Monday, 31 August 2015


One of the tricky things I find about packing is those things you use day to day and so can't pack until the last minute.  Which therefore leaves a potential gap if you forget to pack it last minute!

I'm actually thinking about nail polish right now, because I just put a clear coat on my fingers and am trying to decide if I want to bring it with me or not and that, for some reason, made me think of all the little things I'll be using right up until the last minute and might therefore forget.

Like, most especially, my tooth night thing.

"Splint" I think it's called.  Fancy magic night guard that helps me not grind my teeth.  But, yeah, I don't sleep with out it and so I have to write myself a note the night before I leave to "pack tooth thing" and my book and whatever else I'm using right up until the time I leave.

That, my friends, is the kind of thing that will give me tingles of anxiety because I want to remember them, so I try to remember to make lists, but then I can sometimes worry that I'll forget to put something on the list and I'll miss it!

I know in the grand scheme of things I'll be fine.  Even the medications (thyroid) I need to take daily, I won't die if I forget them for a week, it's just that I'd rather not give myself extra discomfort because I was careless.

Actually, just thinking about making lists has gotten me a little wound up.  I'm going to go back to not thinking about lists and just babbling.

Deep breath. 


Saturday, 29 August 2015


As I was thinking of things to write about in these pre-made posts, looking at the dates and times they will be published made me think back to my first travel weekend back in 2013. 

One of the odd things about Burning Man is that it doesn't seem like a year passes between the trips.  Like, my 2013 Burning Man trip doesn't feel like it was two entire years ago.  One maybe?  But two?  Certainly not.

I was thinking back to the Sunday of that year when we realized we weren't going to be making it to playa that day because the RV had broken down.  I'm not writing this to jinx anything, Connor and I had that perfect easy trip last year that more than made up for 2013, so I know it's just a matter of vehicles doing what they're going to do.  I'm writing this because I remember being disappointed but knowing there was nothing I could do to change it, so it was just a matter of finding the best way to deal with what we'd been given.

I do remember being a bit sad that we were losing time there, and I remember being disappointed that Jay was already there and enjoying himself when I wanted to be there and enjoying myself, but I didn't get mad.  I didn't get anxious.  It was out of my hands and we'd figure it out.

Connor mentioned at the time, and even since, that he was surprised I didn't freak out.  I know I come across as a worrier, and I may seem to over-plan, but it is that very over-planning that helps me feel calmer, ironically.

I'm not sure it's the best thing to sit and worry about all the possible things that might happen and go wrong, but in doing so, I always have my safety, security and comfort as well planned out as I can so when something goes glitchy?  I've probably already anticipated that and it makes dealing with it easier.

So I knew we were fine.  We were still in a city, we had automobile coverage (AAA) and we were all mellow folk, but intelligent and able to figure sh*t out. 

It's before the trip that my stress happens.  Or my worrying.... whatever you want to call it.  Once the thing happens?  I just do what I can to adjust to whatever's happening.

So for me, pre-planning may not be all that fun (and quite honestly, my relative zen around the family trip was a new one, and one I'll reflect on for sure) but I feel it helps me feel calmer about the trip in general.

But yeah... it's interesting to look back down memory lane sometimes.  Some of those moments meld together, but some of them are distinct and feel like they're still in 3D.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Here We Go!

Today's the day my Burning Man adventure for this Summer begins.

Well, the most physical part of it anyway.  Making the decision to go, securing a ticket, figuring out the logistics and all the rest of the pre-trip stuff is also part of the adventure and the journey, but the actual event?  That starts now.

At the time I have this post set to publish, we should already be on American soil, or close to it, and will be making our way down Washington state highways.  Or do they call them freeways?  I can never remember who calls what what.

I think, if we travel as well as we did last year, we should be in Oregon by the end of today, and most likely getting used to the slightly different weather and the oddity that is travelling.

So here's to safe travels, smooth sailing, and an easy, wonderful trip there and back.

Send us good travel thoughts, would you?  It all starts now!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Number Nine.... Number Nine..... Number Nine....

I discovered something this Summer in the magical world of napping.

Now, I don't condone napping for myself as it can throw off my sleep cycle and make me groggy and I can lose half a day to it, but sometimes?  A nap just needs to happen.

I have no idea when, but a few months ago, I was feeling that sunny, drowsy feeling and I decided to have myself a nap.

I try to set my phone alarm for a nap just so I don't get carried away and wake up two hours later grumpy and dazed.  Usually I set the timer for fifteen minutes but sometimes I find this tips me over into a groggy zone, so I decided to set my alarm for nine minutes.

Why?  Well, because nine is one of my favourite numbers.

Turns out, I love a nine minute nap!

Turns out I also love several nine minute naps in a row, but hey, something about that nine minute chunk keeps me out of a deep dream cycle but also lets me get some rest in there.

It wasn't until the other week I realized why I might get along so well with the nine minute sleep.

My morning alarm.

I'm pretty sure snooze buttons are nine minutes long.  And this might explain why my body loves it.  I snooze for hours some mornings!

But anyway... the Beatles and I would like to pass on that the number nine is a pretty good deal.

So there you go.

The Beatles, Number Nine

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

It's Better For Me

A couple of months ago I tweaked my back.  It was likely just twisting the wrong way or something while working out, and it didn't actually go out during a workout, rather walking back into my bat cave after a lunch time walk.  I suddenly could hardly move.  For seemingly no reason at all.

It wasn't much fun and I've actually taken a break from boot camp for a while to make sure I don't hurt it more permanently.

I couldn't get in to see my regular physio people as they were all booked and I was too sore to wait, so I made an appointment with someone new, in the same office as my massage therapist.  She was really great, and one of the things she talked to me about was the importance of changing my posture.

See, I have, if I haven't mentioned it here already, a fairly large chest.  I hide it well, but this seems to be part of the problem.

It wasn't the issue, per say, but in correcting the issue, the physio pointed out the importance of me balancing my posture.  And as part of that, the importance of me not hunching over.

I know I spend time each day at a computer, hunched over and she did want me to watch that, but more, she wanted me to watch my posture when standing.

I, as many of us do, habitually cross my arms when I'm standing, and this, for me, in part hides my chest, but also is comfortable.  And?  Rounds my shoulders and puts strain on the part of my back that's not terribly happy.

So she showed me how to stand and how to put my arms (on my hips, behind my back, etc) in a way that would keep my back straight.  But I almost started to cry. 

"But that will stick my boobs out!"  Something I've avoided since they turned up in grade 8.  And on top of that, I'll look snobbish, or full of myself or something.

But she showed me.  She showed me the difference in herself standing "normally" and then standing properly. 

She didn't look snobbish, or like she was sticking out her breasts, she just looked strong and confident.

Which, for me, has been a little bit of a mind-mess.  For my own health, I need to present myself in a way that portrays confidence.  That should be ok.  I should be proud of who I am.  But it just made me tear up.  I do hide myself.  My body, my shape and not only is it not great emotionally, it's also not, apparently, great for my body itself.

So I've been trying to re-consider my posture and how I stand and hold myself.  It's hard, because I've got years of habit with the hunching type stuff that I didn't even realize was hunching, so hopefully writing this post will serve as a reminder for me to be taller and straigher.

So if you see me throwing my shoulders back and down, please know that it's not to appear snooty, or to accentuate my chest area.  It's to keep my back strong and healthy.  It's better for me to have my body looking like I'm a superhero.  And perhaps it will become a "fake it til you make it" type situation.

My back's feeling better, by the way.  Still twinges every once in a while, and I've not been back to bootcamp yet, but we'll see how things are once I'm back in the swing of Fall and not holidaying.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Go Round And Round

Jason (finally, ahem) got my bike fixed for me and I brought it home a few weeks ago and started going out for some rides here and there.  I do enjoy biking, even if my cardio is not up to scratch and this town has more hills than I ever notice in my car or walking. 

I'd taken my bike to a bike shop once Jason had fixed it and pumped up the tires but I noticed that the back tire didn't seem to be holding air.

I have a small, not awesome hand pump so I pumped it up at home but when I went out, it felt like my back tire was slipping and when I looked down on it, it was flattening. 

I asked Jason if he'd help me change the tube and went and got a new one.  I wasn't sure it was necessary but figured I'd rather not have a slow leak in the desert if I could just as easily fix it here first.

We swapped out the tubes and went to a bike shop to use the pump and Jason used a gauge to check the pressure and then had me feel the tire.  Hard as a rock.  Seriously.  When I pump up my tires I have them hard.  Ish.  But apparently?  I've been having them far too underinflated.  Since... probably forever.

I never really thought to check the PSI or whatever on my tires and so just kind of pumped them up until they seemed full.  But Jason has shown me that I've probably been riding around 25 whatevers (PSI?) when I should have been between 40 - 60 depending on street vs playa.


I really had no idea, and am curious to see if riding feels better (I always felt like my back tire was "slipping", or trying to fishtail out from under me) or what.  I don't know, I guess I just was always wary of over filling them and them going kaplow!  And, to be honest, I've never really used one of those pressurized pumps before, only my rather annoying hand pump that takes too long and has never, apparently, filled my tires!  Jason said it would probably take half an hour with the pump I have and man, let me tell you, I don't have the patience or stamina for that!

So, yeah.  Check the pressure your bike tires should be at.  If you're a casual rider like me, you may not have thought of it.  You bikers probably already knew that and are rolling your eyes at me.  But hey, at least I know now, right?


Monday, 24 August 2015

The Tea Fiasco!

Ok, it wasn't really a fiasco, but that's much more fun to say...

I don't drink coffee, and I don't often drink tea but sometimes a nice cup of tea in the morning is just what is needed and so this last little while I've been drinking more tea than I might usually.  (It's often something that upsets my stomach so to be able to drink it generally means I'm doing alright and not too stressed, yay!)

And because I've been drinking more of it, I've gone through a .... what do you call it, box?  container?  of it.  And then, because it's not high on my radar, I kept forgetting to get some more.

Which meant, for about five days in a row, I'd wake up, putter around making my breakfast and would think "mmmm, a cup of tea would be nice" and then I'd go into the cupboard and?  No tea.


So I'd grumble about that (occasionally sending texts to C-Dawg "I HAVE NO TEA AND I WANT TEA!") and I'd tell myself that I would absolutely get tea at the store today.  Pout.

And then I'd wake up the next morning, putter around making my breakfast and I'd think "ahhhh, you know what?  I think I'd like some tea this morning" and I'd go into the cupboard and, well spoiler alert... STILL NO TEA!

I think because I really don't have it that often and only really ever first thing in the morning with breakfast, I'd just keep forgetting, once morning was over, that it was something I should pick up!

So I was pretty excited by about the sixth day in a row of this when I remembered at the end of a work day to go get tea.  Went into the store and even remembered!  Texted C-Dawg that I was remembering!

And the next morning?  TEA!  I had tea!

So I supposed my lesson to myself is, self?  When you're out of tea, put it on your shopping list as soon as you realize "oh, I have no more tea"  because otherwise, you're probably just gonna forget.

You silly.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Yeah, But

One of the things that is vitally important down in the desert is staying hydrated. 

I know that sounds obvious, but with so much going on around you, it can be easy to forget to hydrate.  It's something you actively have to be aware of.  It's also the cause of a lot of unnecessary health problems according to the medical personnel down there.

I've been trying, in the weeks leading up to my trips, to hydrate myself better.  To drink more water, in other words.  Yes, it's good to drink water and some days I'm better at it than others, but you know how when you make an effort to drink more water your body isn't sort of used to it and so for a few days you're peeing all the time?  Well, I'd rather my body was used to lots of water before the drive down as needing to pee on a long drive is no fun!  Plus, it's good for me.  And a good habit.

But anyway, on top of that, there's this common saying around the Burning Man community and we're constantly reminded to "piss clear."  Crude wording, I know, but the idea is that you need to be hydrated.  Your health and your mood depend on it.  (That's another great reminder, if you're in the heat and find yourself cranky or upset or just not feeling great in some emotional way?  Drink water.  Oh, and alcohol doesn't count as water.)

So here's the thing I just kind of realized the other day.  I'm not worried about the amount I drink on playa, I'm solid with getting enough water (and electrolytes) and so it's not a worry for me, so I don't need to check the colour of my pee while I'm there.  But if I wanted to?  I couldn't!  It just hit me the other day.  These people who are suggesting I check to make sure my urine isn't too concentrated/dark yellow (indicating dehydration) are probably assuming I'm going piddle in a toilet.   A toilet that has fresh water in it that allows me to see the tint of my widdle.  But I'm not!  I'm using a portapotty.  Plus, I'm not able to... well, see. 

So all these infographics that people are sharing around right now reminding us to check the colour of our urine to ensure we're hydrated?  I can't see my pee when I'm not using a plain old regular toilet. 

The best way I heard some one describe how she checks herself hydration wise is that if she realizes she hasn't had to pee in a few hours?  She's probably not drinking enough.

So yeah.  There's maybe something you didn't need to know today! 

Friday, 21 August 2015


One of the things I'm not sure is good is what I'm not doing for my nails for Burning Man this year.

My first year, my nails and cuticles and fingers got trashed.  Some of that was on the trip down, but more of it was on playa with the alkali dust and how it messes with your skin.  So last year, before I went, I got a gel polish on my finger and toe nails. 

Not only did it look extra pretty (I just did a french manicure, but it felt super girly) my nails did a lot better.  Yes, I chipped a couple but by the end of the week they were in pretty good shape.

This may also have been due to the fact I took better care of my hands and skin last year... or maybe it was the polish.  I don't know.

This year, I don't feel like I can splurge budget wise and it took so long for the gel polish to grow off of my nails (the super strength remover didn't work and I didn't want to pay again to have it removed) I wasn't sure I wanted to do it again.

But I'm not sure if that's a good idea or if I'm going to wish I had had my nails done.

I've been trying to take extra good care of my hands and feet these last few weeks, I've been primping and soaking them and moisturizing and whatnot and hopefully I'll be fine without the gel polish but man, I'm a little nervous about it.

Not that having chipped nails and torn fingers is going to ruin the burn or anything just that it's uncomfortable enough already being down there and if I can eliminate little owies, I'd like to.

So I suppose this is an experimental year and if I learn the hard way that gel polish is worth it, I can always get that done next summer before I go.

So, fingers crossed that it'll all be fine without.  Send my cuticles some love in the next weeks, eh?

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Snuggle Bunny

I don't think I told you, but Jason got a cat. 

Except he didn't actually GET a cat, a cat has decided Jason is his and vice versa.

No, this photo isn't the cat in question, this, I believe is B and S's cat, or one of the two I met, little fluffy cuties.

When I first met Jason, we'd walk around his neighborhood and he'd tell me "that cat, watch out for him, he's the meanest one and he'll scratch you" so I've know about this cat for a while.  Later, it became "well, he's still mean but he'll come and say hi to me sometimes" and sure enough the cat would meander over to us when we'd go for a walk, but only to rub against our legs, not to, you know, actually interact or get a scratch or anything.

At some point, Jason found this cat getting a little more friendly, but all I mean by this is the cat would wander through their yard and not run away or not hiss.  He'd hiss at any other cats in the yard, mind you, but he seemed reasonably ok in their yard space. 

Around Spring, Jason noticed the cat coming by a lot more and also noticed he wasn't looking so good.  His fur wasn't doing well and he seemed to be losing weight.  Jason noticed he no longer had a collar and started to wonder if the cat's owners hadn't moved away and left him behind.

He talked for a bit about wanting to buy a collar and put a note on saying "is this your cat" because he didn't like the idea of the cat being homeless or ownerless.

And then the cat started hanging around Jason as the weather got nicer and Jason spend more time outside.

And then the cat started not minding if I was also hanging out and not too long after that there were pets and scratches involved.

But only a few... and for a limited time... because, you know, the cat really had other places to be.  Like... right here.  Near us, but... not too near us.  And things just kept on going this way and next thing you knew, this cat was sleeping in their back yard. 

Like, you can see his path where he wanders and where he crashes at night.  And Jason started to hear him meowing in the mornings when he was making his coffee and they started to hang out together and the cat started to accept more and more pets and scratches and closer company.

And Jason talked about wanting to give him some food.  So some food was purchased and when the cat would come by, he'd put some of it out and the cat would eat it.  And he started to look healthier.  And happier.  And his fur came back beautifully.

And I started to play with him with long pieces of grass, and I started to get to pet and scratch and talk to him too.

I'm not even a cat person, I'm not but this guy, he just steals your heart.

I got some cat treats and having him gently nibble them out of my hand was one of the sweetest things...

That and the moment I saw him looking up at my lap.

Because he jumped in.  This cat who was so mean and nasty a year or so ago and who didn't want human contact, jumped into my lap.

He only lasted a minute, if that, but I was really touched that he felt comfortable enough to even attempt a snuggle.  I pretty much want to pick him up and hug the crap out of him.

So, yeah.  Jason has a cat now.  We're still not actually sure if he has a home or if he's been left.  He's a seemingly outdoor cat, but we're not sure what's going to happen come Fall and Winter, and not being a cat owner myself I don't really know if they can cope outdoors or if they need in for wet and cold.

But really, it's been a lovely thing to see.  This cat totally trusts and likes Jason and it's been a really positive thing this summer.

We shall see what the coming seasons bring and how they both handle it, but man if that fluffy little guy isn't just the best thing since sliced bread.

I'm pretty sure he understands human too.  So I tell him things like "I'm sorry sweet boy, but I have to go away for a few weeks, I don't know when I'll see you again so I'm going to give you lots of kisses ok?" and then he lets me smooch him without running away.

He's my little snuggle bunny even though I can really only pet him not snuggle him the way I'd like to.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


I was looking for writing prompts to help me trigger thoughts to write about here and I came across this one "6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?"



I don't enjoy early mornings.  I know lots of people who do and people who are morning people I admire... when they're not being too perky on the mornings I'm not yet awake!  So for me, six am is a bit too early.  Now, my alarm has probably gone off by six am, and somewhere I've written about my unusual alarm routines, but when I have to get up significantly earlier than my body is used to (ie. travel days like when we'll leave my house at five something in the morning in a week or so for the very early ferry) my body actually rebels in very unhappy ways.  And dark mornings just don't inspire me... I shouldn't have to be putting on lights until the evening!

So no, six am is not the best hour of the day.  But also, I don't have a three am bedtime!  Not to say I haven't been up that late or not to say I go to bed super early but a three am bedtime would exhaust me and take me days to recover from, I need my long, regular, good sleeps y'all!

But, I suppose if my bedtime was 3 am, I would not be getting up at 6.  Again, I know some people who run on very little sleep and seem to be none the worse for it but I like a good solid 7 or 8 hours.  Sometimes more, sometimes I can get by on fewer, but in general, a good chunk of sleep, and a not too early wakeup are what I need.

Except, of course, when I'm camping in the desert where the sun starts cooking me in my tent by 7:30 am.  Then I'll get up.  Because who wants to miss whatever the day's going to hold when you're only there for a week!

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Double Double

Packing for two fairly back to back, but physically different trips is.... well, not too bad, really, just takes a lot of organizing.  Something I'm not too bad at, so yay for that.

The thing I'm finding is taking the most balance actually is stuff like socks and undies.

Because the trip with my family is going to be much much much more inclusive (food and accommodation wise) and a lot less hot than my trip to camp in the wild Nevada desert.  So my clothes won't particularly overlap, except for a few things that I will have to wash and repack for travelling down into the warmer States.  But undies?  Can't pre-pack those, gotta wear them!  Need them for both trips, and as I almost found out the hard way, still need them for the days leading up to the trip.

Not wanting to go out and buy extra pairs of undies or socks, I think I've got enough for the family trip and maybe even enough for a workout or two (we shall see, good intentions anyway) and I should cope with what I have for Burning Man, although more socks would always be nice as fresh feet when you're coated in dust can be quite delightful.

So, I'm thankful that I'm going to be in two different climates and that I'm not needing camping gear for both trips.  I've made my lists, and am (other than socks and undies and travelling clothes) all packed for Burning Man so when I get home from this trip, it'll be laundry and repack and good to go.  Hopefully I'll have a couple of days to just relax and reacquaint myself with my own bed and zone out between the two trips.

But, yes.  Double packing just takes longer (Burning Man prep and packing takes me a while anyway) and makes a bigger mess and means you have to remember to leave yourself socks and undies to wear in the days leading up to your trip.

Now I know!

Monday, 17 August 2015

Oh My

I'm on a boat!  (Sorry if that gives you an earworm)

But yeah, at some point today I will be boarding, for the first time, a cruise ship.  I won't get in to the thoughts I have about the cruise industry and all that, I'll just focus on the positive, which is that I'm excited to spend time with my family, and to see this part of the world, and to find out what it's like being on a cruise.  Positive spin for the win!

As I generally try to do when I'm going away, I've tried to pre-write some posts and schedule them to post while I'm out on the ocean.  (Or, as the case may be, down in the desert.  It's interesting that both of my trips are into the States, but to very different physical, environmental portions of it.  From glaciers and green and water to dry, desert and dust.)  As I sit here, staring at the computer screen I'm finding this a daunting task.  In theory, I need to have twenty four pre-scheduled posts ready in order to cover my two trips and the two days of frenzied unpacking and laundry doing and grocery shopping and  repacking in-between and nevermind the anticipatory stress of having to jump into two weeks worth of catch up at work once I return.  (Breathe)

So, twenty four posts seems utterly daunting and I don't know what I'll manage so we shall just have to see what turns up here in the next few weeks, shan't we.

(Weird word to say... shan't.  I don't know if I can hear it in my head without a fancy English accent.  Shan't.  Anyway....)

I'll probably shut the comments off on most of the posts just so I don't feel like I have to come home and read anything when I'll probably just want to come home and shower and rest.

(But there's always that come home battle of geez I want to tidy up my mess and put everything away vs ahhhhh home.... my bed's going to feel so damn good.  Coming home from Burning Man is always extra tiring because of the dust in and on everything that you now need to wash and try not to get all over your place.  Ahhhh washing machine... we shall be good friends soon enough you and I.)

So, yeah.  One down, twenty three perhaps to go?  That's, like, a lot.  Not even sure it's doable at this stage... What I might end up doing is posting every second day or so.  That'll make sure things still roll along here without making me feel stressed about something that's meant to be fun and light.

Maybe that.  We shall see.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, 15 August 2015


Tomorrow I leave for Vancouver to embark on a cruise with my brother, sister in law and parents.

We're heading up to Alaska, which I've heard is a beautiful trip so I'm looking forward to what we might see.

I've never been on a cruise before although my parents have, so they'll be able to help me, say, find the ice cream dispenser.

I tease (kind of) but this trip is a gift from my parents to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.  Wow, right?  Fifty years of having that person in your life, through so many things.  Through moving across the world, starting a family, raising children, health challenges, and all the rest of it.  I feel very lucky that they're giving us this memory making trip and that they found each other fifty years ago.

It's odd when you sit and think about the fact that whatever piece of fate brought your biological parents together is the reason you exist.  Without whatever that might have been... I wouldn't be here.  You wouldn't be reading this.  I wouldn't be about to visit a part of the world I've yet to see.

So from the cooler, wetter, water surrounded trip, I'll be coming back and heading off to the opposite.  Not a cruise.  No water.  Heat.

It's going to be an adventure filled few weeks, that's for sure.

(Insert cruise ship honking noise here.)

Friday, 14 August 2015

Shy Isn't Quite The Right Word

In the last month or two, Jason has taken me to a few different photo shoots.

Now, they weren't photo shoots in the America's Next Top Model kind of way, they were community events that he had been asked to shoot at and was taking me along so I could also take some shots.

But every time, I got nervous.

Shy isn't quite right, I just get all caught up in my head thinking about will I get in their way, what will they think of me (probably not positive thoughts, my head tells me) will I annoy people or, I don't even know what.  I could probably have told you more accurately what bothers me if I'd written this right before or after one of these events, but it's a feeling of knowing I'm not in my comfort zone.

Like, if I threw a party at my house, I'd not be worried at all taking photos.  Having my camera before C-Dawg's wedding (while we were chilling out) I wasn't worried about taking photos.  But take me to a concert in a bar?  Not only do I not know anyone, I don't know the space or the crowd or how to make my camera take shots in this particular light and how do I get the shots I want without getting in someone's space and ugh.  It's not fun.

I'm sure the only way to get over that feeling of it not being fun is to just keep doing it so I've gone with Jason to most, if not all, of the events he's asked me to, and because they've always been people he knows and/or is friends with, I've always felt ... out of place.

And on top of that I keep trying to explain to Jason that while they're not trying to be exclusionary, I feel excluded.  He can't expect me to go spend time with people he knows who all know each other and are sharing whatever interest we're there to celebrate (music, bikes, cars, whatever) that I will just be part of the crew.  It doesn't work that way.  They're new people to me, we're not friends, doesn't mean we couldn't be friends or wouldn't be, it just means we're strangers.  So we're strangers, and I'm only there because Jason's bringing me along and we're pointing cameras at people and things, which not everyone likes and there are social things happening to which I don't know the expectations or whatever, and they're all happily hanging out together and I feel like the kid at the dance no one asks to dance with because they just legitimately don't even know she's there.

Which is fine.  I don't want to be noticed as a photographer, I want to be able to blend in, so it's not about that.  It's just... it always makes me nervous going in and I can't really explain why.

Maybe I don't think my presence there is adding anything?  Like, I know Jason will get good shots, but I don't believe that I will so I maybe head in feeling like a tag along or something.

I always do fine, and Jason always says that people liked me but I'm just saying it's not something I enjoy.  You know?

Thursday, 13 August 2015


Jason and I had an interesting conversation the other day.  For a while now, he's been mentioning that he's mentoring me in photography and every time he says it it irks me.

So finally I told him that I didn't know what he meant by "mentoring" and he said he was teaching me.

Which then started the discussion, because to me, to teach someone you actively choose something and talk to them about it and help them learn whatever it is.  Like, that button there makes the camera go click, see?  Try pressing the button, good, good job, you learned that.

Jason's argument was that hadn't my photos gotten better in the time I've known him?  And yes, they have, but for me it became an argument of semantics.  Me picking stuff up or learning things along the way isn't the same as "being taught."

Sure, my photos have gotten better (not that you're seeing that, I stopped updating this flickr a long while ago) but it hasn't felt like the active process I would associate with having been taught.  I don't feel like he's said, I'm going to teach you X and then showed me how to do X and then sent me to out do X and then patted me on the back when I've achieved X.  So to me, I don't know... I get frustrated by the term.

Is it like, some kind of teaching by osmosis?  Is it a catalyst for faster creative and technical growth?  Is asking someone a question and getting a response the same as them teaching you?

But, yeah... learning something vs being taught something.  Thoughts?

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

A Little Melancholy

The days are getting noticeably shorter.  It's dark at 9:30 now, and the mornings aren't quite so bright.

I know this is what time does, and life, but it still fills me with a certain sadness to know that summer is slowing down.

I've had a really good summer.  I've felt really relaxed by it, although I wouldn't say it's been easy.  Lots of thinking and personal change/growth that I'm not even really sure I processed yet. 

I'm not saying the hot weather is done, that's yet to be seen, but I have my holiday time coming up, including a family trip (long time since we've all done that) and then, of course, Burning Man, and whatever that is going to bring this year.

I'm fairly proud of how I'm managing my stress level right not, to be honest.  My living room has been strewn with the innards of the two giant bins I pack for Burning Man, and my bike (I fixed some lights and things on it, and Jason had it for ages to work on the cables and I lost my spot in the bike locker apparently... will deal with that when I'm back) and clutter in my apartment generally isn't calming.  So that's going on and I'm trying to figure out packing for two trips, and if I can finish packing for the second one before I even leave on the first one and trying not to spend money but finding all those last minute things I feel I need.  Like batteries for the lantern I haven't checked since last year... all the batteries on things have needed replaced this go around and so that means I needed new batteries. 

And to make sure that I have enough of whatever I need (medications and food) for the two days in between my trips and then for when I get back, oh and also mailing off birthday cards and things to people since I won't be here to do that and figuring out when to do laundry, and water my plants and then hearing people online (stupid online) worrying about the weather (talk of rain and high winds) and thinking of all the details of a two vehicle road trip and co-ordination (walkie talkies, so as not to text while driving or use up phone calls... should work we figure?) and all the what if's I know can potentially happen and then the huge what if of the people I've said I'll try to meet up with when we're down there and even one who might be more than huggable and not to mention we don't actually know where we're camping but have a spot where we'd *like* to camp (by the neighbours we met last year and now call friends) but what if that's not available and what if it rains on our entry this year and what if X, Y, Z, and I'm doing pretty well just breathing.

Breathing and reminding myself we'll work it out.  Connor and I have done this twice together now and it's been fine.  More than, really.  Always smooth, even with the vehicle breakdowns first year.  So, it's just Sarah and being with her that's the new portion for the drive.  And it's good to get a change in there as there's no guarantee Connor will always be able to drive with me.  I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but we're down to just the three of us, and we'll make that work no problem too.

So, yeah, I'm managing the stress pretty well I think.  Packing and organizing and sorting and preparing and planning and imagining and getting worried but then reminding myself not to.... that it won't help or change anything. 

Oh, and that's just my travel thoughts... not the rest of life thoughts, ha!

Like, say, how to find the head space and emotional time and literal time to write posts, and what?  Posts for when I'm away too?  Oh geez. 

Cross your fingers y'all.  Apparently I need to get my brain back into writing mode, and quick.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Owning It

So I just heard from Jason's friend, he of the radio silence.

He apologized for ignoring and explained that he hadn't meant to be rude but that it had been rude and he was sorry, and that he'd hit a rough patch.

I appreciate him sending the message, and wish more of us were mature enough to say so when we do something that's not in alignment with what we feel is kind or good or polite or nice or whatever.

Sure, I could still say it would have been better if he hadn't ignored me at all in the first place or if he had let me know at the time he was going to pull into himself for a while, but apologizing is better than nothing.

Which is also when I re-remind myself that whatever's going on with him has nothing to do with me.  And isn't a reflection on me. 

I'm glad he let me know, I know that couldn't have been easy and shows a maturity I'm happy to see is there.

That's all for now.  No change of heart here, (other than feeling slightly more respected I suppose).

Monday, 10 August 2015

Like Ships, Passing In The Night

I have a squirrel.  I call him Buddy.

At least, I assume it's just the one guy.

There's this squirrel you see (let's just assume it's the same one, ok?) and a few times a day he runs along the roof I can see out my window.  So I call out "Hi buddy!"

And then, after I'd said it for a while, I realized I'd named him.  My squirrel buddy is named Buddy!

So I have a pet.  And I don't even have to feed him or nothin.

Go, Buddy, go!  Off to wherever it is your little hopping legs take you.  See you next time!

Saturday, 8 August 2015


Here's to foggy Saturday mornings.  Have a great weekend.

Friday, 7 August 2015


I'm on a couple of social media type sites and in some Burning Man groups on them.

For the last year or so I've followed some photographers and last week one of them followed me back and we started talking.

Or, messaging, really, about cameras and what we were going to shoot with at Burning Man this year.

I'd seen this guy's work around and he seemed very "burner"-esque to me so I was surprised that he'd only been a year before me for his first.  I don't know, that somehow made me feel like less of a ... newbie or something?

Anyway.  He's one of a few people that I've said, hey, yeah, we should try to meet up this year, that would be cool.

Except, it's hard to explain why that's not as easy as it sounds... but that's not the point.

The point is it's making me nervous to meet someone, this someone, because he thinks I'm cool.  And maybe when we meet we might like to smooch.  And then it's like, uh... bye, never see you again?

I don't know, I'm sure I'm reading too much into it (I do that on occasion you know!)  (I know you know) and it won't be anything more than a way to push myself out of my comfort zone of meeting people there.  Which is weird, because I met people last year.  Am still in contact with them, and really looking forward to seeing them again.  So... I don't know why this makes me feel more shy except it's a purposeful meeting rather than a random, hey, you're camped next to me, hi kind of meeting.

So, yeah.  I have a few people I've connected with on line and we've said we'll try to find each other this year.  Which is cool.

And this one particular person?  Well... he could be smooch worthy. 

And what an amazing place to have a first date, eh?

Or not.

Not a date. 

Just a hi.

Gah.  Let's not get my brain overthinking, ok?   Let's just see if I can't get back into post writing habits so I can head out of town for a trip or two and not leave you staring at an empty blog for weeks!

I didn't say nothin.

The end.

Thursday, 6 August 2015


I did end up hanging out with that guy again (Jason's friend.) 

He's not been well, so instead of going for a walk, we just hung out at my place.  Which I appreciated, as he said he wanted me to be comfortable and I always feel more comfy at my place than in someone else's. 

So we hung out and talked about who knows what, and no, we didn't smooch or nothin.

I feel like I had too many walls up to kind of let myself do that.

I did bring it up though, because really, after the openness and honesty of my relationship with Jason, I'm not going to bring a new person into my life if we can't just be totally honest and upfront.  So as much as I didn't REALLY want to I made myself be honest and tell him that, yes, I find him attractive and part of me wouldn't mind smooching and stuff but that I kind of didn't really know what to do with that information.

Either it's always this awkward when you're first getting to know someone and I've just forgotten or I feel extra shy with this guy.

I think I snuggled against him at some point but I really did feel reserved and cautious and he headed home and I was like.... ergh?

We exchanged a "that was cool, thanks" message that night and I checked in with him a few days later (he's busy with work and health) and.... that's it for now.

Honestly, I was hurt at first.  Kind of like, really?  You're back to ignoring me again?  But that passed after a while and now I'm just... neutral.

Maybe we'll hang out again at some point in the future, maybe not.  He knows how to contact me if he wants to hang our or smooch or some combination of the above.  What else can I say?

I'm going to be busy anyway, with a trip and then back and then off to Nevada for Burning Man, so whatever opportunity we may have had to have a smoochy fest has receded as the days have gone on.

But that was on my mind for a week, I guess.  Probably the week after the wedding when I was extra tired by everything anyway.

So yeah... an update of sorts, but nothing terribly juicy.

Honestly, it was that sigh of remembrance.... how gnarly it feels to want to kiss/touch someone but to be also feeling shy and nervous and not sure how to make it happen or how to interpret his attempts at making it happen... I am long out of high school, I swear.  But it felt just the same.

Le sigh.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015


I haven't had the best sleep that last few days.  Or maybe just not the longest.  Unsettled mind not letting me fall asleep.  Unsettling my mind before bed.

Sleeping fine but waking up and not as full of energy as I might be, that restless feeling, trying to keep the nerves at bay.

But they want to be active.... the nerves want out.

But I'm too tired for that just now too.

Can't quite wrap my brain around typing out words for here, but trying to get there. 

I'm fine.  I'm fine, don't get me wrong, just unsettled I suppose.  Shift after shift and aftershocks must be terrifying.

A wasp got into my living room yesterday.  But I watched it find its way out.  That it was smart enough to do that was both reassuring and a little frightening.

I think I'll try for an earlier bedtime tonight.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Oh long weekends, how I love you.

I think I feel relaxed after this one, which is nice.  That may also have to do with the fact I have two weeks booked off at the end of August.

Which, you know what?  Is going to be here way too fast. 

I'm all a jumble at the moment, but will try to sort my thoughts a little better.  So far, post C-Dawg's wedding my morning dreams have been back to not so good Burning Man dreams.  So I suppose my brain is processing the next "stressful" event in the way it does.

Anyhoo.  I would wish you a happy Monday but it's already Tuesday, go figure!

Have a good one, talk soon.
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