The Rundown - July & August 2017
I can't even sugarcoat it: July was a messy, emotional shit show of a month and I am glad it's over. That said, there were still some pretty fun things happening and I am more grateful than ever for the solid female friendships in my life <3 After July I attempted to salvage what was left of summer and spent all of August mostly gallivanting and traipsing about, so at the point where writing a July rundown became a joke and I whined about it to a friend, she suggested I combine the two for one big summer post.
And that is this post. Thanks Galen! You're a life saver.
See what I said about my female friends? BEST.
Also, I am fully aware that it's now mid September and I am getting more and more ridiculous with how far out these posts are getting. I will try to do better! To really give you an indication of what's been going on, I'm going to start with the worst news of the summer, head into the lowlights, then I'll get to the highlights when all that is said and done. Buckle in, friends.
the bad news
Just as I was writing my July post I found out we had lost a family friend who I had adopted as a sort-of Grandpa over 11 years ago. He was older, but it was sudden, and I am so heartbroken that I hadn't been able to visit him in BC since I got back to Canada.
I'll always remember him for teasing me about "only eating celery" and how he ate, spoke, laughed, and did pretty much everything with gusto and gumph. I'll also remember how much he loved his wife, my adopted Grandma Pat, and how they way he looked at her well into their older age made me hopeful for someone still finding you sparkling and beautiful as you get older. I'll miss you, Bob. I love the way you loved life and I'll cherish that always. RIP.
I know I never start off with the lowlights, choosing to sandwich them between other, better things. But in part because of how some of them may affect this blog post, I'm starting with them this time. Change is what keeps it all interesting anyways, right? About two weeks into August my phone suddenly up and died and, given all that had been going on, I hadn't backed up in a long time. Or, much more importantly, taken the photos off my phone in a long time. Which really made me sad and, yes, I am not ashamed to admit that I let myself have one little cry over it. You guys know what photos mean to me.
It also means that some of the awesome stuff I want to highlight from my summer cannot be shared with you in photos. I'm going to write them down anyways, so you'll have to bear with me on a text-heavier post than normal - or at least, slightly less coordinated photos. Because a lack of photos is no reason not to celebrate the good stuff. But from me to you, back your shit up on the reg, people!
Also, huge props to my friends who went back through their photos and dug up what they could find to send me. Love you!
Additionally, the solar eclipse and Mercury retrograde wreaked havoc on my emotions in early August - and I'm saying that as someone who isB pretty sure the stars and planets don't actually affect my emotions but alsoB obviously not totally convinced I believe it. You know? Man, shit was weird with everyone. I cried more in three weeks over weird things and non things and everything than I normally cry in a year. Did you feel it? Am I nuts? Ok so that was the bad stuff, the weird stuff, and the frustrating stuff. Let's move on to all the awesome stuff, shall we!?
Every July brings the Calgary Stampede and though I tend to stay away, except for the occasional time to hit up the midway, this year I actually went twice! The first time it was just eating and drinking because that's how we do...
The second time my nephew and I did some rides and he won me my amazing unicorn stuffy! I started taking bachata lessons again! I learned bachata in Bolivia and have missed it ever since so it's making me very happy to get back to it once a week. Plus, sometimes the class is so empty that I get private lessons for the same cheap group rate. Score!
I had one of the best, most relaxed days in the mountains with my friend and our dogs. We walked, we lounged, we floated on the lake and drank and ate and played...it was sheer perfection and came just at a time when I so needed it. I also got into the mountains with another friend for a great hike! 14km and 500m elevation (not breaking any records, maybe, except personal ones!). It felt amazing to push my body a bit more and hang with a friend who always makes me smile. River walks, so very many soul-cleansing river walks.
I opted for a slight change because I wanted my outside to match the work that was going on in the inside. New do, new me. SawShakespeare by the Bow's performance of As You Like It and loved it. Didn't love the date I went with but hey, you win some, you lose some ;-)
After a weird July I kicked the month of August off in high gear - with a weekend camping road trip to Montana's Glacier Park and the To-the-Sun Road! My friend Gwen and I equally love an adventure so, with minimal planning really, we threw the dogs in her truck and headed off.
Barring that minor inconvenience where we lost service and hadn't downloaded any maps or really even checked where we were going (...), things went pretty swell!
I also went to my first CFL game! And betrayed my own city to cheer for the green guys from whence came my friend (who generously gave me the ticket ;-) ) I saw the Decemberists live for the second time, but the first time in many years. It may have been a date. Jury's still out ;-)
I live in the coolest community, and the community association put on free movies in the parking lot every Saturday over the month. Sadly, I only made it to one. Not so sadly, the one I made it to was the original Ghostbusters! It was obviously fantastic, uncomfortable lawn chairs not withstanding. I just love chilling with other chill people who are equally pleased with a simple activity that brings people together. Community. Love. I am here for it. I went to the Observatory and saw the Milky Way! Granted, it was a bit less exciting than I had anticipated - in part because we ended up waiting in line for about an hour outside on a chilly night and then none of the colours were really visible except white so it ended up looking a lot like...well...stars. Still great!
More river fun with people I love!
I took to Tinder for dating - not for the first time, but for the first time in which I was actually thinking about dating versus bored and swiping - and it was a weird world, you guys. I mean you have so little to go off, conversations are based on maybe the sentence you each wrote about yourself? And a photo? And that's IT. It feels as unnatural as it seems, to those of you who have never done it (here's looking at you, married friends).
And I'm not throwing shade. I mean, it's how people date now so it is what it is. I just don't like it very much. Whatever happened to seeing someone cute out in public and striking up a convo!? No one does that anymore! Is it cuz we're all bitter and jaded? Or because our noses are in our phones? Or because we're terrified of what people think? Or because I'm old and everyone is married with kids so there isn't even anyone to flirt with!?
I don't know man. But I don't like it. I do not like it.
around the interwebs
Agree, disagree, I'm finding I care less as long as you're in the conversation - like really in. Beware of Feminism Lite
Why Not Me?by Mindy Kaling - My bestie bought me this book at Christmas and I saved it for summer because light, comedic books always seem more fulfilling in the summer sunshine, don't they? Well in the end I am glad I saved it because, as mentioned, July was a weird month and at one point I just really wanted a little breather, mentally.
And while parts of the book did offer that (Mindy is always funny and offbeat and I love her), it's actually a bit of a sad book in some ways. She talks a lot about how much she's always wanted or assumed she'd find someone to love, someone to settle down and have babies with, some balance in terms of work and life. She talks a lot about B.J. Novak and basically reveres him and also seems sort of hopelessly in love with him, which is depressing in general, because unrequited love just is; but it's also depressing in the larger sense that someone as cool and successful as Mindy is wasting her 30s pining for a man who doesn't dig her awesomeness, ya feel?
Guys, the book is great and worth a read, but it didn't quite lift my spirits the way I might have hoped. It did make it all seem a little more normal though, and that's not for nothing. Right?
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As much as I bemoan the loss of summer, I am looking forward to digging back into a routine and setting aside some money for Christmas. Also I may have found someone cute to snuggle with so that makes winter a little more enticing ;-) See you next month!