July 2013

Two Hundred Eighty Eight.

On more than one occasion in the last…almost 10 months, I have said, “Wow, so you read my blog and you still like me, hey? That’s cool.”

Yes, maybe I’m being sarcastic, although I have said and done some weird shit. I’m not like, ashamed of any of it or else it wouldn’t be on my blog. (Just imagine all the crazy shit I don’t tell you about, AM I RIGHT?)

So today I thought, what the hell? Let’s get a little weirder, Andrea. What’s the worst that could happen?

I would like to confess a secret fantasy of mine.

There are two reasons it’s been on my mind lately.

  1. Last week, I was at the gym with my BFF Jo and we saw a guy lifting 540lbs.
  2. Today I came across this photo (and hilarious BuzzFeed article) in which Hugh Jackman is deadlifting approx. 460lbs.

Guys, I’m just going to come out and say it.

For as long as I can remember – long before fitness was a major part of my life – I have always wanted to be bench-pressed. As in I want to lay flat as a board while some guy bench presses me.


Like this, except instead of the bar, it’s me, and the guy would definitely have to be bulkier because I’m way heavier than I look.

I know what you’re thinking, so I’d like to clear the air right now and tell you all that there is nothing even remotely sexual about this fantasy. I wouldn’t tell you about my sexual fantasies without you at least taking me to a movie and fooling around or something.

It’s just something I’ve dreamed about since I was a kid.

When Jolene pointed out that Gym Guy was lifting 540lbs, I literally blurted out, “He could bench press multiples of me!!!” and then I considered finding a way to ask him if he would try, but based on the expression on Jo’s face, I decided not to and instead tried to explain my fantasy.

(Luckily BFFs don’t judge.)

I wish I could explain it, but I can’t. I’m just going to keep holding out hope that one day, some guy’s gonna be like, “Hey, wanna try something kinda crazy?”

And it’s gonna happen.

And it’s gonna be glorious.

And hopefully he won’t think I’m gonna put out just because he bench-pressed me.

Because that would be awkward.

Lesson learned: I could always get a little weirder. (Or maybe we just all have weird random fantasies.)

Soooooo, anyone have anything they’d like to share?


P.S. Seriously, don’t leave me hanging, guys.


Two Hundred Eighty Seven.


Chicago. January 2011.

I was visiting my BFF Margaret. The blizzaster hit. Are you with me? Good.

A few months after my visit to Chicago, I would be going to California with my mom to see my cousin (who is actually my mom’s goddaughter, but whatever, I consider her a blood relative because she’s awesome and I love her).


My mom had been talking about the California beaches and how excited she was to get her feet into the ocean and so on. So naturally, I was panicking.



Don’t get me wrong, I loooooove being near the ocean, but I’ve never gotten into it.* I mean first of all, swimming and I aren’t exactly best friends (being that it has almost killed me a couple times), and secondly, bathing suits.

Oh, bathing suits.

I’d be like, “What-the-fuck-EVER!” but even now, I’d be self-conscious in a bathing suit.

So, back in Chicago, I had the perfect opportunity to try to remedy my fear of bathing suits, because I was in the states, and the states has Torrid stores (a must for any plus-sized beauty). On one of my last days in town, Margaret took me to Torrid so that I could (A) shop to my heart’s content, and (B) maybe find a bathing suit for California.

There were so many totally cute options, but a lot of them still looked like they would be highlighting some of my personal “Eek!” spots, i.e., the parts of my body that I personally struggle with. (THIIIIGHS.) I tried my best to throw caution to the wind and just try them on anyway. I wouldn’t know until I put them on, right?

Right. Except they did just what I thought.

“How’s it going in there?” Mags asked supportively from outside my fitting room.

“Uhhhh…I’m not feeling good about this.”

“What part of it?”

“My boobs are falling out of it. Oh, that and MY THIGHS.”

“Maybe a bigger top?”

“Yeah, probably. Oh yeah, but MY THIGHS.”

“What about a cover up?” She offered.

“How do you mean?”

SIDENOTE: Guys, I’m not a very beach-fashion-aware person. This is about to become painfully evident, but I’m just warning you now.

“You know, like you can get a little sheer dress or tunic or even a long maxi dress to cover up on the beach. Like if you don’t want to just walk around in a bathing suit because only crazy people do that.”



“Yeah, of course!”

“And then can I wear it into the water?!”

Silence fell between us.

Despite the fitting room door between us, I could sense Margaret’s facial expression: eyes wide, eyebrows raised, lips in the shape of a tiny, “oh (dear God).” Her glance would be shifting, searching for words. All that came out was:


“Do people not do that?” I asked, trying to squeeze my tits into another tankini top.


“Well…” Mags searched for the words, “I mean, it’s a cover up…so…you don’t wear it into the water…”

“Why not?” I gasped for air, wondering if I’d be able to get out of the tankini top without having to force Margaret to help me. My mind raced through the logistics of that process: she’d need to keep her eyes closed, because I definitely wasn’t ready for her to see me naked.

“Well, I mean…that would just be like wearing clothes…into the ocean…”


A few moments later, I emerged from the fitting room, back in clothes.

“I totally can’t do this.”


The following day. Or week. Or even just a few hours later.

Margaret turned to me and said, “Remember when you asked me if you could wear your beach cover up into the water?”

And we laughed like crazy.

Lesson learned: BFFs are the people who don’t laugh at you for saying stupid, stupid shit. Or they do, but in a totally loving way.


*Okay, I’ve stood in it. That’s it.

P.S. My mom did get to dip her feet into the ocean, but that was the extent of it. Part of it was my fault, because I ended up having a horrible flu the entire time we were in California. The fact that my flu did not sour my love of California makes me sure my love of that place is genuine. The end.

Two Hundred Eighty Six.

I’m having an identity crisis.

Here’s the thing. I was a little kid and then I grew up and I grew taller and taller until I was 5’6″ and then I stopped. And I spent oh, 20 years or so believing I was 5’6″. And that was fine because I had no reason to think otherwise.

But then about a year and a half ago, I went to the doctor for a full physical, and when they measured me, the nurse said, “Great, so you’re 5’4″.”

It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it’s sort of like when you realize you’ve accidentally been telling people you’re one year older or younger than you are. It’s disorienting.

I was disoriented.

I had just lost height I thought I had.

If we’ve been friends long enough, you may even remember seeing my disoriented rant on Facebook. “What the hell?” it probably said, “How does one just go from being 5’6″ to being 5’4″?! Do I have to change my lifestyle now?! And who told me I was 5’6″ to begin with?!


Today I went to a meet and greet with my new doctor. I’ve been having a hell of a time dealing with rude, incompetent doctors for the last few months and I finally – hallelujah! – got in with one of my BFF’s doctors.

(She’s totally awesome, by the way. Yay!)

Because it was my first visit, I had to fill out all of the standard paperwork, and then a nurse took me aside for height and weight.

I stood under her giant ruler thing, already well aware of my height.

“Great,” she said, making a note on her clipboard, “so you are…5’6″.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“You’re 5’6″?” she repeated, clearly not sure what I was getting at.

“Oh, great. Yeah. I knew that.” I laughed.

And on the inside I was like, “THIS AGAIN?!?!

Lesson learned: It doesn’t actually matter how tall you are, but if somebody asks you, it would be NICE TO KNOW THE TRUTH.


I’m almost 27 and I have no idea how tall I actually am.


Two Hundred Eighty Five.


About eight months into my 12-month Master’s degree, I got a phone call from my dad.

It wasn’t the first call I got from my dad while I was living in Scotland. You just needed to know it was eight months in. And that my Master’s is in Playwriting and Dramaturgy.

We were having a perfectly normal conversation – how are you, how’s the weather, how are your classes, etc. – when a silence fell between us for a moment.

“So…what is Dramaturgy, exactly?” My dad asked me with his most bashful of tones.

I did the best I could to explain, though at that point, he probably could have just waited until I had finished my degree and moved back home to ask.


Last week, I took part in an event called the Slow Flash Mob. It was a very cool all-day event that offered a variety of free activities and was targeted at multiple generations and getting seniors involved in park life in Edmonton. I was honoured to be asked to teach two Zumba workshops.

Photo by Mack. D. Male, @mastermaq on Twitter.
Photo by Mack. D. Male, @mastermaq on Twitter.

Because it was a free, family-oriented event, I decided to invite my parents. My mom is an avid Zumba participant who comes to almost all of my classes, but my dad had never seen me teach before. I thought it would be a great opportunity for him to catch a glimpse of one of my jobs.

After one of the sessions, I was on a break and having a wander around the park. I crossed paths with my dad, who approached me very seriously.

“You have excellent dance moves.”

“Thanks, Dad!”

“But seriously.”

“I appreciate it. I love teaching. I have a lot of fun!”

“You should be a professional dancer.”

“Haha! Yeah, totally, right?” I laughed, “I think I’m as much of a professional dancer as I’ll ever be – I teach Zumba and it’s one of my jobs, right? So I’m a professional.”

“No, but you could pursue this professionally. Like in music videos or something.”

And then my heart melted a little.

Lesson learned: Dads. They say the darndest things. (Thank goodness.)


P.S. If I were ever going to be in a music video, I would want it to be Run DMC’s “It’s Like That” vs. Jason Nevins. I understand that I can’t turn back time. I’m just saying.

Two Hundred Eighty Four.

A couple nights ago, I was watching some of a friend’s short films on YouTube (you should check out Hyperphotonic here – they do cool work). One of them had just started when I saw the lead actor, froze, and said – out loud, to no one but myself (and my dogs) – “Hey! Screwdriver Guy!”

I knew this guy in university during my undergrad. I wouldn’t call us friends – we were acquaintances, and we had a mutual friend. In fact, I’m pretty sure the guy was interested in our mutual friend (which makes perfect sense, because she is a tall, gorgeous blonde with a huge smile and legs that go on forever).

SIDENOTE: It sounds like I have a crush on her.


Anyway, one night we were both at the theatre on campus to see the same play, so we ended up sort of hanging out for the first time, and by some series of circumstances, he offered me a ride home. At least I think that’s how it went. We could have also been leaving the class we were in together. To be honest, I don’t remember which class it was. (It sounds like I was a party animal in university. I was actually just in too many classes and working too many hours on the side.)

Remember Nick’s car, Yugo, from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist?


This guy’s car was the white version of Yugo. It was old and beaten up. The doors didn’t open properly. Inside it was messy and full of the guy’s “life.”

(I feel like you all know what I mean – all our cars are a disaster, right? Because I’m pretty sure up until like, two nights ago when I had my car professionally cleaned (Fancy! And soooo worh it! Thanks, Groupon!*), I had an empty suitcase in my trunk that I lent to a friend for CHRISTMAS holidays and some props from a play I produced TWO YEARS AGO.)

So I get in and sit down, and he sits down next to me and puts the key into the ignition. Only instead of turning the key, he just leaves it there for a second. Then he says, “Excuse my reach,” flips open the glove compartment, and starts rifling through it, clearly looking for something specific.

It is at this point that I realize he hasn’t closed his door.

What the heck?

He pulls out a screwdriver.

“Sometimes I just need to…” he says as he pops the hood, gets out of the car, disappears from my sight for a second, and messes around with the screwdriver.

Then he sits back down, turns the key, and the car starts up.

“Perfect. Okay, so where do you live?”

We never hung out again after that day – not because of the screwdriver,** just because of life circumstances and the fact that we were, as I mentioned, acquaintances and not friends. So since that day, he has been living in my mind as “Screwdriver Guy.” (I actually forgot his real name until I saw it in the film credits.)

Another example.

I met my friend Karly (I have no idea if Karly reads my blog – what up, girl?!***) back in 2005 when we worked at a bookstore together.

SIDENOTE: I’ve totally blogged about Karly before! Check it out! Wow. Keeping track of a 365-day blog is hard work.

We had been friends for a couple of years when we spent Halloween together. I’ll never forget that night because I was wearing a corset so that was the night I learned just how difficult it can be to function in a corset. (I should blog about that. I should also totally get a corset again. I fucking love corsets.) I don’t know what I was dressed up as. I was wearing a corset and a top hat. I had a very 1920s haircut at the time. Maybe I just thought I was Liza Minnelli.

It doesn’t matter what I was dressed up as, because Karly needed a costume, so she came over and we created a makeshift costume with what I had in my room. She was wearing all black, so I lent her a pair of cat ears, helped her with some makeup, and she was a cat. For the record, she looked adorable.

It just so happened that that was also the night that Karly met my brother, Bryan. And it just so happened that he never (I believe?) met Karly in person again because he moved to Vancouver shortly thereafter.

Look, what I’m trying to say is that when I talk about Karly to my brother, it goes one of two ways.


ANDREA: I was talking to my friend Karly…

BRYAN: The cat?

ANDREA: Yes, the cat.

BRYAN: Okay.


ANDREA: So I was talking to my friend Karly…

BRYAN: Karly…

ANDREA: The cat?

BRYAN: Oh! Karly. Yeah, cool.

Long story short (except not at all, right?), those are just two of many occasions I’ve learned that first impressions really do stick. And if they’re the only impression you get to give a person, I guess they could be either really damaging, or really hilarious.

Can’t talk, I am now wondering which “Girl” I am to people.

(I’m guessing I’m already “Zumba Girl” or “Tattoo Girl” to a number of people. But I do do some weird shit sometimes. There are so many girls I could be. Exhibit A; Exhibit B; Exhibit C…….oh, shit.)


*I did not get paid to write that. I fucking wish.

**On the contrary, I do this weird thing where I find old, beaten up cars to be super charming. Does everyone do that? Like, it’s somehow cute and cool to have a terrible wreck of a car? Even though it’s totally not because in real life you just end up sinking all your money into it? Maybe it’s just me. (I know it’s not. Just look at Nick and Norah’s and like, every other movie ever.)

***Am I cool enough to pull that off? I do actually say it sometimes. Should I have admitted to that?

Two Hundred Eighty Three.

Oh my god, this is going to be too easy.

Seriously, though.

“Carina shuffled through the dresser that held her clothing. It all appeared alien to her in this moment, as though someone else had removed all of the contents and replaced them in a disorderly fashion.

LESSON LEARNED: Don’t state the obvious.

(A dresser hold clothes. If it’s alien, it seems like someone else’s.)


I feel like today was a freeeeeee fucking ride. So I’ll tell you what: I’m going to go back to blogging about life, and then maybe I’ll compile a HUGE LIST of all the things I’m going to learn from this TERRIBLE NOVELLA.

By the way, in case you were wondering, this is what teenage me looked like. Just replace the guitar with a computer. Oh geez.


Da na na na na na na na GOTH KID.


P.S. Yes, I did edit this blog post because there was an extra “na” in the song lyrics at the end.

Two Hundred Eighty Two.

You guys are gonna laugh at this, but I have one more hair anecdote before I get to my novella.

Come on, when have I been one to follow rules? Even my own.

As a little kid, I had long hair. Like, really long. Up until grade 2 – when I decided I NEEDED a fashionable (“fashionable”) bob-with-bangs cut – I had long, beautiful hair down to my bum.

For the record, I don’t remember my hair as long and beautiful, but as PAINFUL TO COMB. As an adult, though, I can imagine how sad my mom was to see my gorgeous hair get chopped off.

I always wore my hair down, because my mom thought there was no point in having long, beautiful hair if it would always be in a ponytail (fair enough, Mom!), so naturally, my hair was always in my face. I would remedy this situation by over-exaggeratedly flipping my hair back, over my shoulder, first on one side, then on the other.

Large movements, everyone. Laaaaarge movements.

It was basically like this:

Except not as cool, because I’ve always been a nerd.

SIDENOTE: I will NEVER apologize for LOVING that song.

Anyway, one day I was at a birthday party for two friends and their mom was video recording us while we played in their backyard. Because I was super close with these two girls, I stayed after the party was over to watch some movies with them.

SIDENOTE: This was also the day I became obsessed with the movie Jaws, at age seven. Amazing.

So we watched these movies, and then we decided we wanted to watch some of the birthday party footage. My friends’ mom put it on for us.


I stared at myself on video, mouth gaping open. What on earth was I doing with my hair? Why was I doing it every 30 seconds?! WHY DID I LOOK SO STUPID AND ANNOYING?!

And from that day on, I weaned myself off the hair flip.

(And then I chopped off all my hair.)

Lesson learned: We should all video record ourselves to recognize and stop our irritating body twitches and habits.

I’d be nervous to do it now.


Two Hundred Eighty One.

I promise to read my really terrible novella and divulge the life lessons I glean from it, but…


In some ways, I am a super girly girl.

In others, I am not.

So I was at the drugstore on the weekend and I noticed some brands of shampoo and conditioner were on sale. I thought to myself, “I should buy some. Also, I should start conditioning my hair again, because sometimes it feels like straw and seems angry at me.”

So I picked this up:


Today was only the second day I used it (and the conditioner, too), but this afternoon, as I was getting ready for work, I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror and was like MY GOD MY HAIR IS GLISTENING TODAY.

The brown is totally way richer and shinier and sexier. The whole bit.

Lesson learned: Sometimes the beauty products do what they say they’re going to do!

Also, maybe don’t always wash your hair with body wash.


I don’t do that.


P.S. Let’s talk about super obvious beauty stuff that actually works! Comment away!

Two Hundred Eighty.

I’ve been in a bit of a writing slump.

“Wait a second, Andrea,” I hear you saying, “don’t you have a 365-day blog?!”

Yes. Yes I do. And it’s some of the only writing I’ve found the time to do lately.

In the last few days, I’ve cracked open my notebook and started jotting down thoughts and ideas that have been living in my head for the last couple months. It’s been good. But I think my brain is so deeply buried in Blog Land right now that I feel a little weird even attempting a story.

So I’m taking drastic measures.

Guys, here it is:


This is the first novella I wrote as an almost-adult. As you can see, my first draft was completed in July (hey, it’s July now!) 2003, making me…16 at the time.

I have very little idea what this novella is about at this point, 10 years later, aside from the fact that it has a horror edge to it and it was inspired by a nightmare I had.

I figure at this point, I’ve got nothing to lose but to see how it is.

(I’m sure it’s terrible.)

So, over the next few days, expect some life lessons from my masterpiece novella, which is untitled, but has clever chapter titles like And So It Begins… and The Fall.

For today, the lesson I’ve learned is this:

(A) Sometimes you’ve got to go back to the beginning (or a beginning of sorts – in all honesty, I wrote my first first novella at age six*).

(B) You can most definitely learn from past failures. (Right?)

Here goes nothing.



*BRAGGY BRAG BRAG. I didn’t mean to sound that arrogant about it. I was a child genius. It’s really not that big of a deal.

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