Coming home

I was so excited to come home from university for the holidays that I forgot to think about what it would be like when I got here. I was so focused on the idea of eating home cooked meals and sleeping in an actually comfortable bed and seeing my friends and family that I forgot that coming back after four months might be a little weird.

For starters, I think that my cats took a day or two to remember who I was, which was sad. They used to mob me whenever I walked through the door after school. There was other little stuff too, like the way my cereals are missing from the pantry and replaced with strange granola mixes that I assume belong to my dad’s new girlfriend. My car barely started because it had gone undriven for so long, and driving itself felt really strange after spending all semester travelling in buses and on foot.

Visiting my high school was the weirdest experience. I went with a bunch of friends, and we all agreed that we felt distinctly like we shouldn’t have come. The students all looked so young and the school felt so small. Our old teachers seemed mostly surprised and weirded out that we had come.

That being said, I had a nice time talking to my English teacher, who now tells me she is studying to get her PhD so that she can become a university prof. She says that her new AP class is not as good as ours was; she misses the noise and how I would always argue with her. English was a big part of my high school experience; I had the same teacher for three years and almost all of my friends were in that class. It was certainly a rowdy class. We had some intense debates about everything from Shakespeare to dystopias.

Ms. R: Kay they agree with everything I say! I keep trying to provoke them to argue but they don’t even react. One time I told them I thought we should drug everyone the way they do in Brave New World, and they wrote it down.

Kay: What? No one had a problem with that? Plus, I don’t think any of us ever took notes in your class.

Ms. R: Exactly!!

So that was nice. Also, seeing my friends was wonderful. I thought we would have nothing to talk about because we’re all doing different things this year and we haven’t seen each other in four months, but if anything we have more to talk about. I love hearing about everyone’s respective university experiences. I have a bunch of friends in engineering at Queen’s University, and from what I understand it’s basically a cult. They have these purple jackets and they get badges for them by doing stupid stunts like drinking their height in beer and jumping into freezing Lake Ontario in the middle of the winter. They have some great stories to tell.

I think it’s hard for the friends who stayed at home for university. It’s really different than residence, where there’s always a party going on and it’s really easy to meet people. I feel bad talking about it too much with people like Jan because she gets this wistful look on her face and I worry that I’m making her wish she had gone away this year. She says it’s been hard to meet new friends when she’s only at school a few hours a day.

It was nice seeing everyone, but it also made me realize that an era of my life is over. It’s hitting me now what presumably we were supposed to realize at graduation, that high school is really over and there’s no going back. Sure, I intend to stay close with some of my high school friends, but it will never be the same as it was. Never again will I drive the half hour to school in the city every morning. Never again will we hang out in the hallways by our lockers, or in the journalism room. Never again will we have all be doing the same things in the same place. Will we even have anything to talk about years from now?

I’ve always liked  new things, but giving up the old things is hard. I wish that having all of the new friends and experiences at university didn’t mean giving up getting to see my high school friends all the time. I guess it’s part of growing up though.

I think that the most important thing I’ve realized this week is the importance of home. I get what all of those Christmas songs are about now and why Christmas traditions are so important. It was so wonderful to just be at home with my family and putting up the Christmas tree and drinking hot chocolate. My first day at home Pal and I spent the whole day baking Christmas cookies. We were determined to make them exactly like our mom did for years. All those years I remember being annoyed that she made us help, but now I’m glad that she left us a tradition to share.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope yours is full of friends and family and food and laughter. Most of all, I hope you get to be home for the holidays, because it is the best feeling in the world.

This is the actual grad post

Graduating high school rocked. I fully recommend it if you get the chance.

REASONS WHY GRAD DAY WAS ONE OF THE BEST DAYS EVER:grad shoes

-I got to be TALL! Being friends with freaking  basketball players is not always fun and my neck is pretty much permanently sore from looking up at most of my friends, but on grad day I wore four inch heels, which meant I got to look everyone in the eye!

-All of my favourite people were there, even my generally absent brother Pal, and my grandparents from Saskatchewan who I absolutely adore. Plus, at the banquet we sat with Lyd’s fam, and they got along famously with mine. I think talking to Lyd’s dad about hockey scores made my grandpa’s whole night.

-MYDRESSMYDRESSMYDRESSMYDRESS!!!

When I'm wearing it I feel like a fairy or something.

When I’m wearing it I feel like a fairy or something.

-The after grad party and Andy’s house was the best party I’ve ever been to, seriously. All of my friends were there and everyone was up for anything. Highlights of the party include (I realize this just became a list within a list. LISTCEPTION!!):

-Jan had her very first shot and when I announced it to the twenty people in the hot tub they all started chanting her name, it was awesome

-We had this massive game of Bros Icing Bros, which is where you trying to trick your friends into finding Smirnoff Ices, and if they find it, they have to drink it. I tricked Drew into finding one in my back pocket, and Nob into offering to open one for Jan without realizing what it was. All the boys shook my hand and admitted that I was a worthy opponent.

-At like 2am Mat confided to me that he had a bottle of expensive champagne which was a gift from his parents. We ran outside and opened it and it sprayed everywhere, and then we stood there in the moonlight and toasted to our success in high school. Mat has been my partner in everything; we were yearbook editors together, editors of the school paper, MCs at the grad fashion show together, and partners in math and English always. That’s why that toast was really special

-Jen, Jo, Sar, Dee, Ber, and I stayed up all night talking and laughing and having pillow fights and taking selfies and confessing secrets. Then around 5am we went for a walk by the creek behind Andy’s house and watched the sun rise.

-Nob, Sar, Ber and I went to Tim Horton’s for coffee around 7, after pulling said all nighter. My hair was bride of Frankenstein-esque, and Nob wasn’t wearing shoes, and we couldn’t stop laughing.

I’m happy to be graduating, but I will be sad to leave these people. Grad was so cathartic for me; it was this strange mix of happy and sad. I will never forget it, that’s for sure.

What your restaurant order says about you

So I went out for dinner with Pal and my father tonight, which was our way of blatantly ignoring mother’s day, slash saying goodbye to Pal before he returns to his pretty-much-home on the west coast. We went to one of those family restaurants that has half decent food of all kinds-everything from steak (which is supposed to be good because we live in cattle country but actually isn’t) to stir fry (because they’re “super ethnic”) to salads (the ones that taste good are probably not healthy at all) to pasta. I was having the biggest burger craving ever, so I ordered the one with onion rings on it, and Pal is a recent pescetarian, which means he doesn’t eat meat except for fish (yes, three years on the west coast has gotten to him) so he ordered the fish filet sandwich and dad is trying to watch his cholesterol, so he ordered one of the actual healthy salads that tastes like dry leaves.

A guy who wasn’t our waiter brought our meals, and he didn’t stop to ask us who ordered what. He put my burger in front of Pal, the fish in front of dad, and the salad in front of me. I bit back a laugh, because I used to work at a restaurant just like this one, and in that waiter’s position I probably would have done the exact same thing.

I know people like to think that they’re all unique and make their own decisions, but truthfully I would say that in my time working at a family restaurant, I could predict what people were going to order about eighty percent of the time.

Yeah, I mean it. People are that predictable.

Guys between the ages of fifteen and thirty-five almost always order burgers. It’s not just a stereotype, it’s true. I don’t think I ever had a female customer my age who ordered one.

Seniors order the things they understand. They don’t go out to eat adventurously, they go out to eat the same things they would normally eat at home. They’ll go for the roast beef dinner or the steak sandwich generally. The place I worked at also had liver and onions, and seriously that was the most popular item on the menu for seniors. There were a ton of them that became regulars just for the liver. I tried it once because so many old guys had recommended it to me. It was just as awful as I thought it would be.

Parents always order sandwiches because it’s easy to eat while feeding their children, and it won’t get cold when they feed them first. Plus, if they have to leave early because their kid is having a tantrum, the sandwich is quick and easy to pack up for later. You can always tell the amateur parents because they order things they used to eat before kids, like steak or pasta. Good luck eating that steak while it’s still hot if your kids are throwing macaroni noodles at your head.

Skinny women order salads. Sad, but true. These women always look a little depressed and never fully satisfied. They kind of make me think that when I grow up I want to be fat. The women who are the happiest are the ones who order the salads that are actually really bad for you because they’re loaded with cheese and bacon and fatty dressing. These women are happy because it tastes good and they think they’re eating healthy.

Tweens are the best because they order whatever the hell they want. They’re excited about ordering off the adult menu, so they comb it for just the right thing. They tend to order the specials or the weird items like the ginger beef or the potato skins. Sometimes I just want to high five them for being to young to conform to societal norms.

Anyway, long story short, the waiter rearranged our food when we explained to him that he had it wrong. He didn’t do a very good job at hiding his shock when I claimed the burger and I couldn’t really blame him because the trends pretty much rule out burgers for my demographic. I don’t exactly know what it says about me that I don’t eat what I’m expected to. All I know is that I was craving burgers like crazy and I fricking devoured that thing in like six bites.

How to repel guys: A beginner’s guide

Who am I kidding, I have no idea what I’m doing to repel guys. Especially this time. I thought I was getting the hang of this whole dating thing. Apparently not.

It didn’t start out as a date. I really just wanted to got skating. There’s something about skating on an outdoor rink in the winter-the sound of blades slicing through the ice, that muffled sound of laughter on snow-I can’t get enough of it. All of my friends know that my winter obsession is getting people to go skating with me.

So I swear I didn’t have an ulterior motive when I invited Tim to go skating. Lis, my go-to skating partner was away for the holidays, Cor thinks skating is lame (ie. he can’t skate and is too embarrassed to ask me to teach him) and all of my city friends were, well, in the city. So I texted Nee and Tim begging them to come skating with me.

Nee was in until about half an hour before were going to leave; she got called in to work or something. Then there was this conversation:

Tim: So do you still want to go?

Kay: Uh der. I’m. Obsessed. With skating.

Tim: Then maybe we could get hot chocolate after?

Kay: Yeah that would be nice

Tim: Okay. It’s a date.

I swear that’s what he said. It’s a date. But I didn’t get too excited, I mean “it’s a date” is a generic figure of speech.

Okay, who am I kidding, I got super excited.

The thing about Tim is that I’ve known him for years now but whenever I see him it’s always briefly and with a group. He’s friends with all of my town friends, but I’ve never actually gone to school with him, so the first time I met him it was kind of like “I’ve heard a lot about you.” “Ditto.” He’s really close with Lis in particular, and Lis is always like, Kelsey,  you should get to know him better, he’s super fun but he has this super deep side blah blah blah.

I just ignored it because, well I don’t know. I mean, Tim and I always have a fantastic time together (read about our summer fair hi-jinks here) but I always pegged him for that type of guy who just goofs around and flirts with everyone and is great to invite to parties, but that’s about it. Anything about a “deep side” seemed like a load of bullshit to me to be honest.

But I mean, he’s really cute, and fun, and did I mention cute? So I wasn’t exactly opposed to the idea of a date with him.

In the first five minutes my dreams were crushed. Tim started talking about this girl he met a camp in the summer who lives in Europe or something and how they totally would have dated if she didn’t live in like Croatia or something. At that point I was like, oh, I guess this isn’t a date.

Looking back, I feel like that was what made the night so amazing though. Because as soon as I decided it wasn’t a date, the pressure was off and I felt like I could say anything. So we skated and I teased him about his skating skills and we made up life stories for the other people at the rink, most of which involved drug deals gone bad and illegitimate children. Then, when our toes were blocks of ice, we curled up in comfy chairs by the fireplace at Tim Horton’s (if you’re American, I swear this is the name of a coffee chain. Just trust me on this. It’s super popular. If you’re in Canada and you want to act all Canadian go there. For real.). And we just talked. For like four hours. The store closed except for the drive through, and the drive through guy must have been entertained by listening to our conversation because he didn’t kick us out and he gave us free donuts. We started out making stupid jokes and complaining about how we couldn’t feel our feet, but then we started talking about people we both know, and then our families and our futures and who we are and who we want to be. It sounds lame when I try to summarize like that, but at the time it was really special. Part of it was because it came so naturally I think. I didn’t feel like I had to impress him or act a certain way, and because I didn’t think it was a date I felt like I had nothing to lose. I told him about how weird everyone was and still is about my mom dying, and how my dad is wonderful to me but sometimes I just get so mad at him for no reason other than the fact that he’s not mom. And Tim told me about how suffocating his family is, with his perfect older sisters and his mom who treats him like everything he does isn’t good enough, and his dad who pretends like nothing is wrong. He feels the same was as I do about the end of high school: it can’t come too soon.

Finally we both realized that we really couldn’t keep talking. It was 1am already and I had a 7am flight to catch to my grandparents house in Phoenix, and he had already missed his midnight curfew.  We were saying goodbye but then we went outside and kept talking and then it got cold so we sat is his car to warm up. I just remember laughing so hard that I was inches away from crying, and thinking that I wish we could just hang out forever and never leave. And okay, I was wondering what it would be like to kiss him. Then all of a sudden he stopped laughing and looked at me, completely serious.

“So is this like, a date?” he asked. It came out of his mouth so innocently. I wanted to kiss it. His mouth, I mean.

I told him that it kind of felt like a date. After a short pause I added that I really wanted it to be a date. So we decided that it was indeed a date, and then he asked me if he could take me on a second one. By this point my stomach was going all crazy fluttery and I couldn’t stop smiling or staring at him, but I tried to play it cool. Yes, I told him. I would like that a lot.

And then it was almost 2am and I really had to go. So I got out of the car while still smiling at him and he kept smiling at me and I walked to my car while still exchanging smiles and I don’t know who looked away first, but I know I didn’t want to.

At this point I don’t know if I can say the same for him.

To be continued…

Nostalgia

I feel like the whole blog world absolutely looooooooves fall, but I kind of hate it. I guess that’s because I live in Canada and and so fall lasts about a month. The leaves don’t fall gently, over months, they kind of all fall in brown heaps over the course of about a week. And when the first or second week of October rolls around, it begins to snow. Hence my dislike.

But my seasonal hatred is not actually what I wanted to talk about. For me, there’s also a feeling that fall always brings on, and that feeling is nostalgia.  I don’t know what it is, maybe the smell of rotting leaves, the feeling of days getting shorter, or grain dust clouding up my windshield. Whatever it is, around this time, I seem to have these incredibly vivid flashbacks to autumns long past.

I can picture my first day of school, wearing my new pink butterfly backpack and struggling to keep up with my brother on the two block trek to our elementary. I can almost feel my raw excitement from that day. There’s flashes of other days too: raking leaves with my dad and putting them in those garbage bags that have jack-o-lantern faces on them for Halloween, wearing new back-to-school jeans, and baking desserts to bring to my aunt’s house for Thanksgiving.

What does fall remind you of?

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone! Here’s a nostalgic song to get you in the mood. It’s kind of the cutest thing ever.

My life is not Nascar

I crashed my car rather fantastically last week. Don’t worry, everyone was fine, and the car wasn’t totalled or anything. The worst part was that my dad was on a plane when it happened, so I couldn’t call him and ask what to do.

I was so in over my head. The whole side panel of my bumper was hanging off and we were blocking a lane on a major road. I had to call the towing company, and they told me to call the insurance company, and the insurance company told me to call the police, and then when the tow truck came they said I had to call the insurance company back to find out to which shop my car had to be towed.

The good news is that my dad was really good about it, and so was the other driver. Plus, the insurance company declared the collision not my fault because I got hit in the back, even though it was kind of my fault because I slammed on the brakes at a yellow light when I probably should have gone through. Still, I was pretty shaken up. I declared that I was going to be a more careful, more defensive driver from now on. I was going to follow the speed limit religiously, and stay totally focused at all times while behind the wheel.

That lasted like two days.

This must be what adults talk about when they say teenagers think they’re invincible. I’d like to think that perhaps it’s just that we bounce back from setbacks more easily.  The way I see it, I drive into the city every day, so something like this was bound to happen at some point. I really am a good driver for the most part, except for perhaps my adherence to the speed limit, and apparently my yellow light reactions. So I’m not going to let this ruin driving for me. Watch out people, this crazy teenager is still on the road.

My dad is crazy (and cute cats)

My dad thinks that LOL cats is the best thing since jasmine tea (and he really likes jasmine tea). He took these pictures of our cats and put them on the fridge, then he wrote what he thought were clever LOL-worthy captions. It’s terrible. And hilarious.

This one says, “Stealth kitteh sez yu kant see meh.”

“Sink kitteh sez yu was kitting bout shot, rite?” (This was taken in the vet’s office)

These are on my fridge, where everyone can see them. Everyone. I can’t believe I’m related to this man.

Coincidences: Part 2

I’m not a big believer in fate, or everything-happens-for-a-reason, or kismet, or whatever you want to call it. However, I also can’t ignore the fact that the chances of meeting the same gorgeous boy twice in two days in a strange city are astronomical. And yet, that’s exactly what happened.

It was late morning and we were at some museum that my dad desperately wanted to see. I was standing facing an exhibit of some antique tank, but really I was looking out the window longingly at a park that was just begging for a pick up soccer game.  When someone tapped lightly on my shoulder, never in a million years would I have guessed that it would be the boy that I had met the day before at the university tour. Actually, at that point I had kind of written him off as a figment of my imagination.  After all, no way would a boy that hot smile like that at a girl like me.

But there he was, eyes just as intense as I remembered them, and arms just as muscular. I tried to wipe the drool away from my mouth before he noticed it.

I think he made some joke about me stalking him, and I think I replied with something somewhat witty. Or, at the very least, coherent. I learned that his name was Eli (Well not actually, but that’s the name I’m giving all y’all) and introduced me to the friend he was with. We chatted a little bit more about where we were from, and what sights we had seen on our respective visits and such. I liked that he took it well when I teased him a little bit about wearing pants to the tour in 35 degree heat.

It wasn’t long before my dad came up beside me and said that it was time for us to go for lunch. We left, but not before the boy had learned my full name, enough, I hoped, to find me on Facebook.

Sure enough, my phone buzzed a couple hours later with a new friend request. I tried to contain my excitement, but Pal shot me a pretty weird look, so I probably let a giggle slip out.

That’s pretty much the end of the story though. I mean, we messaged on Facebook for a bit, and then he gave me his number and we switched to texting, but the problem is that there’s really no where to go from here. I mean, sure, I’ve found out that he’s a football player and he loves to write and his favorite City and Colour song is The Girl (Which is sooo unbelievable sweet), but he also lives about a thousand kilometres away. I like texting him, but you can’t really know someone just from texts. And you also can’t kiss someone over text.

I still don’t believe in fate.  However, something special happened when I met Eli, I know that. Maybe we’ll meet again next year at university, or maybe I’ll never see him again. Whatever happens, I know that I’ll never forget our chance meeting. I could never forget that smile, or that electric feeling when I first met his eyes.

Coincidences: Part 1

My dad sprung for a trip across the country last weekend, partially for a family vacation (Pal came, yay!), and partially so that I could tour my current university of choice.

From what I remember about the tour, it seemed great. There was some pretty buildings and nice green spaces and dorms and such. But I was rather distracted during this walk of the grounds. What, you might ask, could possibly distract someone as academically focused as Kay on a tour of her dream school?

What always distracts me: boys, of course.

The room in which we began our tour was dimly lit and quite cramped. Maybe it was the fact that the room was so under-air conditioned, or maybe it was the jet lag talking, but when the boy looked me straight in the eye from across the room and smiled, I swear I could feel genuine warmth radiating from his person.

In retrospect, I realize that he was probably smiling at me because the journalism brochure in my hand matched the one in his own. However, that didn’t stop me from turning all blushing-schoolgirl. As the tour continued, I found myself smiling back at him through the throng of oggling students and their families. When he held a door for me, I got up the nerve to talk to him.

He was from a small town on the prairies much like mine, he told me. (In my head I calculated the distance…maybe seven hundred kilometres away? A thousand?) He was thinking about maybe broadcast journalism, but he wasn’t sure yet.

At this point I should maybe explain why my legs were like jello. This boy was gorgeous, like ripped-from-Seventeen-magazine’s-hot-guys-issue gorgeous. Hair just a little mussed, long, dark eyelashes, and these intense eyebrows. And I’m pretty much always a sucker for a muscular guy in a v-neck t-shirt.

However, the tour ended, and though Pal complained later that it was quite a long tour, I maintain that it ended much too soon. When the boy flashed me another one of those radiating smiles in farewell, I had resigned myself to the fact that I would probably never see this beautiful boy again.

I was wrong.

To be continued…

Dracula is in my bathroom

So, I was in my bathroom, doing my business this morning, when the ceiling vent starts to rattle.

Rat. Tat. Ratt-a-tat-tat. Tat. Tat-tat.

And there I was, literally caught with my pants down. The rattling started to get louder, and that’s when it clicked in my head: there was a creature in there.

My first thought was mouse, but no, it was too small for that. My second thought was that one of my cats fell down the vent, but seeing as they are both horrendously overweight, that seemed equally unlikely.

Naturally, the only conclusion that I was left with was that Dracula snuck into my vent disguised as a bat, and was now going to burst out of it and transform back into his vampire self so that he could suck my blood. I could see my obituary: “Kay was found dead on the toilet in the early hours of the morning.’ Glamorous way to go.

So I did the only logical thing: I ran upstairs screaming “DAAAAADDD! THERE’S A VAMPIRE IN MY BATHROOM!!!” (pulled up my pants first)

Once he got me calmed down and got a coherent explanation out of me, my dad unscrewed the vent cover (to my horror). A small bird flew out. We set it free outside, and my dad determined that it must have flown in through the dryer vent. He covered the dryer vent with metal screen, which should prevent future vampire/bird attacks.

This may have been a false alarm, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t be on the lookout for future vampire attacks.