life


On the bus this morning on my way to work a woman standing down the aisle from me caught my eye – tall, blond hair neatly pulled back in a pony, pencil skirt, good boots, funky swing jacket, fun scarf – she looked great, pulled together, good.  “love her style” I thought to myself  “would like to look like that”

and that’s when it hit me – I used to BE that girl – put together, chic, well-groomed, fashionable, confident

30 or so pounds and several life-crisis ago, that is

well crap, it’s time to go back to being THAT girl

I have a closet full of fantastic clothes – great jackets, funky skirts, chic pants, cute tops – but all 2 or 3 sizes too small – this must change

Lately I have taken to wearing my lulu pants or jeans to work with a sweater or hoodie and my Chucks.  On the one hand, SO LUCKY I can dress like that at the office.  On the other, it has allowed me to become lazy and complacent and not make any effort in getting dressed in the morning.  I have become LAZY.  And COMPLACENT.  My mother would most definitely not approve.

I mean who cares, right? No one is going to see me, what does it matter?

Oh, it matters.  Believe me, IT MATTERS! I need to make that effort again, care about what I put on before heading out the door.  Be the girl people look at and say “wow, she looks GREAT!  what style!” I was that girl and will be again. Soon. I figure by the end of April I can get my act together, drop 2 sizes and be right back in my kicky skirts and flirty tops, feeling good about being ME.

Show the world the best version of me and then the sky’s the limit – there will be no stopping what this girl can do!

will keep you posted . . .

*the fact that the episode of Beauty Call that I filmed a few months ago wherein they (and Whitney Port!) called me FAT (I am a size 12 to 14) in at least 18 different ways on national television has NOTHING to do with this!

perhaps because I am out here in Vancouver and the rest of my family is in Montreal I feel removed from them – so when I leave them I operate as though their lives will stay and be the same as when I go back – however, of course that is not reality and they continue to lead their lives, changing, progressing etc. – but leaving me behind in a sense – they have relationships separate from me that telephone calls and email just can’t convey

for example, it bothers me quite a bit that my father has a relationship with my sister’s friend Christy and her book club that enables her (Christy, not my sister) to know what one of my father’s favourite books is and I don’t

my father has found a woman with whom he has started a relationship – my mother having passed away only 5 months ago this is very hard for me to accept – I hung up on him Sunday night when he told me – I may understand it, I told him, but I don’t have to like it

maybe if I were there it would be easier for me to accept but because I am not I just want things to stay as they are

make any sense??

So am freshly back from taping the second half, the “reveal” portion of  my episode of Beauty Call – and FUN!  I was actually more nervous about this portion, oddly enough, than I was about the part where I had to be on camera in my underwear.  Because what if it doesn’t fit? Um, hi, BODY ISSUES!!!

At least I know naked fits …

Can you imagine if I got there and NOTHING they bought fit me?  And they were all like “She is so fat how can we be expected to dress THAT??!!”

Well that of course did not happen, though the first dress didn’t fit – same old story, didn’t zip up across the boobs.  Ladies, if you think you want big boobs?  Trust me, you do not.

And it fit, the second outfit did anyway which is kinda good because I really didn’t like the shoes that they got for the first outfit and the bag that came with this one?  TO. DIE.

Love the dress, the shoes are amazing, the bag is wonderful and a funky bangle just for fun. I am totally impressed that they were able to outfit me without even having met me and for it to have worked so well.  Really, really well.

I don’t know if I can say too much about it, though they didn’t tell me I had to keep it a secret or anything.  The same camera and production crew were there and the lovely make-up artiste as well, thank GOD.  really?  I want her to come home with me and “do” my face every day.  LOVE!

It was kind of an odd experience, though a positive one.  I will be very interested to see it all together when the episode airs.  I didn’t have a lot of interaction with the 2 hosts of the show, though I think when it airs it will look as though we did, I think.  Having all of those cameras on me was VERY unnerving and I hope it turns out ok, and that I smiled enough and kept my tummy tucked in enough and stood up straight enough and all that.

Definitively OUT of my comfort zone and that was a goal. Also?  the bag , the bag THE BAG!!!

I will let you all know when it airs (and maybe post a photo of the outfit)

Picture 001

The bag - wish you could feel it - soooooo soft!

 

 

Picture 002

the bag, open - love love! LOVE it

Picture 006

the bracelet - not something I would have picked but that's kind of the point - and I love it!

Picture 007

stones are close to the same colour as the dress - goes really well and adds an "edge" to the outfit

Picture 005

The dress! Love it so much - hard to tell from the picture, but it is a wonderful rich green colour - perfect for the holidays!

 

Picture 004

the details of this dress are so pretty - and flattering! kind of like "Spanx" in dress form, but really, really pretty

 

 

I spent most of this weekend sad.  On my way home from work Friday evening the fact that my mother was gone and not coming back really hit me.  And so I cried.  And I cried, and I cried and then I cried some more.  I don’t know why THIS weekend was special, maybe because the weather had turned and it was WET and gross out?  who knows.  All I do know is that I was very, very sad all weekend and I cried a lot.

Over the last year I have lost touch with a few people;  some intentionally, some not.  One person in particular, a friend of over 20 years, was particularly callous in her dealings with me – when mum was officially diagnosed and her surgery scheduled I was slated to host a baby shower for a dear friend.  When I got the news about mum my first instinct was of course to drop everything and fly across the country to be with her.  I called my (very) pregnant girlfriend, explained the situation and asked her if she wanted the shower to go ahead without me, which it totally could, or if she wanted to wait for me to get back, potentially post-baby, and then do it.  She left it to me, totally understanding that what I had to do was a wee bit more important than making party sandwiches for a bunch of women.  So I called our other friend, at whose aunt’s house the shower was being held (neither of us have a house large enough and her aunt had graciously offered the use of her garden).  She too left it to me and I told them that I would let them know my decision after I spoke with my parents.

In the interim I was copied on an email by the third friend involved, my friend of over 20 years, in which she basically said well since Kathryn is bailing on her responsibilities I guess we had better take over and make sure this shower happens.

Um, excuse me?  I was not “bailing”.  Also?  She never called me to see if a. my mum was ok and b. if I was ok.  She just took it upon herself to cast me in a bad light and basically be a bitch.

I wound up NOT going home that weekend and went ahead with the planning and hosting of the shower, which included doing (and paying for) all of the shopping, cooking and preparing the house and garden for 30 women.  And I did it gladly because the mum to be is a dear friend.

(and not that we do these things for the kudos, but to add insult to injury, the other 2 girls involved got all the thank you’s from the guests – not me)

Still not one word of concern from my so-called-friend.

She finally got around to calling me about a week later, asking how my mum was doing.  When I told her the diagnosis, which at that stage was that she had bladder cancer and her bladder had to be removed, her response was “well at least it’s not as bad as what my sister has”.  I feel the need to fully explain this statement – her “sister” is a 50 something year old woman who was the put up for adoption at birth daughter of her step-father and his first wife.  She met her “sister” 3 years ago. And regardless, who cares whose is worse? My mother was diagnosed with serious cancer, was having an organ removed and I was scared.

Stunned by her response, I cut the conversation short.

A week or two later we were supposed to meet for cocktails after work – I was flying out to Montreal in a few days to be with my family during mum’s surgery and for Thanksgiving.  When I called to confirm time, location, ect (on my way to meet her) she was laughing and joking with some people and said that she was with people from work and that I should join them.  Um, no. I was in no mood to be with people I didn’t know.  So I told her that, That I was not up to being in a group with people I didn’t know and that my preference was to go just the two of us for a quiet drink and chat.  She told me that I really had to stop being so self-centred.

So I went home, seething.  I called her at home later but she wasn’t there so I left a message.  I probably should not have but I was hurt and angry.  I told her that I felt she was being very unsupportive and that her whole attitude towards me and what I was going through with my mum was very hurtful.

I should probably also explain here that she and my mum were close, that my mum had taken care of my friend on many occasions when her own family would or could not.

Anyway, my trip to Montreal came and went.  It was stressful and emotional and just the beginning it turned out of a terrible roller-coaster that we would all ride for the next 10 months.

My friend called me once after I got back but I really didn’t have the energy to call her back.

In February we got the news that the cancer was back and that mum would have to go through chemo.  As we know now that was the beginning of the end and I was back and forth between Montreal and Vancouver quite a bit over the next few months, trying to keep things at work and at home afloat and trying to remain positive for all those around me.

We have a few mutual friends so my friend new what was going on.  She called once, leaving a message.  I returned the call, giving her an update. That was the last time we had any form of contact.  As a result of this “rift” I have lost contact with not a small circle of people I used to be quite social with.  Not such a great loss as I see it now. But it still bugs me.

Never has she sent any kind of sign or acknowledgement that my mum died. Not a note, not an email, not a text message, NOTHING.  Not a word.  Quite telling about her character, I think.

All of that back-story melodrama to say this:  on Saturday afternoon I managed to get the energy together and dragged myself in the pouring rain down to Park Royal  to run some errands.  And who walked out of the Home Depot right in front of me but her. She was with one of another of my once-friends.  I felt physically sick to my stomach and darted into the next store. They were in front of me, it was pouring rain and I was wearing a hood so they did not see me, but still.  The last thing I was up for was an awkward encounter and I truly did not have the energy to smile and pretend to be glad to see them.

Fuck them.

That near-encounter brought up so many unresolved feelings and emotions and down-right anger that I have been keeping under wraps all this time.

Fuck them.

I have lost so much this year, it’s just not fair.

And?

Fuck them and the brooms they rode in on.

I am not one for New Year’s resolutions – personally I think they are stupid and do not stick.  However, this year I made a promise to myself to try things that scare me and that get me out of my comfort-zone.

Going on national television in my undies counts I think, right?

Last week I told you how I got a call from Anna & Kristina’s Beauty Call and that I had been selected to appear on this new make-over show.  Well the first part, the SCARY part, was filmed on Tuesday – and while scary, it was not terrible.

I arrived on set not really sure what to expect other than the fact that at some point I would be in front of a camera in not a lot of clothes.  The “studio” is in an old office building bordering on Yaletown and has been staged to look like a girls’ dressing room on one side, complete with vanity full of make-up and accessories and a fashion designer’s studio on the other – drafting tables, bulletin boards with sketches, magazine cut-outs, etc.  BTW, LOVED the two arm chairs in the dressing room side – think they would notice if I snuck them out??

anyway …

First off the make-up artist worked her magic and made me look human. Honestly, I want her to live with me and do that every day – it didn’t look like I was really wearing any and looked like me but WAY better.  LOVED!

The show’s stylist (and forgive me right now but for the life of me the only name of anyone I met that day that I can remember was the lovely PA, Plum) brought me to the bathroom – in the HALLWAY! oh, the glamour of television –  to do measurements (!!!!) and give me my outfit for the shoot – the afore mentioned bandeau top and boy-shorts.  Not as terrible as I thought and I have found my new favourite undies –  Jockey bamboo boy-shorts! Honestly, so comfy and soft and THEY DON”T RIDE UP AT ALL!!  Of course I got to keep the pair that I wore that day (duh) and have since gone out and bought myself 6 pair.  They are THAT good.

anyway, carrying on …

Then it came to my turn to be on camera – GAH!  Oh, and have I mentioned that the camera crew were all men??!!  But professionals, I guess, and used to this so whatever … on to the mat I stepped, in front of a full length mirror and answered questions fed to me by the segment director. The questions were pretty mundane:  name, age, occupation, then came WEIGHT!  and MEASUREMENTS!  and then the crux of the matter – what is my fashion/wardrobe dilemma (too much black, too conservative, a little boring) and what did I hope the girls could help me with (to be a bit more fashion forward, adventurous).  I guess this lasted about 10 minutes but it seemed like FOREVER!

When it was over I got back into my own clothes and met with the second director and camera crew for the outside “before” shots.  This consisted mainly of me walking back and forth on the side walk by Victory Park which is right across from the where the studio is.  If you are at all familiar with Vancouver you will know that the people who hang out in Victory Park are mainly addicts and homeless people.

Walking back and forth being followed by a camera crew caused quite a stir!  I tried to act all natural and like I do this all the time but really?  AWKWARD!  AT one point they had me sitting on a bench, texting, looking natural (!!!) – I sent the following text to my sister “they are filming me texting you so when you see this on tv that is what I am doing – HA!”.  People were staring at us and after it was over a few came up to me and were all like “are you an actress?”.

um, no

And so it ended and I survived and it wasn’t terrible. The big “reveal” is being shot next week and I can’t wait to see what they pick!

You know those “reality” shows where the person goes on, unhappy with themselves or their house or their wardrobe or whatever?  like TLC’s “What Not to Wear” or Britain’s Trinny & Suzanna??  Well Canada’s W Network is launching their own version, hosted by Anna & Kristina of  Shopping Bag and Grocery Bag fame called Beauty Call, and I applied.

And got on.

The first shoot is this coming Tuesday – and I have to appear on camera wearing a black bandeau top and black boy-shorts.

Half naked.

ON CAMERA.

For NATIONAL TELEVISION.

I guess it’s too late to start with the sit-ups … I wonder if I could request a full bar on my ryder???

UPDATE:  I did it today and it was scary but not terrible!  The (ALL MALE!!) camera crew were great and the production team really made me feel comfortable.  I said that this year I was going to do stuff that scared me and took me out of my comfort zone.  This totally qualifies!!  Can’t wait to see what they pick out for me!!  stay tunes …

Lola 2

I was at home this past weekend for my mother’s memorial service – 400 plus people at the church and the reception following, a most fitting tribute to a most wonderful woman.  Family and friends came from all over. It was an extremely emotional weekend and I am completely and utterly spent.  But now the healing can truly begin, I hope.

My father, sister and I all spoke at the service.  I had originally intended to read what I had at her funeral the month before – a collection of memories of my mother.  But the night before an old friend of hers dropped off a photograph and a poem, which I found quite inspiring.  I brought both with me to the church and not until I was standing in front of all those people did I decide which to read.  And it was the right choice:

Death is Nothing at All

by Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918) Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral


I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way
which you always used.
Put no difference in your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
that it always was.
Let it be spoken without affect,
without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same that it ever was.
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you,
for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.

All is well.

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