Wednesday, October 28, 2009

From now on, I'll be blogging at I'm not coordinated enough to maintain two personal blogs. It's not good for the narcissism either.

A boy once ended a quasi-date (one of those weird evenings that starts off as a nondate and ends up as a definite date) with, "Are you going to blog about this?" I responded, "Only if I can fit this into my 'Elegant Hairstyles for Every Bride' article."

I never saw him again. For non-writing-related reasons. And until this moment, over a year later, I did not blog about that night. Or about him. At all.

I scribbled in my journal. I spent midnights at the piano. And you had no idea. Because I was busy posting YouTube videos here.

It's a shame, really, that I'm at the mercy of such self-censorship. There are a lot of fun and crazy and frustrating moments that would make great online stories. But I want to be trustworthy. I want to maintain healthy relationships. As a general rule, I don't want to scare you away by making you paranoid that you're my next blog post. Unless you want to be. In which case, let me know. And I'll tell cyberspace exactly what I think of you.

I'll continue to tell stories. Maybe I'll tell even more than usual. A fractured memoir, if you will. You can blame Donald Miller for the life-chronicling. But I won't give all my secrets away. I'll leave that to OneRepublic.

I missed YouTube Tuesday yesterday. Appropriately enough, I can't embed this video from YouTube. I kind of love the first verse.

I need another story
Something to get off my chest
My life gets kinda boring
Need something that I can confess
'Til all my sleeves are stained red
From all the truth that I've said
Come by it honestly, I swear
Thought you saw me wink, no
I've been on the brink, so

Tell me what you want to hear
Something that were like those years
Sick of all the insincere
So I'm gonna give all my secrets away
This time, don't need another perfect line
Don't care if critics never jump in line
I'm gonna give all my secrets away

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dead Man's Bones: Proof

See? I told you. A ghost sang "Like a Virgin."

And then Ryan Gosling sang that his body is a zombie for me. Z-O-M-B-I-E.

From Tuesday's show:

It's an acquired taste. Mostly brilliant. And slightly strange.

Don't diss Gosling's crooning. The man can do pop if he so chooses. But he turned down a spot in *NSYNC for an acting career. Wisest choice ever.

See more from the show over at Yes, folks. I'm moving onwards and upwards. Start updating your feeds/readers/bookmarks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It Happened Tonight: Dead Man's Bones

Yes, those are X's on my hands. Apparently the lady in line thought I said I was under 19. I ACTUALLY said that I probably wouldn't be drinking tonight. She grabbed her permanent marker and made the decision for me.

Straight edge for life, yo.

(Do kids say "yo" anymore? Did I just prove that I'm old by saying "kids"?)

It's flattering, having someone assume I'm 18. Because recently someone else asked me if I'd ever been married. Meaning I look like a divorcee?! Sigh.

You should also note that I brought out the plaid shirt. Just for Mr. Gosling. In return, he wore a three-piece suit. Have you ever heard girls scream because someone took off his suit jacket? I have.

I was wedged at the front between two strangers. On my left, the girl texted her friend: "This show is f@#$ed." On my right, the girl whispered, "Could there be a more beautiful man?" It was appropriate that I stood in the middle. Because I didn't find it insane, nor did I have any intentions of drooling. Although these particular well-suited musicians were quite attractive. Not gonna lie.

I'll post pictures soon. The show was sort of like Nuit Blanche packed into two hours on a single stage. A ghost sang "Like a Virgin." A guy bent a spoon with his mind. A woman jump-roped with a poodle. And a choir of child-sized ghosts sang backup.

And it sort of all made sense. Even when they shot a little girl, who then resurrected in silhouette, singing Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang" while Gosling whispered the lyrics in her ear.

Maybe you had to be there.

Sometimes it's inspiring to experience something so completely new and unusual. Something you can't box in or define. It was a collaborative, interactive, slightly rough-around-the-edges performance, with no room for big stars and egos. If the women didn't squeal, you'd have no idea that Gosling was an anybody.

P.S. His band mate is actually prettier than he is. But less accomplished musically. And less interesting. I can't explain it, but I'm not very intrigued by walking Ken dolls.

YouTube Tuesday: Gosling Tonight

I'm in a rush. I can't be late for my date with Ryan.

I know I've posted this before, but I can't help myself. So endearing. So charming. So hilarious.

This is my evening, folks. Sixteen years later.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Know I'm Sick When...

  • I wake up at 10:30 and think it's only 7:00.
  • Food tastes like chunky air. And requires way too much effort.
  • Horribly horrible movies like "Must Love Dogs" distract me.
  • My only writing idea is stolen directly from a movie.
  • I operate in a zombie state, disinterested in both sleep and consciousness.
  • Information refuses to stay in my head.
  • I fantasize about breathing.
  • Tissues (of all brands) are my bestest friends in the whole world.
  • I justify this sort of nothingness as a blog post.
Goodnight, Moon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Say Yes to the Dress

I've had this conversation with two people now. So I might as well extend it to the blogosphere. It's about contentment. And settling. And tulle.

There's a recent phenomenon in wedding-gown shopping in which a bride ends up buying multiple dresses. She tries on a beautiful dress, thinks it's the one, and buys it. But then she finds another dress, the one she knows is the one. So then she's stuck trying to sell the first one. She suffers a financial loss, but it's worth it because she gets to walk down the aisle in sartorial perfection.

Some brides buy three or four gowns before the big day. Bridal consultants rejoice.

Such a shopping trend makes me uncomfortable.

Firstly, if you're not sure in the first place, why are you buying? Why are you settling? Why are you spending thousands on one deemed not good enough? Is it the panic that there just might not be anything better out there? Are you purchasing out of fear? Desperation?

Secondly, why are you still looking? If you think you've found the one, made the down payment, started the alteration process, what on earth are you doing trying on other dresses? And does this thought pattern carry over into other areas of your life? Will you keep looking at men after you've committed to the one you think is "the one"? Can you be content with your choice, even though it won't necessarily line up with the picture of magical perfection that floats in your head?

I will not settle. I will choose wisely. And then I will stand by my decision. This applies both to the dress I'll buy one day and to the man waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I'll be picky before I buy, not after.

P.S. I should be a wedding planner. And/or premarital counselor.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Life in Paper

I was completely uninspired to pursue job leads today. Sure, I applied for a job and posted a quick item or two, but I had little desire to send out application upon application for gigs that barely pay and inspire even less.

It was time to purge.

When my space is cluttered, I can't focus. I feel defeated. So I spent my afternoon surrounded by stacks of paper, sorting through the paper trail created by four years of Toronto living. Oddly, I found things from 15 years ago. Paper must follow me.

My life in paper reads as half-fiction. Partly because I remember nothing, and partly because people send me lies.

P.S. I miss acting.

Things I found:
  • Wrapping paper that says "hottie holidays." It's covered in the floating heads of Joshua Jackson, Will Smith, James Van Der Beek, Matt Damon, Nick Carter, Usher, Leo DiCaprio and Andrew Keegan.
  • A program from Stratford with the lead actor's phone number scrawled across his bio.
  • A postcard of a cartoon Toby Penner. Oh, Jake.
  • The script from Oliver! I was Nancy in the SIXTH GRADE. And yes, it's the original copy.
  • Monologues I wrote in university. Including the children's story about suicide.
  • A napkin from East Side Mario's. I outlined the plot of a play on it.
  • Two fake love letters. I don't remember ever receiving them. But they're clearly written by a girlfriend, pretending to be the man we quasi-stalked one summer. He's now married. And on TV. I'm neither.
  • A letter that was probably supposed to be a love letter. But I was pretty stupid and didn't notice at the time. Boys, don't be subtle. We'll miss the awesomeness.
  • A clipping from the school newspaper that favourably reviewed a performance of mine. The "cancer baby" play.
  • A note from a woman at my parents' old church, strategically written to introduce me to her nephew. Hilarious. (Yep, I emailed him. And yep, we're still friends.)
  • A lot of thank-you notes. Apparently I used to do a lot of kind stuff. Huh.
  • A card that commented on my flirting skills. It took me almost 5 minutes to realize it was referencing a jazz opera I was in. I didn't recognize a single signature. Quiet panic.
  • Floppy disks.
  • The headshot of a middle-aged Kitchener-based actor I once worked with.
  • My Exer-Clean Launderers contract. Yes, I have proof that I once did laundry for a living.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Next Tuesday

Is it weird that I needed a YouTube video to tell me that the venue of next week's concert is different than the one printed on my ticket?

Thank you, Ryan, for keeping me posted on the location change. I'm not in the mood for a tragedy. And I doubt you are either. It's about time we hang out in the same building, no?

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Bowl Master

Thanksgiving is a big deal in my family. We all crash my aunt and uncle's place in Parry Sound. If you've never had a twenty-person sleepover, you're missing out. Big time.

I was playing Scrabble this morning. Probably the first word game played before noon in the history of our family. Six of us played. In teams. From the living room, music started playing. Piano. Guitar. Voices chimed in. Suddenly, my family was belting out Elton John's "Your Song." Everyone should sing while pondering a triple word score.

There was a toy gun at the board-game table. This has yet to be explained. I'd also like to know why the game Clue has so many bludgeoning weapons and no cyanide.

This was the first year for "Things in a Box." We used a bowl instead of a box, and dubbed the reader the "bowl master." It was a cousins-only game, with a 17-year range between the oldest and youngest. And the reader had to create the category. The results? The usual hilarity. See below.
If you become the most famous person EVER, it will be because:
  • I ate a Jonas Brother.
  • I'm a brail rapper.
  • I own the world's largest bee farm.
  • of science.
We also dubbed night "the dark time," asserted that "tuck yourself in" is an insult, and marvelled at how quickly time passes. I had no clue I was almost 30. But apparently I am. And will most likely remain single until then if I keep mentioning trailer parks to the eligible bachelors I meet under awkward circumstances. (More on that later.)

I'm thankful. For family and laughter and advice from the young. For support systems and black coffee and bunk beds. For pumpkin pies and pianos and hoodies. For godly wisdom and hugs and overlapping conversations. For joining fake bands. For plotting sleigh rides. For calling each cousin a favourite. For not wanting to say goodbye.

I am full. I am content. I am exhausted. I am thankful.

And I am too old to play midnight soccer.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quote This!

There has been too much brilliance uttered in the past two days to quote here. My brain can't contain it all. If any of you ever get the chance to hang out at my parents' house, bring a pen. Take notes.

"I'd like to see a live-action Care Bears movie. Sort of like Homeward Bound. With lasers coming out of their stomachs."


"I won't marry you. Or a dead girl. Those are the two things crossed off my list."


1: Those are your non-alcoholic options.
2: What are the alcoholic ones?
1: We don't have any.


"I want a Serta chair. With memory foam. Then I can get rid of my bed."


1: Ooh, look at me. I'm a fancy lady.
2: I didn't say that.
1: I know. That's why I'm mocking you, not impersonating you.


1: You should make a hat like that.
2: Or I could buy a hat and glue yarn to it.


"You just made two-thirds of the pizzas accommodate the pickiness of one-fifth of the people. You will never win the Nobel Peace Prize."


1: You shouldn't have kids for 24 years.
2: So I shouldn't have kids until last April?
3: I think she means 24 MORE years.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Subway Cooties

A few days ago, I saw the strangest and most uncomfortable form of physical affection on the subway. I can't get it out of my mind. So I'll share it with you.

Really, I should draw pictures. But I won't.

She was leaning against his shoulder. Her eyes were closed. His arm was around her.


His arm reached over her shoulder, his hand touching her face. Prodding it. Playing with it, as though her skin were made of soft clay. He pinched her cheeks. He pulled at her lower lip, then her upper lip. He stuck his fingers in her mouth. For a moment, I thought he was going to knead her face into a new one.

Not once did he turn to face her. He just stared straight ahead, rearranging her features with his public-transit-infected fingertips, while she quietly stirred against him.

This continued for the entire duration of my ride. I'm assuming he's still tugging at her flesh somewhere.

Moral of the story: sometimes love is gross.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My Story

I'm starting a new journal. Not because I feel the need to start over fresh, escaping themes and preoccupations plaguing the present one, but because said present one is full. Cover to cover. It's a remarkable tome of two very eventful years. And not just hormone-induced "oh, she's a girl" eventful. There's some heavy stuff in there. Fear, death, heartache, anxiety. With joy, risk-taking, fearlessness, infatuation and optimism rounding it out. Some of it almost reads as fiction. I am not the Nadine of 2007. For this, I am thankful. I am moving forward.

Maybe I'll quote from it one day. In short cryptic doses.

I'm hesitant to write the first entry in the new one. I don't know what to say. I feel as though there should be something significant going on in my life or my head before I start to scribble. I don't want the first page to be boring.

I don't want my life to be boring.

I recently discovered Donald Miller. I know, I'm a little slow. And I think I love him. I want to hike up a mountain with him and tell him all my secrets. And then we can sip wine and talk about story and why I desire an epic tale of my own. I crave memorable scenes. Strong characters. I want to be able to define what I want and then pursue it passionately. I want to sacrifice. I want my story to make me a stronger woman in the end. I want my life to read as a redemptive and meaningful narrative.

And as Don and I walk down the mountain, he'll tell me how to get a book deal.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

YouTube Tuesday Bonus: Breaker High Theme Song

I feel like I should apologize to Ryan Gosling for excluding this little ditty of brilliance from the previous post.

Breaker High forever.

YouTube Tuesday: Nostalgic TV Theme Songs

Dawson's Creek

Confession: I'd still choose Dawson, the over-analytical, too-wordy-for-his-own-good, slightly self-absorbed filmmaker teeming with endearing optimism and impossible dreams. Don't balk. This lets you have Pacey. Everyone wins.

And the theme song still rings true.


I grew up without cable. So after-school TV options were limited. I watched Arthur. Yes, while I was in high school. It was educational, okay? Better than a drug habit.

And sometimes I still get the theme song stuck in my head.

The Beverly Hillbillies

So....a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I watched a lot of retro TV growing up. Someone asked me if I knew the theme song to The Beverly Hillbillies. I said yes. He asked me to sing it. Did I mention were in a cute little cafe? Surrounded by strangers?

So I sang it. In the cafe. Yes, I did. I have no pride.

Bonus: Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

If you're a musician and choose to cover this song, I might love you forever. You have been warned.

P.S. I was a Chip gal. Because he was practically Indiana Jones.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Permission to Just Be

I will not apologize for taking it easy this weekend.

But I was very thankful for a vacant schedule. An impromptu pizza party was just what a friendship needed. Because this morning's sermon was written for both of us. And sometimes I just need a face-to-face heart-to-heart over a slice of pepperoni. (No offence to the Fido and Google Chat folks who also contribute to the health of our relationship.)

In some ways, we find ourselves at identical crossroads. In others, we're in opposite worlds. It's what makes us work. And we're comfy. The sort of friends who can hang out in slippers. Who can doze while watching a movie. Who can be real and say embarrassing things and be shockingly honest about the desires of our hearts. Non-bloggable stuff.

Not long after I left her place, my friend's life changed with one phone call from Italy. And I was so glad I was there this afternoon. Because we knew this day was coming. Not necessarily this soon, but it was inevitable. Life is short, no matter how long and full it may seem. And saying goodbye is never easy. But somehow the grief face-plant is softened knowing that there are folks taking ownership of your pain. We're all in this together.

I wish I could turn a blog entry into a hug. Because I would.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Frail: One Year Later

Sometimes it's hard to blog about life. I don't always know where to draw the line. Or when it's too soon. That's why I talk about guys hypothetically and tell fun life tales as memoir chapters rather than tell them as they're happening. Sometimes I need to know the ending before I start typing the beginning.

So when I was posting silly YouTube videos here, I was writing about ultrasounds and blood tests in my journal.

And when I told awkward tales of trying to become a jogger, I excluded the part about my new-found obsession with weight-bearing activity. That I think about my spine when I run.

It's time to talk about my skeleton.

I'm not ashamed of my bones. I marvel at the intricacies of human design. Doctors don't understand my situation. I'm one of those medical mysteries, I suppose. No rhyme or reason. Or when they do find an almost-reason, that reason doesn't have a reason. And while I'm not ecstatic about the diagnosis, I'm at peace. I'm a broken human in a broken world. I don't deserve special treatment. Some children are born with cancer. I cannot complain.

This past week, I visited my endocrinologist to review my bone-density-scan results from earlier in the summer. It was scary. It was that moment of truth: Was I getting worse? Were my bones thinning at a terrifying rate? Would I need to take drugs intended for postmenopausal women? Was I going to become Samuel L. Jackson in Unbreakable?

She looked at the chart and made a few notes. She frowned. But that's what she does. She even frowns while humming happy tunes.


It was a happy "oh." I leaned over her desk to see what she was looking at.

"You have osteopenia."

This is bad news if you thought you had healthy bones. This is incredibly good news if you thought you had osteoporosis just seconds earlier. Osteopenia indicates that you're at risk for developing osteoporosis. For me, it means that my adventures in calcium, vitamin D, greens+ supplements, birth-control pills and weight-bearing exercise have paid off considerably. My bones are stronger. Denser. I'm moving backwards. A very good direction.

As my brother Nathan encouraged me, I can finally start pursuing my lifelong dream of playing professional football.

So there. I will be conscious of my bone health for the rest of my life. But so should everyone.

I look forward to my future with this body. I think it suits me.

Friday, October 02, 2009


I received good news yesterday. But the good news makes no sense without last summer's bad news. So here you go. Another chapter for the memoir.


She was frowning. Skimming over the files in front of her, she didn’t bother to look up to ask her question.

“How old are you again?”


She grunted and continued her reading. Her frown intensified. I braced myself for a lecture. For the accusation that I was an over-Googler, a hypochondriac whose self-diagnosis had just abused an all-too-generous medical plan.

I could take her ridicule. Even her rhythmic grunting didn’t intimidate me. I knew she would roll her eyes, but I didn’t care. For the sake of my own (questionable) sanity, I had to know. I telepathically dared her to admit that, yes, I had reason for concern, but, no, a 25-year-old has no business fretting over an old woman’s disease.

She stopped reading. Her face was now twitching, the corners of her mouth so severely down-turned that I feared her face might invert itself. She kept her finger on a list of three digits and shook her head.

She finally looked me in the eye.

“You have osteoporosis.”