Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Project

I just joined Pinterest. Matt has been hassling me to join it for months. So I finally got a friend to invite me to it. And it is interesting. I'm not sure I love it, but I can see the value in it. But I decided to try one of the projects I saw for making a circle scarf.  I know I don't give off the impression that I am domesticated but occasionally I have my moments. Plus this was a super simple idea. Win Win. I went to a fabric store (and seeing as I don't necessarily sew, it took me a bit to find a fabric store that had some knit fabrics) and picked a bunch of different knit fabric types and came home and told my mom my plan. She, of course, thought it was the best idea ever and as such went crazy buying fabric to make her own. I like creating things though. And I think in my future life, when I'm not a dental student, I might make more of an effort to be domesticated. Currently, its one of those things that gets put on the back burner since I technically don't really need it.

I did mine a little different than the tutorial said to do it. I sewed my fabric wrong sides together and then sewed the edge down with a zigzag stitch. I thought that gave a nicer seam on the inside and outside of the scarf. Google taught me that this type of seam is called a False Flat-Felled Seam.

Depending on the fabric you may need to adjust either the length or width of your fabric to get a good thickness for around your neck.

Christmas At the Lowry's Part II

Oh Hello Cute little Troll Dolls.

Christmas At the Lowry's Part I

Dave and the children got together one night to make a gingerbread house. 
The icing was a little less than set and a little messy. 
The children placed the candy wherever their little hearts desired as their dad iced.
Ryder spent the majority of the time eating the candy.
Katelyn spent the majority of time dictating how the candy should be placed.
They were quite darling.
I just think that Dave is a great dad. And while part of me was sad when they moved into our house (cause I currently have children who have overtaken my room), the bigger, better part of me is so glad that I get to spend so much time with their family and witness all the cute things that come with having a family. I love Dave's little family. Even though sometimes his children are insane. 
But they call me Aunt. And its weird but quite endearing.

Ryd may have had the right idea though... cause that candy wasn't half bad :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Boston-Edmonton-Cold Lake-Edmonton-Lethbridge

I wanted a dental appointment with my dad. 
Josh wanted to hang out with his friends in Edmonton.
My dad wanted fresh fish from Costco.

This resulted in a most ridiculous amount of travelling in a very short period of time.

But it was kinda nice to make a trip back to Edmonton.
We went to West Ed's water park.
Which was more fun than I anticipated.
I stupidly get nervous before doing fun activities.
Particularly if they involve me in swim suit nakedness.

Geof Crebas, Josh Koegler, Wilde Twin, Nathaniel, Josh, Tyler Seaborn, Wilde Twin, Dan Wilde, Aubrey Heninger

Something I really like was getting to go see my favourite house in Edmonton again and finally taking a picture of it...

I used to run past this house. I think its amazing.
All that brick. And those windows and the balconies. 
Yup. I like it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Not Thanksgiving Part II

I won't lie, getting to see my family at American Thanksgiving was nice, but it wasn't what prompted my trip. Of course, as things turned out, I had it re-confirmed for me how my family will forever be there for me. Other plans may fall through, expectations may turn dour, but my family will always rise above that. I feel very lucky that I have such a foundation in my life, that I can take a limb, but if that branch should break, that my family is there to catch me.

So in continuation with my favourite parts of my not thanksgiving weekend:


Family tradition is to get together and eat at the Mandarin. Its just what we do. The chinese food is pretty top notch. And the fact that we gather all together and take up half the restaurant is comical. I had to re-tell my mugging story about four times and the main responses were that first and foremost, that the boy cousins were disappointed that years of being with them didn't teach me to punch and hit and inflict any punishment on my muggers. The second response (from a much smaller portion of Aunties) was that they were horrified that I would ever walk around by myself. To each I rolled my eyes. Even though those kids were doing a terrible thing to me, I honestly could not bring myself to hit them back. No, I didn't go easily. I defended myself by trying to keep them away. But there was no offensive attack. Its a hard mentality to get over, the feeling that inflicting pain on someone else is bad, especially since on occasion it can be called for.

Since the mugging, I keep thinking about how I ought to have punched and kicked them back rather than just passively trying to keep them away. But I can't change my actions. But I do think my cousins and brothers are right - they were attacking me, and I needed to do more than just try to keep them off, I needed to more proactively defended myself. But its easy for them to say I should have done that after the fact. Especially, since I have never needed to defend myself in such a manner before.

As for never walking alone; As a single person I have always felt that I cannot afford to be afraid to be alone and to be afraid of where I live. Because there is nothing I can do about being alone. And if I only went outside with someone else, I would honestly very rarely go outside. I live alone. I need to be ok walking alone. I need to be ok on my own. I like being unafraid, even when people think I'm foolish for it. I know pretty much everyone thinks that I ought to have such fear now; It would be a rational response. But I am not a fearful sort of person. And I don't want to be. Has walking outside in the dark by myself been tough? Yes. Which is something I quite honestly didn't expect, considering I wasn't afraid while the whole situation was occurring or immediately thereafter. But that kind of fear is unacceptable to me. I don't want to live in fear, however justified it may be. Of course, this experience has affected me. But I've had worse things to get over than a fear of walking alone. And I absolutely plan on working past the small fear that has settled in my subconscious.

Sometimes I forget how seriously funny Nat and Dave are. And how its a shame that I live so far away and don't get to spend much time with them. So it was kinda wonderful that this weekend allowed me to spend some serious quality time with Nat. We hung around the house and chatted, and I really liked it. As sister-in-laws go, I'm pretty sure I've been very lucky. Because both of mine are beyond great.


Is it rude that I pretty much only like some weddings because of the people I get to be there with?
Because thats pretty regularly the case. We got some lovely malts from a gas station - because where else would you get them from really - and did some major dodging of some stranger danger hugger. Tiffany is a quick learner. Good work team.

And last but not least...


After Chinese food we head over to Maikal and Brittany's to play games. After making me demonstrate some self defense moves we played several rounds of Werewolf (which is a rad game). I loved the cousins. A little bit though, they were the quickest rounds of Werewolf I've ever played, and kinda lame. Which is a shame considering Werewolf in Edmonton used to be a staple. The Cousins are great though. Always are. My favourite part was that we played the entire game in Maikal and Brittany's bedroom on their super bed.

Long and short of it - I probably wouldn't come home again for American Thanksgiving. Which may never be an issue depending on where I end up in life. Basically I think weekend trips are kind of a bust and never really turn out for me. I'm glad I got to be apart of these highlighted good parts. But for future reference I think I'll pass.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lets be hipster friends.

On the train the other day, I eavesdropped as a group of friends turned on one of their own with big accusations. Four friends argued against one. And as the train was delayed and they were speaking rather loudly, I couldn't help but listen to every word. What accusation were they choosing that day to level against their friend? Oh, just that he was a closet hipster.

I wanted to laugh in their faces. But settled for smirking in my chair with eyes that never focused directly on any one group member for too long.

Was he a hipster? Absolutely. He had the scarf and slip on boat shoes to prove it. And their argument about indie music also being hipster music had me biting my cheeks.

I laughed about it later. The one friend was positive he wasn't a hipster. He even went so far as to pull up his chunky sweater and say "Would a hipster wear a soccer jersey?" While all his friends assured him, that indeed they would. And indeed this was further proof that he was. But it got me thinking about those damn pretentious hipsters. And as I thought about it, I realized, there is a very real possibility that I might just be a closet hipster.

Without further ado... You might be a hipster if you...

- Suddenly develop an odd love of small forest creatures and feel the need to start collecting porcelain, quilted or pictorial versions of said creatures.
- On occasion wear oversized glasses, cardigans, jackets, scarves and winter toques. And if all of the aforementioned are worn at one time, you most definitely are a hipster.
- Can only vaguely recall a time when skinny jeans weren't the only type of jeans in your closet.
- Have a strange love of shirts with either wolves, moose, owls or caribou and find it a point of pride if a full moon can be seen in these epic shirts.
- Have a secret pride point when your favourite bands haven't been heard of by anyone else in your circle of friends (thus allowing you to fully educate each of your friends on what they're missing in the world of underground music)
- Don't own shoes with laces and even in winter you don't wear socks with said slip-on shoes.
- Don't have any food allergies, but you have started to enjoy, and make food like you do.
- Own a polaroid instant camera or some other film camera that creates artsy, light leaked, distorted pictures.
- Love herbal teas and telling people how much you love herbal tea.
- Have made Urban outfitters your place. Books, clothes, crap you certainly don't really need - it can all be found there.
- Spend an inordinate amount of time pursuing tumblr, blogs, pinterest, youtube and other various time wasting websites.
- Talk about travelling abroad often and feel that travelling abroad is a quintessential life experience.
- Are never far from a classic literature novel and/or any other book, and you love to discuss or quote said books.

Chances are... I might be a bit of a hipster.
A little bit pretentious of me? You betcha.

Meh. Happens.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Call It A Trend

As usual, I am neglecting to pack. 
Even though I really need to.
Tomorrow is my last day of externship (minus the for sure one or two times I'll need to go back to finish cases). 
And instead of picking up and getting ready to leave this place I'm eating popsicles. And watching tv.
Packing motivation?
That would be non-existent.
Somehow I have more stuff here than when I arrived.
Ug. I hate packing.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Not Thanksgiving Part I

I called my father up two weeks before American Thanksgiving, and in a feeble voice and roundabout manner, asked him quietly if he would bring me home for American Thanksgiving. He gave me a gruff response and told me not to get my hopes up. But my hopes were already up. The idea had entered my brain and had already consumed me. The urgency with which I wanted to return home shocked me. So my father's less than favourable response was disappointing. But, like me, he needs to adjust to an idea before he can fully accept it. So when he called me back a few hours later, his tone conveyed that he would be happy to allow me this ridiculously short notice request. My dad is the best, because he really and truly does try to accommodate to the best of his abilities. He doesn't let me be ridiculous, but he often goes above and beyond for me. And I know I don't often express my appreciation for that. 

But I had some favourite parts of the weekend.

Young Josh picked me up from the airport. I had left really early and when I walked out of customs I expected to see his smiling face. 
But he was no where to be found.
And I pouted... I still remember the couple of times when the people who were picking me up were over an hour late coming. And its a little disheartening to step off the plane and have no one there waiting for you.
So I called him.
And he cursed his luck.
Poor boy had arrived over an hour early to get me, but had to move his car three times, to stay in the free parking. And on the third time, he just knew that I would get out and he'd still be moving the car.
He was right. That did happen.

I was glad to have some time with Josh though.
And was pleasantly surprised to find Josh to be EXACTLY as he had been before he left.
And I don't mean that in a bad way. Because Josh has always been kind, funny, thoughtful, smart and wise. 
And he is still all those things. Just now he has some mission stories to emphasize the points he already was making. It was surreal, the feeling that nothing had changed, while really, everything has changed. But Josh is just Josh. Constant and steady.

But two very funny moments happened while I was at home, the first involving Josh.

NUMBER ONE. I arrived home on Thursday and didn't tell anyone I had been mugged. I was embarrassed and really, how do you bring something like that up? So I just didn't say a word.

But Friday, Josh comes into my room in the morning and begins his usual banter to me. Well he grabs onto my hand (which had a large fingernail scrape down the back of it from the Wednesday night events), and I pull away.
"Ow, Josh! Dont do that. My hand hurts!"
"Why? What did you do to your hand?"
"Shut uuup! No you didn't. What really happened to your hand?"
"I got mugged. I don't know how to say this another way."
"Shuuut uuup. Seriously, you don't need to lie. For real, just tell me what really happened."
After going back and worth like that, I finally pulled out my phone and let him listen to the voicemail the District Attorney in Boston left me, saying they were charging the girl I had identified (the bigger girl) with armed robbery.
And only then did he believe that I was telling the truth. 
It was hilarious that he wouldn't believe me.
Why would I make up such a story?
His first response after he began to believe me?
"You always have the coolest stories Melissa. Seriously, all the crazy stuff always happens to you."
He's not wrong. My life, for the most part, is never that dull.

NUMBER TWO. But Matt and Tiff came over in the afternoon and were on hold with an insurance company. My dad, Matt, Tiff and I were all sitting close and bantering back and forth, when Matt saw the huge scratch on my hand.
Matt: "What happened to your hand?"
Me: "I got mugged."
To which Tiffany responded "Moving on" and turned the conversation back to insurance.
I mean, I wasn't making a big deal of it, so I suppose its fair that other people didn't feel the need to either. I had been a little surprised by the response, but shrugged it off.
After they were off the phone, Matt, Tiff, my dad and I got in the truck to go eat lunch, and as we drove Matt brought up my hand again.
Matt: "Oh, so what happened to your hand?"
Me: "I told you, I got mugged."
Tiffany: "WHAT?! That was real? I thought you were just joking!"
Matt: "Are you serious?"
Dad: "Ya, she actually got mugged."
Tiffany was thoroughly horrified that she hadn't believed me at first. But I suppose the casual manner with which I mentioned it made it sound fictional. There were no tears. Just a matter of fact re-telling of the events. 
I actually find it endearing that they couldn't believe that something like that would happen to me. Because seriously, who gets mugged? Its so unlikely and so random. And their responses are hilarious to me. 

I love that Matt and Tiff tried really hard to make sure both sides got to see them and spend time with them. They came to the West Side for like fifteen minutes, just so they could see Dave.
 I think that the division of family time is one of the hardest things when you get married. Because you go from spending all your time with YOUR family, and suddenly you have to sometimes miss things because you have another family that also wants your time and attention. I know that it was hectic to divide their time and resulted in several drives across the city, but I, for one, really appreciate the fact that Matt and Tiff make such a huge effort to let each of their families know they still love them and want to spend time together. And even let straggling siblings crash other family time.
Matt and Tiff are just my favourites. And I love getting to be around them and couldn't help but feel so excited that we had both made it home for American Thanksgiving. The combo of them together makes me laugh so much. And I often think I need to laugh more.

To be continued...

Monday, December 5, 2011