Atwood, Oprah & Jesus

How lovely.  The writer of “Ramblings of a Mad Kat” nominated “Pin Up Picks Pen Up” for The Liebster Award.


What an uplifting moment that was.


The night before I found out about my little prize, I had written exactly one line.  The blog was a place I used to come to.  There was a period where I was cranking out daily postings, my brain was a buzz with activities and ideas. My office was the first place I’d go to in the morning, coffee cup in hand, CBC2 in the background.  I would fill my notebook with ideas for future pieces, I used to work every day…sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and late into the night, words tumbling out of me, fingers feverishly accosting the keyboard, pounding out phrases.


I entered a couple of writing contests, and I was never considered.  I got a little discouraged, got incredibly busy, and then…now, enough time has gone by that it’s gotten weird between us.  Like running into someone you used to be close to, there’s history there so it’s hard to be casual.   Or like when you bump into someone you know at the grocery store.  Say, you once took a class together, or worked at the same job one summer.  You like and respect them, wish them the very best.  You say, “nice to see you…we should really have coffee sometime”.


“Absolutely” they say, nodding earnestly. Boy is it a nice idea, chipping out a little time for this old friend, grabbing a latte and catching up.  But let’s be honest.


I hear you girlfriend.  That’s how I feel about the blog these days.  But I want to get back to that place.  Without the blog, without the creative outlet, I feel a little lost…a little deflated.  I’ve been through a trying couple of weeks.  I’ve gotten into a bit of a slump.  I’ve been feeling gold medal, black belt levels of the blahs.  Today I called my best friend, organized my closet, got a hair cut and bought a few new items for the winter season.  I spruced up a little; wore a dress and boots to the mall, and left feeling much lighter.  My husband and I visited with friends, and now I am at home taking the time to visit with an old friend of my own.

I’m to answer these questions about myself, so here goes…

1.       If you could be any animal, what would you be? 

My husband calls me ‘goat’, because I am stubborn, small and have been known to head butt .  I call him Bear because of his stature and magnificent beard.  In the animal kingdom we would be a goat and a bear and we would still be best friends.


2.       Invite three people to dinner, living or dead – who are they? 

I wish I could honestly answer this question more academically, Margaret Atwood  Oprah and Jesus and whatnot…but I’d have to go with Audrey Hepburn, Nora Ephron and Tina Fey. 


3.       What’s the best Christmas gift you could get?

Plane tickets with a big red bow. 

4.       What is your favorite blog entry you’ve written – please, post a link for us to read.

Oh I’m sorry…did you say my favorite five…no it was ten? Okay then!

5.       Who is your greatest inspiration? 

Nora Ephron, David Sedaris, Tina Fey, Elizabeth Gilbert, Barbra Streisand, Meryl Streep and Audrey Hepburn.

6.       Most embarrassing moment (that you are willing to share) 

Good Lord, how much time do you have?

7.       Name one thing that you wish you had done in your life thus far.  

Traveled to Europe.  To me, Paris is a necessity. 


8.       What’s your favorite food?        

I love food in general; curry, satay, pasta…I prefer vegetarian but I eat a little meat.  I’m more savory than sweet.  My death row, last meal would be various kinds of bread with lots of things to dip into. And french fries.  Yes, definitely french fries.  And then I’d have a latte.     

9.       Cheesecake or Cake?   

I can appreciate both, but wouldn’t turn down an exquisite slice of cherry cheese cake. 

10.    Favorite Olympic sport?     

Ha ha, bitch please! 

11.    If you could ask your great grandparents one thing, what would it be?

Were you happy?

I’d like to pass the award onwards to some of my favorites.

1) An Opinionated Girl VS. The World.

2) Entrepreneur by Nurture.

3) Vinyl and Pearls

4) Lonely City

5) Vodka, Unicorns and Lincoln Logs

There are so many great blogs out there, and I wish you the strength and perseverance to continue…no matter how busy life gets…cause once in a while you get a little reminder about just how fabulous you can be.

oscarpix17f-2-copyImages Courtesy of Google

Pay It Forward


To say the least, I am tickled pink to have been presented with the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award”.  It’s such an honor, and it makes me feel like a million bucks and a movie star all rolled into one.

grace kelly oscar

A heaping portion of thanks, and a big huge hug to Reject Reality.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am very grateful.  “Pin Up” is a labour of love, and I’m happy if it brings good humor into the lives of others.  Okay, that being said, I’m going to do some cutting and pasting here…


1. Thank the person who nominated you.

2. Add The One Lovely Blog Award / The Very Inspiring Blogger Award to your post.

3. Share 7 things about yourself.

4. Pass the award on to 10 nominees.

5. Include this set of rules.

6. Inform your nominees by posting a comment on their blogs.

Seven Things About Myself (Which I found difficult, because I share so much on the daily)

1) My favorite film is “Annie Hall“, “Royal Tenenbaums” is a close second

2) Twitter intimidates me #notcoolenoughfortwitter

3) My favorite television program is “30Rock” (Tina Fey is my hero)

4) I am naturally a bit of a pessimist, I have to work on being an optimist.

5) If I could travel to only one more place in my life, I’d choose Paris

6) I curse like a foul mouthed fish monger when I drive

7) I used to smoke, watching old movies makes me miss cigarettes.


Ten Blogs that Inspire Me

1) Room One

2) Cordelia’s Road Trip

3) Cultural Life

4) ReMINDers

5) that british babe

6) A Spectacular Life

7) My Old Addiction

8) A Day in the Life of Shareen A.

9) The Happy Lifeaholic

10) Anchors & Freedom

There are so many amazing blogs out there, but a lot of the fine folks on this list have been so supportive with excellent comments and feedback.  I wish all the writers out there the knowledge that their hard work is not in vain.  May you have many readers who love you, and whom you love in return. 

All the best,

Alicia xx


Take This Job/Shove It

Amongst the ubiquitous job interview questions, “What are your pay expectations?” is my favorite.  What I’d like to earn and what you are willing to pay are two entirely different things.  “I want a diamond tiara, a million bucks and a fucking pony”.  Just once, I want someone to answer “yes” to that question, instead of being escorted out of the office by security.  You ask me an honest question, I’ll give you an honest answer.  I wasn’t kidding about the tiara, and you best believe I don’t joke around about ponies.  They are majestic creatures, and they knit a mean sweater.


Or maybe, the interviewer would stare at me with an unintelligible expression, lean in to the telecom as I steel myself for the brusque handling of the security guards.  “Angela…do we have any more of those ponies? This girl needs a ride to her new office”.  He would commend me for my refreshing honesty, and call Tiffany’s personally to look into that tiara.


Ah, dare to dream.

“Why should we hire you?”

“Because I’m a god-damned delight, that’s why…also I’ve got a lot of gambling debt”.

“Why do you want this job?”

“Because I love folding sweaters for eight hours/because I need to feel the weight of a tray in my hands/because I want to wear a head set and apron at a bubble bath and candle chain/because I think I look great in hairnets/because I can’t seem to sort out a career for myself/because I have bills to pay, and I don’t have the figure to be an exotic dancer”.

The last job interview I went to was degrading at best. We were interviewed the day before, and told to come back the following day.  I was interviewed with another fellow, and we were asked the exact same questions from the day before–minus the one question that I’d never been asked but personally enjoyed.

“Who are people you admire?”

“Tina Fey and Audrey Hepburn, because they’re never above working hard, and both women are fabulous”.


But, as we all know, what I really want is to be professionally fabulous/being paid to write at home in yoga pants, listening to CBC 2 all day long.

It’s not an unreasonable request.

Two young men come in the room…and I mean young men, I could have babysat them when I was in high school.  The main interviewer was wearing running shoes, unhemmed trousers, a wrinkled, untucked dress shirt and a fedora.  His goatee was scraggly and disheveled.  His associate was wearing a brown leisure suit, had a pimply,crater face and wore a pink alien ring on his wedding finger.

Needless to say, I didn’t mean for the threesome to happen, but when surrounded by such animal charisma, and classic good looks, a lady simply cannot be tamed.

In truth, I kept my trench coat tightly fastened, and kept my purse on my lap, clutching it like an elderly woman surrounded by gang members on the subway.


How’s that for intimidating?

The office is filled with boxes and piles of paperwork.  Not a single picture hangs on the wall.  The job posting described a ‘marketing position’, these sons-of-bitches were talking above getting out there and knocking on doors.  The fedora wearing gentleman, who kept promising  ample opportunities, that he has only been there seven weeks, and already he was conducting second interviews. “Eventually, you could be like me”, he smirks, which made me grip my purse tighter.  He grabbed on of the many loose sheets of paper and drew a crude pyramid-like design of how the job worked, how the pay scheme worked.  “Don’t think of it as $10 an hour, think of it as $80 a day”.  Plus commission.  Oh, the bounty to behold if you actually knock on someone’s door, bother them at home, and attempt to sell them something they already have.

Where do I sign up?

Once the interviews were conducted, both men left the room. The man other interviewee and I looked at each other, and burst out laughing?

“Is this for real?”, I ask.

“I was thinking the same thing, kept wondering where the cameras were”.

When the first interviewer returned, he rubbed his hands together as if at  some Hawaiian pig roast.  “So, what d’ya think?”

He looked at the man first, who shook his head before speaking.  “I have never seen this level of unprofessionalism, those kids were condescending, and I’m embarrassed to even be sitting here”.

My jaw dropped, and the interviewer blanched.  “Well the company is throwing us a party today, it’s a pretty big deal, so that’s why some of us are dressed casually.  But I won’t waste any of your time, thanks for coming in”.

The man leaves, and I am amazed…wishing I had the guts to say it like it is in an interview.  To say, “I want to be paid fairly, I want to be treated with respect, you want me because I’m the best, I want to work for you because I had my pick of the lot…but what it comes down to is you need me just as much as I need you”. But I say nothing, still gripping my purse.  The interviewer starts shuffling the papers around him, not once looking at me.  “So…you interested?”


But I politely ask a few more questions,  take a business card, and try to leave calmly and casually, not bolt as if being freed from a kidnapper.  Once outside, I see my fellow interviewer smoking a cigarette, and clearly waiting for me.  He tries to get my number and explains how he knows people, and that I could get in on the ground floor of a few shading sounding business opportunities.  I politely give him the email address of an unused account, and hustle to the car, where I promptly burst into tears.  How promising the job sounded, an oasis in a vast desert of job postings.  I drove home, back to sanctity of my office, to my unpaid position as writer in residence.  They say, “Do what you love, and the money will follow”, but that just sounds like another scam.  Another pyramid built by slaves, creating an empire they have no rights to.

Pyramids on the beach

All Images Courtesy of Google

Down the Hatch

In Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”, she lists the things she learned from Lorne Michaels.

‘The show doesn’t go on because it’s ready; it goes on because it’s 11:30′


This is a testament to doing your best, getting it right the first time, but fine-tuning your work til the last possible second, and then letting it go.

You can’t be on that kid standing at the top of the water-slide, overthinking it.  You have to go down the chute”


I have a big weekend coming up, two shows and a literary festival.  While I’m excited at the possibilities, fear creeps into my head like a gas leak of self doubt.  But then I think of Tina, who has done alright for herself, who also says:

What I learned about “bombing” as an improviser was that…[it] is painful, but it doesn’t kill you…you will still be physically alive when it’s over”.


I think about her metaphor of a child at the top of the water-slide, frozen with terror as everyone else zips by–gliding down the chute, and bolting back up the stairs for another go.  I know that kid.  I’ve been that kid.  When my husband and I were traveling with my best friend and her husband in Prince Edward Island, we were in a hotel with an amazing pool and slide.  Being wise, respectable adults, we naturally got a little bit drunk and made that slide our bitch. We were hooting and hollering, splashing and swimming, when a father came in with his young son. The boy looked in awe at the water-slide.  It took ages for him to even get up the stairs but once up there, he just stared into the black void of the chute.  The four of us rallied around the boy, explaining how fun (and safe) it was.  But he just stood there, unable to scale the wall of his own fear.


I was up at the the top at the slide, alone with the serious looking boy, who had now grown a small beard.  I leaned down to get ‘on his level’, and said “I understand why you’re afraid, but you should know that the other side of that coin is regret.  You’ll regret not giving it a try–and that’s worse than being afraid”.  His jaw slackened, his eyes widened.  I was really getting through to him.  This is when I noticed that my ‘getting on his level’–crouching down, leaning forward with my hands on my knees,  meant accidentally squeezing my bikini-clad A-cups together.  And this boy had never been so close to boobs before.  Or maybe he’s around breasts all the time, and was horrified by how tiny mine were.  (He strokes his beard, Really? That’s all you’ve got?”)  Still,  with my inspirational, boob-tempered speech, his confidence lifted, and he raced down the chute.  There was this brief second where we all waited silently for the boy’s rebirth; and when he came out on the other side, splashing into the water, we all applauded his bravery.

And then there was five.

That little boy, having conquered his fear, made an endless circle: up the stairs, down the chute, in the water, and  back up the stairs.

And when I think about fear, fear of failure, of choking, I just think about what I told that boy–and that it is something I must tell myself.  The last thing I want to feel is regret for not even trying.  And I think again of Tina Fey, and the phrase that I have tacked to the cork board above my desk.

You have to let people see what you wrote.  It will never be perfect, but perfect is overrated”.

And this can apply to anything…but you never know, if you get over the fear, you might make a huge splash.  You might even see some boobs.  Anything is possible.