Is Everyone Finished Grunting In Public and Picking Chia Seeds Out Of Their Teeth?

You are? Excellent, then let’s talk. I’m a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions, January first is a great time to try and improve one’s self and become a better person. Normally I have about three or four personal goals to start the year, this year is a bit different though, there are twelve. Based on the sheer number of them, we can conclude that I was a pitiful human being last year.

None of my resolutions have to do with dropping pounds or fitness. Losing weight has only ever made me chronically hungry, so I walk around all day feeling like Oprah only with less money. Also chia seeds result in an excessive amount of flossing- there’s no need to make my dentist that happy. As for fitness, if spending an hour or more a day sweating next to people throwing heavy objects about and giving sideways glances to the woman who spends her entire life on the same elliptical is your happiness, more power to you. My personal take on all that is- it’s what hell looks like, only with air conditioning. The music is probably the same though.

I tend to make resolutions for my own happiness, or so that my life aligns better with my personal beliefs. For example my first and biggest resolution was about my phone.

  1. 40 Screen Unlocks a Day And Less Than 90 Minutes Of Usage Including Phonecalls

Ostensibly I was given a smartphone to take photos and videos of my son. While I have filled my phone with videos of Mini-Tex whacking every item in our house with his xylophone mallet, the majority of the time, I use my phone to check what these girls are up to

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Hey ladies, lookin’ good! (Photo Credit : pintrest.com)

and whether this man has died.

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This man is getting on in years, I have little time left to meet him ( Photo Credit: kokosoup.com)

Which is concerning, a little macabre and worst of all takes attention away from the little boy creating a symphony using the kitchen table legs. Initially I downloaded the “Break Free” app, but that only tracks a person’s data usage. Now I’m using the “Quality” app which locks smartphones for agreed upon periods of time. Before anyone gets upset, unless something in on fire, people can wait to talk to me. In addition, I should not be the first point of contact, my firefighting training is limited to the time I ran past the crazy guy in the park making a bonfire.

 

  1. Pinch Tex’s Butt More Often

I spend a chunk of the day carrying, holding, hugging, snuggling and touching my son. This has coincided with a steep drop off in the number of times I hug my husband. So I vowed to hug/grab/pinch and just basically show Tex that I love him more often each day. I aim for about five hugs. I’m managing four on average.

 

  1. Abusing Canada Post’s Good Natured Attitude And Mailing Bizarre Items

Sending cards to everyone and their distant second cousin who I met once at an opening for a hair salon is my hobby. Recently, with my new lack of free time due to raising a child, I’ve become complacent in my environmentalism. To combat this laziness, I’ve decided to reuse all paper, envelopes and wood pulp products that come my way. My personal goal is to reuse and repurpose items to the point that Sula would be mortified by my sending them to the government. She once saw the package I was sending my tax return in and remarked that the Canadian Revenue Agency would take it for a joke. Come to think of it, this may be why I was audited twice in the past year. Moving on.

 

  1. Hug a Homeless Person

Then give him five bucks. I’m on extended mat leave, in other words, I’m raising my son while making bupkis, but the thing is, I have everything; a loving husband, an adorable little baby, a roof over my head and a metric tonne of farm squash grown by my mother-in-law  (Would anyone like a butternut the size of a smart car?). I’d be hard pressed to find a luckier person. Consequently, no matter my means, it’s my job to give back. So sometimes I find a homeless person and hand them whatever is in my pocket, other times I choose an artist to support on Patreon. Whatever the act is, sharing my good fortune makes my life better.

 

So those are my resolutions that are bringing me joy this year, for all of you still sweating it out at the gym, eating kale and chia seed salad like it’s going out of style, good-o on you, someone needs to able to strut the runways and beaches, and it certainly won’t be me. Mostly because I’m a vampire, the beach is an exquisitely painful place for me.

What are your resolutions for this year my Unwashed public? Share them in the comments below!

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Science What? The Secret to Riding on Coattails By Befriending Pageant Moms

Once upon a time, when I thought that a king size KitKat bar constituted a balanced breakfast, I studied science. I wasn’t a very good scientist mind you. But a university decided that I could stuff enough facts in my head to justify admitting me to a science program.

And somehow I stayed in that program. This is mostly due to my close friend Charity* who regularly won sizeable government grants for her contributions to science. She taught me that libraries aren’t just a quiet space to take a nap.

Charity is also the sole reason that I ended up on the Dean’s list all four years running. Sometimes it was her help with specific assignments; she edited more poorly written papers than I think either of us cares to remember. Other times Charity gave me advice, like the time I rehearsed a presentation for her that was worth half my grade or some other such nonsense and she said it was terrible. Only in different words, and much nicer and more subtly, so I spent a harried evening revising it. Charity then Pagaent-Mommed her way through that presentation of mine, sitting directly behind the professor, gesticulating to speed up and smiling broadly as a reminder of what my face should look like. She also took away my cue cards before I presented because Charity’s a hardcore academic like that.

Then there was the time that Charity used her connections to get me better marks; I once handed in a lab with the pages stapled out of order, I was justifiably docked ten percent for my error. I complained to Charity, who had a look at the mediocre assignment in question and then chided the lab tech that had marked my work, who (fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view) worked in the same lab that Charity did and was a friend of hers. My lab marks improved considerably after that interaction, and not due to my own abilities.

After all of that, I graduated university with the identical degree my mother was given twenty years before me- a Bachelor’s of Science with an Honors Specialization in Genetics. Although I clung to the idea that I was science minded for a time, after spending six months working as a performer in the arts and then starting up this blog four years ago, I’ve since given up the ghost. Here are a couple of excerpts about my brief stint in science.

The first one is from Charity herself, who now works a science writer for a premier hospital.

“What [Unwashed] lacked in report writing and technical expertise, [she] made up for with oodles and oodles of unbridled curiosity and enthusiasm.”

So in essence I was a cheerleader being all “GOOOOOOOOOOOO SCIENCE! Microarrays! Whoo! Whoo!” And the shortness of my skirts and pom poms distracted from my complete inability to do lab work.

My personal favourite quote is from another friend who had the misfortune of being my first year physics lab partner. Despite being two years younger than me, he seemed far more mature. There’s something about having freshly ironed pants which will give a knowing air to any undergrad. He is now the brains behind a scientific research team in California. Sometime after we had graduated, I approached my friend and apologized profusely for never being prepared for our physics labs or doing anything in said labs while he worked frantically. To which he chortled good-naturedly and replied

“Oh Unwashed, you brought the entertainment.”

Well, I can lay claim to something. And at the very least I’m not this woman. I may not practice science but I don’t go around touting bad science that hospitalizes babies and children.

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Her lack of clothing and uniform lends her a certain credibility no? (Photo Credit : Pintrest.com)

Thus, when I met Tex two and a half years ago, I introduced myself as an artist. Along with describing the activities I enjoy most in my life, this title has the added benefit of excusing much bizarre behaviour. Understandably, a passionate lover of engineering, my husband on occasion forgets that I have a working knowledge of science and will explain basic concepts to me such as osmosis. Given how I act and what I create in our life together, I try to take this in stride. However the other week, my Mom, who has the same degree as me, whose thesis supervisor was one of my lecturers, a fact that we would discuss on occasion, explained basic cell biology to me.

You know you’re truly a failed scientist when your own mother forgets that you understand more than chi, modern art and interpretative dance.

*Names have been changed to protect those who are the reason for me to succeeding in higher education.