When all through the house
Not a creature was stirring
Oh, fuck, don't get me started on mice.
Tomorrow I turn into a deliciously sexy 37 year old, and I'd like to think I've matured somewhat like the fine wine I like to drink but I'm more likely to be compared to that cheap second bottle I dip into on the nights when one just won't do.
I like to look at each birthday as a gift; the mere fact that I get to SEE 37 years on this earth means that I haven't somehow fucked up my life enough for it to end in some horrific and somewhat embarrassing headline in the Edmonton Journal.
Not that I haven't tempted fate enough, mind you.
I've made stupid choices, drank more wine than most would admit to without checking into rehab, and have the battle scars to prove I've been through more depression, anger, loss, and self-hate to know that being on THIS side of that shit is a much happier place.
When my mom was 36, we celebrated my 18th birthday at the Cromdale (which just got the nod for demolition *happy birthday to ME*), and now that I am a year older than she was when I was 18, it makes me see how truly blessed I am to be turning 37 and have the life that I have.
My life, however, is not without it's faults but I will tell you 37 things I am grateful for now that I am on the verge of turning 37.
37) My life. All of it. The hurt, the abuse, the sadness, the anger, the joy, the tears, the laughter, the loves, the losses, the friends, the enemies, the jobs, the travels, the successes, the failures, the memories. All of it made me who I am at this very moment and I like who I am.
36) My grandparents. They were such an integral part of my life and an integral part of who I am. I lived with them in Kuwait the year I turned 9 and I believe it changed the direction of my life. That year I learned to speak Arabic, studied Islam, was exposed to other cultures and experienced life outside of the inner city in Edmonton. It was a defining moment in my life, one I will always be grateful for.
35) The day I got hired at the Kelowna Daily Courier. I will never forget it. The year before my boyfriend, who lived in Toronto, died and I was unable to attend the funeral. For the entire year I was in a funk. I had no one to talk to, no one who understood what it was like to lose someone like that. Close to the one year anniversary of his death, which was days after my 21st birthday, I started thinking about things I wanted to do with my life so I researched newspapers I wanted to work at. The Okanagan Sun looked like a cool paper so I called them up and asked for a job. They flew me down for an interview and said they would contact me in a couple of weeks so I returned home but my thoughts went to my boyfriend's mom. I called her up and asked if I could come and see her (I never made it to the funeral because it was held Grey Cup weekend in Toronto and the Edmonton Eskimos were playing the Argos. Talk about the Universe keeping me from going, there were no flights available at all). Long story short, I went to Toronto and met his mom. It was one of the most spiritual experiences I ever had. Upon returning home I had a friend pick me up at the airport. I begged him to let me stop at his apartment and call my messages (pre-cellphone days). We did and that was the moment I got the message that I got the job as a sports scribe at the daily paper in Kelowna. It was one chapter of my life closing while the next one began.
34) Tara. She's my girlfriend that I knew in Grade 5. We were best friends back then. I used to write stories about us in the form of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, myself, of course being Sherlock Holmes. We lost touch after I moved back to the innercity but she kept popping up at random times throughout my life. Our friendship was meant to be. We have since rekindled that kindred spirit and are still best friends who get each other in a way no one else does.
33) Teresa. She's the girl who's boyfriend I dated in High School (after they broke up of course). We became best friends after High School, terrorizing the Edmonton bar scene with our skanky outfits and slutty ways that only two soul mates can understand. We were young, independent, sassy and not so classy but she understood me more than anyone else in the world did. She was there for me when my Granma passed away and probably saved my life more times than even she knows. Our "thing" was The Outsiders and to this day she still calls me "Dally" because I used to tell her, "You get tough and you don't get hurt." I still love her more than she knows.
32) Karissa. This bitch is smug, arrogant, highly intelligent, and the kindest soul you will ever meet. I met Karissa when I published our first issue of MOM Magazine and we developed a friendship that has withstood more than I thought I deserved in any friendship over the past 5 years. She's the girl who has your back. She is the first one to stand up and offer help when I need it and she's the first one to call me on my bullshit (and live to tell the tale). Her compassion and tolerance for people is beyond what I can put up with but she is truly one of my best friends. And I know she LOVES it when I pinch her nipples in public. Aw yeh, yeh she does! Ask her. She's on Twitter.
31) Wendy. There are some people who come into your life when you least expect them but need them the most. Wendy is that girl for me. Weird connection but she's the wife of the (hot) guy who used to be my print rep before I went on "hiatus" with MOM. We met once at MOM's First-Ever Foresome and didn't reconnect for about two years. But when we did it was like seeing an old friend I hadn't seen in forever. Wendy and I are connected by the Red String of Fate, I truly believe that. I believe that of Tara, Teresa and Karissa too but Wendy came into my life when I was at my darkest and has never left my side. As a true Scorpio, I'm loyal to a fault and poor Wendy is stuck with me forever.
30) When I turned 30, I threw myself a little soiree at our place and my granpa came over to help me celebrate. He brought me some crazy little Beanie Baby and wrote "To Stinker love Granpa." I still have that Beanie baby and smile at the memory of him being here with me to celebrate 7 years ago.
29) Karen. I remember meeting Karen the year after I launched MOM. She is an Edmonton Morning Radio personality/celebrity (even though she is quite shy and reserved in real life and backs away from the spotlight) and I was awe-struck by the fact that she was JAMIE HENDRIX! If you know Edmonton radio at all, you will remember the morning show on 100.3 The Bear when it was AWESOME and had Cubb Carson, Sled Dog and Jamie Hendrix. She was SO freakin' cool then so meeting her was like meeting a local celeb. We bonded over our mutual lust for hockey hottie Sheldon Souray and have maintained a supportive friendship that will last a lifetime.
28) SherryLynn. Before I launched MOM, I had decided to do something fun so I became a Passion Parties consultant. SherryLynn was a consultant too and I honestly didn't think she liked me much. Fast-forward six years and we met again but this time we became fast friends. AND we share a birthday (Happy Birthday SherryLynn!) She's the most mature, down-to-earth, kickass chick I know and her signature "Sparkle" makes me smile every time I think of her!
27) My first boyfriend. He was Teresa's boyfriend (see #33) and we dated after high school. His mom hated me (I'm now seeing a pattern with guys and their moms, FML) and told me that I was ruining her son's life. Huh. I actually think I've heard THAT before too. At any rate, he's still working at the same gas station he was when he dumped me for some other
26) The diary I just found from when I was 19 years old. Yeh. THAT was a trip back in time
25) Oscar. I was 27 when I had my little ginger firecracker. The great and powerful Oz was so meant to be. I remember leaving Big Daddy's parent's place one day in May 2001 and telling him, "We need to have a baby." He looked at me confused and said, "Well... OK." Bada bing bada boom, kid was born 10 months later. It's like I FELT his soul enter mine. Another Red String connection. Oz came to my life to teach me compassion, patience, calm and gentleness, and he's the most kindest soul you will ever meet. He is nothing like me or Big Daddy yet everything about him IS like us except better.
24) Marrying Big Daddy. *sigh* I always said it would be a cold day in hell if I ever got married but BOO to the hell YAH I got married anyway. Granted, it was -26C and literally 3 weeks after we found out we were the winners of the A-Channel's Big Breakfast (now CityTV's Breakfast Television) wedding extravaganza! It included EVERYTHING: Decor, wedding dress, rings, event planner, location, reception, honey moon to the Dominican and SO much more). I remember Teresa (see #33) telling me she overheard an A-Channel employee saying they gave our marriage 6 months before it ended, and thinking, "Imma show that biatch"... well. It will be 12 years in January, together for 13 on Dec. 29. How's that for "Suck my dick, I'm still married!"
24) I was 24 when I met Big Daddy and the short version of this story goes...I was working in Kelowna (see #35) when I decided to come back to Edmonton and hang with my cousin and his wife for New Years. In walks Big Daddy wearing a PINK (to this day he swears it's red & white) shirt; I was forever smitten. OK, well...honestly, he was suppose to be a one-night stand (see #27). But I looked passed all the cuddly crap and haven't looked back since. Except when I'm looking at my Mancandy boyfriends on TV like Jensen Ackles or LL Cool J.
22) The press box at the Oilers games. See, once upon a time I was a sports writer, determined to be the best damned sports scribe in the business. NHL Hockey Hall of Fame sportswriter Jim Matheson once told me that I was a better writer at 20 than he was at that age. Oh hell yeh, I was so going places! But I gave it up and don't regret it although I can't watch hockey anymore with out feeling some remorse and sadness knowing that I could have been superbad awesome! Oh well, at least I know I was good and those times in the press box are memories I will always cherish.
20) Wow, I've kind of given y'all TMI about me. The Top 20 things won't be nearly as heavy! My Scorpion tat. So to mark my 21st birthday I tore a page out of the Cosmopolitan's Bedside Astrology Guide and had the image tattooed on my back. The next year I got my initials TLC tattooed underneath that Scorpion. I am a true Scorpion: feisty, hot headed, impatient, loyal, passionate, and not one to fuck with.
19) Coffee. If you know me at ALL you know I love my coffee.
18) Wine. Yup. Tis my thing. Love to swallow, I never spit.
17) Jersey Shore. My Guilty little pleasure! Makes me feel better about my own misspent 20s. And thankful as FUCK that reality TV or Youtube wasn't around back then!
16) Tony Soprano and Dexter. For some reason I relate to them. Yup. Guess I'm a sociopath on some level LOL
Deb Morgan (Jennifer Carpenter) from Dexter. We are SO much alike, I mean, look at her body, doode! It's like looking in a mirror. HA!
14) Anjulie. Cuz I'm like a Brand New Bitch!
13) Eminem. Because I can totally relate to him. And he's my boyfriend. (back off Karissa, I will smack you DOWN!)
12) Michael Buble. He personally wished me a happy birthday! With a kiss and EVERYTHING! And he offered me wine! See...
10) West Edmonton Mall. Seriously, when they took the title sponsorship for the FIERCE Awards, I almost DIED! But instead, I did a vlog :D omg I look AWFUL in this. Whatevs.