Three Hundred Sixty Six.

I know what you’re thinking.

Nope. I still don’t have any answers. And I still don’t feel like a grown up. Maybe slightly closer, but I still don’t even want to have to take care of a houseplant.

SIDENOTE: Somehow I manage to keep my dogs alive and happy. I don’t know how that works. Life Math is weird.

…Maybe I’m just not a green thumb.


My BFF Jo texted me yesterday and said, “It’s your last day as a 26 year old.”

At first I kind of panicked. Holy shitballs. 26. It’s over. I feel like it just started. I know it sounds like a super cliche, but in some ways, it really was like the blink of an eye.

I started this blog a year ago as a challenge to myself as a writer. Early in 2012, I kind of lost faith in myself. I hit a major rough patch and thought wow, maybe I’m actually a terrible writer. Maybe I have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I don’t want to ever write again. Of course, I eventually came around and realized that writing is the thing I love the most. And in the same vein, I knew that if I wanted to be a writer, I’d have to write.

But I was kind of scared.

So I promised myself I would write something every day.

I wasn’t really expecting that forcing myself to write a blog post every day – a story that somehow led to me learning a life lesson, no matter how small – would help me be happy. I saw it as much more of an exercise than anything else. And an opportunity to maybe be funny. But I have to say, writing this blog has given me a completely different outlook on my entire life. It’s helped me understand how my past has made me who I am. It’s helped me work through a lot of difficult times and put a positive spin on things I would have never otherwise laughed at. It’s helped me approach life in a much more open, accepting way.

Like, happen to me, life: I’m ready to learn from you.

That was a disaster. Oh well, next time will be better!

I can’t believe that just happened. I am mortified. Also, that was hilarious. I can’t wait to tell people.

I did it! Someone pat me on the fucking back!

I hate everything right now. Surely someone will understand.

I am hurting. I need to know it’s going to be okay.

This is weird. Does everyone feel this way?

Did that just happen? SRSLY?!

At the same time, I had come to a bit of a crossroads with myself. I had hit a self-love low. I was feeling depressed, defeated, discouraged, you name it. I decided enough was enough: it was time to make the active decision to be happy.

I also discovered that Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks. And my world was turned upside down. In a good way.

To quote myself (is that totally pretentious? I’m trying to recap, shut up.):

Jayne Mansfield, the American actress, singer, Playboy playmate, and all around drop-dead gorgeous bombshell, was flawed in a way that has been the root of much of my self-consciousness for all of my teenage and adult life.

So…all of that got me here.

SIDENOTE: It’s really hard writing the last post of a 365-day blog.

It’s going to be difficult to let this blog go. I know I’m going to wake up tomorrow and the day after that and the day after that and my first thought is going to be, “What can I write about today?” or, “Oh shit! I still have to blog today!”

But I’m looking forward to channelling my creative energy into a number of other projects that I’ve already either started or am about to. So I guess what I’m saying is I’m not going anywhere. Maybe there will be another blog. Maybe not. But I promise there will be something.

I was trying to think of a fun way to commemorate the end of this blog.

Here’s what I came up with.

Jayne Mansfield had stretchmarks.


And so do I.



P.S. It’s hilariously ironic that in the majority of the pin-up photos I took, my stretchmarks aren’t that visible. Because they’re everywhere.

But I guess there’s a life lesson in that, isn’t there?

I’m probably the only one who really notices them.


P.P.S. Things I meant to write but forgot: Happy Birthday to me! Also, here’s to 27! I’m crazy excited for it!

Three Hundred Sixty Five.

I know this is a 365-day blog, but this is technically the penultimate post, because it’s a birthday to birthday thing. And tomorrow’s my birthday!


SIDENOTE: Have you bought me a birthday present yet? We can’t be friends if you didn’t because all I care about is material possessions.

Anyway, I thought what better way to spend the second-last day of my crazy year-long blog than looking back on some of its best moments?

SIDENOTE: Maybe that should say best/”best”…

Think of this, if you will, as a flashback episode of your favourite TV sitcom. With the help of a couple friends, I’ve compiled some categories I think you’ll enjoy.

Without further ado…

Top 5 Stupid Kid Moments


Oh boy. Where to even start with this one?! Well, okay…

1. Pressing buttons was (OKAY, STILL IS) a thing I loved doing. See examples A and B.

2. Of course, there was the time I electrocuted myself

3. The day I put scissors through my finger

4. Setting fire to things is never a good idea.

5. Neither is writing a hate letter to your childhood friend.


I have to give honourable mention to the day I learned that “bastard” is a bad word. Oh, and also to the combination of shaving off my eyebrows and getting hair extensions.

And guess what?! It’s your lucky day. I found a photo of teenage Andrea with hair extensions and no eyebrows. And apparently I have no shame because I’m gonna post it on the Internet.


Boy oh boy oh boy.

Moving on!

Top 5 Most Awkward Moments

If you haven’t deduced by now, I am the QUEEN OF AWKWARD. This is quite the random assortment, but I feel it encompasses who I am pretty well…

1. The day a goat ate my t-shirt. (Enough said.) (Stupid goats.) (Seriously, why would she do that to me?!) (Ugh.) (I fucking loved that t-shirt.) (SOB.)

2. The day I learned about orgasms in sex ed. (Is anyone else craving cake?!)

3. Barrel-chested. That is all.

4. The day the National Poet of Scotland called me stupid. Which I really should add to my resume.

5. My elementary school “boobies” moment.


There are so, so many, but I feel like my Pilates FAIL and my Zumba BARF moments were pretty grand.

Top 5 “SRSLY?!” Moments

You know those moments. The ones that make you go, “what the fucking?!”

1. People and my tattoos. Why are people so weird about my tattoos?

2. That time a guy threw a book at my face. No big deal.


4. Nothing says “what the fuck?” like getting pepper sprayed!

5. Also charming: when people tell you how to pronounce your own name


I have to give myself a shout out for fucking up my neck by making fun of someone on a Zumba DVD. Because who the fuck does that? This girl, right here.

But the greatest honourable mention in this category goes to Glasgow, Scotland, where I experienced so many WTF things, including…

Finding a tooth in an ATM.

Finding a used tampon on a bus.

And buses in general.

Among so many others. I fucking love you, Glasgow. I really do.

Top 5 Workplace Blunders

It’s a wonder I still have my job. It really is. It’s also a wonder I still have any self-confidence after all of the stupid humbling things that have happened to me at work…

1. My friends still bring up the day I parked on the sidewalk.

2. Also charming: locking yourself in a stairwell on your first day of work.

3. Or, you know, getting caught dancing in the bathroom.

4. Similarly, walking in on your coworkers in the bathroom.

5. Or traumatizing them with your hair colour.


Getting caught taking a selfie at work.

Work selfie

At least I know my office mate loves me and doesn’t judge me.

Top 5 Relationship/Sex Fails

Look. I’d prefer we don’t dwell on how much I suck at relationships, okay? OKAY?!

1. I have been known to throw myself at guys I like.

2. I’ve learned the hard way that spin the bottle will only break your heart.

3. So will going after guys who don’t care that you exist. (But you can keep trying to shout “LOVE ME! LOOOOOVE MEEEE!” at them. Trust me. Guys SUPER love that.)

4. I’m good at ending up in awkward sex situations.

5. And awkward kissing situations, sometimes.


Okay, well, first of all, heartbreak, right?

I think I also screwed it up with this guy, because he was clearly paying me a compliment.

Let’s not forget all of my failed marriages. Sigh.

And the time a MONSTER RASH ruined my potential Scottish boyfriend.

And hey, since I’ve already shown you how great I looked with hair extensions as an eyebrowless wonder, here’s a photo of me in the midst of the MONSTER RASH attack. This was after I managed to get my eyes open, because they were swollen shut.

Photo 130

Good lord…

Top 5 Accomplishments

I didn’t screw up everything, though. I’ve done some stuff. Yeah. I do things! I TCB every once in a while!

1. I’ve gotten over a lot of fear to become a Zumba instructor.

2. Then I stuck with it for a year and changed my life.

3. I grew back my eyebrows, guys. I fucking did it!

4. I got over some serious “I can’t!” bullshit and also tried wall climbing.

5. Oh, hey, I also learned how to embrace myself sometimes. I think that’s pretty huge.



A year, guys. A YEAR.

I’m excited to celebrate my birthday with you all tomorrow.


P.S. I know what you’re thinking. There totally should have been some sort of crazy travel category. But I just couldn’t narrow that shit down. So you’ll just have to re-read my entire blog to enjoy.

Three Hundred Fifty Two.

Screen shot 2013-09-11 at 23.35.17


You know what’s crazy when you think about it? (See: crazy when I think about it.)

I have never known a world without my brother.

I mean, he was already around when I was born.  So I have never existed without him.

Just in case you don’t have a big brother, let me tell you what they’re good for.



SIDENOTE: Who remembers Bucky O’Hare?! Love.

Since they’ve been on earth for longer than you, big brothers have a larger stock of toys. Whether they tell you so or not, those toys are at your disposal. Just try not to break them.

CORRECTION: Try to figure out a really cute, cool way to tell your brother when you break them.

SIDENOTE: Or just don’t tell him, and then pretend you have no idea what he’s talking about when he finds out.



Similarly, older kids are better at rationing things out – like, say, Halloween candy.

This is not at your disposal, but you can probably justify helping yourself anyway.

SIDENOTE: You will think you’re being stealthy about this, but you are not. Make sure whatever you eat is worth being yelled at later. Always leave the caramels.


Your big brother’s friends will be your first crushes. He will not like this. But it’s good for you!

SIDENOTE: Until you make an ass out of yourself. Then it’s a valuable life learning experience!

Keeping You Humble


You may think you’re top notch in the cool department. Your big brother will always be there to knock you down a peg or two. He’s way better at the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rap than you, for example. You can try to keep up, but he’s just so swag.

SIDENOTE: Did I use “swag” correctly?

Business Ventures

When you think of a creative endeavour that will potentially get you world famous, your big brother is like a built-in business partner. Also, he knows how to do more stuff than you because he’s older and wiser, so let him press the buttons.


Being Your Hero

This story. That is all. (The poor thing.)

But Seriously…

A big brother is a support system. A partner in crime. Protection from bullies. Company when you need someone to play with. A shoulder to cry on when you’re upset. They can give you fairly unbiased boy advice, and when it comes to boys who aren’t right for you, they’ve always got your back. They have been around your whole life. They know where you’re coming from. And they want the best for where you’re going. Plus, they’re getting there before you. Your big brother is there to set the bar for life. To ask all the questions that plague you, like, “Do you feel like an adult yet? Do you have your shit together?” Sometimes they set the bar so high, you feel like you’ll never live up to it, but the beautiful thing about a high bar is it pushes you to be the best you can be, every day, all the time.

And if you’re ridiculously, stupidly, wonderfully lucky like me, your big brother is your best friend.


Lesson learned: Big brothers are the best. Happy 30th Birthday to mine. I love you, Bryan!


Three Hundred Forty.

Since my birthday is coming up really soon, I started thinking back to birthday memories and remembered this little gem.

The Big 2-1.

I don’t know why it was “The Big 2-1,” because it’s not like 21 signifies anything in Canada. The drinking age is 18. But I don’t know, it still felt like a big deal.

Anyway, the plan was food, bowling (I love bowling – there’s a chance I may make anyone celebrating The Big 2-7 with me go bowling again), and then a party at my BFF Mandelle’s apartment.

That wasn’t really relevant. Either way, now you know a little bit about my 21st birthday. You’re welcome.

The thing you need to know is that when I walked into Mandelle’s apartment on my 21st birthday, I saw this:


Yes. It’s a Birthday Tree.

Let me just zoom in on the angel for a second…


Yes. That’s me. Dressed in a sailor hat.

Just days before my birthday party was my actual birthday, during which I hung out with Mandelle and her roommate and tried on a variety of costume pieces and took a variety of photos while we drank a lot of vodka.

And then she made me into a birthday angel.

I would go on to become the Halloween angel, and then the Christmas angel, for a few years in a row.

Lesson learned: I am an angel.

I mean…I have the greatest friends.

Yeah, that.



Three Hundred Thirty Five.

Every Sunday, I get a lovely little email in my inbox from the University of Alberta.


“Late Fees Notification.”

You see. I owe the University of Alberta a whole $2 for overdue fees.

Oh, shit,” I say to myself every Sunday, “I need to just go and pay that.”

I have been saying that to myself every Sunday for THREE YEARS.

Speaking of which, did you know that my 365-day blog is almost over? I started it on my 26th birthday and now I’m sitting here wondering where the last year has gone.

Speaking of which, did you notice how September is already halfway gone? It was just summer and now it’s almost October.

Hell, I feel like I’m still wondering where February went, and here I am in September.

I can’t even wrap my head around it.

Lesson learned: Time flies.


P.S. When I’m freaking out about time, I like to remind myself of this:

“Nobody has ever experienced anything that wasn’t part of a single moment unfolding. That means life’s only challenge is dealing with the single moment you are having right now. Before I recognized this, I was constantly trying to solve my entire life — battling problems that weren’t actually happening. Anyone can summon the resolve to deal with a single, present moment, as long as they are truly aware that it’s their only point of contact with life, and therefore there is nothing else one can do that can possibly be useful. Nobody can deal with the past or future, because, both only exist as thoughts, in the present. But we can kill ourselves trying.”

It’s from this article, which is an interesting read.

Three Hundred Twenty Six.

If I named my blog posts, rather than simply using numbers, this post would have a long, two-part title, and it would be:


It just so happens I’m an expert in this subject.

Where to even start?


When you’re feeling insecure and/or awful about life, definitely don’t go through and “re-evaluate” how much money you owe the world. Because if it’s a lot, like me – YAY MASTER’S DEGREE IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY! – it will just make you want to die a little bit.


I mean, just FYI.


Okay, maybe candy isn’t your thing (it’s my thing). Maybe you like chips, or french fries, or chicken wings, or whatever. Regardless. When you’re feeling shitty, definitely don’t go out and buy a bunch of whatever you feel like you desperately need to shove in your face to make yourself feel better.

Because it might work temporarily.

bean eat

But then you’ll get a ju jube tummy ache.


Because, you know, you may find yourself making a list of ways you’ve gotten nowhere in a year, even when that’s not true.

Or you may just generally stress about getting older.

Or maybe about getting older and being broke.

Ready to party

Plus you may stress about throwing a party and no one showing up.

SIDENOTE: That worry should vanish after you turn like, 25. But it just gets worse, doesn’t it? Because at least when you were a kid, you knew people would show up for the treat bags.


Pretty self-explanatory. And – you would think – logical. I mean, the results of contacting an ex and being like this:

Feelingscan go a couple ways.

(A) He can attempt to listen and you can insecurely talk at him until he probably hates you (maybe even more than before, depending on your past and how you broke up). (Maybe he liked you before but he’ll discover a hate for you!)

(B) He can attempt to “listen”……and then offer you some comfort sex.

Wait..what the fuck? Argh. Because that gives you MORE FEELINGS to deal with. What a drag.


Because “retail therapy” when you’re feeling sad and awful feels like this, no matter what you’re putting on and how well it fits you:


So yeah. Don’t do any of those things. They’ll all make it worse. I learned the hard way for you. You’re welcome!


P.S. Dear anyone worrying about me after reading this: I’m actually fine. Thank you!

Three Hundred Twenty Two.

Oh shit, you know what I just realized?

I won’t be writing this blog come Halloween, because my 365 days will be over on my 27th birthday, October 17.*

You know what that means?

I don’t have to save scary stories to be seasonal! WA-HA! Fun!

SIDENOTE: Not like there’s ever been much rhyme or reason to when I post what I post…

ANOTHER SIDENOTE: It’s weird to think of this blog being over. It’s exciting and sad at the same time.

Okay. So remember how I worked at a theatre for like, five years? I’ve totally mentioned it before, this post probably being the most entertaining, though if you want to relive my glamorous acting days that took place in the very same theatre, read this one, too.

The theatre I worked at is totally haunted.

There are multiple presences in the building. In general, I would say that there are the following people around:

  1. A male presence in the box office and stairwell area
  2. A female presence in the lobby and ladies washroom
  3. A (different) male presence in the auditorium

I have stories about all of these. Little things, for example, like hearing high heels walking through the lobby and going into the washroom, only to find the lights completely out and nobody in the building but yourself.


SIDENOTE: Eerie, but also oddly easy to get used to. Just like the presence in the box office who would constantly rustle stuff around at night at the back of the office.

“Can you stop it? You’re freaking me out.” I got accustomed to saying out loud.

And he always respected my wishes.

Anyway, ironically, the story I’m about to tell goes against the list I just presented you with. But rather than elaborate, I’ll just tell the damn story.

It was my very first year actually working at the theatre. You see, I started out as a volunteer (I’m a good Samaritan!)/festival participant and actor (see the above link about my fabulous acting career)/fangirl (I was REALLY obsessed with this musical written by William S. Burroughs, Robert Wilson, and Tom Waits called The Black Rider. In total, I saw it seven times. Shut up. Did you just read who wrote this thing? PERFECTION.)

I was still pretty new to the whole “opening up the theatre in the morning” routine, but being a very hard worker and a generally responsible human being (see: 18 going on 40), I had a pretty good handle on it. At the time, we were about halfway through the annual emerging artists’ festival the theatre hosts, so I was getting into the groove of setting up every day.

I unlocked the theatre, got into the lobby, and disarmed the alarm. Normal.

Then I walked through the darkened lobby and into the box office, where I turned on all of the lights. Normal.

After putting down my bag and turning on the box office computer, I stepped out into the lobby to start turning on the rest of the lights. I flipped the switches for the lobby itself, then made my way around the concession counter toward the ladies washroom.

Now, as I mentioned, there’s a female presence in the lobby of the theatre. And often, the sound of high heels goes from the front door into the washroom, then stops. Connected to this (in my mind, anyway), is the fact that when you step into the washroom to turn on the lights, it always feels like when you do turn them on, there will be someone standing RIGHT THERE in the mirrors.

So I made a habit of just reaching my arm into the washroom to turn on the lights, keeping my head outside of the washroom and my eyes firmly shut and/or averted from the mirrors.

SIDENOTE: I guess I never thought too much about what if I reached in and FELT SOMETHING THERE?

On this particular day, I guess I was feeling somewhat brave (or maybe I was just still too new to know any better) because I stepped into the darkened washroom and flicked on the lights.

And then I jumped, startled.

SIDENOTE: Are you freaked out?!

Not because there was anything in the mirrors (just me), but because I heard very loud laughter and muffled conversation between two females coming from behind the closed auditorium doors.

I froze.

What the fuck?

Now, at the time, the two people running the technical side of the festival were women – Tammy and Gina – so my first thought was, “Oh! Tammy and Gina are here already! Awesome!”

SIDENOTE: Tammy and Gina are The Shit (in the good way) so heck yeah I was excited to see them.

I guess I didn’t stop to think about the fact that when I got to the theatre, the security system was armed. I guess disarming the alarm had already become such a habit that it didn’t even occur to me.

I left the ladies washroom and skipped the six or so feet toward one set of the auditorium doors. Excited to see my friends, I grabbed hold of both handles, yanked the double doors open, and rushed into the auditorium.


And then my breath literally stopped in my lungs and everything felt cold.

The auditorium doors started to close behind me, the light vanishing, leaving me in PITCH BLACK.

Because there was nobody in there. The ghost light wasn’t even on. As soon as I opened the doors to walk in, the laughter and chatter I heard fell silent.


I panicked and ran directly into the doors, throwing them open and getting the fuck out of the auditorium. I stumbled through the lobby into the box office, sat down at my desk, and didn’t move until my friend and manager Muffy showed up about an hour later.


Lesson Learned: The Roxy Theatre in Edmonton, y’all. Totally haunted.


P.S. I have one more super cool story about this theatre, so let’s call this PART I of me learning this lesson, okay? Okay.


**Who said that?!

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 Fifty Four.

When I was in my early years of elementary, I had a friend named Amy.

We were pretty tight – maybe even best friends (to whatever extent you can be when you’re like, six and you only have like, two friends anyway*) – so I played at her house a lot and vice versa. But there was one day that kind of changed everything for me.

You could say it was a friendship deal breaker, only that wasn’t a trendy phrase when I was in grade one.

Amy and I were playing in her room when she decided to get her adorable little hamster, whose name I forget (and I actually feel bad that I forget his name because he was sooo cute), out of his cage. We played with him for a while, petting him and giving him a few minutes of running time in his hamster ball, but then she said, “Okay, we need to feed him.”

I thought, “Okay, cool, I guess _______ likes snacks. Who doesn’t?” and nodded my head in agreement.

The hamster ate one snack, but then he was done. Good. Satisfied. Belly full.

Great, he’s happy; let’s move on and keep playing.

“Why won’t he eat more?” Amy asked me, annoyed.

“He’s full.” I said matter of factly.

“No, I want him to pretend to be my baby and I’m feeding him.” Amy was determined.

“He’s full.” I said again, worried.

Amy proceeded to force feed her hamster at least six more cookies while I looked on in horror. She pressed them into his mouth until he somehow choked them down. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t know what to do. The hamster very clearly did not want to eat. He was so anxious and distressed about what was happening that he pooped all over the floor.

I was horrified. I felt sick. I wanted to go home.

“Stop it, that’s enough.”

“Yeah,” Amy said, irritated, “He pooped all over. So gross.”

She put the hamster back in his cage, her face scrunched into a frown.

I honestly don’t remember playing with Amy after that day. I might have, but I’m fairly certain we grew apart not long after that.

Lesson learned: Good people don’t willingly hurt animals.


P.S. We may have also grown apart after Amy ruined my birthday party by being obnoxious and slamming her disgusting, dirty rubber toy lizard into my birthday cake. She took “Lizzie” everywhere. I don’t even want to think about how contaminated he was.

P.P.S. It may have also been after Amy’s ultra-religious mother told my mom that my brother and I were going to hell because we didn’t have Jesus in our lives.


*Maybe you had a million friends when you were six and I was just unpopular. GOOD FOR YOU.

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