Friday, November 21, 2014

All the Fantastic Things I Learned in Mexico

The Arch of Cabo San Lucas at Land's End
I went to Mexico and I lived. I mean I almost died but mostly I lived. Right now you're thinking, didn't you go to Mexico like six months ago? All I have to say to you people is, yes. Yes I did. Sometimes, however it takes six months to process a thing. Sometimes a life or death experience is just too painful to talk about right away. Other times you just don't get around to writing about it. 50/50. Anyway, the point is I went to Mexico and I said I would write about all the fantastic things I learned in Mexico. Hence, this blog post. It was my first time out of the country and I put this on my New Years Resolution list this year so I actually got to check off every thing on my list (there is a first time for everything. However it was not this time. The first time I checked off everything on my New Years Resolution List was when I was eight and had one resolution: learn to write properly. I held my pencil with my thumb, my pointer finger and my middle finger instead of just my thumb and pointer finger. Once I conquered this, I realized I could do anything.). Before you question why I have never gone out of the country, let me just say this: I had never been out of BC. Oh wait you were expecting me to defend myself? No.

Pretty much the wave that tried to kill me.
Los Cabos is on the Baja California peninsula, and I went with my good friend Katie at the beginning of June. This is what I learned: waves are dangerous. I don't know if you know this or not (not the waves thing, nobody knows that) you may have heard it on the grapevine, because let's face it, people love stories of life and death, but I almost died in Mexico. A lifeguard saved me. It was a blast. Other than almost dying it was debatably the most fun I had on the entire trip. Unfortunately playing tag with the waves is kind of like playing tag with an axe murderer: you just never know when they are going to take it too far. Here I am having the time of my life, letting the waves wash over me - more like hit me - when all of a sudden a giant wave comes by and things get really competitive. You see, what made it so fun was that every time the waves went out again they tried to pull me back with them and sucked the sand out under my feet like quicksand. In my defence this was not a no-swimming beach. There were many other people playing with the waves and there were people out in the ocean swimming. No, I think the problem came when I decided it would be way more fun to sit down instead of stand. Let me tell you, IT WAS. I was laughing my head off, by myself, while Katie stood safely up on shore questioning my sanity. However, it is very hard to run away - you know that crucial part of the game called "tag" - when you are in fact... sitting down. The first giant wave pulled me too far down the shore, still laughing my head off. Unfortunately when you don't go to the gym you become what they call "a weakling," making it really hard to get up on your feet and run back to shore in quicksand before the next wave comes along. Who would have thought. It was the second giant wave that took me out. I will never forgive that wave. It stole my sunglasses. Anyway, thankfully a lifeguard was actually paying attention because he ran into the water and in between waves managed to pull me onto the shore. I was so shocked I didn't notice that I was pretty much flashing him as well as everyone looking and that my bikini bottoms were so full of sand I looked like I was wearing a diaper. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure Katie was laughing at me. What kind of a terrible person is she? I was still blowing sand out of my nose the next day.

Riu Santa Fe
We stayed at the Rio Santa Fe, which ironically, means the Hotel of Saint Faith. Yeah. That's right. I'm named after a hotel. I mean the hotel is named after me? The hotel was beautiful, it was the perfect temperature and we fell in love with the little town of Los Cabos. We went on three paid adventures: one was dinner and entertainment on a pirate ship, and two adventures with Esperanza Tours including a trip to Land's End with snorkeling at Lover's Beach, and a tour of San Jose. What I learned about these adventures:
  • Pirate ships are not very good at adhering to your strict dietary needs
  • Not everyone is as good at acting as Johnny Depp
  • The Los Cabos area used to be frequented by real pirates. In fact, rumor has it there is a Spanish ship full of treasure at the bottom of the ocean still waiting to be found. P.S. Katie and I didn't find it, or I wouldn't be writing this blog post anymore, I would make my servant (Katie) write it for me
  • Land's End isn't actually land's end
  • Lover's Beach is sweet until you learn that Divorce Beach is on the other side with waves so violent they will kill you
  • Fried bananas with peanut butter and syrup for breakfast are delicious but high-caloried
  • What with my allergies to dairy, chocolate and grains, my vegetarian diet other than seafood, and Katie's allergy to shellfish, between the two of us, Katie and I could literally eat everything at the Riu Santa Fe buffet. Together we are a full human being!
  • Everyone speaks Spanish in Mexico
  • Tourists are stupid
  • Okay so I already knew those last two, but this one I didn't know: because Los Cabos is on the Baja California Sur it's over 1,000 miles from the US/Mexican border. That's roughly the distance between France and Russia which means most of the drug cartels and kidnapping don't happen here. Hence, if you are going to Los Cabos to see a live version of  Kingpin, you will be vastly disappointed
  • San Jose del Cabo, a section of Los Cabos, was founded in the 1700s by Jesuit Missionaries and we got to see one of the still functioning churches from that time, the Mission of San Jose del Cabo Church
  • The place where we snorkeled was in the Sea of Cortez, called "The Aquarium of the World," because of the wide range of fish there
  • Apparently it's perfectly fine to drink the water in most places in Cabos as most hotels and restaurants have filtered water systems. However they like to put little signs up in the bathroom just to freak you out saying "Don't drink," and right beside it, a cup for drinking. That is my only explanation for why there was a cup and a "no drinking" sign in our bathroom at the hotel
  • Cabos has some of the most highly rated hotels in Latin America. We were not in one of them. However, Brangelina were probably staying at one of the super fancy hotels we saw on the hillside on our boat ride (this cannot be confirmed)
Our tour guides/snorkeling instructors at Esperanza Tours were amazing. We became BFFs with them. They came recommended by the Sunwing representative that helped us book our adventures. On the day we toured the city, our tour guide, Marcos, told us that the next day he was visiting his friend, the woman from Sunwing who had recommended them to us. So the day after our fun tour with Marcos we went to go say hi to her at the hotel and ask how her visit was, which both pleased and embarrassed her greatly, and she proceeded to tell us how Marcos thanked her for sending such nice, friendly girls to him! What a guy. Marcos took us on a tequila tasting tour where we tasted fifteen-year-aged tequila and other delicious desert tequilas, as well as a botanical garden tour with more cacti than you thought existed, and showed us around a glass blowing factory where we saw them make a tequila drinking frog (classic) and for the first time in his tour guide career Marcos broke something. You know what they say, you break it, you run... or buy it. So he bought it. It reminded me of that expression, a bull in a china shop. Only I don't think bulls get so embarrassed when they break stuff. They do it for fun. I was just glad and pleasantly surprised that it wasn't me.

On Lover's Beach, probably not long after the peeing incident
We also made friends with our snorkeling instructor Luis. There is a very funny story there that I'm just not sure I can tell. Wait, who am I kidding, it's me we're talking about. When we came onto the shore after snorkeling I had to go pee and I had gotten so cold in the water I didn't want to go back in. So I decided to climb these rocks, see, just behind the beach area but in full view of the shore. Don't worry, I went high enough that I could hide behind a rock and no one could see me. Luis, however, decided it would be a good idea to follow me. Thankfully he was literally like a fish out of water trying to climb those rocks, so he had his head down the whole time. Just as he was about to look up, I finished peeing, and slyly manoeuvred myself a few feet away as if I was just admiring the view. Of course we then continued to have a great conversation about God and life, became good friends, and a few days after I returned home I told him the whole story. Needless to say there were a lot of "jajajaja's" in his response. (I was really worried after the hurricane in Los Cabos in September, named "Hurricane Odile," and was waiting for two weeks for him to get internet service to make sure he was ok. He is, don't worry.)

In Mexico, hippies are called "cactus huggers"
Another funny story, I decided to take my sleep apnea machine with me to Mexico. Poor Katie got a first hand look at what I like to call my "Darth Vader" mask every night. The mask hooks up to a small machine that blows air into my nose and forces me to breath while I sleep, in case, you know, I forget. If I open my mouth the air comes rushing out. One morning she told me how terrified she in the middle of the night when she woke up and felt her bed shaking (we never heard there was an earthquake but there might have been) and then she heard me talking in my sleep. I was thinking, well that's not so scary, unless I said something like "You're pregnant" or "There is a clown puppet in the corner watching you." (I don't know which one is scarier.) I asked what I said and she replied, "I don't know. You were speaking Parseltongue. It's a good thing you didn't say any real words or I think I would have had a heart attack." And it's true, it sounds exactly like the snake language from Harry Potter. So really, Katie almost died in Mexico too.

The End.

Friday, October 10, 2014

This is Not an Update

It's been too long. No I'm not kidding, it's now been so long that it's too long and I no longer care. I used to feel this heavy burden - this heavy bloggy-monkey on my back - but it's actually been so long I just gave up. It's wonderful. You should try it, in life. I'm free! Because despite how much I love to write, writing feels like work and any extra work just sounds... like work. Know what I'm saying? So when I have some spare time and I'm tired, which is always, am I like, "What do I feel like doing right now, hmm let's see, how about some work?" NO! Don't be stupid! I'm not. I'm not like that. No tired person ever says, "Please, give me some more things I don't feel up to do doing." Ask a tired person how they are doing and if they say good, they are saying good-despite-how-freaking-tired-I-am. Ask them the number one thing they wish they were doing right now and if they say something other than sleeping, A. they aren't tired enough or B. they are lying to make you happy. Both of which are nice. A is nicer. I have some good news. I've been using a sleep apnea machine for almost five months and finally, finally, I feel like it is making a difference. My world is slowly getting a teeny bit less tired. How do you measure such things? Simple. It starts with a day. A ridiculously tired day that helps me compare my not as tired days previous to this day and realize that this used to be my normal. I compare the tired I used to be to my new tired and it astounds me. How can anyone LIVE when they are that tired? Let me tell you: it's exhausting. Since then a few encouraging things have confirmed this revelation: my eyes don't ache as much as they used to and people have commented that I seem less tired and look less tired. Now getting out of bed in the morning is usually not pure torture and I am not as terrified of killing someone when I get behind the wheel. Note: not as. I am in no way where I want to be. I'm still surviving, but before I was floundering, nearly drowning, and now I am doing awkward froggy strokes. So I was Flounder from Little Mermaid before and now I am the Frog Princess. See the difference? I just like to relate everything to Disney if I can. It helps me understand. But I will keep dreaming: some day I want to do real people swimming. Some day I want to make it to the shore. (Wait, is the shore death? In which case, good news! I will for sure make that. Unless Jesus comes back. Either way I win.)

I got a new roommate. She's lovely and cute. Only one problem: she's cuter than me. Not cool. And in my own home too. Isn't any place sacred? Somehow it doesn't seem to matter when it comes to animals though. Funny, I've never resented an animal for being cuter than me. Huh. I guess they distract you so well with their cuteness that you don't actually notice that in fact it is pure subterfuge. Someone should write a book on that. It should be called, The Hypnotic Cuteness of Animals, or Beware of their Hoodoo Voodoo. On that note, I have been missing my dog like crazy. I had this nice little break where I forgot that my dog was dead - not that I didn't remember she died, just that I forgot there was something missing in my life. It was nice. Now that I've remembered that in fact my dog is dead, that in fact, my life used to be full of Kezzieness and ultimate cuteness, and now in fact it is not, it makes my life seem a little... less. When (in fact) (I like to keep things factual) the wonderful thing is that I had this amazing one-of-a-kind dog that God gave me for 17 years! When in fact (obviously), I was perfectly happy before she came along, and when she did, she increased my quality of life ten-fold and gave me more than I could ever ask for. And as much as I wish animals could live as long as humans, in a way I'm glad they can't. They are so vulnerable to all the evil in this world and I would hate to ever think of outliving her and leaving her behind. It's like the Left Behind Series only Jesus hasn't come back. Everything seems to come around to the fact (another one) that Jesus hasn't come back yet. It's almost like if He did, things would be better. Hard to say... Anyway, better that my dog only live 17 years, knowing she had a wonderful, compact little life, then extend that to 100 and know that any number of things could happen to her. Besides, animals don't need to live that long: they have nothing new to learn about what life is all about and how to live it to the fullest. They are not on a journey of self-discovery and character building. They're just here for a short trip to make our lives better and teach us how to love.

If this were an update, which it's not, I should probably let you know I've come through quite a few fruit-fly epidemics - murdering whole generations of fruit-fly families with my bare hands and feeling great about it. I know in school they teach that genocide is bad, but, like, were they thinking of fruit-flies at the time? No, they weren't. Guaranteed. However, I've really got a handle on those silverfish that were plaguing my life (I found cardboard boxes flattened under the couch that were their nesting ground and disposed of them forthwith. You should have seen all the babies I killed. Yeah. You heard me. I killed babies). And I haven't been doing anything really stupid at work lately to feel guilty about, like standing on recycling boxes to block freezing cold vents. Also we moved to the other side of the building, AKA "The Great Trek: Out of Antarctica into... THE TROPICS." Amazing that in the same, albeit, giant room you can have two completely different ecosystems. It's a small world, as they say. And I'm making friends at work, real ones, and no one is evening paying them to be my friend, they just happen to be paid to be there and I get to take advantage of the fact that they have no choice but to see me every day. It's great. I didn't post a single thing this summer and feel perfectly fine about it. But if this were an update, which it's not, I guess I better do a quick summary: my summer was good... Oh sorry, you were expecting more. Well I spent all my money before the summer started when I went to Mexico so the actual summer was uneventful. I was going to talk more about this Mexican experience of mine, however I realize it should probably be it's own blog post so I'm not going to tell you all the fantastic things I learned in Mexico right now. Instead I will write a blog post called, "All the Fantastic Things I Learned in Mexico."

Later in the summer I forced my family to go camping which was also pretty great (no one died!). I promise you they thanked me for forcing them later and I gloated lots. And then they took it back. At the end of the summer - per usual - I went to Camp Imadene and had a love-ly time: loving people and loving God and loving life. And I've been going to an amazing woman's Bible Study for quite a few months now called Ladies Night where we cry and stuff and don't even care. I even have a shirt: "I cried at Ladies Night." Most people get confused when they see this and think I had a desperate clubbing experience at 919 and don't understand why I wear the shirt with such pride. Because of this I've mostly stopped wearing it in public. Also it's a tank-top. So only my summer self has to suffer the confused stares and too-personal questions. But these women in my Ladies Night, let me tell you, these new (and many not new) friends... they are amazing. I am amazing just by being part of them. I'm serious, you come to this group and just by being in the same room you become amazing too. You could be the most annoying person on the planet - don't sweat it! We'll make an amazing woman out of you yet! And if you are a man? Too bad! You're a woman now! Embrace it! We learn about God together and talk about how wonderful He is and just generally enjoy being in His presence together and being in each other's presence, which is a lot like opening presents. Every week. And I like presents. For example, for my birthday I asked for a pony. I didn't get one (AGAIN), but I mean I'm not giving up yet. It's been 27 years of persistent birthday lists with the first item stating: PONY, so why stop now? Plus that way no one can ever say that annoying line people love to say when they can't be bothered to think what to get you for your birthday: "You're so hard to buy for." My answer is, "No I'm not. I make it real easy for you: I've asked for the same thing for 27 years. Simple. A pony." And then they say, "A pony is not a simple present." And I say, "Have you been talking to my dad? Was he saying ridiculous things again like "Faith you can't afford a pony," and "Faith, you don't have a yard" because when he says those things just say to him, "Dad, don't be a dream-buster. Sure, be a ball-buster all you want - go ahead, bust those balls, I don't care, I don't have any - but for the love of ponies, don't bust my dreams." " And that is usually the end of that conversation.

So IF I was giving you an update - what I mean is, if the entire point of this blog post was just to give you a stupid update on my life (which it's not, obviously), but even if it was - I don't know why anyone would want one, let's be honest here - it would all come down to this: I have some friends, and my mom likes me. The end.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Milk, Sapiens and Sexuals: ALL the Homos!

You're right, God DOES hate cigarettes. But you shouldn't be smiling.
Cigarettes kill.
I've felt incredibly compelled to write this blog post for a long time now. Because if the real Bible-following Christians don't stand up, the Eminem ones will. You can be as against homosexuality as you want to be, I don't give a flying fish. But unfortunately most Christians against homosexuality don't know how to separate their own personal beliefs from what the Bible actually says. What I mean is, the Bible is fairly clear that homosexuality in some form is a sin. The Bible is also very clear that lying is a sin. And greed. And that just thinking about having an affair is considered as bad as actually doing the deed. It is also incredibly clear that Jesus died for all sins because He absolutely, positively loves all people. I cannot express to you how stupid any Christian is who could even think, let alone say, "God hates homosexuals." God might hate homosexuality you silly goose (and I'm not even convinced He does), but He sure as heck doesn't hate homosexuals. If that is true, good luck getting into heaven. I talked to St. Peter and he said stupidity is actually a worse sin than homosexuality. He picked it out of a bowl at random, but he's firm on it.

Why do Christians love to focus on homosexuality? It's like some kind of bizarre fetish. Now if that doesn't sound sinful I don't know what does. Why aren't they focusing on well, basically anything God focused on? Because He sure as heck didn't focus on homosexuality. Here's what Jesus had to say about homosexuality: oh wait... nothing. Here's what He said about hypocrisy: well, it would just be easier for you to read the entire Gospels than listing all the times He told off the Pharisees. It makes me wonder, these gay-hating Christians, have they even read the Bible? If so, which version exactly are they reading? Because I feel like the translation might be a little off. How in the world do you ever plan on bringing anyone to know the love of Jesus by proclaiming that "God hates..." instead of "God loves"? I want to ask them, "Do we know the same God? Because I feel like yours is... different." But maybe I've got them all wrong. Maybe they're talking about a different god when they say "God hates gays." Like Zeus for instance. Man, I would not be at all surprised if that guy is a total homophobe. He just has anger-management written all over his face, in lightning bolt scars. Anyway, I for one want God to use me, not work extremely hard to get around me and heal the massive damage I've done to people's hearts by the incredibly stupid, ludicrous things I've said or done in the name of God - who is Love itself. I was going to post all the times God mentions homosexuality in the Bible (which I could, because there aren't that many) but seriously just read your freaking Bible. Now, I know there are a lot of Christians who agree with me for the most part, but they think that as long as they sit there and don't do any damage, they aren't part of the problem. Is that really all you want to be? You see, there are always going to be crazy Christians out there doing so much damage that unfortunately the rest of us can't just sit back and keep our heads down. Instead we need to love so much and so loudly that we counteract the idiots flailing around with Bibles they have obviously never read. Don't get me wrong, I love those idiots. Their parents were probably idiots too and passed it down to them. It's a vicious cycle of idiocy.

I personally used to have a problem with homosexuality. It made me feel really... weird. And then I met people who said they were gay and heard their story and I knew they were absolutely no different than I was. So why did it make me feel weird? Because the only way I could try to understand was by imagining what it would be like to be in love romantically with the same sex. And that felt really weird... and revolting = I'm straight. Yay! Life is easier for me! I was also weirded out as child even thinking that I could have been created by my parents having sex. I still am... in fact I'm convinced a stork brought me. That would explain a lot. Children delivered by storks are bound to be a little... odd. One thing that made me realize I needed to get over my weirdness was that I knew for a fact that there were men and women out there who were born with the brain/body of the opposite sex, or hermaphrodites who were born with both sex organs. If I knew this to be a fact, how could I ever conclude that one person fit this description and one did not? In which case, I COULD NEVER JUDGE. It no longer mattered whether I understood how two people loving each other, even if they were the same sex, could possibly be a sin. It didn't matter whether I believed practicing homosexuality was the sin, and not the sexual orientation itself. It did not matter whether it still grossed me out.  As long as there was the possibility of doubt, that I didn't actually know if it was genetics, upbringing or just plain choice, I COULD NEVER JUDGE. And that let me open up my heart to realize that it was actually, absolutely none of my business. It was between them and God. Which let me trust God implicitly: I no longer had to question whether God was fair because some things in His word didn't make sense to me. He knew every heart and I didn't even know my own half the time.

People say, "Love the sinner, hate the sin" which is great, but I think as long as we continue to choose not to understand the person behind the sin (or what we consider sin) we are still going to judge them. We judge what we don't understand. So instead how about trying to understand how difficult it must be to realize at any point in your life that you are different than almost everyone around you and that most people you tell this to are going to look down on you instead of loving you as you try to not to drown in the confusion of figuring out one of the most important things in your life: your sexuality. I mean, sex still confuses me. You put what in the what with the who now??? I wonder too, if those hateful Christians know just how many homosexuals have been sexually abused as children. And you are going to tell these abused children that God hates them? Good idea! Why don't you go steal from an orphanage while you're at it. God loves that. Don't you think you might be a little sexually confused too if someone had abused you when you were the most vulnerable and impressionable? And for everyone who can understand someone being gay but can't understand people who are bisexual, don't you think it might be a little bit confusing if you were attracted to both sexes? Think about it, now your potential soul-mate could be any person on the entire planet. I mean just the anxiety of that alone would make anyone choose a side. Yeah. That's right. Okay maybe not, but the point is, these are people who are struggling to understand who they are. Don't you think, if they could simply choose to be "normal" and live an easier life, they would? The thing is, we don't have to understand it, we just have to leave the judging to God. And we have a pretty good idea from the Bible what He will be judging more than anything else: our hearts. Besides I would way rather spend my time hanging out with a group of LGTB peeps (who are usually very nice people because they know what it's like to be an outsider and therefore have developed that part of their brain where this thing called "compassion" lives) than a Christian who says they hate gays. In fact, you will find that most gays don't actually hate Christians. I have no idea why. I guess they are just smart enough to realize that we are not all the same.

You don't have to agree with this to see it makes some good points.