packing perspective

it’s funny how moving puts things into perspective.  how packing your whole life into neatly labeled boxes forces you to sift and weigh and sort out what matters and what doesn’t, what to keep and what to let go of.

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so much has changed in the four and a half years i’ve lived in ottawa.  i came here with two suitcases.  and now i’m shipping and storing an apartment’s worth of stuff and furniture.  i came here wearing my favourite pair of converses.  beat up and ratty, but i loved them because of the places i went, the people i met and the things i learned while wearing them.  i wore these shoes to work when i first moved here, a half-assed attempt to stick it to the man, to show everyone (read: myself) that i wasn’t going to change even though everything around me was different.

but i did change. Continue reading

pain in the butt

is it possible to pull your butt? because i’m pretty sure i did this past weekend. i went for my first outside run this year and my butt was not impressed. i’ve been semi waddling/limping since friday.

in other news! my friends L + J got married!! and i got to stand with them on their big day as a bridesmaid- so fun!


i drove out to Toronto a few days early to pick the boyfriend up from the airport- he flew in from Van to be my date (d’aww) and we got to see Niagara Falls and pretend to be hippies in Kensington market (i did a better job at being a hippie than he did, naturally).

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the wedding itself was awesome. so many people worked really hard to make the day special, and at the end of the day i think L’s face says it all.

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fricken adorbs.

fricken adorbs.



also- having professionals do your hair and makeup is the bomb. i think i need to hire a stylist to fix me up every single day.

case in point. i wake up like this:

grumpy cat

after a whole lot of shellac and hairspray:

10173781_10100947047571597_6282611649584066555_na leettle better.

but back to butt pulling. did you know pork butt is actually pork shoulder? i know. that makes no sense to me either. but did you know that pork shoulder/butt is amazing for pulled pork? i would know because i made a giant delicious vat of it for easter dinner this past weekend. tender falling-apart meat slathered in bbq sauce… nom. and the best part? only THREE INGREDIENTS (and one of them may surprise you). this is one case where butt-pulling is a good thing.

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finish line

1 terrifying French philosophy class + dozens of jars of peanut butter + 1 manatee + 36 papers – 247 planned runs + 1 delivery pizza + hundreds of endnotes (Turabian style) – too many dead trees + 20 pounds gained from stress eating – hundreds of hours of sleep – 15 pounds lost from nights i was too exhausted to make anything other than popcorn + craploads of encouragement from friends and fam + 3 new white hairs – 5 years off my life-span + countless food drop-offs from concerned friends (i’m looking at you L and B) + 3 emergency runs to bulk barn because of m&m shortages – 2 years of my life + a few f-bombs = a master’s degree

i handed in my last paper this morning. then i walked out of my last class. and all i could think was, “i’m never. ever. doing that again.” Continue reading

four days

i’m four days away from having a life again.

four days away from not having to constantly switch between work brain and school brain.

four days away from freedom from papers, turabian citation style, stupid rules, and endless readings.

four days away from getting to read for fun again.

four days away from finishing this thing i started two years ago because ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’.

i have so much crap i need to get done in these four days… and i’m having a hard time going back and forth between ‘jusss get’rrr dunnn’ and ‘i dunnn eveeen caaayyyrr’.  (why yes, my internal voice does have a southern drawl- doesn’t yours?)

i need to tap into my inner asian.



double-fisting and getting dahled up (bachelorette weekend)

this past weekend was L’s bachelorette weekend getaway. the other bridesmaids and i took the bride-to-be to a mystery location (spoiler alert: it was a cottage in gatineau) for a weekend full of unflattering photos and fattening foods.

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(in case you’re wondering- yes, yes that is me.  double-fisting chips so i can get them into my face as quickly as possible, wearing my favourite sweatpants and in active fighting stance – my instructor would be proud. and yes, i do have a bridesmaid dress to fit into in less than a month and i’m aware i look pregnant. chip baby? and finally…yes, this is a candid photo, which makes it so much worse- this is what i look like in my natural state.  photo cred goes to the sneaky/hilarious/cruel SY)

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(this was taken shortly after L dumped a buttload of veggie chips on her lap. she was trying to save them.)

it was so good to get out of the city and i’m lucky that my friends’ have granny tendencies like me and our idea of a ‘wild night’ is painting our nails bright colours and making embarrassing memes of each other as we stuff ourselves silly.

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it also came at the perfect time, with the wedding in less than three weeks, i know L needed a breather, and with my semester wrapping up literally the day before i leave for the wedding, i’m effectively in the end of semester perma-crazed mode.

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ok fine. this one isn’t of any of us. but it’s FREAKING HILARIOUS.  it doesn’t even matter how many times i look at it- i almost pee myself laughing.

and it also helps set the context for this:

Continue reading

who says? [redux]

“there are stupid rules. but until you get to the top of the hierarchy where you can change them, you follow them. or you just never get to the top of the hierarchy, and you live by them.”

as soon as he said it, i bristled.  it wasn’t only his words that chafed, it was how they were delivered.  matter of fact.  tailored suit.  slicked back hair.

my eyes darted around the class, searching for a fellow furrowed brow, a skeptical eye roll, a scoff- anything! anything to tell me that i wasn’t the only person who’d just heard that.  all i saw were quiet nods, resigned sighs and pseudo-sage contemplative looks.

we were debating the use of ampersands and percentage symbols in official briefing notes (to & or not to &, that was the question).  hardly world-shattering material, i know, but it was just the attitude of the prof’s statement that completely turned me off.

i’m not an anarchist or chronic rule-breaker by any stretch of the imagination, in fact I’ve been told repeatedly I’m quite ‘by the book’ and rules-oriented, but that class, I felt something inside me snap.  Continue reading

on rest

i was away at a retreat this past weekend with some of the young adults from my church.  it was good to get out of the city, get some clean country air into my lungs, and catch up with some friends i haven’t talked to in ages.



the theme of the retreat was ‘refuel’, and one of the first things the speaker said was that there’s a marked difference between ‘escape’ and ‘rest’.  that might seem pretty obvious to you, but i’d never really thought about it that way.  he was saying how we so often turn to means of escape (read: netflix) to distract us from the stresses and worries of our lives, yet when we’re done we wonder why we don’t feel any more rested or restored than before.  now i’m not saying there’s anything wrong with netflix or other means of escape once in a while, but i think there is a problem when escape and rest become synonymous in our minds.

it got me thinking and questioning what rest even looks like.  i’ll be the first to admit i’m really bad at taking a sabbath.  a couple months ago, i decided i was going to incorporate this into my spiritual disciplines, and i made this whole elaborate plan about how i was going to start ‘sabbathing.’  i had some vague notions about what people did on a sabbath- they read their bibles, they went out into nature, they prayed a lot, they sat in silence, yadda yadda.  so i marked a saturday in my calendar, and started planning my itinerary for the day.  i was going to sleep in, have a great quiet time, then take my journal and bible and Christian music to a park and sit by the water and think holy thoughts.  in other words, i was going to have the BEST sabbath ever.  i was so excited. Continue reading

selfies and mee (goreng)

my parents were in italy recently.  because they’re both pretty tech savvy (read: attached to their devices), they brought along their gadgets to capture the moments from their vacation.  about two days in, i get an email from my mom- two sentences:

“dad got pick-pocketed- his cell phone was stolen.  all our selfies are gone.”

i know i should feel bad about it, but all i could think was 1) how does my mother know what a selfie is and 2) do they even know how to take selfies?!

#parentsaretoocoolforme  #ifeelbadforthethiefwhohastolookatmyparentsselfies

you know what italy is famous for besides pick-pockets?  pasta. and you know what the asian version of pasta is? noodles.

i love talking to myself. apparently.

and in honour of my too cool for school mom, i made mee goreng fried noodles, a nod to her malaysian roots.


Continue reading

on fame and falling [coffee e-date]

i’m all over the place right now.  can we all just take a breath, sit down with a mug of tea, and real-talk for a minute?

if we were having tea today, i’d apologize for being so sporadic lately.. both in person and here.  i’ve been preoccupied with figuring out my life and i also caught this death plague which made me sound like a 500 year old man whenever i spoke, breathed, or blinked.  if you don’t know what a 500 year old man sounds like when he blinks, you should’ve hung around me last week.

if we were having tea today, i’d tell you that I’M FAMOUS.  page 9. check it.  that’s right- kiddo and i are in A MAGAZINE.  not just any magazine, but a RUNNER’S MAGAZINE.  the irony of that is not lost on me.  never mind the fact that i can’t run longer than five minutes right now.  never mind the fact that that picture is from a 5k race and not a marathon.  never mind the fact that literally 5 minutes after said race, kiddo and i were stuffing our faces with doughnuts.  so, so many doughnuts.  never mind all that, because we’re famous.  i’m going to ride this to my grave.

if we were having tea today, i’d share this article with you about the tension between pursuing your dream job and staying in your dream community.  it really resonated with me, considering how i’m prepping to deploy in a couple months and the thought of leaving my community here is breaking my heart.

if we were having tea today, i’d share this video with you because even though i’m pretty sure the fact that it made me laugh so hard makes me a terrible person, i feel like it sums up my commute to work right now.  so. much. ice.  Continue reading