Why reading is magical

The one thing that I could not live without in this world is reading. I love reading so much its pathetic. Sometimes my husband will walk into the living room with me engrossed in a book and it takes THREE times saying my name to garner my attention.

It’s because books are magical. That is a fact. Sometimes when I see someone starting a book I’ve read already, I get this feeling like, “wow I wish I was reading these all for the first time.” It started when I was very young. My dad would leave picture books for me to find as I sat like a lazy lump because I refused to crawl. I loved them.

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I remember bringing out the giant antique dictionaries we had and telling my babysitter that I could read them super fast in my head. She didn’t believe me and insisted I read it out loud which I did –a little slow. Whatever- victory!

The only time that I recall reading ever getting me in trouble was when my cool older cousin *Mary (*names changed to protect the innocent) came to stay with us for the summer. I think I was nine or ten and she was entering 20’s. Needless to say, I obviously thought she was the coolest person EVER. I wanted her to hang out with me CONSTANTLY.

Surprisingly, a hip 20-year-old and a tomboyish 8-year-old have little in common. I remember begging her to take me with her and her cool friends to see “Village of the Damned” the one about those evil kids that control thoughts? Yeah, she said no. Shocking. I saw her leave, her long hair flowing behind her and remembered thinking, “Man, I wonder what it’s like being her.”

So one day with Mary in the shower, I figured I had my chance to see what she was all about. Years of learning about mysteries from my dad had taught me tricks about being sleuth-like. Unfortunately staying at the scene of the crime we apparently hadn’t been gone over yet.

Yep, I found her diary. And I was enthralled.

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So enthralled that I didn’t hear her return from her shower.

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I have never been so quick in my life, I threw the diary up in the air, muttered sorry as I streamed past an irate Mary and never looked back.

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Now, as you are probably aware finding a great book brings me a certain level of joy. Going into Powell’s Book store in Portland, OR changed my life for the better. I remember being so excited at this massive new and used book store that I threw up in my mouth a little. Every once in a while I have a series or a specific book I want and Powell’s usually has them or a good substitute. You guys, they have a Horror: Short Fiction SECTION. Like, a giant bookshelf. So great.

This year is the 80’s/90’s series “The Year’s Best Horror Stories” edited by Karl Wagner. EVERY time I go into a book store I look for them. Having a new one of those in my hands is something akin to pure anticipatory joy. The best thing about books is that I have been able to find new and exciting books that usually live up to my expectations.

So little in my real life lives up to its expectations that a good book really changes my worldview.

I remember the first time ordering a brand new book though- through the Scholastic book program. (I think it was Scholastic but it may have been something similar) They brought flyers to our classes with photos of the book titles and a short description beside it.

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I looked through them all a million times, but the one that I kept coming back to was “The Haunted Underwear” by Janet Bloss. And the summary was something like this:

When underwear start showing up all over the house in weird places, Kelly thinks it is the dumb tricks of her brother. But all she knows for sure it what she sees – is her brother to blame or is this a case of… Haunted Underwear?
You don’t need to be a genius to know I wanted this book.

You also have to know that money was not something we tossed around at my house. I didn’t have an allowance; I didn’t get money for good grades. I would ask my parents for something and was usually greeted with a, “Sorry, no.” and I would shrug my shoulders and have to be okay with it.

So when I brought home that Scholastic form home, I knew I needed to be aggressive.

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And my parents shocked me.

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It was happening. My parents said yes – My father was so big on my reading that he was willing to put out the cash to get me a brand new book. “You can never have enough good food or good books” he used to say. My belly and love for reading is a daily reminder that I live by this adage to this day.

My very own new book. And I knew exactly which book I wanted! The Haunted Underwear. My mom definitely tried to talk me out of it a few times and suggested books with fewer possessed undergarments but I could not be swayed. And so the order was placed and I waited until the blessed day it arrived, covered in clear wrap and waiting to be read.

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It was the best book my grade 2 self ever read. And it showed me the magic of reading, of having a plot twist, of a mystery needing to be solved. I was in the second grade, and I remembered everything about that book when I described it to my husband last night. That’s saying something.

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And books have the amazing ability to have a character that you connect with. For me it was Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye (a cliché I know) when I was 15 years old. But when I was twelve, I decided that I was tired of my humdrum life. I wanted adventure. This is partly to blame from books. I specifically wanted to sneak in and stay overnight in The Metropolitan Museum of Art like Claudia in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

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Also I was full of teen angst and thought my parents were lame. So I gathered my friends and hatched a plan.

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A little while later I was in my room, considering what I would pack for my long trip when my dad knocked on my door. He held out a small book.

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I remember thinking, “He knows.”

 

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And looking into my dad’s non-angry, non-judgmental face and broke down and told him everything. He said he knew and that books sometimes reach children in ways that parents sometimes couldn’t. And so we talked forever about what was bothering me and why I wanted to run away. He told me about all the runaways he came into contact with since he was a cop. We talked about safety and how he knew how I felt but that he wanted to keep me safe as long as he could.
I didn’t even have to read the book, the lesson had been learned. I would always have someone to talk to that wouldn’t judge me but would try to show me different points of view. He always did that.

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Reading is magical. Start early with your kids. If you like reading silly books – KEEP reading them! If you like YA fiction and you’re 50 – who CARES?! You’re reading! You are transporting yourself to another world and expanding your mind. There is nothing wrong with that.

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This blog entry is dedicated to my amazing Dad; Jim Szekeres.
The man who showed me the magic of reading.
Happy Early Father’s Day.
I miss you tons.
- PTL

Why you shouldn’t bury your change

I have always loved getting free stuff. I got a free slurpee cup from 7-11 once and could not stop talking about it for months afterwards. Free stuff is one of the best things in the world – it’s the universe smiling upon you.
But you know what’s even better when you’re a kid? Buying stuff yourself. The FREEDOM of saying, “I want that, here is some shiny crap in return.”
You get that money in your hot little hands and you can buy WHATEVER you want! Candy? Check! Toys? Check! When I found a five dollar bill on vacation once, I nearly lost it in excitement. I literally RAN over to the “Sugar Shack” as it was known and bought a boatload of candy (or what constituted a boatload when I was younger) to share with my brothers.
I was a HERO.
But, at the tender age of nine, I had decided that money was what made this world go around. Money was where it was at. And at nine, I had none. My family didn’t do allowance, you did what mom and dad asked you to and once in a while unrelated to what chores you did, sometimes they bought you stuff. It was a good deal and I never remember going without.
But one day, sitting by my doll house I distinctly remember wanting a candy and feeling powerless because, well, they cost money. I knew my Mom and Dad wouldn’t fund this sugar-laden treat more than once a month. But it would seem, fate intervened.
I came downstairs to grab a glass of water when I heard my Mom moving around in the kitchen and the unmistakable sound of coins. COINS = MONEY! I peered around the corner to see Mom tossing in her loose change into this small, black, cardboard tube we stuck on the lower shelf of our kitchen.

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I always just thought it was decoration. When she vacated the kitchen, I rushed over to said tube and saw to my surprise and delight that it was FILLED with change! Shiny quarters, dimes and nickels – delightfully copper colored pennies. All I could see when I looked into that thing was: CANDY.

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Specifically, the penny candy you got at “Macs” which if you spell it backwards is Scam. Is this a coincidence? I do not think so. Anyway, Macs = penny candy. Which in no world cost a penny, everything was at least a nickel. The really good stuff was a dime. And the rich stuff was a quarter each. When I looked into that tube, all I saw was all the penny candy I could eat and more!

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I want to tell you that I had a crisis of conscience. I want to tell you that an angel and a devil sat on each of my shoulders and I weighed the decision thoroughly before eventually deciding to do the right thing.
But if I had, let’s face it, this blog wouldn’t exist.
The moment I knew my Mom had gone into the backyard, I rushed over to the tube and stuck my greedy hand into it. Even as a child I knew that I couldn’t steal all this money at once. I had to be crafty. I had to bide my time. (This is how I know it was devious. The forethought).So over a course of a month, I took small handfuls of change from that tube, stole away to the front yard of my house and buried it in a hole beside my favorite tree. Seriously, I actually DID that.

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Then I would sit in my room, pretending to play Barbie’s with my giant dollhouse and secretly just scheme on the next time I would steal from the tube. Would it be Wednesday? No, I would wait until Mom went to mow the lawn. Dad would be at work. It was perfect. Then I would smile a Grinch-like smile and wait until my next covert operation.

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I remember the thrill of taking this money. I remember the thrum of my heart in my chest as I scrambled with those coins (always replacing the lid so it didn’t look suspicious) and running to the front yard to bury my treasure.

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Now, you’re thinking:
Hey Katelyn, wouldn’t your Mom find it suspicious when you came home with all this candy?”
I had that under control. You see, my brother Matt loved pirates. So much that my Dad made him a pirate ship in a tree. Yes, my parents rocked. And Matt was always going on about pirate treasure. BURIED pirate treasure. I had the scheme all hatched – I would innocently play in the front yard (with my Mom watching of course) and pretend to be playing pirates. I would then unearth this treasure and rush to Macs to buy candy. It was the perfect crime.

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Except, you know, it wasn’t…
I went to the tube one afternoon, one of my last planned heists. And just before I could stick a hand into the tube, my Mom and my littlest brother Jon rushed into the room holding a plastic bag full of change.

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Yep. My Mom knew all along. She’d watched me over the weeks rushing off, burying the treasure. She saw it all. And she made her move KNOWING that there was no way I could claim the money as my own. I’ll never forget that feeling of being super furious at the situation but feeling utterly powerless because I knew I was in the wrong.

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And so yes, I conceded defeat. Either I had to admit the money was STOLEN and get no treats PLUS get grounded and make my brother really sad. Or I could just pretend like my brother found buried treasure and let it go and accept my fate. My Mom was sure to dole out the appropriate punishment.

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My mom knew the devastation of the event had hit me at my core. She didn’t even have to move the black tube from its shelf. It sat there until the day we moved from that house and I never touched it again.
Moral of the story: Don’t steal, bury your treasure and think you can unearth it a while later pretending its buried treasure. Someone will always beat you to it.
Oh, and also, just don’t steal.

When sleep evades me.

First of all: I decided to finally get a twitter. Because I actually found myself one day having a very funny insight into humankind that was less than 140 characters and I had nowhere to put it because I didn’t have twitter. And also because I don’t think anyone really checks facebook anymore.

https://twitter.com/OddbutNice1

You’ll notice –hey. Your handle isn’t Oddbutnice? Nope. Apparently I either signed up for it years ago and forgot or Odd but nice is just becoming a popular phrase. I can dig it. Anyway, that’s that. So I have to be OddbutNice1.

ONTO THE COMIC!

So, if you know anything about my life right now, you’d know that I am having a heck of a time sleeping. It continually evades me. Which is weird, because usually my relationship with sleep is usually very copacetic.

 

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But I guess I get much like an overly attached girlfriend to my sleep and sleep decides it has to be a jerk.

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So my usual nightly routine involves me slowly growing sleepy, usually when watching previously recorded Jeopardy episodes. I feel my eyelids grow heavy and then I crawl in between the crisp sheets of my bed, welcoming the warm darkness.

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Except, it starts as a subtle restlessness. And then a hitting a brick wall and being even more awake than I was that entire day. Then the cycling thoughts that will NOT shut up.

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Then i try to calm myself by thinking nice thoughts, but they usually get away from me too.

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Until its 4 am and I have to get up to start a whole new day in two hours.

If this happened once in a blue moon, yes I would be pissed off. But I’d get over it. But unfortunately, these bouts of sleeplessness usually coming in a prolonged series.

The following always happens as the days go by.

 

#1. My face looks like it was walked on by an elephant carrying a dinosaur.

 

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I wake up, having no rest, with giant circles under my bloodshot eyes, my hair looking frazzled, my skin having had no time to rejuvenate over the course of a full sleep looks sallow and droopy.  Bottom line:  I look like garbage.

 

#2.  As the sleeplessness continues, I make increasingly poor decisions as the days roll by.

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I should note that at this point the days which now seem like one, endless, horrifying day.

 

#3.  Daily tasks like opening mail, typing on the computer and generally anything related to hand-eye coordination seem daunting and at times impossible. My self esteem takes a nose dive because combined with the melting face, poor clothing selections and inability to do anything correctly I assume that I should be locked up away somewhere lest small children  gaze upon me and scream.

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At this time I tend to cry over really stupid things. A lot.

 

#4.  My head feels like its floating and my eyes have trouble focusing. I get through my day by forcing a smile on my face and avoiding interaction with people at all costs- I try bargaining with sleep. I become desperate.

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#5. When my sleeplessness has reached an unhealthy level, I become afraid of everything. Like, I genuinely worry about people breaking into my house even though there has been no issues in the entire building since we moved here. Or I am convinced that if I don’t wipe up the water on the floor immediately following a shower,  I will trip in the hallway, bang my head and go into a coma.

It usually gets unbearably at night. My husband tries, but does not quite know how to wrangle crazy yet.  He attempts reason. Sleep has no reason.

 

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At this point, I usually have a full on melt down. I cry and whine and don’t understand that I’m not sleeping because I’ve now worked myself up into a frenzy every time the sky gets dark. Its at this dark time that sleep suddenly finds he has pity for me. This usually comes after finding me hunched on the floor crying and carrying on.

 

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Usually I cry myself into a sleeping coma where I sleep for up to 12 hours at a time.

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And then my friends, the beauteous joy of sleep.

 

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Goodbye, Dad.

When people you love pass away, life sucks. It’s the type of thing that makes the world ugly. It’s the type of thing where I hate everyone I see for being happy.
Recently, I had this exchange with Alex Trebeck on my television.

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I don’t even hate Alex Trebek. Jeopardy is one of my favorite – if not my ultimate favorite- TV show. But in that moment I wanted him to just rot somewhere. And it wasn’t his fault. All he was doing was wishing his mother a happy birthday. Even that wasn’t what made me mad. What made me mad was this:
How come he got to have his mom around until she was 93 and I had to say goodbye to my 56 year old father two weeks ago?
My father passed away on April 17, 2014 from cancer. It had spread to his liver, esophagus, and stomach. He hadn’t wanted us to know he was sick, and every time we spoke on the phone he would say, “Don’t worry about me, I’m alive and kicking!”
He phoned me a few weeks ago to say, “Hey I got an x-ray and they found some lumps.”
“Cancer lumps?” I asked shakily.
“Not sure,” he replied calmly. I know I cried then, horrified at this moment. I collected myself and continued the conversation. I could tell my dad was a little shaken up, but he sounded fine. Plus everyone I spoke to told me, likely just polyps! Likely it’s nothing! So I let myself believe that. I let myself believe, “Its probably nothing!”
My dad kept calling to say he was fine and I believed it. I wanted to believe it. I asked if he wanted us to come up and visit sooner than Easter. My dad made it seem like I was getting worked up over nothing. So again I shook my head internally for getting dramatic.
It wasn’t until a close friend of my father’s called me to tell me that my father was on end of life care that I knew it was too late. There was no hope for surgery or miracle cures. We walked in, and my dad sort of had a look of “Well, the jig is up” and told us what he wanted for when he passed away.
I cannot explain to you the depth of pain and despair that a person suffers when you know someone who has been your hero is going to leave. Watching someone you love pass away is one of life’s cruelest requests.
You would think that as a Christian, my father’s passing would be easier. That I would have someone to turn to in my time of strife. This is not the truth. If anything, I truly believe it makes things harder. It gives me someone to despise. It gives me someone to scream at when I don’t understand the injustice of the situation. But in the end, it doesn’t change anything. If I believed in nothing, it would be easier.
When I saw my dad in the hospital, I saw how close he was to the end. I kept it together and cried in private. I prayed to God. I got so many others to pray for him too. I sat by my dad and prayed. I sat in my bed and prayed. I sobbed openly, I knelt at the side of my bed and ardently prayed. That if I had the one wish God reserved for each person, I was cashing mine in now.
Please God, I prayed. Please let him live. I’ll make you a deal – you make him better, make him fine. Let him continue to walk on this earth and I will do anything. If you want me to never see him again, I will. Do any cruel thing to me just please let my dad live. You brought Lazarus back from the dead, surely you can save my dad from something as stupid as cancer! 

 

But he didn’t. My dad passed away with me and my brother at his side in an ambulance.

You can take that to mean whatever you like. I still don’t get it.

I was lucky to spend that last little remaining time with my dad. I will never regret that. I still try to make sense of what happened. It all happened so so quickly. We saw him on Saturday and he was gone on Thursday .My dad gave me a love and movies and he taught me about Patsy Cline and he showed me how cook awesome Hungarian food.  He loved it when I asked for his advice in this because he loved to cook. Where he worked, they are now naming the kitchen “Jim’s Kitchen.” What can I say, the man could cook!

Most importantly, my dad taught me to be a good person. He took me down to the less fortunate parts of Vancouver, to the homeless that he saw and worked with every day when he was a cop. He showed me that people are not as lucky as we are to have a house to cover us and food in our bellies. He showed me that every single person has worth no matter where they come from.  He left a legacy of helping others.

And now he’s gone.
I’m furious at everything and everyone. I hate everyone who passes me by looking happy and holding hands. I have to physically look away when I see a father with his children. I’ve always heard that saying of “having your heart broken.” I never believed it until now. A piece of my heart, of myself has been wrenched from me. I could physically feel it for almost two weeks. Two weeks of his horrible pressure, of feeling like someone was pinching my heart in their hands and taking a piece.
Talking with friends who have lost parents I have been continually told the same thing; it will always hurt. Time just makes the hurt happen less. I wish I could fast forward a year. I will never enjoy the month of April again. I just can’t. I’ve realized now that this entry is just a lot of me rambling and I apologize for that but I don’t really know what else to do.
I have been lucky to be given  the best husband a wife could ask for. I have also been enveloped by a loving team of friends and family that get when I need help, who have come to my aid to help make my life easier, and I also have a team of friends and family who know when I just need space.

 

Unfortunately I have also been surrounded by people that publicize things like this:

 

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I’m really glad you beat cancer. Genuinely. I’m glad you got to tell cancer to f*ck off. This is not me saying you suck or that I wish any ugly fate had befallen you. I’m glad you put a positive spin on a horrible, devastating time in your life. What I hate is that people make it seem like you have a choice in the matter. You don’t. Some people get dealt great cards, and they get to live on with their lives. My dad got dealt shitty cards. So do millions of people every year. My father and all the other people that pass from the disease didn’t fight any less passionately than you or your mom or your grandmother or any other cancer survivor you know.
The horribly ironic part of all of this is the main person I would talk to about horrible stuff like this – religious issues, death, the meaning of life – was my dad. He was my even keel best friend that gave great advice without getting preachy. And everyone says, “You’ll hear him forever – in every decision you make” but I haven’t yet. Maybe that comes with time, but I think I’m sick of hearing it. I feel bad for people trying to help because at this point, the only thing that will help is my dad coming back to give me a hug, tell me everything is okay and then flying up to the gates of pearly white.

I’m not dumb. I know that’s not going to happen… So why do I still want it so badly to happen?
I’m sure you’re wondering what the point of this blog entry was. And that’s a fair inquiry. Aren’t you supposed to come here to laugh? Well, I have three answers. You don’t have to like them.

1.) The main point of this entry was this; there is never enough time, so make the most of what you have.

This isn’t to scare you, but to motivate you to make the most of your life RIGHT NOW. My dad is in hundreds of tourist photos all over the world – he saw so much in his few years here. He never regretted anything. He lived his life how he wanted and never wanted for more. He volunteered every Saturday; he spent his life trying to make things better for those that society overlooked. He left behind a legacy of kindness, dignity and love.

I hope you spend the right kind of time on your relationships. You will argue with people, most likely your parents. I regret the times spent fuming at my dad when all I had to do was talk things out. I regret the moments that I didn’t listen to the things he was trying to say. I regret that every moment he was alive I wasn’t there to enjoy the moments with him. Some of these are unreasonable regrets and I know this. But the next time your dad (or someone else you love) gets on your nerves just remember how much love they give you. How much support. How much you value them. Hold them extra tight – there may be a time when they can no longer hug back.

At the end of the day, everyone wants more time. Even if I had spent 100 years with my father, soaking up every moment it wouldn’t change how I feel now. A piece of me, a piece that created me, a piece that held me and loved me and supported me is gone of this earthly realm. I understand that. I guess what I’m trying to say is – for a lot of you, you still have time. You still have the time to spend with your parents. Do not pass it up. Live your life with love and purpose trying to make this world a better place. I know many people that regret the fights they get into, but very few regret the love they freely gave to those who were worth it.

2.) My dad was a hilarious man. I can’t even come close to telling you all the amazingly funny stuff he got into, his sharp witticisms and more. What I will share with you is when I was 12 and my parents were splitting up and my dad worked nights, we would talk on the phone. A tradition was born where every time we spoke my dad would have a new joke for me. He told me many, but the only one I remember now, 16 years later is the following joke which I hope will bring a smile to your face. (Remember I was 12 and he only told me PG jokes at that time).

A string walks into a bar. He asks the bartender for a drink. The bartender says:

“Hey, we don’t serve strings in here. Get out!”
The string walks out into the alley behind the bar. He ties himself up and comes back to the bar and orders a drink again.

“Hey aren’t you the same string that was in here before?” The bartender says

“I guess knot!”

 

3.) I miss my dad and needed to say goodbye this way I guess. The reason I started this blog in the first place was because of my dad. He is the reason the title is “Odd but Nice”. He said that about my siblings and I, that we are all “Odd but Nice”. He is the reason I want to be a writer, he is the reason that I thought I could be one.
This blog entry is in memory of my father Jim Szekeres. One of my best friends, mentors and the most amazing dad a girl could ask for. I will leave you with the last text he ever sent me; advice that I think applies to everyone lucky enough to still be walking this earth.

“My beautiful baby,
Nothing good or bad lasts forever. Hope is the necessary weapon in the fight against despair. It’s tough to be patient but look around you. You possess all the pieces to make you happy, you just have to put them in the right order.
Your Proud Dad.”

 

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Actually, that’s too sad. Instead I’ll leave you with a video of my dad when he was in MacGyver. He’d probably prefer that.

Bye, Dad.

Why couch shopping was not as fun as I thought it would be

I don’t know why, but when I was younger and thought about getting married, I never really focused on the wedding day. I mean, it was there. But the part that always made me think: MARRIAGE was furniture shopping. Actually, specifically couch shopping. I was a weird kid.
So you can imagine my disappointment when I got married and my husband already had a couch because he already lived in his own basement suite. I wanted to buy a new one, but was greeted with this:

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My husband has owned his couch for over ten years. It lived with him through undergraduate school, graduate school, working life and into our married life. I figured “hey, its not pretty but it works.” But after ten years, it became apparent that we needed an upgrade. It came to my attention as we sat smooshed together, my legs all over my husbands lap and the two of us trying to find a comfortable position.

 

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It was also apparent when my Mom and stepfather came over to watch a movie with me and we awkwardly smooshed together.

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So finally, we agreed something needed to be done. And it needed to be done quickly. I alluded in my last entry about the experience – what I thought would maybe be an afternoon turned into a weekend long event with us sitting on every conceivable couch known to man; leather, pleather, corduroy fabric, weird furry, sectionals, separate pieces. Anything you can think of – we sat on.
During this event I also realized that salespeople like to approach me. You see, this is the expression of my husband and I when we enter a store to purchase something:

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And since I apparently look like the biggest mark on earth, this is what happens when a salesperson sees us.

 

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Well, luckily I may be nice but that doesn’t mean I’ll buy just anything. It was the end of day one and we had grudgingly agreed on this cheap piece from a warehouse. I went home that night, staying awake, thinking I was making a horrible mistake. What if it was uncomfortable? What if it looked ugly?

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So then the next morning I got a recommendation for a store that we’d never heard of. We entered and there, in all its huge grey glory was… dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun – my perfect sectional!

 

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Reversible for when we move to a bigger place, a durable fabric and it came with a chaise! A CHAISE! Surely a couch for royals! Best part was: it was almost 50% off of the original price!

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The only problem was… I was instantly in love and my husband… Well, he likes to be sure when spending larger sums of money. So after going back to see the other couch we’d been eying and deciding that it was now garbage because we’d found the holy grail of couches, we went back. I was ready to buy! My husband on the other hand, wanted to be positive.

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So, we bought it! Delightful! Then when we got home, I went straight for the computer to look up photos of it to show everyone because I was so darn stoked. I was in the middle of something when I heard a dark laugh from the other room. I walk out to see my husband holding a measuring tape in one hand and standing in front of our patio door.

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So yeah, after measuring it out we realized that the couch reaches to almost the patio door. Meaning to get outside, we would definitely have to climb over said couch to BBQ. Here is an ACCURATE diagram for reference.

This is what the layout was before.

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And this was after.

giantSo when the couch arrived, it fit pretty much exactly how it looks up above. Here is a before and after of the real couches, just to get an idea.

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But whatever, it’s the most comfortable couch ever. I love it and I can relax on it and if I ever have a sleep over like, 3 people can LAY DOWN and sleep comfortably on it! And it can probably sit around 8 people! IT’S THE BEST COUCH EVER. So basically, long story short, I’m in love.

There’s just one little thing…

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Why I didn’t write a proper blog post this week

So, I like to do my blogs in advance by about a week. That way when Wednesday crawls around I am not that worried about posting. But like anything I do in life, sometimes I leave things to the last minute. Like this blog. And no matter what I did or drew, my reaction was inevitably this

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So instead of trying to be funny, I will just tell you why I could not come up with a cohesive blog plot at this time in my life.
First, I have been in a horrible, grouchy mood for like, a week. I have no idea why but I am just soured on everything.

And because fate likes to sit, eat popcorn and laugh at my life, my husband has been in a RIDICULOUSLY great mood. And for some reason, the worst was when I was trying to take a photo of a meal I’d just plated and he INSISTED on sticking his head in the photo and pulling terrible faces. Instead of handling this like an adult, I stomped of saying “FINE, I WON’T TAKE A PHOTO!” with my husband confused and… no, that was about it. Just confused.

 

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Secondly, because of my horrible, sour mood, I’ve been eating way too many potato chips. And also, singing EVERY song on the “Frozen” soundtrack even though I am creeping up to the age of 30. I’ve also been doing these things while wearing a red bandana to keep the awful bangs I cut at home out of my face. I look pathetic. Oh, and I cannot hit ANY of the notes. Like, None.

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Thirdly, when cleaning my house I found a Dinosaur fossil kit. I mean, I feel like that speaks for itself but if its doesn’t, then…well I have nothing to say to you.

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Fourthly I have become obsessed with bunting. I blame my friend Rachel because she is RIDICULOUSLY talented in like, every artistic endeavor. (Seriously, check our her photography blog and prepare to cry at your own inadequacies – its okay, I do it too). And she always has this cute bunting everywhere in photos or her office and its so adorable I kind of want to barf at my own sad attempts at decorating. And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I was all “Yeah, bunting! I’m all over that!” Except, mine is kind of cheap and garbage-y. And I feel like it takes me way too long to make it. Seriously, its triangles on string why does it take SO LONG!?

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Fifthly: Then my husband and I decided we needed a new couch. And I will probably make a long blog out of that gong show. But for now, here is a clear preview for how it went down.

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Sixthly there is an old woman/man (I’m serious, I do not know which gender) across the street from me that intermittently decides to do WEIRD ASSED dancing at random times during the day. And I swear this person does it while looking into my window and smiling. And the dancing/exercising is so weird it makes me uncomfortable.

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And then to top off what can only be described as a crummy kind of seven days, I saw this. And it stressed me out on a level that a 28-year-old woman should NOT be stressed about. Like, was this clown wandering? Would he end up near my place? Why was this person doing this? Wow I need a grip.

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So then that was it. My reason for not blogging properly. I apologize, but really when a person has killer clowns wandering around their fair city – is it really fair to ask that person to write a humorous blog?

Forrest’s “good-bye”

So there’s a few things you need to know about my family. #1 – none of us can draw cats. #2- We have great hair #3- We have very good intentions. Take for example, when my brother Jon had to leave for on campus living. He had to leave behind his beloved (and morbidly obese) cat Forrest (named for the actor).
Now, it was no secret that I hated Forrest. She was a jerk that liked to drool on me and left a coiler in front of my door for NO reason. Literally, no reason.

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She loved Jon though. And when he left she was a little bit heartbroken.

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Friskies treats and my mom’s spoiling of her quickly filled the void and soon she and my Mom were the best of pals. It just so happened that Mom began to give Forrest certain liberties that were beyond her capabilities. Like, letting Forrest (a permanent indoor cat) onto the small patch of grass in their backyard.

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Sure, it was fenced. Sure, Forrest was a lazy sloth that could barely move a few feet without heavy breathing and trying to score more treats. But there had been sightings of an orange cat hanging around our neighborhood. This didn’t stop my brothers and I from trying to warn my mother against leaving Forrest unattended in the backyard with my mother responding in her typical way.

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You see, my Mom as much as I love her, believes that she is always right. It is a trait she has passed down to my brother’s and I. So I can only imagine her horror when one day she let Forrest out into the backyard to enjoy the sun a few moments and returned to find the yard empty.

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Now, you may be tearing up, blowing your nose on a hanky wailing, I know how this story ends.
But no. You really don’t.

Cut to a few weeks later. My Mom has finally admitted that Forrest is gone and my brother has begrudgingly accepted his cat’s fate. My Mother was out in the garden, planting some perennials when all of a sudden, a flash of shadows catch her eye. A familiar, chubby shadow in particular.

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My Mother followed the shadows out into the alleyway and to her surprise – it was Forrest and two other cats looking chill and unscathed. (Think: The Jets in West Side Story but a little more gangster). And with the way my Mom described i:

It looks like Forrest joined a gang! And it looks like she’s the leader!”

This is how I imagined it going down.

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So our indoor cat escaped to explore the world, one neighborhood at a time. Free from her captivity, I like to imagine Forrest is having new adventures all the time, fondly thinking back to us and living her life to the fullest.
So if you see a chubby black cat hanging around in British Columbia looking chill and like she doesn’t have a care in the world, offer her a Friskies treat- Chicken is her favorite.