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Dinosaurs

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.

Anyway.

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.

jayne

And so do I.

Image2

xA

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.

Image7_2

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!

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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!

600px-US_27.svg

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

photo(1)

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.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

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.

Extensions

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.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

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.

3. NO I DON’T WANT TO TAN.

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

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

HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

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.

BONUS PHOTO:

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.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS AND A BONUS PHOTO:

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.

HONOURABLE MENTION:

I BLOGGED EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR 365 FUCKING DAYS.

A year, guys. A YEAR.

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

xA

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.

One Hundred Fifty Six.

My fears are kind of backwards.

Like, this doesn’t scare me:

WD Zombies

Neither does this:

Exorcist

Or this:

Shining Twins

But here are some things that do…

LADYBUGS

I won’t repeat my story. Go read it if you forget it.

THE CYMBAL MONKEY

That face.
That face.

I think mostly because I’m scared of monkeys in general. And I think I’m mostly scared of monkeys in general because they’re so much like people, but not. I feel like they are people, but they’re trapped in these weird bodies, and I feel like they must resent us for that. I mean, I know I would.

So basically, I think that monkeys must hate people and they probably want to kill us and take over the world. Sort of like Planet of the Apes. Only that movie doesn’t scare me, and monkeys do.

I’m so complicated…

THE FURBY

Which is apparently making a comeback...
Which is apparently making a comeback…

First of all, it talks, which is not okay with me.

Secondly, those eyes.

Thirdly, what the fuck is that thing on its forehead?

Fourthly, you know that shit’s coming to life when it’s dark. And you know it’s somehow gonna learn how to like, poison the glass of water you keep on your night table while you’re sleeping or something.

Here’s the thing: I had a really bad experience with a talking Barney the Dinosaur doll once. I’ll tell you about it soon. Maybe tomorrow. Regardless, ever since that, talking toys in general…

Oh, and also:

BARNEY THE DINOSAUR

"Hello, friends!"
“Hello, friends!”

NOPE.

DON’T WANNA BE YOUR FRIEND.

DON’T LIKE YOUR VOICE.

I THINK YOU’RE A PEDOPHILE.

I’m calm. I am calm!

E.T.

MOTHERF***ER.
MOTHERF***ER.

I AM NO LONGER CALM.

Guys, I am so scared of E.T. that I cried a little bit while I was writing this post.

Yes, I’m serious.

Having that photo on my blog freaks me the hell out. Doing a Google image search for E.T. was traumatic, and I’m CERTAIN I am going to have an E.T. nightmare tonight.

I honestly don’t get how kids and people (because – Freudian slip – kids are not people, apparently) love E.T. like he’s some friendly, cute creature. Just look at him! He’s DISGUSTING.

Let me tell you something. I saw E.T. once – ONE TIME – when I was five or six years old, and I was never the same again. From that point onward, I have had recurring E.T. nightmares.

What could cute, sweet little E.T. be doing that is so scary, you ask?

He’s usually strangling me with his gross long fingers and laughing in his gross, weird voice. And while he’s strangling me, I’m trying to punch him away. I punch his stupid face, but he’s made of rubber and my fists just keep bouncing off his head. Nothing hurts him and his grip just keeps tightening until I’m dead.

Pleasant, right?

Childhood is scary, y’all. It’s a surprise any of us make it this far even a little bit normal.

xA

P.S. Agree? Disagree? Be my therapy group, guys. I think it’s obvious by now that I need it.

P.P.S. If you like E.T., I NEED TO KNOW WHY.

One Hundred Fifty Two.

This one time, in university, I had to take a science course.

By this point, I’m sure it’s clear I’m not a very science-oriented gal. In high school, the only science I really “got” was Biology. I loved Biology. I could connect it directly to real life. My grades in Biology were always between 80-85%. Math and Chemistry, on the other hand, I either failed or nearly failed. And I didn’t even attempt Physics.

So, when it came time to fulfill my required science credits, I went straight to my program advisor to find out what the hell to do.

“Just take Statistics 101,” she said to me, “that’s what all the Arts students do.”

“Uh, yeah, about that…” I stammered, “the prereq. is Pure Math 30…which I don’t have…”

“Oh dear. I guess taking a basic Math course is out of the question, too.”

“Yup.”

[Insert a list of courses my advisor asked me about that I didn’t have the high school prereqs for…]

“Wow,” my advisor said, wiping sweat from her brow, “You’re kind of screwed.”

Just when we were about to give up on my BA, my advisor practically shouted, “EARTH AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES!”

It turns out I (miraculously) had the prerequisites to get into a class called “Dinosaurs and Mass Extinctions.”

YES.

Here’s something you may not know about me: I LOVE DINOSAURS.

LOVE.
LOVE.

I have seen Jurassic Park an unhealthy number of times, and I still watch it on TV every single time it’s on. I’m like, little-kid-excited for the 3D release in cinemas. I might see it more than once.

YESSSSSS.
YESSSSSS.

ANYWAY.

So I rocked the first half of the course, which was all about memorizing the names of the dinosaurs and knowing about how they evolved, etc., etc.

Then halfway through, the course changed from being about dinosaurs to being about mass extinctions. We started having to know radiation theory and how to calculate extinction rates and a whole lot of other stuff that made absolutely no sense to me.

And that was my – you guessed it – “Oh shit” moment.

I should have known.

I tried. I tried so hard to get it.

I didn’t. I didn’t get it at all.

And then the day of my final exam came along.

I had to work that morning, and then I decided it was in my best interests to get a coffee before the exam. Because guys, I was stressed. I did not have my shit together. I had NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON is more like it. So I figured a fancy drink from Starbucks would help calm me (see: get me all shaky and weird and do me no good whatsoever). I ordered my coffee and paid for it, and of course, because I was in a major hurry, it took way too long to get my drink. I was officially running very late for my EAS final. Not good.

I drove as fast as I could to campus, which wasn’t as fast as I would have liked because it was winter* and the roads were icy. Then I couldn’t find a parking metre. I wasn’t cool enough to just park on the sidewalk yet, so I drove back and forth until – thank goodness – I found an empty metre. I parked, grabbed my bag and my coffee, and made a run for it toward my building.

Remember when I mentioned it was icy?

Yeah, this is the part in the story where I slip and fall on my ass, movie-style. It wasn’t graceful. It was an I-went-flying-through-the-air fall. And not only did I fall – into a pile of snow, obvs – but I threw my coffee into the air and it came crashing back down – ALL OVER ME. I was on my ass in a pile of snow covered in coffee.

But wait! There’s more!

About a week earlier, a dear friend of mine had given me one of his rings. Just a token of friendship-love. And I adored that ring. I treasured it. But my friend is like, two feet taller than me (Hi Brian! Remember that ring?), so his ring was a bit big on my finger. As I slipped and fell, the ring flew off my finger and into the street.

BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.

As the ring landed on the street, a car drove by. It drove by so PERFECTLY that it CRUSHED my ring. I sat there and stared, dumbfounded for a moment, then jumped up and into the street to “save” my ring.

It was flattened into the road.

I started to cry a little, and then I remembered that I WAS LATE FOR MY FINAL EXAM.

I grabbed my bag and continued my run for the EAS building.

Needless to say, when I jogged into that giant, full lecture hall to write my exam, I got about 200 weird looks. And they were all 100% justified. Firstly, I was panting like Darth Vader in a silent room. Secondly, I was soaked in snow and coffee. Thirdly, I was crying. It was a stellar combination. My prof. looked me up and down with mild-to-medium disgust and handed me an exam booklet.

I remember sitting down and cringing at my sore tailbone and my wet jeans.

I remember writing the words, “I’m so sorry, but I have NO idea.” on a blank page meant for a response worth 30% of the exam grade.

I do not remember anything else about the exam.

Thank goodness for the grading curve, y’all.

(That’s the only time I’ll ever really say that.)

I somehow – SOMEHOW – managed to get a C- in that fucking course.

Lesson learned: That gut instinct that tells you something isn’t meant to be? You should trust it, because it’s right.

Andrea + Science Requirements ≠ Success.

xA

*As usual.

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