Tuesday, November 4, 2008

one step closer

So, today was my first laser tattoo removal appointment. Happily, I can sum up my experience in three words: Piece. Of. Cake.

I had really built it up in my head to be much more than it was. The numbing cream seemed to have done its job, as it felt no more painful than being snapped by an elastic. The nurse did the whole tattoo in 10 pulses, and the whole procedure took no more that 30 seconds TOTAL. So, now I just have to keep it covered with vaseline and a bandage for the next week and my body will do the rest over the next 8-10 weeks. I made my next appointment during the Xmas holidays so I won't have to take any time off work.

I'm so excited for the end result - freedom is in sight! Woot!

(I promise to post some pics as soon as B returns from China with my camera.)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

here goes nothing

So, today was my consultation appointment for tattoo removal. I was actually pretty excited about it, believe it or not.

The Consultation

First I met with a nurse, who went through my medical history with me. She asked me a bunch of interesting questions, including my ethnic origin. Apparently, the "ideal" candidates are fair: less pigment = less chance for skin discoloration from the laser. She also asked about the tattoo itself: the age of the tattoo, whether it was done by a professional or amateur, etc. The nurse then measured my tattoo and and did some calucalations to determine the cost of my treatment.

The Damage

The cost of treatment depends on two main factors: tattoo size (price is determined by number of laser pulses used to treat the area); and, whether the tattoo was done by an amateur or professional (professional tats are harder to remove because they tend go deeper under the skin and the ink used is high grade.) Dang! Too bad mine's not a prison tat, or I'd be off the hook in about 2 sessions!

The nurse estimated that the treatment of my tattoo will involve 16-18 pulses and will take 5-8 sessions, which will cost me a cool $2400 when everything is said and done. Ouch! I don't know which hurts more - the thought of being zapped by a laser hundreds of times or the blow to my pocketbook!

Here's the part where I do my PSA about tattoos: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE think twice (hell, think three times) before you get a tattoo. It really IS permanent, and if you want to remove it, it's going to be a hell of a lot more painful and expensive then getting one in the first place! Let my experience serve as a cautionary tale.

The doctor came in after the initial consultation to talk to me a bit about the treatment and to take a look at my tattoo. She said that I was a good candidate because of my fair skin and the fact that my tattoo (being 10 years old) has already begun to fade on its own. The good news: she estimated that I'd only need 3-5 sessions! Woot! That's at least a little more palatable. Also working in my favour is that I have to wait a little longer between treatments because of the location of my tattoo, so I have more time to save my pennies in between treatments! The doctor explained that the further the tattoo is away from your heart, the longer it takes your body (via the lymph system) to carry away the ink particles broken up by the laser. So, instead of waiting 8 weeks between sessions, it'll be more like 10 weeks for me. Meh. Fine by me.

Next Steps

I suppose I could have taken some time to think about about it, but since there aren't really any other viable options, I've decided to bite the bullet. My first treatment is next Tuesday. Eeeek!

The whole appointment only takes a half hour, but I've got a few instructions to follow in preparation for it. I have to avoid tanning before and after the treatment (that should be difficult - anyone who knows me knows what a sun worshipper I am. Ha!) Tanned and even freckled skin "distracts" the laser and can result in hyper/hypo-pigmentation of the skin.

I also have to pick up some topical numbing cream (EMLA) to put on the area before the procedure. Apparently, the pain is similar to being splattered by hot bacon grease - sounds like a good time! I'll likely end up with a blister and peeling after the procedure while it heals and I have to be careful to keep area out of the sun to avoid hyper/hypo-pigmentation of the skin - again, this shouldn't be too hard since we're now entering six months of eternal gloom.

The last part of my appointment today was to have my tattoo photographed. They even have a professional photographer on site specifically for this purpose. I had my first "before" shoot today - thank God I shaved! I will be sure to ask to have copies of the pics so that I can post them for for all to see.

I'm excited. And nervous. But mostly excited. I know it'll be worth it.

P.S. Donations are now being accepted to the Whatsherface Tattoo Removal Fund. I'll need every penny I can get my hands on!

Monday, October 27, 2008

biting the bullet

I have a tattoo on my left ankle that looks very similar to the picture above. For those not in the know, it's the symbol for "infinity" and the Asshat and I got matching tattoos when we got engaged to symbolize our love. Feel free to stop right here and take a moment to puke. I did!

I've been wanting to do something about my tattoo for a while. At first, I thought about changing it into something else - many suggested adding two eyes and making it into glasses. Um, no. I considered turning it into a butter- or dragonfly, but seeing as I already have one of those "beauties" on my back (Ah, the things we do at the spur of the moment when seventeen and drunk on New Years Eve), I didn't want to add to my insect collection.

I've also considered laser removal (I have a hard time writing the word "laser" without saying it like Dr. Evil in my head and picturing air quotes. Tee hee.) I've never looked into it any more than casually until last week. I'm not sure what lit the fire under my butt, but (Ha! I said "butt" twice!) it was like an epiphany and I just KNEW it was the right thing to do. So, I did a little research and it turns out that there are two places in town that offer this service. One seemed like more of an esthetics/spa- type place, so I opted for the medical/doctor-supervised option.

This decision is not about erasing my past. It's more about reclaiming what's mine (in this case, my ankle. Ha!) But seriously - it's about MY life. Mine. I've been doing this slowly, but surely, piece by piece, over the last five years and I think this is just about the last thing that's keeping me from full closure and peace of mind. And, to me, that's worth every penny and every ounce of pain.

There are also some practical reasons for doing this: the truth is that I'm not 18 anymore, and while I still really like the idea of tattoos (and fully intend to get another one some day), I've recently started a new job at a management level and the reality is that these adornments can often be looked at negatively by "old schoolers". (Incidently, this is also the reason I've put to bed my desire to get my nose pierced.) When it comes to personal body adornments, I want to have the option to conceal them when necessary and appropriate, and with this one, it's just not possible.

I know it'll probably hurt like hell and it's definitely going to cost me several times more than getting the tattoo in the first place, but it's worth it to me.

My consultation is tomorrow. I'll keep you posted with updates (and pics!) as I go through this process.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


There's no other way to put it: I'm bustin' out all over the place and NOT in a good way.

Chalk it up to the gluttony that comes with new love and a new job (think "Freshman 15") - I have slowly, but surely been packing it on. In the last eight years or so, I've consistently slid up and down the scale by anywhere from 5-30 lbs. I have great range, some would say. Har!

Because of my weight schizophrenia, my wardrobe consists of a three size spread and right now I'm at the UPPER upper end of the range, which renders a good 90% of the items in my closet unwearable, unless I want to subject friends, colleagues and strangers to my very own impression of a sausage. In fact, right now, as I sit typing this at my desk, I have a lovely case of Muffin Top going on. Sigh.

There have been many reasons for my weight gain/loss and a lot of it can be directly attributed to my emotional barometer. When I'm happy, I eat. When I'm sad, I eat. Except for when I'm REALLY sad - THEN, and only THEN do I lose my appetite.

I also love food. And I have a ginormous appetite. And a sweet tooth. And a salty tooth. It's all my Dad's fault! Deprivation will not work for me. I have absolutely zero willpower. And I can get mighty bitchy when I'm feeling deprived.

I'd need to be on a program that allows me treats or a cheat day. I've done Weight Watchers before because it seems to be the most reasonable program out there and I've had moderate success with it. The only problem is that it does involve organization, and lately I wouldn't call this one of my strong suits.

Seriously, the last year or two, I've gone from one of the most anal and organized people I know, to a total and utter organizational misfit. It boggles my mind how I got so bad: these days, it takes all my energy just to get out the door in the morning with my teeth brushed. Like today, for example. Ha!


Tomorrow, B leaves on a business trip for two weeks. Since I'll have a lot of alone time on my hands, I'm vowing now to use it for good instead of evil: I'm going to come up with a Game Plan.
The crux of my plan will revolve around getting my shit together. And that means ALL my shit, because it's all related. I've got to starting planning meals, activities, chores, outfits - everything. I think this will go a long way towards feeling better and in control of my life. Feeling empowered will help me stay positive and motivated to reach my goals. Oi, I'm starting to sound like Dr. Phil.
Hopefully the fact that I've blathered about it in a public forum will help me stay accountable. Anyhow, I'll keep you posted.

I also promise more fun(ny) posts and less drama, too. It's all part of the GP!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

a way with words

Said to me after watching intently while I changed out of my work clothes and into my comfies:

B: We really need to get back into the gym.

Monday, August 11, 2008

like a house

About a month ago, my sister and I went to Syracuse, NY for some retail therapy/sisterly bonding time. As usual, the trip was successful (and the damage to my credit card significant.)

When I got home, I sat B down for a mini-fashion show to get his opinion on my finds.

The exchange went a little like this:

Me: So, what do you think about this top? (FYI, it was a semi-sheer flowy cotton blouse.)

B: I really like it. The A-frame shape totally suits you.

Me: A-frame? Really?

B: Yeah, you know - when the shape flows away from your body. It's very flattering on you.

Me: Um, I think you mean A-line. A-frame is the term to describe a type of house.

B: Oh... yeah... right.

Me: Uh-huh.

Methinks someone's been watching a little too much "What Not to Wear". Or not enough, apparently.


Chuck Norris doesn't apologize for going MIA.

Neither do I.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

the new roomie

My friend M recently accepted a diplomatic posting to Afghanistan for a year. An equally exciting and dangerous opportunity, it meant packing up her life and moving more than halfway around the world. It's a hard enough feat as it is, but harder still when there are dependents involved; namely, a cat. I know what this is like, as I've had to do this (too) many times myself. Giving a pet up is difficult, even if only temporarily, so I knew wanted to help.

Offering to take Pele (the cat) was not a completely altruistic act on my part: it is actually a mutually beneficial arrangement, as I'd been stealthfully priming J with the idea of getting a cat for a while. And since I'd met Pele a few times already, I had a good sense of his personality and I knew we'd all get along just fine. Luckily, my initial groundwork paid off and convincing J to take Pele in was just a formality.

When I brought Pele home after dropping M off at the airport, I fully expected him to go into hiding for a couple of days until he adjusted because that's what cats usually do. Not this cat, apparently. After being let out of his carrier, Pele inspected all of the rooms in the apartment and promptly lay down in a sunspot in the hallway. I could tell he was utterly traumatized. Ha!

Ten minutes later, J calls me into his room and I peek around the door to find this:

Even B, Mr. Imallergictocats can't resist Pele's charms, it seems. A couple Sundays ago, I came into the living room to this:

Pele is definitely one cool cat (now I know where the pun comes from!) He's laidback, affectionate and loves a good cuddle. He also likes to talk quite bit, too - mostly when he feels that we having been lax in our attentions. He and I have a routine where I come home from work and put him over my shoulders while I putter around the house. Pele seems to like this cuddle time and curls himself around my neck like a boa and nuzzles into my face, purring all the while.

M, Pele is in good hands and he's being spoiled silly. I just can't guarantee we'll give him up when the time comes withhout a fight! ;)


This little guy was making short work of the dead-ish tree outside our house the other day. The shot isn't too clear, as I took it from inside the house and the window is pretty grungey. By the time I got outside to get a better shot, he was gone.

shakespeare would be proud

About ten years ago (WAY before it was cool, I might add), I bought a set of magnetic fridge poetry for my very first apartment. I remember ordering it online, back when online shopping was new and unchartered territory for most, and paying some ridiculous price (in USD no less) on top of the even more ridiculous shipping and handling fee. I had visions of the many parties I would throw and imagined my guests congregating in the kitchen trying to come up with the wittiest of verse while getting tipsy from the drink. In reality, in the few short months that I lived in that apartment, I'm not sure that I had many guests, let alone parties, but I digress... After I moved from Toronto back to Ottawa, practically everything I owned went into storage - and stayed there - for several years, including my little box of fridge poetry.

Whilst going through my junk in preparation for the move to my current place, I came across the box once again. I couldn't have asked for a better find: the fridge in the new place is a little antiquated and its appearance leaves a little to be desired (I think its colour was called "almond" back in the 80s when it was at the height of appliance fashion). Once again, I had visions of all the parties I would throw and imagined my guests congregating in the kitchen trying to come up with the wittiest of verse while getting tipsy from the drink. This time, however, my dreams were realised!

The following is a sampling of the... er... "talent" of the people I surround myself with:

Very sweet.


Le sigh.

And then there's the usual suspects:

Knowing who authored this little ditty, I have to admit that I'm a bit surprised...
J, you naughty girl! ;)

I will not reveal the "muse" for this poem, but shall remind
certain individuals of the saying, "Those in glass houses..."

Thursday, February 21, 2008

this better get me a first class ticket to heaven

Two weeks ago, B was away for a few days whooping it up in Whistler with the boys while I was slaving away in Winterpeg on Very Important Business. Upon his return, we met up to exchange the usual "I missed yous" and "Wished you were theres" before de-briefing eachother on what we'd been up to.

Somehow, we got onto the topic of Lent (I think it had something to do with the fact that we missed the opportunity to have pancakes for dinner for Shrove Tuesday, which had been the week before.) Anyhow, and I was telling him that my friend K had decided to give up pop (a BIG DEAL for her) and that I'd decided to give up something, too. Like french fries and maybe even chocolate. B then tells me that he's been thinking about giving something up for Lent as well.

Our conversation went something like this:

B: Actually, I've been thinking a lot about that, too, and I've decided to give something up, but I'm not sure how you're going to feel about it.

Me: Really? (Smiling nervously and thinking that it'd better not be what I think it might be.)

B: Yeah, so, I've been thinking that we should give up sex for Lent. (Notice here that he said "we", when what it clearly meant was "I decided for the both of us without consulting you and I'm hoping that you won't realize this." I did, by the way.)

Me: (Still smiling, my face slowly flushing red while desperately trying to maintain a calm composure.)

B: I can see that you're not happy about this. Let me explain my reasoning...

It's here that B goes into a long and obviously well-thought out diatribe about how abstaining would actually strengthen our relationship and give us a chance to grow on all levels besides physically (which we already know we're good at - ha!), etc, etc. In his defence, it was a pretty convincing argument and I've been in enough dysfunctional relationships to be open to try things - even the highly unconventional - in order to ensure the success of our newly-blossoming one. So, I (gulp) agreed to try it, but ONLY if we did indeed actively work on the other stuff.

All I can say is that if I make it through Lent without dying from withrawal or being held in jail on molestation or indecent exposure charges, I will be surprised. And, at the very least, I think I should get this t-shirt:

The next day, I rather triumphantly reported to him that Lent excludes Sundays, so we didn't in fact have to go completely cold turkey. (And who are we to go against God?) B agreed that this was a fair concession (I think he was already starting to realize the ramifications of his bright idea).


Saturday, February 16th: So, we made it through the first week of Lent completely intact and neither of us the worse for wear (thank you, Jesus, for the miracle that is my Silver Bullet!) B came over for a relaxing night of dinner cooked by me, movies, and lounging, as B was still fighting a nasty cold and needed to keep things on the DL. Dinner was good and we had a really nice conversation while enjoying our meal. At this point, I was beginning to concede that perhaps this Lent thing may not be so bad after all and that just maybe the boy knew what he was talking about.
Before we settled in to to watch our movie, B suggested we take a walk over to Starbucks for some hot chocolate and fresh air. On our way out, B says:

B: So, I was thinking some more about the Lent thing ...

Me: Uh-huh. (Not again! He's really gotta stop this thinking thing - it's seriously cramping my style!)

B: (Smiling either sheepishly or devilishly - I couldn't tell which.) Well, you know how in the House of Commons they sometimes make declarations to adjourn early? Well, I was thinking that we could declare it officially Sunday at 10 pm tonight...

Me: (With the enthusiasm of an auctioneer) SOLD!

And so, henceforth Sundays during Lent shall begin at 10 pm Saturday.

And that, my friends, is how we compromise and still get what we want without being a bad Christian.

One thing, though. Remember when I said I was going to give up fries and chocolate for Lent? Well, that's off the table! A girl's gotta have SOME vices!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

happiness by force

So, I've been having a really rough time at work since, oh, JULY and today I seem to be having a particularly hard time coping. My workload is insane, my boss in constantly in my backyard and I've had it. Up. To. Here. (That, and it's the week before thattimeofthemonth and I always seem to feel a little more off kilter than usual right around then.)

Anyhow, I've been exchanging e-mails with B today and I've been ranting about the state of things and making idle threats about quitting, jumping off bridges, et cetera. I was feeling particularly low this morning and mentioned that I was having a hard time not bursting into tears.

This was his response:
(I removed our names for anonymity's sake, but trust that it really does rhyme.)

An ode to a quasi-tearful L

Never fear, dear L
There is no need to fret
For here comes some happiness
From the big bear, that is B
he's here to make you happy
to make you smile with conviction
and if you happen to be testy
he'll put you in a submission.

It made all the difference. :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

makes for a tasty base layer

So, today B and I were e-mailing back and forth talking about our impending trips (mine to Winnipeg and his to Whistler). The following is more or less a transcript of our conversation, once again demonstrating my awesomeness:

B: So, A was there (Winnipeg) last week and it was so cold that he got frostbite on his face!

Me: Well, I don't plan on spending any time outdoors unless I'm going from the hotel to a waiting taxi and back. Maybe I should invest in a baklava (sp?) just in case.

B: If you mean a balaclava then I'd say that's a good idea. I'm not sure if baklava would be as effective a protection against the cold, being a Greek confection and all... it'd be pretty messy and sticky, I imagine.

Me: Er... Um, yeah. That's what I meant. I knew the difference between the two, I just didn't feel like looking it up.

(At least I'm cute, right?)