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Three Hundred Eleven.

Well, since I told you about some of the men I thought I would marry when I was a child, I thought it would only be fair to also tell you about some of the women I loved most.

What’s really funny, though, is that – no, you know what? Let’s just take a look.

WOMEN I WANTED TO BE WHEN I WAS A SMALL CHILD by Andrea Beça.

SIDENOTE: By “small,” I mean like, 13 and under, but some of these dreams have never died. You know what? Basically none of them have.

Catwoman
Catwoman.

I mean, hello? Obviously. Obviously. I watched Batman like, every single day on TV after school. I was obsessed. So naturally I dreamed of being this feisty, sexy woman.

SIDENOTE: I would look killer in that outfit today. And I would love to have a reason to rock it.

Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman.

Again, mega-DUH.

SIDENOTE: I feel like my response to most of these is going to be, “DUH!”

Morticia Addams.
Morticia Addams.

I’ve already talked about how much I hoped and dreamed about being adopted by the Addams Family as a kid, but while Wednesday was closer to my age, I always really wanted to be Morticia. She’s pure class. Stunningly beautiful. And those giant eyes. Get out of here with those eyes, Carolyn Jones!

Storm.
Storm.

My brother collected all sorts of superhero trading cards when he was a kid. I wish I had easy access to them, because I would totally find the Storm card I was so in love with.

I just thought she was the coolest, okay?

Chun Li.
Chun Li.

Noticing any trends? It took A LOT for me to not play as Chun Li when my brother and I would play Street Fighter. (I had a soft spot for Blanka and Guile – no idea why. I liked Ryu, too, but my brother was always Ryu.)

SIDENOTE: Always secretly wished I could do that with my hair.

HONOURABLE MENTION GOES TO:

Xena.
Xena.
The Pink Power Ranger. (Kimberly Hart)
The Pink Power Ranger. (Kimberly Hart)
The Spice Girls.
The Spice Girls.

SIDENOTE: We’ve been through this.

Lesson learned: I like ladies who kick butt and TCB.

And now I am one. Bam.

xA

Three Hundred Four.

I like Instagram.

Mostly I use it to show off how ridiculously fucking cute my dogs are, but I’m the first to admit that I post lots of clothing-related selfies, too. Whatever, I like clothes a lot. And also, Emily McCombs got it totally right – it’s a good way to get fitting room feedback from multiple friends at once.

Lately, I’ve also had fun participating in Throwback Thursday, where you post an old photo of yourself.

Yesterday was Throwback Thursday. But I had also posted a couple of other photos, just randomly. I received a few comments on things, which led me to look at my own profile. When I saw this photo:

AB THEN

Right next to this one:

AB NOW

I learned that some things never change. (Like your face.)

I wish I could see baby photos of you all.

xA

P.S. Also, I still get drool on my chin sometimes.

P.P.S. Thank goodness you grow into your ears, hey?

Two Hundred Eighty Five.

STORY 1:

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.

STORY 2:

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.)

xA

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 Seventy Six.

As part of my job, I help scientists write papers.

It sounds kind of crazy because I have zero knowledge of the science, but on the flip side, a lot of the scientists have zero knowledge of the writing, so it goes both ways.

Yesterday at work, I was walking one of the scientists through his paper. Turns out he’d never written one before. I started explaining things like the SVO (subject-verb-object) sentence structure used in English and when to effectively use commas.

“Wow, yeah, I’m really bad at commas.”

“No, don’t worry about it.”

“But like the boss said, I just put them in everywhere.”

“It takes a lot of practice to really feel comfortable knowing where they go, trust me,” I assured him, “Plus, sometimes it’s a stylistic thing.”

“What do you mean?”

“Like, some people love commas. Some people put commas everywhere! There are lots of cases where they’re neither right nor wrong. Just a choice. Do you get what I mean?”

“I suppose.”

“Even in English courses, I saw lots of writers use commas incorrectly, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes I use too many commas. I love punctuation!”

“Wait…so you have a degree in English literature?”

“Yes.”

“Wow. So do you write?”

“Yes, what’s what I do. I’m a writer. So on this next page –”

“Wait, so you write like, from your mind?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Do you write things from your imagination? Or do you write for other people? Because sometimes people want to write and they don’t know how. They just have the idea and they get a writer to help them.”

“Oh, well I’ve helped people write things before. And I do a lot of editing.”

“Have you edited books?”

“Yes.”

“Wow.”

“But I prefer to write from my imagination. I mean, that’s what I’d like to do as a career one day.”

“Wow. That is so cool.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Sometimes, when you spend all of your time with other creative and/or artistic types, your skills lose their street cred. Oh yeah, another writer, blah blah blah. I’m a writer, too. Oh, you’re an actor? I’m an actor, too. Are you conservatory trained?

Yesterday I learned that my degree is still considered exotic and yes, cool by other people. Scientists, at that. And it felt good.

Yeah, I’m a writer. Deal with it.

(And then I’d trip over my own feet trying to sashay out of the room, or better yet, poke myself in the eye with the arm of my sunglasses.)

xA

Two Hundred Sixty Five.

In the near impossible case that you haven’t realized yet, I’m not always the most easy going person in the world.

I don’t mean that I’m difficult to get along with or anything, but to use the example my BFF Mags and I always use, I’m not the girl at the house party who’s going to strip down and jump into the pool in her underwear. Sometimes I admire that girl. Sometimes I roll my eyes at her. Regardless, she’s not me.

I’ve never seen myself as much of an outdoor music festival girl for the following reasons:

– A lot of sun (I’m super white, it gives me a rash)
– Potential of rain and mud
– Bugs
– Outhouses (Oh dear god, outhouses)

Over the last four days, however, and yesterday in particular, I can tell you I braved all of the above. (The bugs were minimal, thank goodness.)

By the time yesterday rolled around, I felt fully prepared to battle the sun. We had spent parts of Thursday and Saturday at the festival in weather so hot and humid that you pray for a giant gust of wind to make you feel somewhat human again and you resign yourself to the giant sweat spot on your back. I slathered myself in SPF 45 and started thinking cool and refreshing thoughts.

SIDENOTE: Cool and refreshing thoughts are bullshit. They don’t work.

We also thought we were prepared for the rain. We packed an umbrella and raincoats. No problem.

So when it rained, we were fine.

20130708-092259.jpg
But then it RAINED.

It rained so hard you could barely open your eyes. It rained so hard that I had to wring out my dress every couple minutes because it was weighing me down. It rained so hard that a couple girls in front of me were filling their empty beer bottles with the rain dripping off people’s umbrellas…and they were filling up in just a few minutes.

While we tried to fight the rain when it first started, we eventually gave in entirely. There was no staying dry, so there was no point in trying.

It wasn’t long until the ground looked like this:

20130708-092733.jpg
And my shoes looked like this:

20130708-092810.jpg
(RIP, shoes.)

And that was only about halfway through our day at the festival. Soon the grass disappeared into pools of water and mud. We all discussed our plans for showers and throwing away our shoes when we got home. We all had the lovely experience of using outhouses and having to peel our wet clothes off and back on again to use them.

Basically, it was everything I feared it might be.

And you know what?

I learned yesterday that Belle and Sebastian were entirely worth all of it.

20130708-093248.jpg
I still can’t believe I saw one of my favourite bands of all time. And not only did they sound impeccable, they were friendly, chatty, and hugely interactive with the audience, too.

It was perfect.

20130708-093328.jpg
As soon as they started playing, I forgot I was soaked and muddy and I DANCED. And I never wanted it to end.

Thanks, Belle and Sebastian.

xA

P.S. Shout outs to all of the other amazing bands who played at TURF as well! She & Him, Camera Obscura, Kurt Vile, Whitehorse, Neko Case, The Cat Empire – everyone was dreamy-wonderful!

P.P.S. Shout outs also to showers and laundry. Oog.

P.P.P.S. Wow, only (ONLY) 100 posts to go! Is this the homestretch?!

Two Hundred Sixty One

As I’m sure you all know by now, I’m not one for traditions. I don’t have anything against tradition specifically, I just don’t happen to participate in many.

So when I got invited to an American Thanksgiving during my first year in Glasgow, I was both intimidated and excited.

We did a potluck style feast, and since there were some other veggies/veg-curious people coming, I made a vegan haggis (yes, it exists, and yes, it’s really delish when well seasoned!) with roasted veggies. I packed a couple bottles of wine in my purse, which clinked and clanked during my taxi ride (pure class), and off I went.

20130704-080550.jpg

I have to say, American Thanksgiving was probably one of the funnest nights I had in Glasgow. There were like, 15-20 of us gathered in one flat, all hanging out in the kitchen, laughing, drinking wine, and telling stories. There was a bit of a fiasco when the oven broke down at my friends’ flat, but the neighbour across the hall was kind enough to lend us theirs. We all sat down around a massive table (or tables, pushed together) like a family, even though some of us had just met and had an amazing meal, and afterward, we were all back in the kitchen, chatting while we teamed up on dish duty and clean up.

When I think of American-ness, that Thanksgiving night is one of the first things I think of. That was the night I learned that Americans really are serious about their traditions, in a good way. I felt lucky to be welcomed into such a wonderful celebration with friends.

Happy Fourth of July!

xA

Two Hundred Sixty.

You know how they say that people and their dogs tend to look alike or act similar or whatever? (Look, I’m on a plane as I type this – I can’t Google it to find out the exact phrase. Cut me some slack.) I started thinking about it the other day and it’s totally true.

20130703-181959.jpg

WAYS I AM MY DOGS/MY DOGS ARE ME

Food Love

Books about Boston Terriers warn that sometimes the breed doesn’t know when to stop eating because they love to eat so much.

Get the right food in front of me and I’m the exact same way.

Temperature Sensitive

Boston Terriers are a very temperature sensitive breed. They like mild weather, and it doesn’t take much in either direction for them to be uncomfortable. Overly hot temperatures are unbearable to them, and can even cause significant damage to their systems.

20130703-182344.jpg

I’ve always said my favourite seasons are autumn and spring. Moderate temperatures are my best friend. And I’m fairly certain that a little piece of me died yesterday when it was 34 degrees, but felt like 42 with the humidity. Especially when I had to teach an hour of Zumba in a tiny upstairs classroom with no AC…

Big Eyes

Boston Terriers have big eyes. They’re kind of notorious for it, and I think that a Boston currently holds the record for the biggest dog eyes.

I have also been told I have huge eyes. I use them to do pretty spot-on impressions of my dogs’ faces.

Cuddle Bugs

Boston Terriers LOVE to cuddle.

20130703-182432.jpg

I love to cuddle.

High Energy

Boston Terriers also have crazy high energy and like to bounce around.

I am a Zumba instructor!

(I know, this is getting weird, right?)

Kisses

Boston Terriers are known for having a bit of an obsession with mouths. They just love giving kisses.

Kissing is one of my favourite pastimes.

Gluten Intolerance

This isn’t a breed thing. Well, it sort of is because they say that no dog does well with wheat, but Oscar and Lucy are totally intolerant.

SO AM I.

Lesson learned: I may be part Boston Terrier. Or maybe my dogs are part human. Regardless, the saying is true.

xA

Two Hundred Fifty Five.

Yesterday, I was telling my mom a story while we were both sitting on the couch, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a hot air balloon go by. I essentially turned five years old. My sentence went something like this.

“Yeah, I saw on the news that – A BALLOON! A BALLOON!”

And the rest of the conversation was lost.

Here’s the story of one of the coolest days of my childhood (and maybe my life).

My brother and I were eating breakfast one morning. I remember that it was still pretty early because we were rocking matching pyjamas that our maternal grandma made us. We had a few sets – adorable pants and button-up shirt combos, just like kids in the movies wear.

We spotted a beautiful rainbow hot air balloon through our back window.

“WHOA! Look at that, Mom! TOO COOL!”

My mom looked outside, her face a mixture of wonder and concern.

“It looks awfully close.” she said.

And she was right.

It didn’t take long for us to realize that the hot air balloon was drifting straight into our neighbourhood. Literally. As it got closer and closer to the ground, it became clear that the hot air balloon was going to LAND.

Rainbow

I can’t even remember if my brother and I put on shoes. We took off running out through the backyard and down about half a block to the intersection just behind our house. The balloon floated down to the ground – taking what felt like forever – until the giant basket hit the street. I couldn’t believe how immense the entire thing was. Up in the sky, they look like toys – like you could reach out to one, grab it, and put it in your pocket. This balloon was so gigantic that our excitement was quickly met with intimidation. I was vibrating with anticipation, my cheeks sore from the giant grin on my face.

I don’t know if it was an emergency landing or what. What I do know is that as soon as the basket hit the ground, the man from the balloon jumped out of it and jogged away so as not to be enveloped by yards and yards of rainbow balloon.

Guys, I’ve gotta tell you, I don’t know if any guy has ever seemed as cool as the balloon guy. He honestly might as well have been an astronaut (i.e., the coolest people ever). I’m pretty sure my mouth was hanging open in awe as he jogged away. What a hero, I thought to myself, that man flew a balloon.

That was the day I learned that sometimes magic happens.

xA

Two Hundred Fifty Three.

I was totally going to write about something else today, but sometimes the most important lessons in life just walk up to you and smack you in the face. What can I say?

I was having a totally normal morning and then this happened to me:

 

At first I wasn’t sure how I felt. I couldn’t tell if my day had just been made or destroyed. But then I really let it sink in, you know? And then I realized my day was definitely made.

Because today, June 26, 2013, is the day I learned that I am DEFINITELY a better hip hop dancer than Vanilla Ice.

(Sorry, buddy.)

xA

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