Friday, July 31, 2009


I have to represent a case in court next week and although I have been nervous, it has been more centered on how I will appear in court and whether I will be taken seriously. Essentially, I’m not sure if my outfit is good enough for the first day of school. Well, today we just received our settlement conference brief and now I realize that before I wasn’t nervous. That was butterflies. Now, I am nervous. They’ve got a lot of documentation and I have to appear before court officials and express myself in a clear, intelligent and thoughtful manner. I am not the Girl Friday for this job.

Glam Rock

This weekend is Pride and although I don’t normally go out much during the event, this year I saw an opportunity I could not pass up. I found myself with a twenty dollar credit at London Drugs and as I was muttering to myself because I do not often shop there I saw a sign, “Glitter Me Up Makeover”. I found out that the cosmetics counter was doing makeup from party-lite to go-go dancer for Pride. For the same amount as my store credit. Done and done. With all that glittery goodness I am going out dancing at Hershe Bar!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bar raised to the clouds

The problem with putting thoughts into words is that then I feel the urge to follow up on them. I’ve been wanting to run a half marathon to put fact to the feeling that I could run a 2:15 pace. I have to run a little more than that this weekend for training, so I’ve decided to make this Sunday my own personal best run. Speaking with amazing!S always makes me feel a little less insane. Especially when she says the words, sub 2:10 – which have been lurking in my mind anyway. Sneaky little whispers, I wanna hear you shout!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Sometimes kitschy platitudes are correct, who knew. I’ve found the universe unfolding in such a way that the people I need are here this summer. The cast is comprised of all three of the categories above and I think that gives this season a sort of balance that might otherwise be lacking.

When I was younger, I met someone through a mutual friend. We began to hang out and our mutual friend took me aside one day and warned me that while she was nice, she could be fickle. They used to hang out all the time and then all of a sudden, they stopped and they hardly spoke. My friend was confused because she had no idea what she had done to the other girl to upset her.

I still hung out with the other girl and we had fun and I went off to university. We met up once when I came home for the summer months but I haven’t spoken with her since nor do I know where she is. Our mutual friend is living in the mid-West and is now married; we maintained a sporadic communication throughout university.

I know that I can be much the same as the girl my friend warned me about – I can be close friends with someone and then for no good reason, I’ll lose touch. I’ll screw-up and double book myself or flake out so much that the person doesn’t even want to talk to me any longer. It makes me wonder if I set myself up to be a seasonal friend – if I’m not giving enough into the friendship and taking too much. I can be manipulative and through not wanting to pick a side I can be a bit two-faced. I love and respect my friends that no matter what, you know where you stand with them.

I would like to be more assertive in that fashion. Owning my weaknesses but also my strengths – my loyalty to my friends, my drive to make their lives have some silliness and laughter. I was born in the year of the Dog and I yearn to please; this is my strength and my weakness. But I would hope that I am a good friend to those who would honor me with that title.

Progress Chart

In order to run a two hour half marathon, I would have to shave another twenty seconds off of my fastest recorded pace and maintain it for 21.1 kilometers. Please note that although I have yet to break under a 2:20 half marathon I have decided to by-pass the 2:15 pace and shoot for the moon. The fact is that I am fairly confident that if I keep with the full marathon training, then I could run a 2:15 half marathon now. I made the above table to remind myself that I am getting faster. That I can be fast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A long ramble

This weekend, because my internet was disinclined to function, I could not figure out a bus timetable so I ran to the beach to meet some friends. (When planning the morning, awesome!L commented that the only people she knew that considered running as a form of transportation were people who had been running a long time. In my books, three years does not equal a long time running.) Then I ran from the beach to where I was meeting other people to play soccer. Afterwards I got a ride halfway home and ran/walked the rest of the way. My thought process? “Do I really want to wait for bus to get across the bridge when I could get there just as fast by foot?” And then as my bus came up at my transfer point, “Do I really want to waste a bus ticket on seven blocks?”

All told I ran and walked about 9km, in addition to playing soccer for about an hour and a half. It was a smoking hot morning and I’d completed pretty well a full circle across two bridges and parts of Kitsilano and the West End. It really just boggles the mind how much a person’s attitude can change in such a relatively short period of time. After I had some lunch, I went down to English Bay where people were already flocking in preparation for the second night of “Celebration of Lights” firework festival. I settled myself down, slathered on a ton of sunblock and slept for two hours.

I really do love Vancouver and the fact that there is so much to do here. It doesn’t hurt that it is easy on the eyes as well. It has its problems, a city of this size and surrounding environs will have problems because last I’d checked we haven’t perfected societal responsibility or solved the great injustices of the world. But for all that, I can’t imagine myself living in California or in Nevada. I can’t see myself achieving the sort of personal goals that I have here in either of those places.

A lot of that has to do with the wonderful people that I am lucky enough to have in my life. It has taken a lot of poking and prodding and dares to get me to the point where I am today. A lot of that is attributable to this fine lady here, and the story she relates here is hilarious because it’s the god’s honest truth. Amazing!S is one of those people who inspires others not just with her encouragement and belief in them, but also because she goes out and puts her money where her mouth is. She may push and challenge others to be better than they think they can be – but it’s a drop in the pan compared to what she expects of herself. I think you’d have to be dead to not respond to that kind of energy. Actually, that might account for the recent zombie problem Burnaby has been having….

There are also just the wonderful people that I met and enjoy being around – enjoy so much that I will train for a marathon just to eat breakfast with them. Yesterday I went out into ridiculous heat and humidity to run around the forest for an additional hour and a half, sweating straight through every article of clothing, just to meetup with these people. That doesn’t make sense!! I could just get up and come meet them at the restaurant! But it just wouldn’t be the same as comparing runs and shooting the shit as my legs stick to the vinyl of the booth seat from sweat. I wouldn’t have earned my eggs and ham.

By some sweet serendipity, my soccer team is also full of interesting, vivacious and keen women. Last year, at the end of a twelve hour session of drinking as we were moving into the tequila shots the topic of a team for the beach soccer tournament came up. Most of the ladies present at the session had participated the previous year but I had not as playing soccer on sand is exceedingly difficult. No, really. It’s exhausting. However, given a few rounds of tequila, I cried, “How bad could it be?! Sign me up – I’ll play this year!” It was hard and we did lose but it was also a riot and this year’s team was born – Team Awesome! So yesterday, after cleaning my apartment, I went out again into the sun to practice our beach soccer technique. Which for me consisted of a lot of flailing about and falling in the sand. Pretty much my same level of ability as last year. The good spirits of everyone involved and the plans to get to the beach early to stake out a tent area and setup our BBQ make all the effort worthwhile. It’s going to be two days of a bunch of people getting sweaty, sandy, drinking beers and eating grilled food. I don’t know any better way to sum up my summer.

My life isn’t perfect; I still don’t know what I want to do with my career and I’m sometimes overwhelmed at the financial prospects of a future in a world with an economy that’s chasing my bank account down the drain. I at least have the good fortune to have wonderful companions with me on this journey and truly, that is the wealth that is priceless.

Weighing In

I weighed myself the last two times I was at the gym and I was at 179.8 and 180.5 – the variation which I expect can be attributed by sweat loss. Especially given how hot it has been and how much I sweat when I workout in any event. I’m happy though because I really want to leave the 18X mark behind me. I’ve spent a lot of years in that zone and I know that I can fight my way into the 17X territory. My eating has been fairly healthy, I let myself have treats and alcohol – everything in moderation.

Fitness World

My attempt last Thursday to go to the gym resulted in a long nap on the couch followed by some pizza since what I had pulled out from the freezer hadn’t defrosted yet. Consequently, I felt I had better make an effort on Friday to do my workout. Of course, I got out of the office late and I had to be at a friend’s later that evening. Beyond all that was the fact that I couldn’t remember some of the exercises – my greatest failings with gyms. I always forget the exercises or the positions and I just feel overwhelmed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

She's Baked

Although I love to bake, there is one recipe that eludes me with coy surety – chocolate chip cookies. I can make flans, cheesecakes, you name it – but to make a chocolate chip cookie that rises and is chewy? That I cannot do. I recently made a batch of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies which had some elements that I look for in a cookie. And yet, it was not the classic cookie that is so well known throughout North America. Around 1998 I had one batch turn out perfectly; if only I had saved that recipe and noted the planetary alignments!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bright and shiny

I have always adored fireworks and I remember the first year I attended Vancouver’s “Celebration of Lights” I went alone amidst the masses and loved it. I have never heard of fireworks being coordinated with music and although the barges are coordinated with machines, someone designed the chemical perfection to make the sky sparkle and shine. The thing I like most about fireworks is the fact that they take explosives, mostly used to the detriment of other people, and they are made beautiful. It’s frivolous and silly but it transforms a force for destruction into art. What a stunning metamorphosis.

Hair of the dog

Summertime is not a good time for my skin; I regularly shave three quarters of my body. If I had my druthers, and the cash, it’d be more than that including waxing and shaving. I think it was eighth grade when I fully realized my dislike of body hair. I remember being in class and another student pointing out that I had long hairs coming out of a mole on my arm and laughing. I think I shaved that patch the next day. Possibly that night. (Nota bene: this applies to just my body hair, I don’t really care about the state anyone else’s.) I didn’t actually start shaving my arms entirely until university but prior to that I would do some arm grooming.

The problem is that my skin really dislikes shaving or any process of hair removal. Painfully dislikes. Makes my life a living hell and my appearance a white palette and red polka-dotted caricature.

My solution was to not shave often during the fall and winter seasons and clear cut for special occasions. I subscribed to American, I mean here US American, society’s normative that women should be smooth, slim and otherwise primped and plucked. Combined with my own dislike of body hair, I often felt very sensitive about how hairy I perceived myself to be and the moreso when out in public.

Three and a half years ago, I decided to change my life. I decided to get fit and break out of the inward tendencies that had me eating a great deal and sitting in front of a computer for most hours of the day and night. Initially this meant going down to the Kits outdoor pool a few blocks away and chock full of beautiful people. Shaving and then going swimming was a guaranteed disaster for my skin. So I would go down to the pool and swim in my board shorts and one piece, conscious of my hairy legs the whole time. A few months after starting swimming, I started to run. This too was hard for me because when I exercise I sweat, a lot. In both of these attempts to master my body again I was forced to accept the fact that I was not going to look graceful or attractive. And it began to irritate me that anyone would expect a person to look perfectly coiffed while exercising. It just isn’t realistic.

So I went out running in shorts when I hadn’t shaved my legs. I wore headbands that made my hair stick up in odd ways to keep the sweat out of my eyes.

I put on spandex.

Because the fact of the matter is that anyone who is serious about exercising isn’t out to look at the other people that are exercising or worry about how they look while they’re doing their thing. If you’re out for your run, your bike ride, rollerblading or swim – all you’re focusing on is your workout. Who cares if someone out on their run, bike ride, blading or swimming is a hairy, sweaty mess? Good on them, at least they’re out and about doing something.

I started exercising to become more fit but it also allowed me to become more comfortable with my body as it was, and is and will be. I still have a lot of hangups, nineteen years of thinking about your weight will do that (When I was eight, I lay in bed one night utterly convinced that my stomach was “stuck” in and I couldn’t get it to relax. I lay there trying to stick my belly back out but couldn’t get beyond the fact that it wouldn’t budge because I had been holding it in all day long.), but at least I’m able to remind myself of my achievements.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Not to split hairs...

I’ve reached the stage in growing out my hair where I just want to chop it all off. It has been over four months since my last haircut and once again I am at the unmanageable stage during the heat of summer. I always forget to grow my hair in winter and cut it in summer; you know, in a sensible relation to the weather. At this point, I think that I should enter as a Xena lookalike rather than Gabrielle and that would necessitate a wig in any event. All well and good, but what about a new hairstyle?

Haste makes for awkward table conversation...

Recently at soccer practice one of the girls got a concussion from blocking a ball. The girl who kicked the ball drover her to the hospital to get examined for the ringing in her ears and her boyfriend picked her up. This meant that her car would be stuck at our practice field which, while not in the worst part of town, is still not the most ideal place to leave a car overnight. As I know how to drive standard I offered to drive the car back to her apartment for her that evening. I got a ride to meet my friend and her boyfriend because, as I said, I have a history of getting into the wrong car and she drives a popular model. While there is practically no chance of her alarm keys working on another vehicle I’d hate to press my odds. She came with me in her car and her boyfriend shadowed us in his car.

The next day, I was meeting soccer!S to attend bootcamp at Kitsilano Beach. Soccer!S had arranged for a co-op car for the evening and we agreed to meet at the parking location where we often met when she arranged for a co-op car. I was running fairly close to on time, or so I thought until I saw two people sitting in the co-op car with the engine idling. I broke into a jog for the last block to the vehicle considering the filled passenger seat and assuming that soccer!S’ husband would be joining us that night unexpectedly. I ran up to the back passenger door and, with my hand lifting the door handle, realized that the man sitting in the front seat had no hair. Soccer!S’ husband has thick, shoulder length curly hair. Less than twenty-four hours after referencing my troubles with cars, I had bewildered and no doubt scared another innocent driver.

I scurried to the far corner of the parking lot and called awesome!S to let her know that my carjacking instinct had struck again before calling soccer!S to make sure I was in the right place. She laughed and reminded me that there were TWO co-op vehicles in that parking lot. With chagrin, I went to await soccer!S next to the other vehicle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

vieux et jeune

Similarly, I have an issue with age – in the sense that being the youngest in my group of friends I want to act in a mature fashion. I want to bypass the foolish tendencies of youth, the awkwardness of learning and be granted some measure of wisdom without the pain of experience. This can’t be so I spend a lot of time decrying my youth, which only makes me appear younger. I desire the respect of the people I call my friends and worry that at times my nature will cause me to do foolish things and lose that respect.


In high school, bisexuality was the cool thing to be – when girls would get drunk, make out with other girls and then disclaim it all the morning after. I don’t want to be associated with that image and what I feel to be the implicit question of whether as a bisexual woman I will be taken seriously in my interest for other women. Yet when I am drunk, I will dance in a very explicit way with friends and otherwise act like the stereotype I so dislike. I’m the girl that I don’t approve of. My insecurities tear at me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Touched by words

I love Ani Difranco; she is a wordsmith and her lyrics never fail to captivate me. I particularly love this line however, “I roll over and taste the pillow with my grin”.

I love it because I can envision it – I can see me, I can see the whole chain of events that culminated in that action. I can feel the giddiness bubbling in my chest and the breathy laughter that would escape past my teeth. I can feel the intoxication of being with someone and the sensation of their touch on me still trembling down my nerves. Such feelings.

Running amok

I bought a new pair of runners at the Denman Running Room after I ruined my last pair dancing in the ocean while drunk.

I chose the store closest to my office which also happened to be closest to Stanley Park. From Learn to Run, to the 5km to the Half Marathon, I found myself spending more and more time at the DRR and with these crazy runners. These crazy runners who are kind, fun and driven to challenge themselves further. These crazy runners who have become my dearest friends and compatriots on adventures I never envisioned. I am blessed.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


shy - ani difranco - not a pretty girl

the heat is so great
it plays tricks with the eye
turns the road into water
then from water to sky
there's a crack in the concrete floor
that starts at the sink
there's a bathroom in a gas station
and i've locked myself in it to think

back in the city
the sun bakes the trash on the curb
the men are pissing in doorways
and the rats are running in herds
i got a dream with your face in it
that scares me awake
i put too much on the table
now i got too much at stake

i might let you off easy
i might lead you on
i might wait for you to look for me
and then i might be gone
there's where i come from and
where i'm going
and i am lost in between
i might go out to that phone booth
and leave a veiled invitation
on your machine

you'll stop me won't you
if you've heard this one before
the one where i surprise you
by showing up at your front door
saying let's not ask what next
or how or why
i am leaving in the morning
so let's not be shy

the door opens
the room winces
the housekeeper comes in
without a warning
i squint at the muscular motel light
and say, hey, good morning
as she jumps her keys jingle
and she leaves as quickly
as she came in
i roll over and taste the pillow with my grin

the sheets are twisted and damp
the heat is so great
and i swear i can feel the mattress
sinking underneath your weight
sleep is like a fever
and i'm glad when it ends
the road flows like a river
it pulls me around every bend

stop me won't you
if you've heard this one before
the one where i surprise you
by showing up at your front door
saying let's not ask what's next
or how or why
i'm leaving in the morning
let's not be shy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


worthy - ani difranco - not a pretty girl

you think you're not worthy
i'd have to say i agree
i'm not worthy of you
you're not worthy of me
which of us is deserving
i mean, look at the human race
the whole planet at arm's length
and we don't deserve this place

what good is a poker face
when you've got an open hand
i was supposed to be cool about this
i remember cool was the plan
tried to keep it all under wraps
but the wraps kept going slack
i keep turning around

i keep coming back

give me your vertical
your horizontal lines
i want to take each of them
bend them to fit mine
the world is too good for me
i am such a naughty girl
but when we're together
we're too good for this world

you think you're not worthy
i'd have to say i agree
i'm not worthy of you
you're not worthy of me


I was guilted into running and joining the Running Room. One summer, three years ago, I would walk home from work via English Bay, cross Burrard Street bridge and walk past Kits beach to my apartment. All along the seawall there were hordes of people running as I walked. It seemed to me an epidemic. I was surrounded by people being fit. I started to feel that my walks were not enough – I decided to join a soccer team. For that I needed to run and so I found myself at the Running Room; a choice that changed my life.

Soccer girls

Sunday morning came very quickly when I went to bed at 3:30am and woke up at 8am to join my friends for a run. I cut the distance short at 10km so that I would be able to meet my ride to go to my soccer team’s season end game and BBQ. One of the best things I have done in my time in Vancouver was to join my soccer team. It is made up of some of the most wonderful, beautiful and caring women that I have the pleasure of calling my friends. Every day I’m thankful for them.

Weekend report

This summer is being extraordinarily kind to me with fabulous weather, lots of gatherings and plenty of visits with friends. I am very busy as a result but I have been having so much fun. I played soccer on Saturday morning in the scorching heat with some girls from my team – punctuated by breaks when we discussed what to wear to that evening’s party. Afterwards I went out for sushi for lunch, chatted with my mom and then I got a pedicure. All gussied up, I went to my friend’s party where I danced my feet off all night long.

Back in the saddle

I finally made it back to the gym last night after a couple of week’s hiatus. This time I was still running and participating in a bootcamp so I wasn’t in as much pain as has happened before. My home scale had reported that I weighed around 180 last week and the epic scale at the gym roughly agreed: 182.9 lbs. I’m now back at the same point as I was at the end of May but I had to lose seven pounds to get here. It’s a constant juggling act but I think that my eating is getting better.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Who Dunnit

I could prevent the stars from going out tonight but it would not bring back the light in your eyes. I could encompass the spirit of the sun and still you would not burn for me. I could repair time and space but lose you on a sandy shoal.

Fair of face
And full of grace
I must profess.

In this state of undress,
Lithe and lean,
Recumbent pose for this scene
I bow my head, could do no less.

Arched shoulder lifts a wing --
Trailing touches like feathers --
Bound as though tethered
Sweet words that make my ears ring.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

When the sun shines, we'll shine together

When I was little, my uncle C would always sing "You are my sunshine” to me. He’d say that I was his sunshine and in the way of an obstinate child I would say, no, no I’m not. You said I’m a p.i.t.a.! (Pain in the ass.) Uncle C would always spoil my brother and me with toys and junk food gift bags whenever we saw him. My aunt K and uncle B would spoil us as well, but with trips on sailboats, bike rides on Angel Island and hikes through the Marin foothills. I was so lucky growing up.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Third time is the charm

Three is a very powerful number. Good and bad things happen in three, if there are more three items on my shopping list I have to write them down or else I’ll forget something, Lloyd Alexander wrote “The Book of Three”. More tangentially, I can forget that I have to pee three times. Fortunately for me, my bladder is already warping space and time in its capacity so the ability to “forget” a few times means that on long runs or in suspect places, I am safe. After the third time though, I’ll be making a bee-line for the bathroom!


I’m not going to lie, my theme music for this summer seems to be Lady GaGa. (I’ve had a little bit too much…just dance.) It’s fun, bouncy and trashy – which seems to work well for me. Most of the time I focus on not acting my age; I am determined to represent myself as mature and responsible. I’m 26. (Get your ass in my bed.) This need to act properly is counter-balanced with my drive to be a smartass and entertain people, with the by-product that people pay attention to me. It’s summertime, I might as well have some fun.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I will write out my name over and over until the word and the letters lose meaning and become merely an assortment of symbols. Writing is a convention that has attributed meaning to symbols as they represent spoken communication. Considering my studies and my love of the written word, it is an interesting act to strip away the overtones that “Kirsten” possesses for me. There are of course other women that define “Kirsten” but in the purely egotistical sense, I strip away the sense that the curve of my script and the linked letters form my identity. I strip myself.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Working in an office building and drinking as much water as I try to do during the day, I wear two treads in the carpet – one to the water cooler and one to the bathroom.

There are three stalls in the ladies bathroom on my floor; the separators are marble (or the very finest faux-marble) and when I’m wearing heels and standing up I can see over the top of the dividers. Personal preferences aside, the most popular stall is the far right, adjacent to the mirrors, and though the far left will make-do – the center stall is always empty.

Red car, blue car

The second instance of my fascination with strangers’ cars occurred a few short months after the first. The joke of it still ruminated amongst my friends and I did not expect to live the story down any time soon. My second year participating in the Haney to Harrison relay with the same crew of people, I suppose with the antics of the weekend I could take the fifth, were we in the United States, for the way events unfolded. H2H is a 100 kilometer relay that begins at 6 AM which means that you are awake before 5 AM and running until the late afternoon. The race is split into two segments with a team car for each segment. Following the completion of the race, everyone goes to the hotel to shower, have a few snorts and then go to dinner…and keep drinking there. So you have a town full of sleep deprived and dehydrated runners that are now all rehydrating with alcohol.

And then those runners get driven to a town hall in the middle of nowhere where a beer garden takes place. The evening unfolds in a predictable manner from that point onward. Last year, as people were slowly dragging themselves out of bed to check out and get some breakfast, I had packed up my things and decided to take them out to amazing!T’s car for the ride home. Just to make life easier you understand. I went out to the parking lot which is full of little sport utility type cars and approach where I thought we had parked the night before. Amazing!S and amazing!T are at the window of one of the hotel rooms and pointing to the car as I had wandered a little aimlessly to begin with. (Their conversation at the time: “Should we tell her she’s going to the wrong car?” “Nah, she’ll figure it out – it won’t open.” “Oh wait, no, she’s going to put her stuff in.” “Should we tell her to stop?”)

I opened the trunk of the car and threw a bag in. I reached for my other bag and as I turned, my mind dully registered that the items in the trunk did not look familiar to me as those from the previous day. Looking at the car again, I saw that it was not amazing!T’s car at all. Feeling the blush rising on my cheeks, I grab my bag and shut the car again. Amazing!T and amazing!S are now in the doorway laughing their asses off and pointing to where the car actually is.

The real problem? I still don’t remember exactly what amazing!T’s car looks like….

Such Great Heights

I’ve found myself of late swept up in a wave (sensations lapping over tingling skin), caught up in a crescendo (reverberations of the toms-toms and the thrum of the vibes) and though this would suggest that I am cast along all unwilling – I confess that I threw myself into the surf; I raised the conductor’s wand.

Some friends cross a bridge and wonder what would happen if they jumped – I have always been surprised by this as it’s obvious: you’ll fall. I’ve jumped off the bridge this summer; the passing wind roared over me and the waters beneath enveloped me.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Oh. Bloody. Hell.


Incoherent mumbling.


Obfuscation my dear, to the enlightenment of no one.

Well, this is awkward

There are times when you just can’t avoid feeling awkward. There are also times when you need to set aside the insecurity that is making you feel awkward, move on and just have fun. I have a harder time with the latter. In my head I can be suave, eloquent and attentive; in reality, I blush and apologize a great deal. More so than self-awareness I think it is about self-possession – accepting and embracing the different facets that make up the person you are. Yes, there will be awkward parts but there will also be sweet moments and passionate times.