nutty Hubby’s parents are wonderful people, it’s just that I prefer them – and almost everyone else on the planet, for that matter – in small doses, and with several months of recovery time between said doses.

3 Obligatory apology to all the people of Mexico who I have offended with this post. I’m sorry. If it’s any consolation I can’t understand why anyone would want to visit a lot of Canadian cities either. I saw someone win a trip to Vancouver on Wheel of Fortune once and felt really bad for them.

Oh we did, did we?


My workplace has baby fever. Please for the love of god send help.

Our receptionist’s daughter-in-law just popped a kid out at 4am the other morning, and she won’t shut up about it.

Our chatty janitor knows someone-or-other whose due date is in less than a week, and she won’t shut up about it.

And yesterday one of the department managers and his wife brought their four day old baby by the office to show him off and not shut up about it in stereo.


…uh, I mean…congrats?

I know it’s hard to believe, but some of us just have no interest in any of this miracle of life stuff.

It’s not that I don’t like babies. They’re great and quirky and portable, and necessary for the continued survival of the human race (or so I’m told). I just happen to prefer them from a distance and with minimal conversation about their entrance into this world. Sorry I don’t feel any pressing need to take a deep whiff of your little bundle of joy’s “new baby smell” or be regaled with the birth story of a woman I’ve never met. Especially when my boss has just asked me to drop everything and put together a giant report breaking down five years of sales data before the end of the day.

So when New Dad Manager showed up with wifey and their swaddled collective DNA in tow, I stayed tucked behind my computer hoping I looked either invisible or busy enough that they’d leave me be.

HAHAHAHAHA yeah no, we all know I don’t have that kind of luck.
They made a beeline straight for me.

This was probably my own fault. I got really excited when they brought in their new puppy to visit a while back. They most likely assumed I’d be just as thrilled, if not more so, to meet their kid.

Welp, can’t be right all the time.

Like, sure, he was a cute baby. No elongated alien skull or I-just-ran-into-a-glass-door smooshy face going on or anything. But we’re all well aware I’m as socially awkward as they come. And despite babies’ stellar reputation for being the solution to everyone’s problems, oddly enough shoving a newborn in my face doesn’t do anything to help me be less terrible around people.

So there was a moment of complete silence as I tried to come up with something to say that was more original than, “Congrats, he’s beautiful,” and then I realized I was taking too long and ended up just blurting out, “Hi there, little one…you’re so new!” Which sounded lame as fuck but I couldn’t think of anything else to follow it up with to make it less lame, and on top of that I got distracted by the gorgeous hand-knitted blanket the kid was wrapped in and instinctively started trying to figure out the pattern, but then my coworker rescued us all by coming around the corner and shrieking, “OH MY GOD, IS THAT THE BABY?!”

That brought everyone else out of the woodwork pretty quickly, and soon there was just a big cooing mass of people in the middle of the office and I could safely duck out and return to tearing my hair out over financial records from half a decade ago.

And I would’ve stayed happily mentally checked out from the whole baby ordeal from that point onward, if something New Dad Manager said hadn’t rung out clear as a bell above the babble and smacked me right in the angries.

“Oh, we had a C-section.”

My ears must need cleaning, I could’ve sworn I just heard you say, “WE had a C-section.”
Oh, you did? Haha, well in that case…


Allow me to dust off my soapbox.

You (pl.) most certainly did not have a C-section, unless your doctor was just that inept that he had you, the father, prepped for surgery and cut open before realizing whoops, duh, the baby’s in the lady. And if that was the case, please tell me at which hospital this took place so I can NEVER GO THERE.

No sir, it was your dear wife – who by the way is some kind of goddamn superhero for climbing the stairs to our office only four days after major abdominal surgery – who got carved up to bring this small creature with the delicate eyelashes and tiny toes into your life. It was your wife whose uterus just had the out of body experience, your wife who now has parenthood permanently etched into her flesh whether she likes it or not.

Let’s not cheapen that by throwing around thoughtless plurals, shall we?

And if you think I’m overreacting and you’re just trying to be supportive and a team player, humor me and take a minute to consider how supported and appreciative you’d feel hearing your wife say, “Three kids was enough, so we had a vasectomy.”

I thought so.

Good talk.





























Don’t worry, I’m still a moron.

In case any of you got the mistaken impression from my last post that I’ve actually started to get my shit together and grow as a person, just know that I’ve been missing 1/4 of an eyebrow for the better part of two weeks. Because I’m a moron.

Following my wild success with Doctor Google’s recommendation of Brazil nuts to help babysit my temperamental thyroid hormones, I paid the good doc a return visit to address the issue of my skin and some concerning topography thereof.

Namely, a metric crapload of tiny, annoying bumps on my thighs and upper arms.

No, I’m not going to subject you guys to any gross skin pics. You get frozen molehills, because I’m nice.

I’ve had these things on my legs for ages. They were originally confined solely to my inner thighs and knees, so I always just assumed my skin was irritated from years of wearing skinny jeans. The things we do for fashion, right?

But recently they started to show up on my arms too. And I definitely haven’t been wearing skinny jeans on those. At least, that I know of. I suppose it’s technically possible that someone’s been sneaking in at night and clothing my upper extremities in tight denim just to fuck with me, but if that’s the case then I have bigger problems than a few patches of bumpy skin.

Anyway, after some creative keywording and a string of “yikes, thank fucking god I don’t have that” Google image searches, I finally discovered the culprit behind my disgruntled dermis: keratosis pilaris.

The good news is it’s harmless. It’s just a simple keratin build-up that blocks the hair follicles and makes a nuisance of itself.

The bad news is, no one really knows why it happens, and so there’s no way to prevent it from rearing its ugly head. And all you can really do when it does is throw acid on it until it whimpers and runs away.

I’m not kidding. The recommended treatment is acid; albeit of the alpha-hydroxy, lactic, or salicylic varieties and not something like drastic like hydrochloric or sulfuric, but at the end of the day you’re still basically burning your skin off for the sake of vanity.

…okay, so I’m vain enough that I figured it was worth a shot.

I made the rounds of a few forum discussions on the subject, and people seemed to have the most success with the lactic acid, so I went to the drugstore and picked up a bottle of that.

Y’all, this is making it really hard for me not to start taking all my medical advice from strangers on the internet. Because within a week my legs were as smooth as a baby’s behind. Hell, I’m not even sure my skin was this supple when I was a baby. Seriously, acid is AWESOME.*

*Statement applies to lotion only. Don’t do drugs, kids.

But while my legs were celebrating their long overdue facelift in almost no time at all, my arms remained as stubbornly bumpy as ever, even after two weeks of treatment. This made no sense to me. My upper arm skin couldn’t be more resistant to chemical exfoliants than the scaly, battle-scarred surface of my long-suffering knees, could it? There had to be some variable I hadn’t taken into account.

And then it dawned on me: the humble razor.

Before every slathering of acid-laced lotion, I had showered and shaved my legs, presumably fucking up the tough surface of my little keratinoid molehills and thereby allowing the acid to better penetrate and do its work.

Couldn’t hurt to try, right? So fuck it, I guess I’m someone who shaves their arms now.

And I’ll be goddamned if I wasn’t right on the money about that being the difference, because my arms AND my legs are now silky smooth 24/7 and there’s a good chance that if I don’t stop constantly feeling them up they’re gonna start playing the Divinyls every time I walk into a room.


So by now you’ve probably figured out what happened to my eyebrow.

Don’t judge me. Face shaving has been a beauty trend all over the internet for the last two years. I’m not the only sucker who’s tried it.

Granted, most of those other suckers probably managed to exit the experience with about 114% more eyebrows than I did, but still.

Guys, I was SO careful. I planted myself in front of the mirror and I looked into my eyes and said firmly, “Nutty, you are coming out of this with two intact eyebrows. Period.”  And then I went to work. Slowly. Methodically. And I did a damn good job, if I do say so myself.

So perfect a job that as I completed my last stroke, I instinctively flicked my wrist in a triumphant flourish.

Pro tip, people, wait to do your flourishing until you put the razor DOWN.

The eyebrow will grow back, but the jury’s still out on my dignity.

















Think of something you’re grateful for.

I’m not quite sure exactly how it happened, but apparently 2017 has become the year of Nutty Quits Being A Doughy Weakling And Goes All GI Jane On Fitness.

Okay, so that doughy weakling bit may be a bit unfair. I mean, it’s not like I’ve spent the last several years sitting around on my duff twiddling my thumbs instead of exercising. I’ve always done my best to keep active, occasional brief lapses aside.

That said, after the past several months I’m finding that what I would have considered a challenging workout back in January I can now only describe as laughable.

It all kind of started with nuts. Appropriate, I know.

Following my last dismissive walk-in clinic experience that resulted in, surprise surprise, no results, I did exactly what you’re not supposed to do and turned to good old Doctor Google for advice. Long story short, I began supplementing my diet with Brazil nuts because the selenium is supposed to hand-hold my stupid thyroid hormones and help them do their thing.

And holy shit, guys, IT’S ACTUALLY WORKING.

I mean, mornings are still the worst. Stress still aggravates my symptoms something fierce. I’m certainly not “cured” by any means, and don’t have any illusions that I ever will be. But I’m also not freezing cold all the time anymore, and more importantly, my muscles are no longer giving up on me well before my workout sessions have a chance to do me any real good.

I’ve gotten back just enough of the old Nutty to give me hope.

And I’m taking advantage of it. Every bit. In case it doesn’t last. In case something else gives out, like it always seems to. Knowing my luck, I’ll develop a selenium allergy and then we’ll be back at square one.

So in the meantime, I push. I push and I work and I sweat and I kick my own ass while I still can, and I’ll be goddamned if I’m not finally getting some results.

For the first time in a long time, I find myself instinctively coming up with more reasons to get my body moving than excuses not to.

It’s fucking fantastic.

I’ve started going to power yoga again. My crazy (in the best possible way) teacher likes to talk us through challenging poses by having us think of something we’re thankful for. In my first few weeks of class I considered all manner of things to whisk my mind away during these short moments of reflection; the wealth of natural beauty at my city’s doorstep; my love for Nutty Hubby; the simple enjoyment of a deep gulp of cool, thirst-quenching water…dear god I’d give my left fucking tit for some water right now…

Packed classes + relentless vinyasas = intense collective body heat = Nutty rehydrates a lot.

Me during Warrior III, every single time.

But then something shifted. I remember the exact day I noticed. I recall being smugly pleased with myself for having made it up into a handstand for two whole seconds, besting my previous record by…two whole seconds, probably. And as we moved on into my nemesis, Chair Pose, for once I didn’t automatically try to escape from the experience. I kept my breath slow and steady. I sank deeper into my leg muscles, relaxed my shoulders, and really goddamn went for it. I was the chair. Not a chair with a rickety leg or a loose seat or a missing rail. Just a regular ol’ chair, fuckin’ chairin’ it up.

“We’re going to be here a while,” came the soft voice of our teacher.
“Breathe. Think of something you’re grateful for.”

It came to me, unbidden.

I am grateful for this. Because right now, in this moment, I don’t feel broken.

And I started to cry, because it was true.
I never thought it would be true again.






















Hands full of too many balls.

I turn 34 today. So that’s happening.

I didn’t accomplish anything on my to-do list for 33, with the exception of numbers 12, 28, 32 and 33. Except 12 and 28 probably don’t actually count, since those technically fall within the portion that was all a dream.

But I did them, anyway, for extra credit. Since there’s not a lot else I can take credit for.

Okay, I’ll just say it, I wasted another year.

I was going to do things. Some responsible, some purely because I wanted to. But I did nothing instead, because that was easier, and my hands are full of too many balls, so easier usually wins out these days.

Quit snickering. I can explain.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Christine Miserandino’s Spoon Theory method of describing day to day life with disability and chronic illness. If not, well, there’s the link right there.

The first time I heard it referenced, it was like some golden beacon of understanding and wisdom had cropped up on my horizon. I sought out the original post immediately and read it again and again. At a time when I was still struggling to explain to my family and my superiors at work why one stupid gland in my body refusing to do its job was taking me out of commission so damn much, it very likely spared me a nervous breakdown.

But the longer I live with this piece of shit thyroid and the douchecanoe prefix and suffix that have turned it from a useful organ into a motherfucking moocher couch potato, the more I feel like the spoon idea just isn’t doing it for me like it used to.

The trouble is, spoons are so passive. So innocuous. So utterly lacking in perilous pointy edges. You don’t have to arm wrestle a spoon into letting you eat a bowl of soup; at least, not unless you’re trying to steal the spoon from someone with better biceps than you or you’ve welded it to a Shake Weight or something. I don’t know why anyone would do either of those things, but if the internet has taught me anything it’s that reasons are apparently overrated when it comes to people doing/making weird shit. Seriously, if you don’t hit on something that makes you go “The fuck…?” or “DEAR GOD WHY?!?” in the first five result pages of any Etsy search, then your internet is probably broken.

Anyway, my point is that sure, it’s miserable that you start every day with a limited number of spoons and have to prioritize what to spend them on, but what I don’t think is stressed enough is that following through and spending those daily spoons on what you said you would is also really fucking hard. Harder than doing anything with a spoon has any business being. Your spoons don’t just vanish upon use like single-serving genies. You have to fight to expend each one. You have to bend it and warp it and cram it smaller and smaller until it’s a twisted little lump of silvery carnage, and then you have to point in a random direction and say, “That’s a funny place for a credenza,” to distract everyone’s attention as you surreptitiously shove your misshapen Franken-spoon pellet behind the sofa, because fuck it, good enough.

And the day’s spoons aren’t always just sitting there in your pocket for the taking. Sometimes you have to paw for ages through all the sharp, dangerous things in the silverware drawer and nearly grate your fingertips off just to find one. There’s a whole lot more blood, sweat and tears involved than a pretty, shiny spoon has in it to convey.

And yes, I know Christine was just using what was at hand and that the spoons in question aren’t literal spoons, but these are the kind of stupid thoughts that come to you when you’ve apparently spent the past year doing fuck all other than waking up from dreams that won’t come true, swearing, and stuffing your face with black forest cake while occasionally giggling.

I know, you’re still wondering (and snickering) about the balls. I’m getting to them.

You may have noticed I’m not doing the A to Z challenge this year. That’s because I’ve only managed to publish a whopping one blog post per month since 2017 waltzed in the door, and writing each one of those posts was like pulling teeth, and I can recognize a pattern when I see one.

Despairing that I would ever manage to think of even one thing to write about for the entirety of April, I appealed to Twitter to name my next blog post in the hopes that someone else could come up with a more interesting jumping-off point than I was currently capable of thinking of myself.

Predictably, owing to my limited following plus the Twitterverse’s general attitude of not giving a fuck, I received only two responses.

Option 1:

…thanks, Gina. Tell ya what, you can keep that title, free of charge. I guarantee I want to read your story a lot more than whatever I would’ve tried to come up with.

And then there was Option 2:

Okay, these are clearly my people, but am I allowed to hate them a little anyway?
Just a smidge?

I was actually kind of pissed off, because this was something I had honestly been planning to take seriously. But despite my repeated pleas to the Twitter gods for mercy, no more suggestions were forthcoming.

I swore a few more times, for good measure.
I contemplated deleting everything and pretending it never happened.

Except, the more I thought about Ballpit_Gangsta‘s suggestion, the more I realized it solved my problem with the spoons.

Because I don’t feel like I start my day with a pocket full of spoons, not really. I feel much more like I start my day with my hands full of too many balls. Which I’m already juggling at peak height and momentum before I even convince myself to crack open my dark-circled insomniac eyes.

And let me tell you, I’m crap at juggling. I know, shocker. But it’s true. I can’t even do it with two of those dumb little trainee bean bags, let alone with an entire host of adult concerns and responsibilities. And yet that’s exactly what it feels like I’m trying to do, every day, constantly. I wake up with my hands full of too many balls, and even though the rational part of my brain knows there’s no way my sluggish hypothyroid fingers can keep them all aloft all day, damned if depression and anxiety don’t still inevitably snatch up the first opportunity they see to swoop in and each whisper in an ear that if I drop even a single ball, I’m the worst piece of crap failure in the world and I’ll never be whole or happy again.

But of course that’s still too simple. Because they’re never all just regular balls, are they? Sure, putting on underpants and brushing your teeth and making a cup of tea are all light and smooth and and easily handled, like a Nerf ball or a Silly Putty egg. But what’s a real juggling act without some chainsaws, or flaming torches? Will your dexterity be up to the challenge when life starts pitching you cinder blocks and broken bottles?

Maybe you get to work and your boss hits you with an anvil and a bucket of hot coals by deciding to once again completely break down and reforge all the office protocols you and your colleagues just finally got used to. You catch them, barely, but the anvil cracks a plastic egg mid-air and the coals melt one of your Nerf balls into a hunk of neon sludge.

Maybe later, once you escape the office, you stop by the walk-in clinic looking to discuss your medication dosage, but instead of finding a listening ear you’re suddenly lobbing syringes and a blood pressure cuff around just to convince His Smartassery, M.D. that your last lab results falling within the so-called “normal” range doesn’t mean you still aren’t painfully, debilitatingly symptomatic. As he shoves yet another basic lab requisition that will accomplish nothing into your hand, one of the syringes punctures a water balloon which, until that moment, had been one of the easier things to keep in the air.

And then maybe you get back on the road only for one too many asshole drivers to suddenly cut you off in rush hour traffic. Custom rims, flying at you like Frisbees; think fast!

Maybe finally getting home and doing your taxes and being reminded of just how much money is not going into your own pocket after all the anvils and hot coals you’ve had to put up with – and calculating how much of what did go into your pocket now has to come back out again, because apparently the CRA hasn’t finished looting you yet – is a cartoon grand piano that crashes down from the heavens, breaking your fingers and smashing you flat.

But don’t forget to keep a smile plastered on your face the whole while, because god forbid you make the people around you have to juggle a wet blanket on top of their daily quota.

J/k. Resting Bitch Face ftw.

Normally I would apologize about all this whining, but today I say fuck it, it’s my party and I’ll write a thousand and a half snippy words about balls if I want to.

I also don’t apologize for using “snippy” and “balls” in the same sentence.

I took today off work, because fuck anvils. Likewise, any ball or piece of crap masquerading as a ball that doesn’t directly contribute toward a) my basic survival or b) shameless self-indulgence is getting dropped like a hot potato and kicked down the nearest sewer grate for the next 24 hours, or longer should I somehow manage to belatedly fulfill #1 on last year’s list by winning all the lotteries.

I can worry about doing a better job of being 34 than I did of being 33 tomorrow.

In the meantime, happy birthday to me. And good riddance to my balls.