An Emblem of the Land I Love

Friends! (Romans, Countrymen!) I have arrived back in Montreal, huZAH! Whew. Girlfriend. I can’t even. And during that three week tornado (I’m not sure that imagery works either but this is what we’ve got right now), someone actually had the audacity to draw attention to this blog! SMH. Guess I’d better justify your love, Tatiana!

What better way to discuss expatriation than spending my first American Independence Day in the United States since 2009!

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It. Was. Wonderful. July 4th on Zuma Beach in Malibu with my son, my nephew-son, my sis and mumzy. Feeding lifeguards some of our hoagy, watermelon salad and pasta.

Listening to my favorite patriotic performances – Marvin Gaye’s National Anthem, Whitney Houston’s, and Beyonce singing America, the Beautiful at the 2008 Inaugural Concert – and having my son FINALLY learn the words!! He is American!!! ❤

The entire vacation was a marathon reminder of customer service and general niceness from strangers. (Oh, I can’t pretend not to miss that, California.) And eating. Oh, MEXICAN FOOD. Save yourself for me! No matter wheeeere you go…I will find you!

But 4th of July. That just felt wonderful. I love living away and I love coming back. I love standing in a crowd of people at Disneyland (on July 5th but shuddup) and singing along during the extravagant fireworks show, hearing people cheer and gasp and happily celebrate my native country. ::sighs and flower petals::

I love following my wanderlust and knowing, you can always come home. ❤

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Play Along

I felt like I need  to rush over here and then I was like, what am I talking about – they can figure out it’s a New Year on their own. I believe in them. (I believe in you.)

And I’m not gonna talk about the whole 2012 debacle and whether John Cusack is as embarrassed as everyone else who really believed – and I’m assuming he did based solely on him doing that 2012 movie, which yes I realize he didn’t star in alone but I just *feel* like he meant it. You know?

It’s not important. Look. Let’s just…start over. Happy New Year. I still don’t care about resolutions and I’m not even gonna trackback to the other new year posts where I say that because we both know they exist. I still don’t journal-blog so no dice on the whole “what I plan for this year”. I still blog at 2:52 in the morning. Steadfast. Ever me. But it’s 2013… is it just me or is this like a filler year? Like 1998. It’s so devoid of whimsy and mystique. It’s like, Almost 2014, Just Hang On A Minute. Amirite?! What is that about?! And I don’t mean that in a “nothing magnificent is gonna happen”, I mean it like…it’s …filler? You get me. ::stamps ring into sealing wax::

Huh. Am I losing my funness? (To which you go, you were fun here?) But no, like in real life, I’m preeetty fun. Seriously. Kinda the life of the party. I mean, I don’t go to parties but if I did, full of life they’d be! Wow, I’ve never been more sad about a true sentence. I don’t go to parties. O_O Is that for real? That’s devastating!

Okay, before I started questioning my life choices I was *trying* to say, sometimes when I read my more recent writing I come off like a jerkface. How’d you guys let that happen? Boo. I think dry is getting too dry. Or maybe I should go back to reviewing things or generally being entertaining.

Hm. You’ve given me a loooot to think about. ::watches The Simpsons::

Merry Christmas!

And Bonne Annee, Grand-Meeeeere!

Tonight we go to the Candlelight service to celebrate the true reason for the season: the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, whose coming, dying and resurrection fulfilled the scriptures. It’s a simple sentence that carries the weight of the world in it – but it’s a reason to celebrate! God’s love is why I can love and the last few days, I’ve definitely been overwhelmed by my love for my family and friends.

Okay, that’s not everyone – WHERE ARE MY PICTURES OF SERRANA! – and …that’s not all people. But you get it.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Like A Link In A Chain From The Past To The Future

The time to write a blog post is almost never when your body has just realized it hasn’t eaten since 9am and because she’s melodramatic she goes from blowing spit bubbles of obliviousness to:

But here we are anyway. Just know it might not be for long. (As death draws near.)

So as happy as I am to be staying put for the holidays this year – last year was wonderful AND also, let’s not do this *erry* year, kay? – I DO feel pretty pouty that I am missing like five nephews whose faces I want to gobble, not to mention the nieces! (But the nephews are the tiniest and also GAH! GIMME MY SIBLINGS’ CHILDRENS!) What I wouldn’t give for every single member of my family to move to my city. >.> And the fact that they won’t is just selfish.

And then anyway. Here’s a picture.

moi

Merry Christmas.

Santa Baby!

Or whatever. The Labor Day Fairy  or the Start of School Nymph. SOMEBODY. #Halp.

I have ^this many pages left in my second Roma Lussa journal – you may remember from the great journal entry of whatever-year-that-was that these are THE TRUTH and also that I haven’t journaled (making myself itch by not going tangentially into the details and qualifiers here) in anything else since finding them.

I’ve already had the red and the chocolate one and the only one I *don’t* want is black. Of course, I wouldn’t have chosen the chocolate one and I FLURVE it so what do I know. But the point is the only one I can find online that’s available asap is the choco one! WHY?! #GnashingOfTeeth

And this is the one I WAAAAAANT:

Yeeeeees. And Laura with Marbled Art was kind enough to comment on that older blog post and let me know I could order direct (as in not trying to find it in N.America through Cavallini & Co. but from the original Italian company) – only the one I want isn’t available at present.

WHY MUST I FAIL AT EVERY ATTEMPT AT MASONRY?! ::calming whale screams::

I also would love – and can not get! – this saddle colored one, which I want maybe after the blue one because it’s maybe too close to brown…

Perty.

Avert Your Eyes, Children

Well, darn it. I really thought I wasn’t going to care about Valentine’s Day. I mean, I’ve been married to the same guy for the past nine and a half years and he does something for me literally every day so why is today supposed to be any more special? Plus we’re not gonna see each other until late this evening. And Valentine’s Day is so [insert cynicism].

And then he gave me a card before he left this morning. (I can actually show you which one since it’s an Elena Original – that is not the name of her company, I should mention.)

And then I read his note – written in orange pen… methinks the blue pen he started my name with ran out? – and then I watched this video I made for him a couple years ago, after he dedicated this song to me. Which I’m now gonna share with you and Valentine’s Day is my excuse because you’re suPPOSED to care about other people’s love today! (That’s how this works, right?)

CALIFORNIAAAAAA, no seriously I hate that song

It’s been almost two weeks since our trip “home” to California… during which I did absolutely no writing, that I can recall. And that trip was three weeks long so. Yeah. But the point is that I realize my presence has been spotty. It’s not like I don’t have anything to say… but I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, somewhere on this blog. The same ridiculousness elicits at least a similar level of indignation from me, as you can tell from the previous entry. So instead, let’s talk about California!

(1) I do not appreciate not being able to tell what month it is. I understand that my Montreal people thought it sounded awesome to be 70 degrees F in January but… like the Christmas we spent on Oahu, it made little to no sense. Where is my snow?! ::weeping, gnashing of teeth::

(2) I *fully* appreciated eating. Everything. Everywhere. @_@ Before we left, my son and I made a list of places we needed to go. When I got there, though, I was – shall we say – a bit obsessed with Mexican. [It is at this point that I want to make a general announcement to my Montrealers, particularly those who have never been to the west coast OR Mexico and yet somehow have decided that Mexican food is gross. YOU’VE.NEVER.HAD.IT. Promise. Don’t eat it in Montreal and then proclaim it disgusting, silly rabbit.] AND we’re back. So, for fast food that I’d been craving something fierce, we hit:

– Panda Express

– Chipotle

– Adalberto’s

– Jalisco

– Jimboy’s

….yeah, with the exception of Panda’s. Once I had some, I couldn’t stop. Oh and there was that taco bar in Portland. NOM-tastic. And then speaking of Portland – SKYLINE!!!!!!!!!!! *I’ll always love you, Skyline*

And then, you know, I had a bunch of junk food, starting with Garrett’s in the Chicago airport.

I’ve posted this picture like everywhere. Because I am PROUD.

(3) I had a college reunion! Well, a Porter reunion! Okay, more like a B3N reunion! Well, two of us were B3N – WHATEVER. Basically, this:

Katie and Sasha drove up with their significant others – evidenced by the next pic which proves once and for all that we are a dangerous group of finger-snapping ne’er-do-wells.

Don’t cross us in a dark alley, people. Oh and – chucklesnort – in that first picture?! ::muffles dork laughter:: Katie and I swapped boots!

(4) I can’t even post all the pictures I want to force upon you because they involve other people’s children. Biological, I should say. In truth, they are really mine. My nephews, my goddaughter. TOO.MUCH.KISSUMS. Seriously. Wish I could show you all the delight. Did I already tell you I spent a week with five boys between the ages of 3 months and 7 years? And that it was GLORIOUS?

(5) And we took family portraits – since we haven’t done that altogether since Ezra was three months old..and he’s now the 7yo to whom I was just referring. So, naturally, said portraits look like this:

And that about wraps it up.

The Future’s So Bright

No, I’m kidding – this post will not be about resolutions or 2012 in pretty much any way. As a matter of fact, without the characteristics of winter I’ve come to know and love, my body/brain isn’t even really willing to accept that *Christmas* has come, let alone New Year’s. I’ll keep you posted as this geographical/denial-of-time-passage unfolds. (Watches you hold your breath.)

But there are things. … >.>

And those things (above) were written right after the New Year, if that gives you some indication of how I totally meant to call you but then I lost my phone and it had all my contacts in it! Now I’ve waited so long to tell you about the great pilgrimage to California (with a stop off in Portland) that I was actually a little scared to come back here. I thought of just leaving the stove on and tossing a lit match in the vicinity, believe me. And then I watched a little ditty called Real Steel on one of the flights home and thought, this ish writes itself. (Not the movie. Nobody wrote that.) And then I felt kinda guilty for trying to regain your love with movie reviews – but let’s be real, what’s better than a review of something that bad? Really? (Please remind me to ask Hugh Jackman what the devil is WRONG with him. His other bad taste isn’t his fault, he’s Australian, but really? The level of corn and lameness he’s willing to spew. It was as bad as the “computer hacking” scene in Swordfish.)

And then, you know, real things happened, family things, personal things, spiritual things – all of which are the same things, just different levels. And instead of those things, here’s a list.

(1) Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes – everything I hoped for. Everything I need. Brought the movie home (thanks, Christmas!) but watched it five or so times in our three week vacation. And if that doesn’t seem like a lot…we also watched Book of Eli as many times. And Napoleon Dynamite.

(2) This. (Remember, that’s that thing we say when there’s no need to try and introduce or paraphrase what was already perfectly stated.) A Salon article on the unacknowledged offensiveness of “not seeing race”- LINK IT UP.

(3) Powell Books – You don’t seem to know dystopian is too saturated. I’m not writing this in defense of anything, just as an observation that an extremely popular bookstore (to understate it) does this:

Which I love.

(4) My speculative concept/literary style novella, Keepsake, is finished. And I love it hard. I was gonna say hardly but that sounded like the opposite of what I’m saying.

(5) At one point – for several days – I was in a house with five little boys between the ages of 7 years and 3 months. And it was lovely. And in that same timeframe I was with my Jen-the-Twin!

Totally the most complementary picture I can find of us.

(6) I came home to a snow globe. ❤

Happy Joyous Christmas Time Family Fun Show!

Preparing for the holidays – actually the little one just opened his first present. Gotta love his reactions. We had to have a family hug after. Presh. But since I’m basically gonna be less present than I already am – and I know, you’re all, Is that even possible?! – I thought I should let you become obsessed with a group I’m very nearly hurting myself on. The following song has been played seven times today. In between I sang it myself, if you’re wondering how I exercised such a remarkable display of self-restraint.

AND THE WIP IS COMPLETE. And I love it. Hard. Gah.

What’s that? You want more Page CXVI? Mkay.

All These Things That I’ve Done

In unnecessary list form:

(1) Recalled how in love with The Killers’ debut album I was. When last I shopped at Yellow, they were playing it. What makes my favorite Canadian shoe store even better? That.

(2) Had confirmed that E-readers do not do two of three things a good book MUST do. (I) Smell good. (II) Make introductions. To understand this, we must proceed to:

(3) Realized I have changed from my native Californian upbringing. See, on the west coast, transit time is personal, alone and sometimes quiet time. Of course, this is probably most true because there is no public transportation so well managed as to be a characteristic of the location. (Who thinks of NYC without thinking of the subway? Not me. And that’s all that matters…) But in the past week I have had two sudden conversations that were not just apologies for falling into someone when the train jerked. And one such conversation is credited to a book.

A girl got on at Atwater reading a hardcover of Catching Fire. At first I just smiled and kept listening to my music but when we both got off on Lionel and transferred to the same line, I felt it was a sign that we should be friends so, of course, I asked her what she thought of the trailer (for Hunger Games) and that began a conversation that made me almost miss my stop while we gawked in disappointment at being separated. We did, at the last moment, exchange names (having had the entire conversation without doing so) and of course it was only after I began walking from the train that I realized we might not see each other again…since names are all we exchanged. Darn it.

(4) Celebrated my third American Thanksgiving in Montreal. Canadian Thanksgiving is early in October – far too early for any American to comprehend – and is just not as big a deal. You’d think 4th of July would be the biggest deal to an American, but ask any expatriate and the fanfare was really always about Thanksgiving – and apparently the rest of the world knows it. Thankfully, we have a wonderful church family and there’s one amazingly hospitable lady who – among the millions of other things she does – hosts American Thanksgiving each year for those of us away from home. (Shout out to Valencia!)

(5) Finally uploaded pictures to the hubby’s computer to transfer to my computer (since I cannot state enough times how horrifying and depressing it is to not have USB or audio capability on my laptop anymore!) and therefore have a picture I meant to discuss ages ago, to the sole enjoyment of Jen-the-twin – if her at all.

Something something broaches something something want more.