Me, unknown grade/age because my mother didn’t write anything on the back of the photo, probably because she had 6 kids and was trying to stop #4 from strangling #3 (We were allowed to choose our own names when we turned 10- until then we went by numbers. Don’t judge, it was just easier that way. )


I’m back, exhausted and cloaked in sweat!

First of all, you guys are AWESOME.

Thank you for all the supportive  emails and suggestions and ideas. Also, it’s pretty clear that my suspicions were correct, all of you WERE our exercising while I sat on my couch devouring books and processed cheese products.

As for the many suggestions flung my way: I do run with music, but it MUST BE exclusively angry-man rap – like Eminem or yes, even Biggie. This is the stuff I usually can’t stand listening to because it’s so heavily laden with blatantly violent and misogynistic overtones, but when I run I am hating life and I need to listen to something with a strong beat and someone crazy yelling about how they’re angrier than I am. I don’t carry water because holding it drives me crazy, and I have thought about joining a running group but again, the group/team factor totally turns me off.

I don’t want to talk to people while I run, I talk to people all day, both my jobs involve talking to people, engaging them in conversation, hearing their problems, finding solutions. I have no patience for that in my downtime.

Please keep the suggestions coming, I appreciate them and would like to learn some awesome jedi-mind tricks to convince my brain to either a) like running or b) not realize that I AM, in fact running. Does such a thing exist?

Also: I downloaded some sort of running app and LO, I ran 3.5 kilometres! That doesn’t seem too shabby. That’s 1.5 kilometres away from running a 5k and getting a snazzy tee-shirt and maybe some juice! (I promise this will not become a running blog. I promise)

(p.s. my hands smell like my husband’s hockey equipment. Why?)

Run For Your Life

Yesterday after I finished writing I went for a run.


Yeah, I RAN. It was pathetically small in the scope of all the runs that have ever been run by anyone in the history of ever, (I think it was a total of 15 minutes actual running time), but it’s a start.

Here’s the deal: I hate running. I’ll never pretend otherwise. Every second of every moment that my feet are hitting that pavement in my trademark awkward, unnatural rythym I despise myself for not being at home reading a book.  I curse the gods above and my body and each and every other runner that I pass with their stupid little running outfits and matching reflective jackets and idiotic water belts.

I don’t buy into the fancy gear. I don’t expect that this phase will last long enough, so I run in leggings and my “I heart BJ” shirt. (BEIJING! You’re disgusting)

Despite the constant seething hatred I feel while engaging in this particular activity, I’ve run off and on since I was in High School (where the crowning glory of my running achievement was coming second in a 1500 metre run, where I used the “slow and steady” method to such great effect that my mum said she wasn’t sure I was even in the same race at some points. But it paid off, MOM!) and the reason I’ve  usually chosen running because as much as I loathe it, I loathe team sports even more.

I have many good qualities, but athleticism, hand-eye coordination and a competitive nature are not among them. In any team sport it’s a given that I will be the slowest, least coordinated, and overall worst player. I hate that feeling, the half-hearted encouragements from teammates while they internally curse your ineptitude, the sinking feeling as you miss a goal or flub a pass- NO THANK YOU. I’m getting itchy just thinking about it.

When I graduated High School I vowed I would never play a team sport again so help me god and since then I have honoured this solemn vow by gravitating towards yoga, then kickboxing, then running, then yoga, then nothing, then walking.

And here we are. At this point I feel like everyone in the world is probably in better shape than I am, and the problem is that I can not find ANY motivation to exercise.

I’m skinny, I’ve always been skinny and I will probably always be skinny, so I don’t need to exercise to lose weight (before you start hating me, please note that I’m also, as my Nephrologist describes me, “skinny-girl fat”, which is where my BMI declares me underweight but my muscle-to-fat ratio declares me overweight, because my entire body mass is comprised of two things: fat and bone. No muscle. But, I mean, who needs muscle tone, AMIRITE? Hahahaha oh god help me please)

Despite being skinny-girl fat, I still look just plain ole skinny to the untrained eye, so I can’t use vanity as a motivator. I genuinely hate all forms of physical activity, so I can’t hide exercise within a fun game.

My kidney disorders depletes so much of my energy that at times, daily activities like ooohh, showering, and doing laundry are exhausting enough as it is,  the idea of trying to muster up some extra energy to go run around the block seems ridiculous. And because of  my magnesium deficiency, it’s pretty normal for every muscle in my body to constantly ache, so times when I actually use my muscles (like yesterday and that puny little 15 minutes) they feel even worse than usual afterwards (I am told that there’s a new trend called “stretching”… has anyone heard about this?)

So basically what I am saying is that I have a whole buttload of reasons/excuses why I don’t exercise, but lately I’ve been thinking, this can’t be healthy right? I mean I go for long dog walks every day but at some point shouldn’t I be sweating? Shouldn’t I be “feeling the burn” or getting out of breath or some shit, whatever you crazy exercise people talk about all the time?

Guys, I can’t remember the last time I sweat.I’m not even sure I’m capable of sweating. I try to avoid it at all costs. It’s gross.

BUT despite this, the hatred and the motivation and the energy and, yes, the SWEAT, I am going to try to run. URHGHGHGHGfdghcbmnb.

We look quite the sight, Gus and I, both hauling ass down that long gravel road, tongues lolling out of our mouths, wide-eyed with exhaustion, counting down the songs, minutes, seconds until we can head home and sleep. 

If you are a runner, or an exerciser, or one of my fellow skinny-girl fat people, SPEAK UP. HELP ME. What can I do to make this easier? What can I do to make me hate it less? Is there anything I can do to bribe myself or trick myself into liking it, or at least hating it less?



“…So the stickers tend to reproduce the normalness of (1) being paired up with (2) someone of the other sex, (3) having children, (4) a gender hierarchy, and (5) the imperative that men be taller than women.”

                                                        -Sociological Images

This is why I love Sociologists. We can write an entire thesis paper about decals that idiots stick to their back windshields. And the funny part?


(Related, this from Kelly Oxford.


“Daddy’s gone baby….Daddy’s gone.”

Loose Ends

Trolling through the archives yesterday, I realized I’ve left a few things unfinished. So today, behold, I will share with you the dramatic conclusions to the following epic sagas:

  1.  Urban Outfitters. GAH.
  2.  Visiting my Grandma
  3.  Waking up early/Ayurveda (bumped to tomorrow as these two ran long)

Let’s begin.

Urban Outfitters. When we left off, I had a FedEx bill for $48.56, no shower curtain, no duvet cover and a Visa bill for things I hadn’t even seen in person ever.

That FedEx bill sat on my fridge for a good three weeks before finally, I decided it was time to deal with it. In the intervening three weeks I had also emailed UO to see when they were going to issue a refund, and they informed me that they hadn’t received the package.

SO. I was out on all fronts. I steeled myself for a few rounds of going toe to toe with nameless, faceless FedEx drones and picked up the phone.

TWO MINUTES guys, this was resolved in two minutes! I called, explained the situation and then finished by saying “…and so I have this bill for $48.56 and I’m just not sure if it’s a mistake? or…?” and the darling woman I was speaking to tappity tap tapped away on her magic keyboard and then chirped, “Oh yes Miss Madeleine, that bill should have never been issued. It is indeed a mistake and I have reconciled it for you.”

What the what? Seriously? I was in shock. Employee of the year folks.

So, this being resolved (I was so happy, it was like someone had just given me $48.56!) I decided to push my luck and ask about the package itself. I explained that UO hadn’t received it and they needed to receive it to issue me a refund. A little more tappity tap tap and the lovely voice informed me that several calls had been placed to UO to confirm return of the parcel, and they hadn’t returned the calls, so the parcel had most likely been destroyed in their central processing facility.


Destroyed? DESTROYED? Guys, I was already feeling guilty enough for the huge waste of resources (packaging, shipping, delivering, staff to answer my 47 emails back and forth) that had occurred because I was too stupid to read the fine print, and now the stuff had been destroyed? UGH.

What a waste. Environmentalist of the year.

I thanked the helpful woman and hung up. What a rollercoaster of emotion! Ups and downs, high and lows, the full gamut of ecstasy and agony all within mere seconds.

I was sure that now the parcel had been destroyed, I would never get my refund, and that $100 some-odd dollars would mean the difference between financial security and abject poverty. Adam and I would end up sitting on a street corner with Gus – ribs showing through his mangy coat, and Adam would angrily shove his finger in my face and scream hoarsely, “You just HAD to have a new shower curtain, hey Maddie? We just NEEDED that flowery duvet cover hmm?!”

We were going to become homeless because I can’t even shop online properly.

So, I decided to just avoid the whole situation some more. Obviously. 

AND IT WORKED OUT! The other day out of the blue I got an email from UO that said my visa had been credited. Everything was done! It was all done! Complete!


Visiting my Grandma. This visit was full of anxiety. I had to take the subway all by myself and spent the whole morning before I left Kris’s condo memorizing subway lines and directions. And in one of my more intelligent moments, I chose this occasion (riding the Big City subway and vising my grandparents) to wear a see through lace shirt. Because, yes. Of course, right?

The subway was fine though, and it was only when I emerged from the subway and started towards my grandparents place that I realized I was still tense. My heart was still thumping its way out of my chest.

I don’t think it was getting there that was making me nervous.

I stalled by nipping into a nearby grocery store and wandering aimlessly through the aisles, wishing my mom was there. She would know what was appropriate to bring, flowers? Food? Both? 

I finally picked up a bouquet in fall colours, a mix of deep ochres and orange, a small bag of cheese curds and fresh croissants. When I got to my grandparents, my grandma was in bed. She recognized me, “Oh! Maddie!”, and I gave her as much of a hug as I could. She felt strange, a soft little chenille person with hard undertones, bones riding just beneath the surface.

I immediately felt like crying, so I started talking a blue streak instead and offered the flowers to my grandaddy who flitted around trying to find a vase.

The visit went too quickly. My grandma was better than I expected. We spoke. She was with it until she wasn’t, she seemed to drift in and out of consciousness. She fell asleep several times during the conversation and my Grandaddy met my eyes and whispered, “She’s like this a lot lately.”

At one point a home care worked named Charity stopped by to bathe her. She needed my granddaddy’s help and I could hear my Grandma squawking in protest and my Grandaddy issuing instructions and Charity’s broken english trying to direct them both. It was too much. It was far too much. I stepped out onto the balcony like a coward and pretended to take pictures of the view.


When it came time to leave I couldn’t stem the flow of tears. I hugged her again and told her I loved her and as I walked out of the front door I kept thinking “I am never going to see you again.”

My Grandaddy walked me back to the subway, sweater knotted around his shoulders, walking jauntily with his cane, greeting everyone he saw by name, from construction workers to mail carriers. He’s 91. Jesus.

He tried to press a crumpled bill into my hand as we hugged, mumbling “Just something to get a little nibble on the plane, I heard they don’t feed you anymore.” I laughed and then I watched him walk away.

It was hard, but I’m glad I went. She’s going to a nursing home and because I don’t know how much she’s aware of,  I worry for him. How do you get used to the silence of an empty house after 60 years? Is that even possible? I’m worried. I miss them. My heart hurts.