We Aren’t Any Closer to Having Nice Things: 50

It’s our anniversary. Break out the fancy cutlery and set the table for two. Pour some snappy chardonnay and warm the brie. Iron the satin sheets and dim those lights. Put on that shirt I love you in. Or put on that nothing I love you in.

It’s our anniversary, blog reader-people. Our 50th anniversary. Ours. You and me. You and Irving, although now it’s like I’m describing some mysterious love triangle, and everyone knows triangles get beyond complicated, major quick.

So let’s keep it PG. Since it’s our 50th, tradition says you have to get us (me) something gold. Great – I’ll take anything gold (except golden loonie chocolates. Ick). Irving will take something gold too. He can turn it into hipster man-bling; gold is so mainstream, it must be ironic by now, right?

Besides the romantical stuff, which we can get to when you give me my (18-24 carat gold) gift later, anniversaries are for looking back, for reminiscing. For mulling over the best of This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things (Batman comic frenzies), the ugly (basketball can be very tricky), the brilliant (“yoga tells me stories which resonate”), the controversial (red denim was not a winner), and the geeky (oh, let me explain all of Star Wars over text on a Tuesday). And the disco, because all good recollection sessions involve dancing.

We’ve talked Superman, curling, cheeseball love stuff, Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha, and Miranda, and poetry slams. We’ve jammed to indie musictwicepracticed hockey atheism, counteracted said hockey atheism, assigned Food Network soul sisters, become first-name-basis friends with Vince (Carter), and perfected the art of method acting. There’s also been a lot of thoughtful yoga. And a lot of yoga pants.

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Fan(girl) Friday: Yoga Pant Love | Fanboy Friday: Damian Wayne, Boy Wonder | Best of Seven Series: Red Denim | Fanboy Friday: JL8. That is All. | Fanboy Friday: “I didn’t mean to be here, but I’m glad I was” | Kryptonite Free Blogging: Welcome to the Planet | Fanboy Friday: The UBC Slam Power Rankings | Fanboy Friday: A Class About Batman? | Rediscovering Yoga: My Name is Irving and I’m Addicted to Yoga | Basketball Over Everything: Life Lessons from the Zen Master

A few things are abundantly clear after checking out this infographic: we have a severe problem with overusing the colon. As in, we cannot write a title without one. See also: the title for this article. Stay tuned for the Colon Count after our next 50 posts. My estimate is about 392. Aside from that, we can also tell that Fanboy Friday, all Irving’s domain, is excessively popular and currently carrying This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things, readershipwise. And by carrying, I mean completely doing all the muscle and brain work – by far our most popular article family.

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Based on the most searched terms on This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things, I’d like to think we are doing the world a service. They have a lot of questions about sports and comics and life and yoga (pants). And we have answers. The people, they have questions. I’d also like to know if Rachael Ray likes NHL hockey. Someone, please help us? Rachael?

There are a few other search queries that need addressing because, really, it would just be so unfortunate to leave them alone. The internet world has searched This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things whilst asking:
“Why do everybody love Wonder Woman’s breasts?: Because they are fabulous;
“Why do we love the game basketball?”: Because it gave birth to Jordan;
“How often should you wear yoga pants?”: Everywhere except a job interview, meeting with the President, and first dates;
“Carrie was mean to Charlotte”: Not a question, but only when Charlotte really deserved it. Tough love is entirely essential when you are best pals with Charlotte;
“Who created yoga pants?”: I have absolutely no idea, but I’m going to give this one to Lululemon anyways;
“Damian Wayne action figure”: I’m sure Irving has three, maybe he can share;
“Miami Heat sucks”: No arguments here;
“Should my wife wear yoga pants in public?”: I feel as though this search happened amid severe marital strife over pants. Totally controversial, this is divorce material;
“What is that girl’s name in yoga pants?”: This makes me sad. I imagine a downtrodden person searching whilst crying big, quiet tears, as rain pounds on the window of his bachelor apartment, while he frantically scours the internet looking for the girl in killer yoga pants that he only spotted momentarily. There’s probably a RomCom movie to be made here;
“My butt has started to fill out my yoga pants”: Congrats. I like your bum;
“Why Canadian NHL teams suck?: Gary. Gary Bettman;
“Asian girls in socks”: I really like wool socks. But on my own feet, to keep my toes cozy. Sorry;
“How to live with someone who doesn’t practice yoga?”: Impossible.

Anniversaries are also for reflecting, for checking in, for collecting ourselves, and for evaluating our strengths, faults, proudest moments, and mildly severe grammatical errors, all while orienting ourselves to the future; to the next 50 This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things posts.

Irving
Reaching 50 posts to me means that Nicole and I stuck to our idea which began as a text message.  It means we’ve started to write about our passions.  It means we’re not stopping now.

When I look back at our first 50 posts I can’t help but look forward.  Instead of going over what I’ve wrote already, I keep thinking about what I want to write next.  When we first began posting on our blog I was so excited by the prospect, to just write about things I’ve wanted to but never could find the proper avenue to do it.  I needed Nicole to get me focused. For the first time, I had someone else I had to be accountable for writing I did outside of school.  In writing for yourself, it is easy to fall into the trap of posting two things in two days, feeling proud of yourself and not doing anything for six months.  With this pet project I set myself deadlines every week.  When we first began I had the idea in my head we would have three posts a week.  Then school started and three turned into two.  When school kicked into high gear, two turned into, “As long as I get a Fanboy Friday out this week we’ll be okay.”   Did droughts happen and we didn’t post for an extended period of time?  Unfortunately, yes.  The first time was when we began our redesign and Nicole got sneak attacked by shingles.  The second was this past summer when we tried to come up with ideas to post but nothing stuck.  It didn’t help that Nicole was still fighting off shingles and I was drained over the summer.  However, we could’ve said, “Let’s get to 50 and shut it down.”  The thought never crossed my mind.  We’re back and we want to be better.  We have a sample size of 50 to work with and tweak what we do.  Will we ever post three or more things a week consistently while we’re both in school?  No, but we have also made it a priority to have quality over quantity.  Does this mean we’ll only have one post a week?  Maybe but that doesn’t mean we won’t have more other weeks.  It’s a balancing act between living and blogging because if we didn’t have lives we’d have nothing to blog about.  Yes, sometimes life gets in the way, but that can’t be helped – it only matters what you do to work around it.  For us, if it means one post a week then so be it.  I’m not lowering expectations for our blog, just being realistic.  We’re going through a process and we’re not sure where it might lead but Nicole and I trust each other and we have faith in what we’ve started. What else do you need?

The goal of our blog wasn’t to conquer the world or go viral or become internet famous.  For me, the goal has always been to write about topics which interest me and that I’m invested in.  I want to find things which make me uncomfortable, laugh, or think, because if it has that effect on me maybe it will have the same effect on another.  Trust me when I say this, everything Nicole and I put out there is us.  Each post is a still life of us in that moment.  I was intimidated when I went to the Mavericks Speaker Series on my own.  I did feel time slow down when I went to the art gallery for the first time.  My summer was both exhausting and rejuvenating at the same time and it did end too abruptly.  Alex Mazerolle is my favourite yoga teacher.  I hope FunkDirty blows up.  I hope my future son grows up in a world where Wonder Woman is a marquee name in Hollywood.  This blog is me, it’s Nicole, and our readers.

Speaking of our readers, I’ve had a handful of people tell me in person they love the blog and find it thoughtful and hilarious, among other things.  When we first began this blog Nicole and I didn’t really think about our readers.  We assumed that there had to be plenty of people who had a crossover of our interests.  We didn’t place a huge importance on it, because we wanted to find our own blog voices and craft them first and foremost; it’s a process we’re still going through.  However, I’m curious to know what our readers want.  Did we write something that reminded you of something we might find interesting and would want our take on it?  Did we write something which you completely disagree with and you think we totally read something wrong?  Let us know.  One way we can grow as a blog is for us to get to know our readers better.  Comment on our posts, follow us, tweet us, share our stuff on Facebook.  As much as this blog is about Nicole and I writing about things which stir something in us, we want something to stir in our readers as well.

We haven’t done anything yet.  Stay tuned.  Here’s to the next 50 and the next after that.

Nicole
This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things makes me happy. It makes me feel accomplished, satisfied, proud, and confident. This blog is hard work. It’s exhausting, it’s exhilarating, it’s Irving, it’s accountability, it’s cathartic, it’s sports, it’s Nicole, it’s terrifying, it’s rewarding. Sometimes it’s even a smidge annoying (say, when it’s 1AM on a freezing cold Friday morning, after a night of thesis-fueled anxiety, and I get a cheerful text from Irving asking if I’ve commented on Fanboy Friday yet. And I’ve just crawled under my lovely, toasty warm covers. And I haven’t commented). I still love you, little blog.

I think Irving and I are working on something good here, with this humble project. We’ve stuck to it; blogged through a summer of heartbreak and shingles, argued over (my excessive) comma use, stumbled through creating a layout and logo capable of communicating what we hope to say, accepted that Irving likes to put two spaces after a period while I prefer a single space, and tossed around, retooled, rejected, and fought for bajillions of ideas, sharing only what we loved enough to present to you. I’ve imagined our readers, generously lending us their time, (time that they should probably spend doing homework instead of procrasti-reading) pouring over our words, mulling through our deliberations, questioning our judgements, thinking our thoughts with a newness of the otherwise, feeling what we’ve said through their own worlds. I hope we are worth it. Irving and I are wholeheartedly honoured to be worth it, even for three seconds. Of all my goals for our next 50 posts, the most ambitious is to become increasingly worthy of your time and brain power. Hopefully together – because we darn sure can’t do it without you – we can build towards even more worthiness; we can spur even more creativity, laughs, overly-wordy sentences, ambition, courage, questioning, and boldness. We aren’t just writing and publishing articles here, we are raising a blog. An itty bitty baby blog, but an infant blog that will only keep maturing, reflecting, refining, and growing. A blog we are damn proud of (very damn proud, actually).

PS. By post 100, the Oilers will be in the playoffs.

We love you, world. Thank you.

And – don’t forget to chill the champagne, the fancy ice bucket is in the kitchen. Can you please spring for the expensive stuff this time? The $12 stuff is nippy. Don’t forget my gift of gold, you can pick it up at the jeweller. It’ll be in one of those heavy-paned glass cases.

Perfecto. Happy 50th Anniversary.

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