Archive for the 'being grown up' Category

Wine and Love

The lovely Nora over at Walking with Nora has an awesome Thursday feature called Wine and Love. I decided to jump on board this bandwagon of awesome and join the fun.

Reasons I’m reaching for the wine bottle this week:

  • I’m beginning to develop an ear infection. It’s not full-blown yet and it’s starting to get better but it still hurts A LOT. I was under the impression that only 6 year olds got ear infections. I was wrong. Also, when you’re an adult with an ear infection, it is no longer socially acceptable to stamp your feet and whine “but it huuuuurts.” (for the record, it huuuuurts).
  • The weather. I work for a farm organization and when it does nothing but rain for days on end in the planting season, farmers aren’t happy. When farmers aren’t happy, I reach for the wine.

Reasons I’m smiling and loving life this week:

  • I found someone who is willing to go see Scream 4 with me. I have such fond (and terrifying) memories of watching the original movies camped out in sleeping bags in the friend’s living room whose parents didn’t care if we watched R movies that I can’t resist this movie for nostalgia sake. Also, who doesn’t like being scared (oh, apparently a lot of people).
  • I’m reading a great book that is slightly more refined than the trash I usually read. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some trash (well hello, sexy vampire), but it’s nice to know that I haven’t become a complete heathen.
  • I started watching Firefly and it’s awesome! Who can resist cowboys in space? (oh, apparently lots of people, people that aren’t me).
  • My sister is moving home from the Caribbean in a week! I’m excited she’ll finally be living in Canada for longer than 2 weeks!
  • This is my second post this week! It’s too soon to say I’m back in the blogging swing of things, but this is definitely a good step!

A little less summer-y than summer should be

I love summer. Who doesn’t really? Do you ever hear anyone say “You know, I’m not such a big fan of summer.”? No. Because everyone loves summer.

But this summer has seemed a little lacking.

Yes it’s been hot. Yes it’s been sunny and yes I’ve worn my fair share of summer dresses. But, for some reason, this summer doesn’t feel all that summer-y to me.

I think I’m still adjusting to this whole real-world, grown-up phenomenon in which you don’t change jobs for the summer. I’ve been in my current job for 2 years now and I started pretty much right out of university. Despite this, sitting in the same cubicle in July as I was in March seems strange to me.

Prior to this whole real-world, grown-up biz-nass, summer meant a change of pace. Summer meant school was out and camp was in. It meant I woke up and put play clothes on instead of school clothes. It meant hours walking fields looking for bugs. Summer meant going to the beach on weekends and catching up with old friends.

Now, summer means putting on the light-weight skirt instead of the darker more fall-appropriate dress. It means open-toed wedges instead of tasteful pumps. Lunches are spent escaping from the frigid air conditioned office to the patio where you can shirk your cardigan and bare your shoulders.

For me, this summer has been lacking the dirt and grit that I grew up with. All through high school and university my summer jobs were outside jobs. I was a camp councilor who would marvel at that fact that I was being paid (albeit not much) to have sponge wars with 8 year olds and to mediate ice cream sundae eating contests – “whoa! That was a spoon-use violation! 20 second penalty.”


When I wasn’t working at summer camps I had jobs in agriculture outside in the field. I drove around in a truck, walked through soybean fields scouting for bugs and disease. I dug up roots and identified weeds. I chatted with farmers and quickly changed from the pop to the country radio station before pulling into a farm house. I helped plant research plots and raced around on an ATV mapping fields of seed corn.

Before the real-world, grown-up biz-nass came knocking, I spent my summers with dirt under my finger nails, grass stains on my shorts and my hair pulled back in french braids.

I don’t miss it all. I love my job and the work that I do in that cubicle totally makes up for the fact that I’m in a cubicle. I love that I can sport coloured nail polish not to hide my dirt-stained fingernails but because I think it’s cute. Now when I get a tan, I know I’m not going to see it wash off in the shower as it wasn’t a tan at all just a fine layer of dirt.

But, I do miss it a little bit.

I hope to get some of it back soon. We’re heading to Matt’s family cottage in northern Michigan for a weekend. I plan to spend a great deal of time reading on the dock with my SPF 45 but I also plan on getting sweaty paddling the canoe and sandy in the dunes. I hope I get to see some of my tan wash off in the lake and I plan on sporting a french braid at least one afternoon. I also won’t shy away from a few grass stains or an ice cream sundae eating contest.


A shameful confession in which I admit to becoming a reclusive 11-year-old

This past month, I have become a bit of a recluse. I got a little wrapped up in a book series and it was like being stuck in a death trap. On one hand, I was completely enthralled by the story that was weaved through the 2000 plus pages.

But, on the other (very large) hand, I lost my life. I spent almost every waking hour reading and when little things like eating, work, family engagements, etc got in the way, part of my brain was still thinking about it.

On the third hand was the embarrassment. This series is very popular and has a lot of fans. Of this, I am not ashamed. It’s the part where all of those fans range in between the ages of 11 and 16 that concerns me. I, dear internet, have become a Twilight fan.

I’ll give you a moment to recoil in the horror of it all. (Or, if you too got sucked into the madness, please take this moment to placate me in the comments)

I’ve already explained the shock and confusion surrounding my viewing of the first movie. And I was sort of disappointed with the second movie. But, a friend lent me the books and I had run out of other books to read so I picked them up one day. BAD MOVE!

I was completely sucked into the series. Holy hell! I can’t even tell you if they were good I devoured them so quickly. I just couldn’t get enough. Yet, at the same time, I was desperate to be done with them so I could move on with what I previously thought was my pseudo-adult life (I have since realized I’m still a blubbering 11-year-old).

Now that they are done, there is this immense sense of relief.* I think the only person more relieved than me at having this phase over with is Matt. He puts up with my neuroses like a champ, but I think he was seriously starting to get peeved with this little obsession.

Fortunately, Erin has another book series lined up for me to read. She tells me they are good but if they suck me in and ruin my life like Twilight did, I swear I will cut her.

In this breathing space between my life with Twilight and when I see Erin next to get some new books, I think I’m going to re-read some Kurt Vonnegut. Maybe I’ll start with Slaughter House Five and finish with Breakfast of Champions. I could use some dark humour and Kilgore Trout in my life right about now.

*I’m also sort of really sad they’re over but, shhh, don’t tell Matt.

Grocery store panic. Or, a story about how Buzz Aldrin almost missed the shuttle launch

I don’t like grocery shopping. I get stressed out by how big the stores are, how difficult it is to maneuver the carts, remembering everything in any given section in order to avoid that frantic trip back across the store against the flow of traffic with the aforementioned unwieldy cart.

But, in my opinion, the stress of collecting your food pales in comparison to the panic I feel in the checkout lane.

I wholeheartedly support the decision most grocery stores have made to charge for plastic bags. I diligently bring in my reusable bags and I think it makes perfect sense. But, it makes check out oh so much more stressful.

Back in the day when I would tag along grocery shopping with my mom (with hopes of throwing some FudgeeOs into the cart) you unloaded your groceries on the ultra-cool conveyor belt, the clerk would ring them through and then a SEPARATE clerk would pack your things for you politely asking “Paper or Plasitc?”

Now, the scene plays out a little differently.

It starts with me patiently waiting in line sort of enjoying that the person ahead of me is buying enough food for a family of 12 because it affords me time to peruse the headlines of such literary gems like People and US Weekly. I calmly begin unloading my basket of goodies (always devoid of FudgeeOs, I’m sad to report) onto the still ultra-cool conveyor belt.

Once I’ve pushed your cart through to the other end the reloading happens. It’s here where I shine with pride in my environmental conservatism by unfurling my reusable bags. I leisurely start loading the first bag carefully packing everything grouping things by weight, size, shape and cupboard space for ease of unpacking at home.

But before I can get the first bag half packed, I always realize with slight panic (you’d think I’d come to expect this by now!) that the conveyor belt I thought was ultra-cool before is now GOING.TO.FAST! OMG it’s shooting food out at you at a pace that is impossible to keep up with. But, it’s not just the lightning speed conveyor belt, it’s the line up of people that has formed behind you. The line up that is not content with US Weekly and Star Magazine. A line up that probably has much better things to do like curing cancer and building rockets.

At this point, careful packing according to colour and smell has been abandoned. By now, I’m recklessly throwing food into bags but the bags are so big that when you sit them on the counter I can barely reach over them so I’m forced to slam dunk the ground beef on top of my heritage tomatoes. Food safety and concerns about squished bread and broken eggs are deserted.

In my head, all I can think is “OMG I’m probably holding up the next Buzz Aldrin. What if he misses the shuttle launch because of me!”

But, it just gets worse. Now, you’re at the point where your food is half packed but the grocery clerk has scanned everything and is not so patiently waiting for you to pay. Now you have to make a decision: do you abandon your packing efforts leaving the romaine hanging dangerously half in-half out of the bag to pay or do you make the clerk wait while you finish packing? There is a lot riding on this decision because that romaine is about to fall to the floor and that clerk is so unimpressed with your multitasking skills that she is snapping her bubblegum and rolling her eyes.

I usually leave the romaine to chance and pay in order to avoid the death stares from the adolescent clerk and Buzz Aldrin behind me.

So you pay and then go back to the packing desperately hoping you’ll be able to transfer the last box of bran flakes into your cart before Buzz’ jumbo can of protein powder starts barreling down that turbo-charged conveyor belt towards you.

The last thing I want is good ole’ Buzz thinking I’m trying to sabotage his space mission by steeling his protein supplements!

From now on, Matt does the grocery shopping. I don’t even care if he insists on buying crunchy peanut butter.*

*A note to Matt: I do actually care if you buy crunchy peanut butter. That shit’s gross.

Decisions, decisions or a story of thirteen year old’s dreams come true

When I was 13, I wanted what all 13 year olds want: a boyfriend in a band, the latest [insert band that pisses your parents off here] album, fire engine-red hair and something pierced that wasn’t their earlobes.

Since I had already achieved all of my 13 year old goals save one, I started working on getting stuck with a needle. Being the practical nurse that she is, a conversation I had with my mother went something like this:

Me: Can I get something pierced?

My Mom: You have your ears pierced.

Me: I want to get my upper ear pierced, through the cartilage.

My Mom: You know that really hurts and it will get infected and look gross.

Me: [Insert friend’s name here] has one and she said it didn’t hurt that bad and it didn’t get infected.

My Mom: I don’t know about a cartilage piercing, they can be a big problem.

At this point, I had almost moved on to some other ridiculous request. I was a stubborn child, but I was content enough with my red hair and nail polish wearing, punk rock drumming boyfriend to let the whole thing slide. But, my mother’s mind had apparently run away with the spoon and she said the following thing:

My Mom: I would rather you get your belly button pierced than get your upper ear pierced.

Me: (Eyes widen and a slow grin appears) Sure.

My Mom: (With a look of shock and horror, unable to believe what she just said) Nononononononono. I didn’t really mean that. Besides, there is no way you would do that, you’d chicken out before you got your belly button pierced.

I don’t know what happened to my mother that day. She really is a very smart woman. But that day she had clearly lost it.

Everyone knows that the best way to get a teenager to do something is to call them scaredy-cats. Heck! That’s the best way to convince anyone of any age to do something (unless of course they are mature and level headed).

Two days later my mom and I were walking into a tattoo and piercing parlor. As we walked up the long, steep staircase (cause obviously the tattoo parlor we went to was on the second floor of some sketchy store that sold tie-dye shirts and ‘glass sculptures’ in the back) she continued muttering her mantra “You will chicken out. You will chicken out. Youwillchickenout. Youwillchickenout. Ohmygodpleaseletmybabychickenout. Holyheckpleaseletherchickenout.” and on and on it went.

I didn’t chicken out.

Most days I don’t think about my belly button. In fact, I go for months, years even, without thinking about my belly button. But lately, I’ve started to think that it’s time to take out the ring. I am no longer 13 and, shockingly, I know longer have the figure of a 13 year old. I have rid myself of bad hair dye and punk rock boyfriends, why not get rid of the ring?

But, it’s kind of hard to part with something that’s been attached to you for 11 years. I have almost spent more years alive with a belly button ring than without.

I would really just continue on with not thinking about my belly button. But now that I wear dresses and skirts sort of regularly, I notice that tights and nylons hit me right across my belly button and it is kind of irritating. No wonder belly button piercings only came into style when waistlines dropped from your waist to your pubic bone.

Anyone else have this problem? Or am I alone in my struggle to purge myself of my 13 year old successes?

The towels didn’t match, but everything else was spectacular (in a normal, low-key kind of way)

The whole ‘The Boyfriend’s whole family is coming to visit’ thing went surprisingly well. As I had promised myself not to stress over such an event, I didn’t stress over such an event, which is truly amazing.

Often when I promise myself things, it doesn’t turn out so well. Like that time I promised to go to the gym a whole bunch. Yeah, I came close, but didn’t win. Or, that time I promised myself not to do those ridiculous things and take ridiculous pictures while wearing red lipstick out on the town. Yeah, that didn’t turn out too well either.

But this time around, everything came up roses.

Being the super-awesome host that I am, I had almost everything done by the time they arrived. I had the bed (read: futon from past university days that has seen better days) in the spare room made with clean sheets. I had enough towels for everyone and their hair (albeit, not matching) and I had enough food for breakfast in the morning.

Breakfast the next morning went swimmingly. This is largely due to my mother’s strong influence in my life. See, my mother has this amazing ability to entertain people effortlessly (yes, I know a lot of people have this ability, but my mom is better at it than yours, just like my dad can beat up your dad). She is able to provide people with everything they need without making it seem like it’s an inconvenience or like it’s anything other than what she does every single day of her life.

The truth is, she frantically cleans and buffs every surface in the house prior to a guest’s arrival and has the table set for a dinner party 4 days in advance, just to be prepared. She would kill me if she knew I was revealing all her domestic secrets.

Since I learned 40 % of what I know from her (another 40% from my father and the final 20% from various alternative sources), I too got everything ready for breakfast in advance.

Breakfast for the Boyfriend’s family wasn’t even a big affair. It was more of a get your own breakfast as you’re getting up early and rushing out of the place in order to get to the ski hill at a reasonable hour. Nonetheless, I had everything ready. The cereal options were neatly displayed on the table, the toaster was prepped and the peanut butter was conveniently placed next to the ‘toasting station’. Apples and oranges were awaiting their execution on the cutting board and the coffee grounds were anxiously awaiting percolation.

It all ran without a hitch.

Despite all of this prep (which was really very little indeed), I’m completely aware that had I not prepared anything at all, The Boyfriend’s family wouldn’t even bat an eye. I mean, they were only staying over so they could break up their drive to the ski hill. But, it feels good to entertain people. It’s nice to see their surprise when you have cinnamon buns waiting when they wake up. It’s nice to feel like a good host. And it’s especially nice when you can go back to bed after they’ve left!

A story in three parts, in which the three parts have absolutely nothing to do with each other

Part I-The part in which I buzz

This week has been crazy busy at work. We’re a little short staffed at the moment and there have been lots of projects either at the precious ‘beginning’ stage or at the equally important ‘finishing’ stage. It’s the type of busy that makes you crazy but not in a ‘I hate this’ way, more in a ‘OMG this is so busy but it’s all so awesome and look how much we’re kicking ass’ sort of way.

Today, was especially busy. Today, I was so busy that I felt as though all of my internal organs were buzzing, as if they were busy right along with me. It’s that hum that happens when you’re just on the brink of panic but you have too much of an optimistic outlook to fall into the abyss of crazy meltdowns. It’s what drinking 8 cups of coffee feels like, but without the coffee.

Part II-The part in which I get frustrated

My resentment towards not having a blog name is growing at an alarming rate. I feel like a poseur in the blogging world; like I’m faking it.

But I’m still not ready to pick a name. It’s a big decision. I want to pick something that will stick, something that is clever and witty but without looking like I tried too hard. I want a name that will grow with me but isn’t too broad and open. I want a name that people remember but not in a way that’s overly stand-out-ish.

I am open to suggestions, however I am not open to suggestions that include the words ‘Claire-ity’ or ‘Claire-ification’.

Part III-The part in which I give up on domestic perfection

The Boyfriend’s ENTIRE family is coming the weekend. We’re talking his ENTIRE EXTENDED family. They are using our apartment as a jumping off point on their way to a place that has hills reasonably sized enough for skiing.

They will only be here on Friday night and will be leaving early Saturday morning. I’m actually sort of excited for them to see our place and we’re going out for dinner and I’m always up for eating out. However, I have decided not to stress about this. I will not go into a cleaning, cooking, decorating, oh-my-god-I-might-not-have-enough-towels-for-everyone-to-have-one-for-their-body-and-one-for-their-hair-in-coordinating-colours frenzy a la my mother.

What I will do is make cinnamon buns Saturday morning (hi Pilsbury!) and go back to bed once they’ve left.

Appendix to Part III

In other news, I lied when I said The Boyfriend’s entire extended family is coming. It’s just his father, uncle and cousins. But he has a small family so this is a fair sized portion of them.

Hi There!

I'm Claire. I like to write about ridiculous things.

I love chocolate but don't think cheese and cake belong together.

I often wish it was socially acceptable to wear glitter before 10pm.

If you want to chat, email me at clairesuzanne1 at gmail dot com.


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