Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ketchup or No Ketchup. That shouldn't be a question.

Okay folks. So recently I found myself on an extremely tight lunch schedule. Due to unusual circumstances I was forced to drive to a restaurant, order, pay, eat, and drive back to where I needed to be in the space of just half an hour. I decided (against my current dieting guidelines) to stop by Wendy’s for a good old JBC (that’s Junior Bacon Cheeseburger for all you folk ignorant in Wendy’s slang). Along with my JBC I also ordered a small fry (as in the food not the person) just to make the fast food binge complete. As I drove away I hastily opened my brown sack of goods and began digging greedily into the French fries. I looked down into the bag and to my dismay found that there was NO ketchup! No ketchup in the bag – again! So there I sit with this carton of crisp, hot, salty French fries with absolutely no cool tomatoey ketchup with which to enjoy them. And certainly not enough time to turn the car around and ask for some. Now, I say ‘again’ because this has been a recurring theme of late. And not just from Wendy’s – they’re all to blame! McDonald’s, A&W, Burger King… Since when do you not give ketchup packets to your faithful fry-eating friends? The justification for this omission is clearly beyond me as I believe that ketchup with your fries is just a given. As I told Kevin that night on the phone – they’re French fries for Pete’s sake, giving ketchup with them is just common courtesy. They shouldn’t have to ask me if I want ketchup in the bag (not that they did mind you). Of course I want ketchup in the bag! I’m eating French fries. What do these people eat with their French fries – air? If somebody doesn’t want ketchup in their bag they can tell you or they can give it to their buddy or their dog. The point is I want ketchup in my bag to go with my fries. There is no question. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Very Own Fairy Tale

I'm excited to share my first blog post in which I’ve decided to speak seriously and sincerely instead of silly-ly or jokingly. As you see from the title this post is about how I truly feel about “fairy tales” and “happily ever after”. Especially my own. Those of you who know me understand that I love Disney princesses and fairy tales and regency romances and any type of feel good movie where the two people end up happily ever after. However I feel to clarify with the world my views regarding this term and others associated with it. Many of you know that I am on the verge of marrying my high school sweetheart and the most amazing man of my acquaintance. I love Kevin more than perhaps words can express. He is – as they say – my “Prince Charming.”

On television, in magazines, on the big screen or anywhere else you may chance to look there are many women and girls who feel like they have “found” their true love or who are “looking for” the fairy tale they’ve always dreamed about. To me, however, true love and fairy tales aren’t found – they’re made.

I believe we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking that a fairy tale is just happened upon - that you meet that one special person and from that moment on it’s flowers and sunshine and lollipops. I really feel though that you have to make your own fairy tale. I feel that you need to accept the others’ differences and work to overcome challenges together. Since Kevin and I met almost 10 years ago, we have had difficulties. There have been times in our relationship where we didn’t understand each other, where we maybe felt hurt or misunderstood; there were even times of separation and heartache. At the same time though there were times of laughter and silliness, times of peace and joy and many deep feelings of love. All of these emotions and obstacles have led us to be the head-over-heels couple that we are today. Has the road been blissfully happy and free of worries? No of course not. Is my Prince Charming absolutely perfect? Well, no actually. But I’m not a perfect princess either. We know that each one has weaknesses and faults and yet we understand that only together can we overcome them.

You may wonder if I feel like this “fairy tale” we share was just stumbled upon or found. But I don’t. I believe that through love and determination and honesty we have made it our fairy tale – we have made a love so strong and deep that it will last.

On that same note I think that “happily ever after” isn’t something you achieve when you say I do at the altar. It lasts for much longer than that and is brought about through commitment and sacrifice. I know that for Kevin and I to make it forever it means that I will have to make sacrifices, that at times I will need to sacrifice my own will and pride in an effort to make our marriage work. I will need to be so committed to the promises we made that nothing will sway me from that path. I have no doubt that our marriage will be filled with many trying times – times of sorrow, times of hurt, times of struggle and times of sadness – but I also know that as Kevin and I are committed to each other and practice principles of honesty and compassion there will be nothing in this world that will keep us from living “happily ever after”.

Unlike many people I talk to, I don’t think it’s necessary that a couple lives together first to judge compatibility or to test the “happily ever after” hypothesis. Think for a moment of a love or marriage that you admire and respect… perhaps your parents, or your grandparents, or your dear friends. Was it necessary for them to live together first to achieve the happiness they found? Or was it a result of perseverance, love, sacrifice, and dedication to each other? When I marry Kevin, what I’m really saying is that I love him enough to make it work. I know that as we both think of the other more than ourselves, that as we love and pray for each other, that as we sacrifice and persevere and support each other, the love and happiness that we share will last forever. I am absolutely sure that our marriage will be joyful and enduring and blissfully happy. Why? Because that’s what we’re going to make it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Life's Simple Pleasures

First of all, may I send my heartfelt and sincere apologies to all of the “faithful followers” whom I know have been eagerly checking my blog daily in hopes of finding another post. I am so sorry for your anxiety. I have been stressing lately about what to write. I wanted others’ to find my words interesting, funny, or inspiring yet I couldn’t think of a single topic that would fit those adjectives. But then I remembered that I’m writing this blog for me. Just me. And that makes me very happy. And it also makes me free to write about whatever I choose.

And I choose Dove Soap. Yes, I said Dove soap. My own wonderful, simple pleasure of life. Ooooooh wee how I love love love it.

Dove soap truly brings a sparkle of joy into my life. Especially those mundane days where the life of a twelve-hour-a-day-shiftworker inlcudes nothing but food, work, and sleep. At the end of each day I look forward to a warm shower with nothing less than my most favourite and soothing bar of soap. Now I understand a few of you may be laughing right now but I speak the truth. Don’t worry, I will shortly explain why it’s the best and most beautiful bar of soap in the world. ***sigh***

I’ve seen numerous commercials for Dove over the years but the one that stands out most in my mind – the one that started it all – was the commercial where they compared the “soap scum” on a girl who used regular soap to a girl who used Dove. It caught my attention and I decided to check it out. To make a long story short I fell in love. Head-over-heels in fact. Here’s why:

  1. Dove truly is soap scum free. If you don’t believe me try washing your hands, arms, elbows, or toes with an inexpensive bar of soap, and then try it with Dove. You can literally feel the soft, clean, non-scummy difference the moment you rinse. It’s incredible.
  2. Dove is super soft. Not the fall apart before it’s finished soft but the cool, delicate, oh-so-gentle on my little skin follicles soft. That’s rad.
  3. It has a dove engraved on the top. How wicked is that?
  4. Dove & fresh scent = PB & J. I love love love the fresh scents of all Dove soaps. And I’m not talkin’ scented as in that perfumey, over-the-top, gaggy kind of soap. I’m talkin’ crisp, bright, lively, spectacular. I’m currently digging the cool cucumber – it’s heavenly.
  5. Dove soap is chock full of moisture; ultra-super moisturizing machine is an understatement. It’s like infusing your skin with lotiony goodness every time you wash!
  6. And my favourite thing about Dove (the company not the soap) is that they run the “Campaign for Real Beauty” which encourages women and girls everywhere to love themselves for who they are. It supports building confidence, embracing differences and abandoning stereotypes. Amazing!

I could keep on gushing about my love of Dove but instead I’d like you all to consider your own simple pleasures. Maybe a pair of fuzzy socks, a slice of gooey chocolate cake, a beloved children’s book, or the smell of homemade bread. Whatever your simple pleasure might be I hope you remember to take the time to appreciate it. Find joy in all the little things life has to offer. And if you haven’t already, go pick yourself up an outstandingly wonderful little bar of soap. Now that you know which one of course!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Key to my Heart.

This is a Haiku I wrote about Blackwell Dairy Farm chocolate milk, which happens to be the one and only way to my heart (see About Me):

Smooth, velvety, rich
Best in the whole universe
Creamy chocolate milk

Note: Please pronounce chocolate like "chok-lat" in order for my Haiku to be correct.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Curse of a Curly Head O’ Hair

I have a love-hate relationship with my hair. And I use the term “love” loosely. If you were to turn that love-hate relationship into an odometer, the needle would normally  point to tolerant acceptance with a slight inclination towards strong dislike.

Those of you who share in this curly headed curse certainly need no explanation to why this is so, but for you unfortunately ignorant souls I will attempt to help you understand the depth of frustration and agony associated with such a fate. And by ignorant souls I imply two parties. First of course is the male species who truly have no idea the lengths any female will go in an effort to control and style her hair, and certainly not us curly-haired folks. Party two is those females blessed with luscious, tamable locks – cute wavy bobs or smooth sleek straights – particularly the ones who insist on making comments like: “Oh Mel, I love your hair! You are so lucky to have curly hair. I wish mine was naturally curly too.” To them may I simply say: be careful what you wish for. To summarize, the point of this post is to help these parties understand the reality of this curse and to think twice before they compliment my monster.

Now, to make this straightforward I have decided to use a simple analogy of what it’s like to live with these locks. I will be comparing the curly-headed curse to taming a wild jungle monkey. Don’t laugh, it works.

Let’s pretend that at birth each person is given a wild jungle monkey that will remain with them for the rest of their life and with it the responsibility to tame and control that monkey. Needless to say, us curly-headed folks can be compared to the ones with the most unruly, most uncooperative, and most barbaric species of jungle monkey. (Note: from here on out we will only be comparing monkey taming to curly hair taming and the sleek straights and wavy bobs will be forgotten). Now, let’s also say that every morning you do your absolute best to try and tame your monkey – you feed it as many bananas as it’s heart desires, you grunt soothing monkey noises and lovingly caress your little friend, rewarding it for good behaviour and showing it all the kindness it deserves. Every morning it’s the same routine, the same love and the same care. At the end of each morning, however, your monkey can become one of two things (neither of which you have any control over): (1) a calm docile little guy pleased to do your bidding and sit contently eating a banana, or (2) a wild savage monkey running rampant around the room smashing everything in it’s path and screaming like a banshee.

As you can no doubt understand, this analogy perfectly describes my morning routine of dealing with this curse o’ hair. Each morning I wake up and do my absolute best to try and tame my curls. I start by washing my hair with only the best curl boosting, frizz taming and smooth shining shampoos and conditioners on the market. This is followed closely (upon exiting the shower) with only the best smoothing serums and curling creams stroked lovingly into each strand. I then attempt to calm and define my little curly demons with certain coaching methods such as twirling, twisting and scrunching. I also spend time using a diffuser (a special accessory for a blow dryer needed to accentuate curls) to try and dry and tame my locks. Every morning it’s the same routine, the same love and the same care. At the end of each morning, however, my hair can become one of two things (neither of which I have any control over): (1) a beautiful ‘do of smooth defined curls, perfectly framing my face, or (2) a wild mess of who-knows-what with random curls shooting off in every direction and frizz the size of Hong Kong with no resemblance of order, possibly bordering on “afro”.  Please note - as my sister kindly reminded me this morning - that the former rarely happens except when you either don’t care or you’re about to go to bed, and the latter nearly always happens especially when you care the most, like for a dinner or a date.

As much as I’d like to say that I remain calm in the face of adversity and accept my fate when my monkey becomes savage and uncontrollable, I do not. Being human, I confess it’s quite the opposite. Those of you who may have been present on such mornings (namely sisters and roommates) may grimace at the reflection of the wild raging monkey I myself become as a result of my unruly hair. It usually begins with weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth mixed with utter disbelief that this curse is mine to bear. Groans and moans are not uncommon and [mormon] profanities are flowing in a steady stream from my mouth. Phrases such as “WHY ME?”, “I HATE MY STUPID HAIR!” and “THAT’S IT I AM HONESTLY SHAVING MY HEAD! NO SERIOUSLY I’M GOING BALD!” are also thrown into this disgraceful display of frustration. Now, you may be thinking that this abysmal agony is quite overly-dramatic, but then again you don’t really understand. At this point I usually resort to the only option left at my disposal: locking my monkey in a cage (and by this I mean using a straightener to straighten my poor hair). I do not always look fondly on such fierce treatment of my monkey but what’s a girl to do? 

Although these tantrums and subsequent methods do occur, I would like to leave you with a more pleasant image than my little monkey trapped in a steel cage. So may I just state that on those rare occasions that my monkey is sitting calmly eating a banana, ie. my hair chooses to obey and be beautiful, I look around me at a sea of sleek straights and wavy bobs, and I’m grateful for my sweet unique curls.

I also sincerely hope that this post shines a light on those who are so completely ignorant of the life those cursed with a curly head o' hair must live. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My long lost love.

Oh writing, how dearly I've missed you.
I started this blog for one reason: to write. This is not a blog to keep anyone updated on my numerous happenings or experiences. I simply want to write. I used to love to write; English was a class I looked forward to in school. I loved writing about books, poems, or authors. I especially loved pieces that allowed me to use sarcasm or satire. Writing made me happy, made me ponder, made me laugh, and made me expressive. I am no literary genius; I doubt my words will awe or inspire; I don't expect many followers (except my dear friend Joelle who promised to be my most devout) and I especially don't expect my blog to be made into a movie starring Merryl Streep. I am simply excited to be writing again -  to be babbling on about nothing merely because I enjoy it. 
And with that begins the adventure of Mel's Rad Blog.