November 6, 2014

Yeah, I’d rather be a hippy than a hipster, what!?

Well, I *was* gonna show you a picture of this cool, old, US army truck that’s parked like a sculpture near my house but my gallery program doesn’t seem to want me to upload anything to it for some reason so I guess I’ll have to get Blake to take a look at that later to see why it’s not doing what I need it to do. Whatever, imgur for the time being. Behold, this awesome truck that I love so much I actually pulled over and trespassed on this person’s lawn/field to show you, which, for someone undergoing immersion therapy, is sort of a big deal.

I submitted a painting or, probably more aptly, a mixed media assemblage to Touched By Fire but I don’t think I got in because they originally said we should be notified by November 3rd if we did and I haven’t heard anything. That was before they extended the deadline until October 31st though so who knows? The piece I made was the biggest size they allowed so I knew my chances of getting in were pretty slim, especially when submitting so late in the game. Doesn’t matter though because I like what I made (but think I could have done better, of course) and it lead to two BIGGER ideas that I’m completely in love with and in the process of trying to make happen. The first part is waiting at least 3 weeks for samples because this shit is srs bsns, and within that 3 weeks, coming up with a solid budget which has been a lot harder to pin down than I originally thought it’d be. I’ve never spent this much money on an art project before though so I’m trying to be as accurate and frugal as possible but I’m dealing with wholesale minimum orders that I’ll only be able to meet ONCE so if I’m short on what I need, I’m screwed and I am THE WORST at math. I’ve asked many people to help me with the math and of the 15 or so answers I’ve gotten, including on Reddit, they’ve all been different. Vastly in some instances. I figure Reddit’s answer is probably the best jumping off point because if the ONLY DUDE THAT ANSWERED ME was wrong, he would have been downvoted or some other dude would have come in with a bigger dick to tell him he was wrong. Anyway, it’s been challenging but I’m pretty obsessed with making it happen one way or another, it’s just the “one way or another” I’m still figuring out.

I met my new shrinks on Monday. Yeah, shrinkS. Plural. I’m so lucky, I get two. The main one, we’ll call her Murphy Brown, immediately wanted to switch me from side-effect-free ziprasidone/Zeldox – my main anti-psychotic, the foundation of my mental health pyramid – with Abilify for no reason whatsoever that I can see except maybe she wants me to gain 30 lbs, which is just the tip of the iceberg with that drug. Fuck that and fuck her. It took me MANY YEARS of trial and error and metabolic syndrome, that outweighed any mental benefit of any drug, to find the right meds and right now I’m maintaining so fuck the fuck right off. I don’t have a nickname for the other shrink yet and she’s a doctor but not a full doctor and still in training or something? She looks about my age. I told them that S.A.D. has started kicking in, meaning that “we may need to go up by half a pill on my cipralex” at some point like my prior doctor said we may have to do and it’s not like this shit doesn’t happen EVERY SINGLE YEAR LIKE CLOCKWORK OR ANYTHING. I asked to borrow a lightbox, I’m going to use it – again, please fuck off with your bulldozer parked so close to my crystal castle.

So that’s how that went. I see the shrink-in-training in 3 weeks. I have no idea why or what I said to necessitate that. Hooray. Thrilled, I am, to have the privilege of answering 50 more random, nosey, irrelevant questions. Oh, that’s another thing, Murphy Brown suggested I stop drinking Diet Coke because it’s “SO MUCH CAFFEINE” and she said if I didn’t believe her I could look it up. Well. I did. When I got home. According to the fucking Mayo Clinic, a cup of coffee has 95-200mg of caffeine and a can of Diet Coke has 23-47mg which means that I consume on average the same amount of caffeine in a day as one cup of coffee, so again, I tell you, Murphy Brown please go fuck yourself.

I’ll stop now. Needless to say, the first visit was not a positive one despite the fact that I went in there with nothing but positivity because life’s going pretty good and good things are happening.

Like I said a while back, I’ve been working a lot. I now work 7-9 hours/day as opposed to 3. I’m still training people. Working all these new hours has enabled me to do something I’ve never done before: paid off my Visa. Then as soon as the final payment cleared, I immediately maxed it out by buying myself and Blake plane tickets to go to San Francisco for my birthday. Why San Francisco? Because Steph the Geek is there in her 20 Mission hippie commune. Because Sapphire is there. Because my friends Kat, Sarah, Quelyn and Erica are there. Blake’s sisters and nieces (whom he’s never even met) are close by in Tahoe. And it’s a medical state. With weird food we can’t get here. And it’s my birthday. So that’s why.

The plan is pretty simple: we’re gonna rent a place in the Mission District using airbnb with (ideally) 2 desks or work surfaces and a kitchen, that has a backyard or courtyard and we’re going to order crazy fruit and organic meat from this website Steph uses and basically just hang out with whoever and each other. Blake’s going to work on his book and I’m sure I’ll find a way to entertain myself.  We’re also going to rent a car and go to Tahoe. Not sure if that’s going to be an overnight thing or not at this point though. On the actual day of my birth we’re trying to have some sort of get-together with everyone…somewhere, because we’ll be leaving for home the next day. I don’t care about Alcatraz or the bridge. I would like to see some painted ladies. I wouldn’t mind seeing the other ocean. omg will there be tidepools? I’ve never seen a real starfish. I dunno, I just figured by the end of February I’ll probably be wanting to slit my wrists so somewhere sunny and warm (to me) with some of my closest friends seemed like a good idea since I suddenly realized it was a viable goal. And I realize I’m now in debt again, but it won’t take too long to pay off and I was pretty proud of myself for essentially saving up all of the money to do this. Or at least take the first step and order the plane tickets.

I have to figure out how to carry-on both my laptop and my camera because everything I’ve ever read/heard has said not to pack them in your luggage. Hrm. I dunno about this traveling stuff.

This week the new Anne Rice book came out AND the new Mother Mother album did too, so honestly, it’s been a pretty good week. Cried a little this morning, convinced that it was going to be a bad day, but it wasn’t. I also got the Lena Dunham book to read for myself, with context, what happened with her sister rather than rely on sentence fragments and the one excerpt the media’s been primarily focusing on to come up with my own opinion. My friend Tay also mentioned that Lena Dunham’s also said some racist things in the media about why there are so few minorities on Girls, which I guess I missed. I follow her on Twitter but like, as much as I follow any celebrity, which means I only read like, maybe 1/10 of her tweets. Anyway, I was interested in her book before all this but when I went to get the Anne Rice book, the Dunham book was only $20 and there was one copy left, so I was like, “fuck it” and added it to my pile, which also included Gone Girl, High Times and a magazine called Canadian Art that looked interesting.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANYWAY, it’s time to take my PM meds, find food, watch American Horror Story and go to bed. Peace oot, y’all.

September 26, 2014

NOW TAKING INTERESTING COMMISSIONS.

I have had a blank WordPress page open since like, the 18th, with this title. And I haven’t posted anything with this title or written the post that was to go along with this title because I’m not sure commissions are ever a good idea. For me, anyway. Either other people’s ideas don’t inspire me or the deadline aspect gives me diarrhea or (often) I’m not in love with the finished product because I see every imperfection and then I feel guilty taking people’s money. When I’m painting normally, I just paint what’s in my head and if there are imperfections, they’re part of the piece and it’s sold “as is”. Done, chuck it on Etsy. Next! But with a commission, I feel the client is expecting perfection and if they’re not they SHOULD BE because I would, so that’s what I feel I need to deliver no matter how unrealistic that may be.

Right now, though, I ain’t makin’ nothin’ and I only have these vague threads of ideas wafting through my head like the ghostly echoes of the whispers of creativity. The last painting I did was this one, last November. And right now all I do is work. Even when I’m not working, I’m actually still really working and I need to do less of that. A couple of weekends ago, I made an oldschool fan sign for a camgirl I like and I pretty much did it because I had 48 virgin Sharpies, a whole bunch of Bristol board and just wanted to do something – anything – creative while Blake and I finished watching Defiance. Cuz that’s what I do. I make stuff. I watch TV and I make stuff. It is what I’ve always done and probably what I will always do.

I have a ton of creative “shoulds” that are lingering about, things I either started or bought the stuff for. I mean, my god, there has to be at least one million ideas within the 6 x 7.5 foot cubicle I inhabit 17.5 hours out of every day, you would think it would be as simple as picking one and following through, but it’s not and it’s not because all of those ideas to me are old ideas. Stale ideas. No one’s ever seen or heard or been told about them or know they exist, but they’re so complete in my head and the process by which to execute them is so…I don’t want to say “easy” because I don’t want to imply that what I do is easy – it’s not. But definitely unchallenging and I’m probably not going to be surprised by the end result. More than anything I just wanna make shit and the only way I can justify putting in the time or money is if someone else wants it. If there’s a reason for making it.

I’m good at “cut & paste”. When I was in kindergarten or grade 1, there were “stations” in my classroom and one of these stations was “cut & paste” and it was THE BEST station because that was where you could always make the best stuff. I’ve always had a mild interest in various clay mediums and thought the dough station was 2nd best, but as a grown-up I don’t know the science behind making clays do what I want them to do permanently and they’re expensive so I’ve always just stuck to paint, paper, glitter & glue. And like I said, I have these almost tangible wispy ideas as I type this and mentally catalogue all of the “stuff” I have to make other stuff out of, but nothing solid takes shape. And right now I even have money that I could buy all kinds of NEW stuff to make stuff out of but I think that’s a complete waste unless the idea’s really good.

And as if by some cosmic joke, I literally just got the call for entries to Touched By Fire, the art show THEY say you have to be crazy to enter because it’s for artists with mood disorders, but I call it the remedial art show pretty much just because it’s like the Special Olympics of art and I’ve ridden that shortbus all the way to Crazytown a few times so I can make fun of it if I want to. This year it’s being held at the Steamwhistle gallery (which is in a brewery, I think) and the theme is “unspoken” and as I write this, about to make fun of it mercilessly, an idea appears….hmmmm….HMMMMMMMMM I SAY. And the more I think about it, the better it issssssssssssssssss…..oh look at that, 250 empty vegan gel caps and a box of o.b. tampons ordered off the internet. The deadline is in 28 days soooooooo I guess it’s problem solved and game on!

PS. Before I kill myself designing them, would anyone be interested in Xmas ornaments of my girls from Zazzle?  Here are the shapes. I figure I’d price them between $25-$20, depending on which type everyone preferred, if any. Lemme know!

July 2, 2014

Blake ate the misshapen fortune cookie.

Not sure I’m capable of a full post. Like. With paragraphs. I may just delete this line entirely.

I thought I was okay and then I saw this (which is awesome and I will read later, but you should read NOW…this post is a bummer and can totally wait) and it was like someone sucked all the air out of the room and I couldn’t breathe.

At least she waited until she probably knew I was done working or maybe she just waited as long as she  could, but this morning I got the first dated e-mail.

You can tell how serious or important something is by whether or not my mother’s dating the e-mails in the subject line.

Grandma. July 2 2014

Not unlike the e-mails people got 3 years ago this summer, “Sarah. July 2 2011”, events to which I had already been thinking about very recently, and as I figure I will for probably the rest of my life:

big sudden decline
grama (except she spells it right)’s been on oxygen since Thursday
increasingly more oxygen
now triple

{sarah reads: GRAMA CAN’T BREATHE, SHE MUST BE SCARED.}

palliative care asap
ps. no internet at grama’s. you may not hear from me until tomorrow.

Sarah pulls up her grama panties, e-mails back something pithy and decides priority 1 is that I e-mail work, tell them, again, that this time, for real this time, it’s gonna happen. I will need time off. I will e-mail with more info as I have it, here’s my schedule, thanks in advance. Luckily I am friends with everyone I work with, on some level anyway, and I’m not too terribly worried about work because I don’t think people have funerals on Saturdays and what are the odds she’ll die on my worst day? (Pretty good, actually, if the history of our relationship is any indication but it was work and I included our boss so I didn’t wanna get slap happy and umb out of shock or whatever, as I may be doing right now.) Time off no questions asked only happens for death and Xmas. I know my bosses would work my shifts if necessary. Both of them.

I am totally completely babbling but see? I’m wearing my grama panties. Work. The responsibility. The money. Priority 1. God I could throw up. I may throw up. The day is young and I am severely undermedicated. I’m betting my mom e-mailed her work/money/responsiblitiesthatarenotmygrama people before she e-mailed me, Blake and my brother. (Or she was wise enough not to take anything on in the first place.) We all have it, whatever it is. It’s AWFUL! No, scratch that, this is one form of crazy my brother was spared. My brother probably e-mailed her with “whatever you need, just tell me, I’ll be there” and like, wanting to be in the trenches and I guess I said that too, sort of, but my response may have included a colon, lowercase o and right parenthesis in succession. I also know for a fact that I am mentally incapable of going to palliative care and I don’t think anyone in the world would hold that against me. Or anyone who remotely mattered, anyway.

I got that far in my thoughts this morning before I had to stop. I thought about taking all my shit outside and working on my garden painting, y’know, IN my ditchweed butterfly wildflower keep off the fucking lawn garden as planned, or as I had planned all morning until I got that e-mail, but suddenly the rain expected at 1pm just had me making idle chatter with a friend who wanted to talk about weed (obviously) while I watched this awesomely shitty Lifetime series that is now on Netflix called Witches of East End and I had just finished the series 1 finale, knowing full well that season 2 was not on Netflix, and may not even exist so I had to come online to know, did it get cancelled? Because it was just SO awesomely shitty that I couldn’t imagine/really hoped there would be a season 2. I got as far as “set to premiere on July 6, 2014” on the Wikipedia page, stopped reading because I literally want to know nothing, and flipped to Facebook because okay, TV is over, now what?

oh. hi there “Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire“.

welcome, sheer fucking panic because I didn’t even think of clothes.

And then I came here because I couldn’t even get past the first paragraph of the article before having my worst panic attack in recent history.

I am good for one day of public viewing, unless it’s okay to wear the same thing multiple days in a row or it’s okay to wear white/off-white. (Is it?)
Madison will need clothes. As long as it doesn’t rain, we can work around her Docs.
Wes will need clothes from the ground up.
Blake would prefer no clothes, but has a few suits to choose mix/match/dowhateverboysdo from.
He will need shoes, an expense he’s needed for a while that I keep telling him to get that now he can’t put off. Although my grama might, if overhearing my inner debate as to whether or not he can get away with his orthopedic sandals, say, “oh! I don’t need it, I don’t need it”, because that is absolutely the very thing , when last I saw her, she would say. Ball’s in his court on that one. I’m wearing Docs.

Just texted my brother to make sure he has a suit. He’s a grown man, I probably don’t have to ask him this. Too late. Can’t take it back.

John & Chris are good.

That is all my people.

Everyone else can find their own canoe.

June 10, 2014

Deep, confusing waters.

So guess what? Right now, right at this very moment I am writing this blog post from Woodland Beach, which is near my house and and a woody area before the beach with boardwalks and picnic tables, some in the shade (like where I am now) and some in the sun. I can hear the beach behind me and why it’s behind me and not in front of me is because I like to be able to see people coming down the road and coming onto the beach from this access point. I don’t like strangers behind me. Also the picnic I’m sitting at has a closer seat to the table on one side and one farther away from the table and I tried that, facing the water, and that distance away from my keyboard was just uncomfortable.

So yes. I am writing from the beach. This makes me pretty fucking happy, to be perfectly honest. I have 2 hours of parking and 2 hours of battery life on my laptop so chances are I’ll have to finish this at home, maybe even tomorrow.

I got my phone mount for my car and this has lead to multiple trips to multiple beaches using Waze, each with their own unique benefits. Like this one I can write at, for example. I can sit here and write while the kids swim. That’s awesome. Then when my battery dies, I read my book. It’s all good. Anyway, I’m not a “baby Wazer” anymore, I’ve driven over 100 miles so I’m a sunflower on the map now. OOH LA LA!

The first place I went with Waze, was to Blue Sky, a restaurant in Penetanguishene that I really like. The decision to go there was made because it’s the only place in Penetanguishene (which is farthest away from us in the opposite direction of Barrie) I felt I could theoretically sit down at, order a meal and pay and not completely freak out.

When I came down the street Blue Sky is on, there were only a couple of spaces on the street to park in but they all required parallel parking and I just cannot but even Waze was telling me to go behind the building. So I did and there were 3 spots, 2 occupied. So I parked there, smoked a joint and went around the corner to find that people had left and there were 2 empty spots right in front of the restaurant that I could have just pulled into and I thought about moving the car but I’d just smoked a joint and didn’t think it would be a wise decision, even though I could prooooooobably navigate that after medicating.

I go inside the restaurant and I wait to be seated. Every time we’ve ever gone, we’ve waited to be seated and a waitress would tell us to sit anywhere and we would. So I stood there and waited. I waited while 2 waitresses walked past me several times and completely ignored me. I waited like, 10 fucking minutes and panic started to creep in and I almost left but I found the teeniest bit of courage and the next time a waitress walked past me, I said, “excuse me? where may I sit?” and it was a younger girl and she was kinda snotty and she said, “you can sit wherever you want”.

I picked a table in the area where you’re surrounded by windows on 3 sides, which is always where I like to sit but it’s usually way too busy. I ordered a Diet Coke and peameal and eggs and played with my phone until the food got there. I ate some of it. I really like their peameal, which is why I go there when I want that, and eggs are eggs are eggs, but their homefries are SO lacking and they don’t have Heinz ketchup on the tables, both of which annoy the shit out of me. I didn’t even know ketchup existed that WASN’T Heinz (even fast food places use Heinz for their ketchup packets!) and I’ve never tried the kind they have (I forget what it’s called) but the jar is just a gross shape and the label is completely unappealing and like, if we’re in a situation where I don’t know it’s not Heinz, like when restaurants just have the plastic yellow and red bottles for mustard and ketchup, in my head that shit’s all Heinz.

I finish eating and I go up to the front to pay and the snotty girl rang me in and I asked her where I could find a bank machine because I saw something cool on the side of the road that you needed cash for. She told me there was one across the street at the convenience store that charged a $2.50 service fee or there was a CIBC and TD bank up the street. I asked her if it would be cool if I left my car parked behind the restaurant while I went to the TD and she told me that was fine.

Now.

I’m LEAVING my car at Blue Sky to walk up the street to the TD bank. Google map that shit. That is a long goddamn walk for someone who DOESN’T on a cold day up a hill the whole way but she didn’t tell me that. She knew I was leaving my car and walking to the TD bank. She should have said, “you might want to take your car with you because it’s not really walkable” but she did not. Holy fuck, I was dead by the time I got back to the car, but whatever I had my $20 bill and could get the super special thing I saw on the side of the road on the way home that I’ll post about another time.

See this is the thing, I’m DOING so much that I just don’t really have time to sit down and spend a whole day composing a blog post like I did before.

Anyway, that was my adventure in Penetang.

Friday was a PA Day for Wes and Blake said I could go to Wal*Mart and get a $50 prepaid Visa to use for parking at the beaches, so Wes and I went to Wasaga Beach to do just that because I didn’t want to go by myself and Wes wanted to spend his allowance. First though, he had to find out how much money he had in the bank, which meant stopping at the TD bank in town. There was a spot sort of down the street a bit from the bank where there would be a laneway and a no parking area in front of me and a car behind me, so all I had to do was pull in and back up. I tried, a few times, and couldn’t get myself the appropriate distance away from the curb to save my life. As it turns out, I was the appropriate distance from the curb legally and everyone I know just parks too close. There’s parking around the back of the bank so I just parked there.

At Wal*Mart I saw this awesome lamp that would be perfect for my office that was $25. I put it in my cart. Then I put it back. Then I put it in my cart again but before we went to the checkout I put it back because I just didn’t have $25 to spend at ALL, let alone on something like that. Wes got himself a pair of sunglasses and a chocolate bar and I got Milkbones because they had a giant box on sale and I wanted some for in my car anyway. As it turns out, Wal*Mart doesn’t sell prepaid Visas (weird) but the Foodland across the street did (weirder) so we went there.

Wes and I are cool.

When I got home, people wanted to know if I got the lamp because I Instagrammed it and I told them that no, sadly I did not and a friend of mine basically told me I needed it and sent me the money for it. I think putting the lamp back was like, good personal karma or something for doing what is financially responsible for once in my life and I got rewarded for it.

After Madison got home from school, we went  to the beach for a while and then we went to Wal*Mart to get the lamp. Where it was a LOT busier than it had been that morning and I basically had a panic attack and we had to check out posthaste. Wal*Mart is not a place I feel comfortable in most of the time but I think being there without Blake at a busy time was just too much immersion therapy.

Awesome lamp.

With all this driving and with all the things I plan to do, I simply do not make enough money to maintain this level of curiosity and to keep doing some things that, as it turns out, I really really like doing. I really really like packing a lunch and bringing a book and a joint and spending two hours warm at the beach but parking costs money and gas costs money and I was barely making it paycheque to paycheque BEFORE I had my own car. A couple of friends who have wanted to encourage me and who I guess like this “new” Sunny have sent me unexpected cash gifts/donations and I just wanted to say that that is SO SO SO appreciated and I am beyond grateful. I’m not asking for donations right now, so don’t get me wrong, but if anyone else did feel so inclined, there’s a donate button on the front page of my site or you can send me money through Camwhores (I think you can do that without being a CW member but I’m not sure). That said, I asked my boss if I could have some float hours if I could find places where I might be needed and she said that was totally okay, so I’ve found 2 hours a week that I can work extra and right now I’m trying to determine if I can regularly do that or if it can only be a sometimes thing. [From this point forward, I’m writing this today, Tuesday, June 10th. Couldn’t finish the whole thing at the beach.] Also this pay period, I ended up working 8 extra hours so I’m doing my best to be financially independent. The fact of the matter is, I have the job I have and work the hours I work because that’s what I’m capable of. I tried doing my job for 40 hours a week in the beginning and I just couldn’t do it. A few weeks before I got sick, I told my boss that she either had to give me some time off or I was going to have to quit because I was burning right out. After I came home from the hospital and was well enough to work again, she offered me 20 hours and that’s been perfect. I can commit to 20 hours a week. I can stay sane working 20 hours a week (99% of the time). My schedule is GREAT and even as much as I fucking looooooooathe Saturdays because that’s my marathon “do the same thing for 9 hours straight” day, it’s actually not that terrible as long as I am 100% aware of how the day is going to go, re: family and coworkers, and I usually am.

As I mentioned, Blake paid for me to get a $50 prepaid Visa, figuring that that would actually work out cheaper than a parking pass because that is 12 trips to the beach, if I only stay 2 hours. He doesn’t think I’ll go to the beach that often but I’m pretty sure I will, especially once the kids are out of school and we’ll definitely be spending more than 2 hours there. Blake thinks I’m dumb for paying for parking even though at this point, I’m just sitting in the car. We argued about it and he told me to do whatever I want and to not complain when he can’t afford another Visa right away. He thinks I should just do my thing and not pay and if a parking enforcement person comes by, I can pretend like I just got there and go pay or I can move the car somewhere else. There are 2 inherent problems with that and 1 moral one. First, pretending I just got there and paying would only MAYBE work once because they’ll see me there again, probably in the same spot, and I say “maybe” because when I get there, I push the driver’s seat back, tilt the steering wheel up and set my lunch up on the passenger seat. No one’s going to believe I just got there if I’m reading a book and I have half eaten lunch on the passenger seat. Secondly, when I get there, I pay for parking and then I smoke a joint so I can eat my lunch when I get back to the car. It may not be SAFE for me to just move the car somewhere else (where?) or go to another beach if someone comes around. The best part of being able to legally smoke weed is that if anyone bugs me, I’m RIGHT! And that goes for parking too, I want to be RIGHT when they smell the weed and check my parking ticket which DID happen last week, that exact thing. I am a person who seeks to avoid any and all conflict. And finally, it’s just dishonest!

Then later that day, I opened a spare fortune cookie I had on my desk and stopped worrying about Blake thinking I’m dumb.

So! My new favourite thing is packing a lunch and writing or reading at the beach while listening to music but I can’t think of good portable (and healthy) lunch things. Yesterday’s lunch was a multigrain tortilla with lots of spring mix, “herb and spices” havarti cheese (because I’m trying to live a little!) and roast beef. I also had a small bottle of orange juice and goldfish crackers. So I think that was a good lunch, but that’s only one lunch and I can’t have the same thing too often or I won’t like it anymore. Sooooooooo if anyone has cold lunch ideas, lay ’em on me. I’ll probably think most of them are disgusting  but maybe some will be good!

The garden is in a really ugly stage right now because my spring bulbs are still in the process of dying and I can’t cut their tops off yet, the wildflowers are only maybe an inch tall and you can’t tell them from the weeds EXCEPT the dandelions are growing fabulously. Most mornings I’m working, I’ll go out into the front yard when I’m done, water the sunflowers, Lily of the Valley and foxglove and pull dandelions for 10 or 15 minutes. That, plus Madison’s help, has kept the dandelions mostly at bay. I thought I was going to lose one of my foxgloves (I only have two) because the weather just wasn’t good enough to plant when I got the shipment of live plants and even though I watered them, once the foxgloves got planted, they just did NOT look good and then the one got down to ONE green leaf and I was sure it was a  goner but just watering it every day brought it back to life and now everything in that bed is thriving. Planting the Lily of the Valley with Madison was a moment. That’s like, our family’s maternal lineage flower. The old “Grow Dammit!” sign got warped and moldy so I’ve decided we need  to make a new one. The old one was done on canvas, which does piss-poor outside, just so you know. The wood frame warps and the canvas will grow mold. This time I got a gessoed hardboard that should hold up a little better and while I haven’t asked her yet, I’m going to ask Madison if she wants to help me design and paint it.

On Sunday we took the kids to Cora’s for the first time. Because Cora’s is about 45 minutes away, I usually medicate on the way and that usually does me, but because the kids would be in the car, that wouldn’t be a possibility, so I smoked a bowl before leaving the house and brought a joint with me for afterward. Wes wasn’t a huge fan of Cora’s but Madison was. I finished my food first, which is easy to do when you eat the least and they were almost done, so I went out to the car to smoke my joint while they finished and paid. So I’m sitting in the car with the window down and this car pulls into the spot beside me. I’m thinking, “fuck fuck fuck” because Cora’s is very much a family establishment and I assumed the person beside me would be a mom or dad with kids. I just looked straight ahead and kept smoking, sort of glancing at the car beside me out of the corner of my eye. A guy gets out of the car with a little girl and he happened to have dreads so I relaxed a bit seeing as he was likely one of my people. “Is that a joint?” he asks. “Sure is,” I reply. “Niiiiice,” he says and walks away. Made my stoner week.

Annnnnd finally, Madison got her G1 licence (learner’s permit) yesterday and is now licenced to drive with one of us in the car with her. We took her for her first drive yesterday in a parking lots and I only screamed once.

That’s all the poop that’s fit to scoop! Peace oot!

May 14, 2014

Devil Car 666

I was not okay yesterday and I’m barely okay today. When shit’s blowing up (this car shit + the table breaking and the roof leaking all in one day) and I’m already depressed and struggling to maintain even the most basic tasks, things spiral down very quickly and the persistent suicidal thoughts take over and I become fixated on them and can’t see anything else. Everything becomes so hopeless and I believe my life to mean so little that I’ll spend whole days seriously plotting its logistics for the least impact. My own car is just one more suicide method. A rather good one.

After Blake got home from work yesterday, we drove around talking and arguing until around 11pm and we are getting the standard transmission testicle-cooler all for Blake’s very own personal, exclusive use and I guess that must mean I get the next new car because it’s not like I can just inherit Blake’s when mine dies since he didn’t buy a car I can drive. And he said last night that I “deserve” a car and that I’ve “earned” one, so I take that to mean from now until death do us part, he expects us to be a 2-car family, which I guess is fine, if that’s how he wants us to be.

Madison turns 16 on Friday which makes her eligible to take the written test to get her learner’s permit (G1). If she passes that test, she has her G1 licence which means for a year she can only drive if someone else who has been fully licenced for I think more than 5 years is in the car with her and since I’m home all the time, I feel like the expectation is that’s primarily going to be me because she won’t benefit from having 2 cars otherwise. She’s going to be taking a driving course called Young Drivers of Canada which is how I learned how to drive and how most of my friends learned how to drive and successful completion of this course means you can take the test for your G2 licence (where you can drive by yourself) in 8 months instead of waiting the year. I will not get in a car with her behind the wheel until she has completed this course.

We don’t even have any plans to take Madison for her test and I have no idea if she’s even studied or is ready. And since that hasn’t been planned and she hasn’t passed that test, Blake hasn’t enrolled her in Young Drivers yet.

Realistically when she’ll be ready to take her test, it’ll be winter and you don’t want to take your test in the winter, so that means she can’t even drive the car until spring, which makes me wonder how having a second car BEFORE next spring, like we originally talked about, makes any sense if we’re going to be using benefit to Madison as an excuse. ESPECIALLY when Blake says she can’t drive it until she can afford to pay her own insurance. The way I see it, we’re looking at a year until she is capable of independently taking the car anywhere, even with Young Drivers, and I don’t need a car, so I’m still not totally sure why this purchase couldn’t wait a year when we could afford an automatic transmission *and* still keep the car we have now.

I’m sure Blake will have a reason.

Madison will not be allowed to take the car to school unless there is a specific reason, like she has to transport a heavy object, because that defeats the primary purpose of me having my own car. It does me no good if it’s sitting in the school parking lot all day.

Blake and I agree that she needs to be fully licenced and driving well in an automatic before he even tries to teach her standard, if she even wants to learn.

Ultimately it is my car and if I don’t want Madison to drive it for whatever reason, I’m allowed to say no, I have ultimate veto power.

Another thing is that if it’s 4am (or any time) and I want to go to the store to get a Red Bull before work but Blake’s car is in the way and I can’t move it, I have full permission to wake him up so he can do it. Same with snow shoveling before he goes to work/Madison goes to school so I can get out during the day in the winter should I need to.

I also don’t get oil changes or do anything on the car that would be considered “maintenance”. I’m not even driving it to places where it would get maintenance.

Since Blake is picking up the new car on Friday and Madison is having her birthday party at our house also on Friday which is already a super stressful thing, I told Blake that I was scared I’d end up ruining Madison’s birthday by losing my shit when that thing pulls into my driveway. I’m legitimately afraid of taking my own life, so I can’t guarantee I can “do the right thing” and hold it together in front of Madison and her friends. I don’t feel safe in my mind and I don’t feel safe in my life. So Blake asked if he brought it to the house a different day if that would be better and we agreed on Sunday because I didn’t want to be potentially stressed out and freaking before 9 hours of work on Saturday either. I am so stressed out at “meeting” this car that even writing that sentence makes me feel like throwing up but knowing I don’t have to deal with it AT ALL until Sunday makes the whole thing a little better. I know that the more we talk about it, the more I’ll be okay with it and potentially the sooner it can be here, like maybe early Saturday morning, because it just occurred to me that if Blake and the kids are out joyriding in that thing all day Saturday while I’m working after we agreed on easing me into this thing for very specific reasons, I *will* lose my shit completely and 911 will need to be called and we will probably have to get a divorce and that is no joke. Since Blake said this entire thing is my fault for not saying what I mean, I think I need to convey that to him. I think that would be a billion times worse than it just showing up in my driveway on Friday. I think we need to double certify this plan.

The other thing that we discussed is that…remember how a while back I was talking about this photography project I wanted to do and that I was going to apply for a grant that would have enabled me to hire an assistant who could drive? WELCOME TO SLAVE LABOUR. Madison has no daily chores anymore, Wes has inherited those, she just has bigger things to do on the weekends/periodically. Blake said that I could make this project BE her chores. So there’s that to consider. I question my nerve, skill and equipment but the possibility is still a little bit exciting.

Anyway, I see my shrink today at 3pm. I will be requesting an increase in cipralex.

May 3, 2014

“You are capable of tremendous creativity.”

Blake fucking ditched me today for a hot tub!

He worked in the city all week this week which meant he didn’t get home before 8pm ALL week and I go to bed at 8:30 or 9pm.

Then last night? Bachelor party for a guy at work.

Now this morning he tells me “oh by the way, today is Bare Oaks‘ day of helping [or whatever the fuck it’s called], I totally forgot…” and what that is, is you go to Bare Oaks, which is a naturalist park, to help them prepare for the season. Last year we went there and painted deck chairs. Nekkid. But it was like, 20 degrees C and Blake got sunburnt. Today it’s 10 degrees and rainy out so everyone’s going to be clothed and it’s going to suck but Blake’s like “it’s part of the community…” and I get that, I do, so I was like, FINE, whatever.

So then he gets his shit ready and he stands in the doorway of my office and then he just couldn’t contain his excitement over Bare Oaks’ hot tub any longer and voiced it and I’m like, “NOW IT ALL COMES OUT! YOU’RE DITCHING ME FOR A FUCKING HOT TUB!!!” He’s like, “yes, yes I am…”

Since Bare Oaks is near Stouffville and next weekend is Mother’s Day and we would have been going there anyway to get Stouffville Pizza because it’s the best pizza on Earth, I asked Blake if he would pick me up a pie both to save us a trip and because fucker’s ditching me on my hardest day of the week where I need like, hours of mental preparation to be able to psychologically handle my job for 9 hours straight so he can buy me dinner.

Speaking of dinner…

Do you believe in fortune cookies? Because I totally do. I believe that they are little prophecies or messages from the universe that you’re meant to get and I save every single one I get. They’re all over my journals and notebooks because a fortune is a little smaller width-wise than a piece of tape so they’re easy to preserve and I know it’s kooky but they’re just like…sacred to me. Fortune cookies as a taste, are actually my favourite cookies too, so bonus.

I got that one last week and it was exactly what I needed to hear. When I opened it I actually cried and I like it so much that I’m considering it as a candidate for my next tattoo.

That said, I’m actively giving up on poetry. I wrote one really shitty stupid poem and realized that I am just way too long-winded and literal for poetry. So much poetry like, actively angers me because…okay so Blake explained to me about this superhero whose name might have been Silver Surfer? Anyway, this character goes super fast, like the Flash, only apparently much cooler because I think it’s Marvel and not DC or whatnot. Blake said that this character was a dick all the time, he was just constantly angry, and in one comic he explained it like…y’know when someone’s going super slow at the ATM, like painfully slow and you get mad and you’re just like “jesus christ, what are you trying to do, renew your mortgage?” Well for that character, the whole world is that slow and after a lifetime of that, you’re going to be an asshole. That’s me and poetry. Poetry is painfully slow to me. You can’t just read it and immediately know what the fuck the poet is talking about. You have to analyze it and consider every word and that is slow. I don’t have the patience for that shit! Also when I’ve asked people to explain certain things to me, they haven’t had an answer so I kinda think poetry might be a little bit of bullshit where you just make up the rules as you go along and if you do it in a way no one else has ever done it before then you’re a genius. Which is fine (and can be applied to most things I suppose), but not my thing. I don’t need to be a genius. BUT! Do keep in mind that I said I am ACTIVELY giving up on poetry, if one passively slips out by accident, then hooray for humanity, I guess.

What I have been doing though is writing the world’s most terrible short story and guess what, though? I FUCKING *FINISHED* IT! I, Sarah Danielle Crittenden, on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 finished something for the first time in my entire 35 years so far on this planet. It’s weird, I never really considered the short story as anything that I’d ever be interested in. I’ve never heard of any writers famous for short stories – I’m sure some exist – and “The Yellow Wallpaper” is probably literally the only short story I’ve ever read. A long time ago I asked Blake how long a short story had to be and he said something like, “I dunno, shorter than a novella…? There are no set rules.” (Answers like this annoy the shit out of me. I like specifics, which is part of the issue with poetry, but whatever.) The answer was so sort of…not “dismissive”, but I guess sort of off the cuff maybe, that in my head I just kinda moved onto the next topic and put the idea away as something not for me.

But then three things happened.

1. I subscribe to a t-shirt website’s newsletter and every day they send out an e-mail about a t-shirt on special or a t-shirt battle and 98% of the time I don’t even open these e-mails, I just read the bit of subject line my e-mail allows for, select and delete. Well, a few weeks ago they sent out an e-mail where the t-shirt was called one thing but in my head when I read it, it sounded like another thing and that sparked a TERRIBLE creative idea (I cannot stress enough what an absolute stinker this is) that I didn’t know what to do with.

2. I started reading more about Kerouac and how people thought it was a big deal that he’d written a million words by X amount of time or whatever, so I was like, “hmmmmm, I wonder how many words I’ve written just in blog posts alone?” just out of curiosity. So I counted. I’ve posted 5,779 blog posts on Live Journal and my average blog post is 2000 words. That’s 11,558,000 words.  I feel like all of those words were wasted and that number really bothers/ed me.

3. I realized that a lot of my blog posts are between 3,000-6,000 words and that’s gotta be short story territory.

I decided to put #1 + #3 together to alleviate #2 and the next thing I knew, I had a complete 6,086 word story sitting in front of me. And now I have no idea what to do with it. I mean, I am fucking RELIEVED to know that I am capable of finishing something. I know one short story is not a big deal to most people but considering the winter I’ve had and hell, the lifetime I’ve had, this is like a single, bright green sprout on a scorched landscape and with the 46 *other* writing ideas I’ve come up with in the last few weeks, that sprout could grow to be a mighty beanstalk and the giants are waking up.

My stinker story needs some tweaking and polishing. My narrator is supposed to be 14 years old but Blake says she doesn’t sound 14. He’s literally the only person who’s read it though so I don’t know if that’s just his opinion or if it’s true and I need to tweak it that deeply. I’m terrified to show anyone else but at the same time, as soon as I was done, my first instinct was to turn it into a free PDF for EVERYONE to read, for free, but for fuck’s sake I gotta quit doing that man. At this point in my life, there is zero benefit to me doing shit like that. If this turns out to not be as terrible as I think it is, maybe I’ll try and get it published. Where, I have no fucking clue and I’m probably just talking out of my ass and I’ll just post it here for free in the end anyway, but right now I feel like this thing is so fragile that I only feel like I can trust a few people with it and unfortunately, those people are busy and probably don’t have time to read 9 pages of anything so I don’t want to bother them. I sent it to someone who is IN the story as herself for her approval and even she hasn’t read the whole thing yet and that’s driving me crazy because I don’t want to release it outside of this house to anyone without her permission. I will because I can’t sit on this for much longer but I don’t want to.

Anyway, I have to start work in 2 hours so I’m going to medicate and make myself a bagel sandwich. Cya on Instagram and Twitter! @SunnyCrittenden!

April 22, 2014

Forsythia

I’m having a really hard time with this whole poetry deal. I find it incredibly frustrating. Right now I’m reading Collected Poems 1947-1997 by Allen Ginsberg more or less one poem every time I go to the bathroom (I’m not JUST reading it on the can) and I’m frustrated because I don’t understand why it isn’t more literal and why lines are broken up the way they are. It makes no sense. No one talks like that.  And even Allen has some pretty foofy rhymey crap, but I’m forcing myself to even read those ones because I think the only way I’ll understand why people write poems instead of prose (just say what you mean! fuck! dammit! Jesus!) is if I read it and if I don’t read it, I won’t be able to do it.

I figure it’s like comic books. I never used to understand comic books. They just didn’t make sense to me because the pacing of them pissed me off. The only comics I read as a kid were some of the comic strips in the Saturday paper, my mom’s For Better or For Worse books, which I now know are trades, and Archie Double Digests. I bought some comics when I was a kid because I thought they’d be collector’s items, and as such, I never read them (and they ultimately ended up being thrown out), but as you can see, when it came to comics I was used to reading a lot more in one sitting than your standard little flimsy paper comic. Plus all the comics I ever saw were superheroes and I have zero interest in superheroes then or now, so I just wrote comics off completely until I met Blake. (With the exception of Princess Ai but that’s Courtney Love and I didn’t like it.)

It started with the tv show LOST. Blake said, “hey, since you like LOST, maybe you’ll like this Brian K. Vaughn comic about all the men on Earth dying but one and his pet monkey”. Next thing I knew, I was nose deep in Y: The Last Man and I ended up getting all the trades of that between Xmas/birthday/Mother’s Day and I loved it. It wasn’t about a goddamn superhero, there were obviously a lot of female characters, it was an interesting story and the art was decent. I didn’t know comics could be like that. I didn’t realize that after a while some comics become trades*. I forget the order of things after that but I read the Scott Pilgrim comics because they’re Canadian and so was the movie and I started reading the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics but didn’t really like Scott Pilgrim even though they’re thick like trades (I don’t think they were ever flimsy paper comics) and couldn’t get into the Buffy ones. I still plan to revisit the Buffy ones because I didn’t read all of the ones I have, but it’s one of those “when I get around to it” kinda things. Disappointed in Buffy and Scott Pilgrim, I gave up on comics for a few years.

Then The Walking Dead TV show happened. I knew it was a comic because Blake had been reading it when it first came out, but it wasn’t until I found out that there were fucking COMPENDIUMS, (PLURAL!), I obtained those and devoured them. And it was good timing because the second compendium came out at a time where you could pick up with flimsy comics where the compendium left off, so that’s what we did. Except again, the timing of issues and the fact that each one only tells one snippet of story, it just pissed me off so we buy them and Blake reads them and they pile up on my shelf and what ended up happening was we downloaded all of them onto the iPad and I read a year’s worth of Walking Dead comics in like, 45 minutes or less, in the car, in the dark, on the way to Florida. And I think that’s how comics should be read. This one issue thing is bullshit.

After Walking Dead I tried out Pretty Deadly, at my friend Diego’s suggestion and it was just beautiful. I didn’t know comics could be like THAT! Again, I hated the pacing and since it was only 5 issues, I ended up reading them all again in one sitting after the last one came out so I could read the story as a complete thing. Because I liked that so much, I gave Itty Bitty Hellboy a try because I like the Hellboy movies and it was cute. I still have not read them, however because every time I think about reading them, I think “comics blah” because while I’m learning, due to being exposed to different things, that comics can be good and not annoying, I’m still biased against them for some reason.  Having said that, now that I understand how they work a little better, they just make more sense and my brain can comprehend them. I’m not there with poetry yet. All I’ve read so far is Allen Ginsberg, a TEENY bit of Sylvia Plath (just peeked inside the book, said, “oh dear” and closed it), I gave Walt Whitman a shot (just no), Percy Shelley (Blake’s favourite, I don’t get it) and I’ve just been paying attention to the poetry all around me, which there is actually a surprising amount.

I have a lot of doubt as to whether I’m capable of writing a poem at all, let alone one that isn’t complete garbage. I’m so petrified of not being able to do it that I haven’t actually tried. I have pages and pages of poetic snippets of things from my days but I have no idea what to do with them or how to assemble any of them into a poem. I’ve started a running list of things I could write poems about and the list is sitting at 42 items right now. All I fucking have to do is pick one and try but I stare at the cursor blinking in Word and my mind goes as blank as the page. I told Blake that I wasn’t sure, at this point, if A) I were capable of writing anything other than worthless blog posts or if B) I was capable of writing outside of WordPress, like maybe I need the clutter of WordPress to not be intimidated by the page. For the longest time I wasn’t capable of writing anything outside of the Live Journal client Semagic. I would write blog posts in Semagic and paste them into WordPress. So dumb.

In case it’s never been completely fucking evident: change freaks me out. I’m (almost) always the last person in the pool. I still use SquirrelMail because I have e-mails saved in there from like, 2003 and I’m not sure how to preserve them if I switched to gmail. I also don’t know how to make all my domain e-mails work with gmail AND SquirrelMail colour-codes all of my e-mail by e-mail address (different domains) and I don’t think gmail can do that. Eventually I’m going to have to switch to something because SquirrelMail isn’t even really supported anymore but I will go clawing and scratching.

I have one REALLY simple idea for a “poem” but it’s very difficult to execute and I’m not sure if I’m up to the task since it’s something, as far as my googlings tell me, has not yet been done.  If it were easy, it would have been done by now, I figure. I also figure I have my whole life or until someone else thinks of it for that one though. I spent most of yesterday thinking about it as hard as I could and now it’s time to forget about it and think about other things because usually that’s how the ideas come. So I guess technically I did try a “poem” but if you knew what it was so far you’d think “not really” too because it’s not yet…

Soooo begrudgingly I have Instagram. I know I ranted and raved about Instagram “photographers” being annoying with filters a while back (and I still pretty much think that) but a couple of weeks ago maybe, my friend Leora, who lives in Vienna, asked on Facebook who all had Instagram because she just made an account to document her time there. And then I watched as so many of my friends one by one said “I do!” so I decided to follow my friends and give Instagram another chance, this time looking at it more as a social networking site than just a site to share photos with shitty filters. So far it’s been okay. I like that I can post to multiple places all in one shot (if it would do Live Journal, that would be great but I don’t foresee that ever happening), the editing tools are simple and easy to use and I think square photos look nicer than the rectangular ones my phone automatically takes.

Tomorrow I see Stephanie the dietitian. According to Wii Fit I’ve lost another 5 lbs since I saw her last, which isn’t great, but right now I’m eating okay because of this cannabis strain I have, as I’ve posted about before. I’m not eating a lot but what I eat I try to make “count”. Last night I actually ate an entire hamburger with ketchup, mustard, relish and onions. Normally I would eat 1/3 of that same burger with just ketchup. Furthermore, my comment after it was gone was that it would have been better with cheese, which is what I asked Blake for originally but he didn’t see cheese in the list of toppings (I wrote “I want a cheeseburger from South St…” and since I would never ordinarily order that, he saw “hamburger”) so there was no cheese to be had. But still, I ate it and I normally would not have. So that’s good. I can’t remember if I posted this at the time, but when I saw my shrink a little over a week ago, she went over my bloodwork and my anaemia is out of control which could be contributing to my depression and the fact that I’m tired all the time. She also wants me to have them draw blood again to check my B12 levels because apparently that can have an effect too. I told her if my B12 was too low then that was too damn bad because the treatment for it is never ever going to happen in this lifetime or the next, which I told her in those exact terms. She wants the bloodwork done anyway.  Godammit.

And that’s all I can think of posting at this very moment and I think I need macaroni and cheese, so I’m gonna go get started on that. Blake’s not going to be home until like, 8pm tonight so this will be lunch and I think for dinner I’m going to either have a hot dog or a P.L.T. because I need meat and those are my options. (Newly formed food rule because the idea makes me feel like barfing: I don’t think I can eat eggs and macaroni and cheese on the same day.) Peace oot.

(*My friend Diego says ALL comics become trades. Is that true?)

April 16, 2014

Dear Jay & Sapphire,

Yesterday was a snow day. April 15th. A snow day. Despite the fact we were having a blizzard, Wes chose to go to school. Madison chose to stay home.

I started cipralex Sunday night and I don’t know if it’s working or if things are just improving because it’s not really “winter” anymore even though yesterday was a snow day or if this is even just a flukey few days, but Monday was a good day and yesterday was a good day and so far today’s been pretty great as well.

Yesterday I actually had an IDEA. It was a terrible idea, truly dreadful, but despite it being a dumb idea that would never go anywhere, I spent the day nurturing it (with Madison thinking there was something very wrong with my imagination) and came up with several pages of notes and some scenes. It’s like…World War Z meets Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, the latter of which I’ve never actually seen but I understand the concept completely. If I came up with one idea this bizarre per week no matter how terrible and unusable it may be, I would be a happier person. I do have a question though, well two: does something have to be sentient to feel pain? does something that feels pain have to be sentient? Like, by definition? Sentience is partially defined as being “characterized by sensation” and pain’s a sensation…? I’ve confused myself.

Just kidding! This is actually many weeks worth of cannabis, although it IS the most I’ve ever had at one time. See, I normally order 2 weeks worth at a time because Peace Naturals, my licenced producer, often only has 2 strains of whole bud available, usually one that might be useful to me or that gets the job done and one that won’t be, and these 2 “blends” that they pre-mill that I have no interest in because I like to know exactly what I’m smoking and if necessary I can make my own blends, more commonly called a salad, based on what I’ve had before. The reason for such a limited selection is simply that they have more demand than supply, they only have so much room and plants take oh so long to grow. Because you don’t usually get much of a choice in what you’re ordering, Blake said that if I found a strain that was good, we would order as much of it as we could while they had it because once it’s sold out, it could be months before it’s available again. So that’s what we did with this strain, called Marcela.

Two weeks ago when I ordered from Peace Naturals, all they had was Bekay, which I’d been smoking for two weeks already with poor results but better than nothing; an indica I had no interest in because that is the last thing I need; the blends and Marcela. I didn’t want Marcela because when I first became a Peace Naturals client, I ordered some of that and not only did it have seeds in it (like I said, there have been growing pains), it was lower on the THC spectrum and I didn’t find it effective, but this batch was significantly higher in THC than the last one and higher than anything else they had to offer so I ordered a week’s worth of Bekay since I knew it would “get the job done”, if only minimally, and reluctantly a week’s worth of Marcela, worried that if I went too long with Bekay, I’d have tolerance issues.

When it came, I started with the Marcela intending to give myself a break from Bekay for a week, and almost immediately I felt better and not only did I not feel nauseous, I wanted food and it didn’t matter what. The first two days were actually so food ridiculous that I freaked out and mixed both strains together, figuring feeling half as good for twice as long was better than pigging out one week and starving the next. As a result, I’ve eaten every single day since and some days twice. I went from eating around 500 calories/day to 800-1000 and there have been way less food tears because some mental barriers appear to break down with this strain. I’m actually a little scared that since I’ve gone from barely eating to almost actually eating, my body will be like “HOLY SHIT FOOD! WE BETTER STORE ALL THIS FAT!” But I guess that’s not a bad problem to have all things considered. I weighed myself a week ago and I’d lost another 4lbs but I’m not sure how fast it takes these things to catch up with you.

So that’s the “rah rah! Peace Naturals!” portion of this post because for my issues, this really is the best strain I’ve had since I started medicating in August and the strain is proprietary to the company. I actually have a million nice things to say about Peace Naturals, actually, like the fact that their customer service department is almost as good as the one I work for and when I have a question, concern or give feedback, I’m met with nothing but helpfulness, politeness and graciousness.

Unfortunately though, I am but one voice of many.

When I started with Peace Naturals, they sold their product in 5g vacuum-sealed bags and two of those bags, still sealed, would fit in a pill bottle, but only one would – so 5g – when it was unfurled, so to speak. That meant that half of a pill bottle for me was one day’s worth of doses and it was pretty easy to eyeball that, no scale necessary. That’s how I’d been managing my medication and several times I mentioned this to customer service reps as something I liked about the company and that I hoped would not change. And I didn’t think it would because supposedly the average Canadian’s prescription is for 3g/day, according to Peace Naturals themselves (that’s how much they suggest you ask your doctor for – or at least it did last time I looked, they’ve changed some things in the last little while).

Then one order came with taller pill bottles with one loose but sealed 15g bag. I e-mailed the customer service rep I speak with the most and said, “hey, that’s not cool, please don’t do this” because if I hadn’t have saved previous bottles of normal size, rationing out days 2.5g/15g at a time would be more difficult. I ditched the big bottles and used old bottles and told them that I’m glad I’m a packrat.

Then the NEXT order came 15g loose in the white plastic abominations above and I was like, “COME ON! This is WORSE! I can’t even see through this!” I also pointed out that that’s my prescription on the front of these bottles and that if I want to go out into the world and carry cannabis on me legally, I have to have one of these bottles in my possession. I joked, “I shouldn’t have to buy a bigger purse!” and pointed out that men shouldn’t have to invest in one. I was told that was a good point and it would be passed along to the packaging department.

Next order, same white bottles. E-mailed again because this time not only was it loose in these shitty white bottles, the bag the bottles came in wasn’t vacuum-sealed and you could smell product through it. From what I understand, Health Canada says packaging needs to be child-proof and tamper-evident, as well as smell-proof. I was told that my concerns had been passed on last time and that the shipping department had already started switching over to the new bottles but that she’d forward these comments as well.

By the next order, I gave up. What more could I say? I don’t want to carry my full prescription of marijuana around with me everywhere? And of course THIS order, they’ve somehow got 10 extra grams squashed into the same size bottle. Still having to use old pill bottles both to ration and to carry cannabis with me into the world (a pill bottle holds a joint surprisingly well).

Well, I get a mass e-mail as a “Valued Client” last night and the same one again just now, where I guess some people must have been complaining about the new bottles too but their complaint was that the child-proof bottles were difficult to open. And they are, but I didn’t complain about that because it never occurred to me. Fortunately, I don’t have dexterity issues which y’know, lots of people medicate for, not to mention how many patients must be over 65. Anyway, in this e-mail Peace Naturals basically said:

1. The bottles aren’t difficult to open because their torque rating says so.
2. Instructions on how to open and close them which would be the instructions for any other child-proof bottle.
3. Oh and they switched to a wider-mouthed bottle to make it “much easier for our clients to pick out their flowers of choice.”

So pretty much those complaining about them are both wrong AND stupid and how the buds look is more important than client comfort. I’m sure they weighed the risks of this e-mail. They had to have. Especially because they sent it twice. I just don’t understand people caring all that much about “choice” flowers, yeah it’s nice, but you’re still going to smoke all of them, are you not? Meanwhile someone shouldn’t have a hard time accessing their medication AT ALL, forget doing it in a “choice” fashion.

Anyway, I have to go to an appointment so that’s all the time I have. Ultimately I’m really happy with Peace Naturals and I’m glad I chose them, it’s just hard to have patience while they work out all the kinks. Also if my pharmacy switched to shittier bottles, I’d likewise pitch a fit. Medication is basically the cornerstone of my life.

April 14, 2014

Too old to die young.

Friday I saw my shrink. My shrink who is retiring in August. She thinks I’m depressed and that this is probably not a life phase and maybe my B12 is deficient (which she only thought of because I’m a moron and mentioned it without thinking and now I have to have another blood test) and I should be taking iron (nothnx) or eating more meat (just can’t). She prescribed an anti-depressant called cipralex which I started last night. I’m in a pretty good mood today but I don’t think the drug would work that fast, especially not at such a low dose (it’s so low they don’t even make pills that small, I have to cut them in half). It’s probably because it’s spring and I’ve had/am having a good weekend and [REDACTED] [REDACTEDED] on Game of Thrones last night and also Mad Men started but I haven’t watched that yet because I wanted to get my weekend down “on paper” before my fuzzy goldfish brain forgot crucial details. Oh and the strain of cannabis I have right now is working EXTREMELY well. Like, I’ve been eating every single day since having it. I just ordered 90 more grams of the stuff because I’m afraid they’ll run out (they do that….it sucks….it’s a new system and a new company, it’ll get better….)

Writing at Froth on Friday after my shrink appointment was a bust. We got there around 4:20pm and there was a sign on the door that said they were closing at 5pm for a private function. This put Blake and me in a crapola mood but we went to Fran’s in Barrie (45+ minutes away from where we were) which is a chain diner that’s open 24 hours (except ours isn’t, it’s just open late) anyway because we’d scouted it out as a potential writing place the Friday before and had planned on trying to write there at some point.

Fran’s was yes & no. I had issues with Fran’s food this time around. I ordered the chicken club, which I’ve ordered before, and there was a bucket of mayo on it on all sides of the inside of the sandwich, which is three pieces of bread if you’ve never had a club. As I’ve explained before, I like mayo and I did ask for mayo, but lots of mayo makes me feel sick just looking at it. I ate 1/4 of the sandwich and just couldn’t do it and the fries were stupidly salty and the gravy no good. This put me in a crappier mood because honestly, I was hungry and this shouldn’t have been difficult. I cried a little (luckily we were in a booth). Blake told me I could order something else but we are so fucking broke right now that this was going to be our last excursion until next paycheque and that just made me feel guilty so I just ordered the soup of the day, which was mushroom, because it was only $3.99 and when the waiter inquired as to why this was happening, Blake just told him the sandwich was not good. This was like sending something back, which I’ve never done before in my life and I was not comfortable with in the slightest and the unfortunate thing was that the soup was pretty terrible too. I ate about half of it just to be polite to the chef since I felt bad for “sending back” the sandwich which was truly difficult for me to do but that was how awful I felt about the sandwich.

After the waiter took away the soup, we got refills on our drinks and set up our writing devices (my laptop/his Surface tablet). Fran’s doesn’t have wifi so we used my phone as a hotspot because we had to access our Sky/One Drives and I’m not sure how long we stayed before the waiter told us “no hurry” but presented us with the bill and didn’t offer to give us any more refills. We decided t0 leave and they didn’t charge us for the sandwich. I’m not sure how good it was for Blake as far as productivity but after the food fiasco was over with, I didn’t write anything but I did read about Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs on Wikipedia (not done with the latter) and I was in full on sponge mode which I find difficult to do when Blake’s home for some reason. I just don’t like being online when Blake’s hanging out in my office but I don’t want him to not hang out in my office either so Fran’s worked well. If there is a next time (up to Blake, I can work there), I’m going to stick to breakfast foods. It’s pretty rare that a restaurant will fuck up peameal and eggs, in my experience.

After Fran’s we came home and watched the movie Immortal Beloved, which was recommended by Anne Rice and it was an okay movie but I didn’t find it anywhere near as inspiring as she said it was to her, so I think I ended up just going to bed afterward.

Saturday morning I woke up and Blake and I tried to watch Amadeus, also recommended by Anne Rice and I think I made it about half an hour in before I knew there was no way I could commit to 3 hours of that.

Stupidly I relied on those two movies to carry me through inspirationally until my books got here from Amazon (hopefully today) and with that plan falling through completely I felt totally dejected. Not good on a Saturday when I have to work my marathon shift and I spent the last hour of freedom before work crying because work is the last thing I wanted to do. This is definitely a depression thing, mixed with a constantly feeling weak or sick thing, with a little bit of just being plain ol’ burnt out because I haven’t really felt like I’ve had a chance to recharge my mental batteries in a long time. My last good creative idea, based on inspiration, was in November and it was only a little one.

Also on Saturday, making things worse, Blake and Madison were going to see Courage My Love in Barrie and Nicole would be there (because she manages the band), who I’ve only seen once since moving here.

When I logged into work at 2pm, my coworker and buddy whose shift overlaps mine by an hour, asked how I was and I was honest with her. And because she is probably the most positive, sunshiniest outlook person I know she was like, “I can cover you if you want to go see your friend” and I was thankful but she could only cover me for 2 hours and that wouldn’t work with everyone else’s plans. That’s when I remembered that one of my other coworkers technically owed me 2 hours because I covered for her last week so I texted her and asked if she could help me out and she said yes despite the fact that it was super short notice, which meant that I had the last 4 hours of my shift covered and that was the perfect amount of time to throw on a pair of jeans and some lipstick and go to the rock & roll show with Blake and Madison (and Madison’s friend) and Nicole.

This is Courage My Love:

They’re supernaturally talented 20 year old twins and a dude named Brandon and they put on a really good performance with their “bring the guitar” boxes to jump around on, as Blake calls them. They’re playing Warped Tour this summer so if you’re going , check them out!

It was a rock show so it was hard to really talk to Nicole but it was still good to see her and at the end of the night when it was time to leave, I cried. I miss her. And afterward I was thinking about how, before Blake and I were together and I was in a long distance relationship with Chris, Nicole and I used to spend hours on the phone together shooting the shit and writing song lyrics and song lyrics are a lot like poems so if I’m capable of that – or was at one point – then poetry shouldn’t be this giant mystery to me.

Truthfully, I think the biggest creative obstacle I have right now is that I don’t feel like I have anything to say. Or I do but I either don’t know how to best express it (if at all) or I can’t express it at all due to outside factors. At least not publicly. Blake would say to just get it out, but things are still percolating and I can’t. The other thing, and I said this to my shrink, is that I need to get out and experience more and get out of my comfort zone, which is also partially why I decided to go to the Courage My Love show. It’s also why Sunday happened.

So Sunday morning Blake and Wes went to swimming and when they came back, Wes paid me the money he owes me, which meant I had enough money to take Blake and myself out for breakfast at Cora’s. Cora’s is good because it’s not super expensive (under $30 with tip)  and I like their bacon because it’s the least fatty bacon that isn’t peameal that I’ve ever had. They don’t fuck up my eggs. I like their french bread type toast. And they also serve everything with fresh fruit art that I find that very appealing because apparently my hunger brain is 5 years old. Their chicken salad sandwich is pretty good too. I still think crepes are kinda gross.

After Cora’s we just came home and we started watching the movie Howl, which is about the obscenity trial surrounding Allen Ginsberg’s book of the same title. I thought it was great except for James Franco, who played Ginsberg. His overacting was terrible and they gave him too modern of a haircut for the role. I didn’t care about finishing it but Blake wanted to. While we watched the rest of the movie, I started making plans with our friend Steph (the Geek), who was in Toronto from California (but she’s Canadian – we’re all so very complicated) because of a Bitcoin conference, but things ended earlier than she expected on Sunday so there was time to meet up and hang out, something we hadn’t done since like…uh…Vegas, August of 2005. (Her wedding doesn’t count, I only got to talk to her for maybe 10 minutes total.)  We decided to go to Vapor Central, which is, if you hadn’t guessed, a vapor lounge in downtown Toronto that I’ve been wanting to go to for a long time and this was a good opportunity to do so because Blake doesn’t smoke weed and would be driving anyway (and I would feel weird vaping alone) and the city freaks me out. I figured a Sunday would probably be a mellow day to go, especially since we couldn’t get there until 6pm, and Steph said she was available then so it all just kinda fell into place. Also, I haven’t smoked weed with another human being since our anniversary party almost 2 years ago and never with Steph, who I figured would be a good Sunday stoner buddy (I was correct in that assumption).

So we get down to the city and we find a cheap municipal parking lot just down the street a few blocks from Vapor Central – score! And on our way down the street to Vapor Central, we passed what looked like a pretty decent pizza place that I took mental note of because – and I only realized this recently – I’m constantly in search of the world’s best slice of pizza. So far the pizza place (that I don’t know the name of) that we ordered from all the time in NY beats everything by a mile no contest, even Stouffville Pizza (that’s 2nd best) but I don’t live in NY so that’s not exactly an option for me. I’m straying from the story…

…we get to the vapor lounge and you go up these stairs because it’s on the 2nd floor of a building and we’re greeted by a wall of haze and the familiar smell of vapor which kinda smells like toasted nuts or maybe popcorn a little bit or maybe a little bit woody. It tastes exactly the way it smells (which is better than smoke). I know this because Blake bought me a personal vaporizer (Magic Flight Launch Box) for Xmas and it just didn’t do anything for me so I gave it to my friend after 3 or 4 days of correct usage with little to no result. Pretty much the entire reason we wanted to go to the vapor lounge was because they have Volcano vaporizers which are, as Steph said, “the Cadillac of vaporizers”. They’re $700 tabletop vaporizers that work by filling up a big plastic bag with cannabis vapor that you “sip” out of a special mouthpiece that allows the vapor to remain in the bag until you inhale it. The benefit to vaping is that you use WAY less weed and it’s a lot healthier because you’re not breathing smoke into your lungs. Since the personal vaporizer didn’t do anything for me, I always wondered if it was the vaporizer or me, like maybe I was immune to vaping. That’s why I wanted to try a Volcano because if a Volcano didn’t work for me, then no vaporizer would and I should just give up on the idea.

Vapor Central charges you a $5 membership day fee to get in and that gives you access to the lounge, which is full of couches and tables with a Volcano for each seating arrangement, and I think they’re supposed to charge us for the Volcano bags/mouthpiece/reservoir but they didn’t. They just made Blake give them his licence until he returned it all.

The girl who was at the desk when we first walked in was incapable of dealing with new customers because she was so completely adorably blitzed out of her mind so she sent someone else over to help us. She explained everything I said above (but also explained that there were bongs in the back that we were allowed to use, which surprised me and then I looked around and noticed that some people were smoking so I guess that’s okay there) and took our membership fees and then we went through a turnstile into the lounge. Everyone was mostly at the front of the space, where the couches are, watching a movie on the TVs that are around the room. In the back of the lounge, there are cafe-style tables so we grabbed one of those with 4 seats and waited for Steph.

Steph got there and the first order of business was to figure out how to use the Volcano on the table. Steph had only used one once so she didn’t know either, so Blake found a guy to show us how it’s done and it’s really very simple and off we went on the first bag.

It was good catching up with Steph. She’s gone through a lot of crazy shit in the last little while and I was relieved to find out that things are starting to look up. Also despite all the crap that’s been hurled at her by life in general she’s still the same Steph she’s always been and that was reassuring. Since I hadn’t seen her in so long I was worried that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about, which is so dumb because Steph is one of the most interesting people I know and she’s also one of the most extroverted introverts I know so catching up with her was like nothing, like no time had passed. Just easy conversation.

Over the course of an hour, Steph and I shared 5 or 6 Volcano bags worth of vapor, with me inhaling 3/4 of it and with pausing in between to talk and stuff and I would say that I got as medicated as I would have been with one of my bong’s bowls worth of weed except I used a little more than a thimble’s worth. I didn’t get stoned, that wasn’t the goal, but I got to a good place where I wasn’t freaked out to be in the city in a room full of strangers, I didn’t feel sick and I actually got hungry (thanks to this strain I’ve been using). So vaping obviously works on me and the Magic Flight Launch Box not working on me is simply that my tolerance is way too high for it. Even with the Volcano, I felt like staying medicated with it would be a full-time job. At the same time, I’m a person with a lot of free time and nowhere to be so if I vaped most of the time and only smoked joints or brought my bong with me places, I would use so much less weed so who cares?

At about 8pm, we walked down the street to that pizza place where I got a slice of (pretty decent but not the greatest but better than a chain – actually it could have been a city-wide chain, I have no idea)  pepperoni and a Diet Coke and that’s where we left Steph and headed toward the parking garage.

On the way home Blake and I were talking about the experience and now our interest is two-fold because he thinks it would be a good idea for us to hang out there for a day and use the Volcano as if I were at home using it, just to see how much a day’s worth of weed would be with one (I smoke 2.5g/day at the moment and I’d guess vaping would be 1/4 of that or less) and I want to hang out there again because I think I can write there. And Blake said maybe he could write there too. AND even with parking and gas and refreshments (a cold can of Diet Coke is $1), it cost us less than going to Fran’s or Froth and personally I liked the experience and atmosphere better. Plus I think you get in and out privileges with your daily $5 membership fee and there are a billion food places around the lounge that are better and cheaper  than here. There’s a falafel place pretty much right across the road. I’m not totally sure what a  falafel is but maybe I’d like one and maybe it’ll be my new favourite thing. WHO KNOWS? We’ll be in Toronto, the gastro-adventure and writing possibilities are limitless! And even if I don’t like falafel, maybe falafel is awful, at least there’s decent pizza down the street, which is more than I can say for our town, the next town over AND the town next to that.  This Sunday is 4/20 so it would be dumb to go then, but maybe the Sunday after that.

After we came home, I watched the first half of Game of Thrones but I accidentally took my sleeping pills when I took my meds after we left Steph so I couldn’t watch the 2nd half. Blake paused it to tuck me in (because yes he does that, every single night and every single morning if I go to sleep after work and he’s home) and I said something like, “yeah I doubt anything interesting’s going to happen in the 2nd half of the 2nd episode of the season…” and Blake, who has read the books, was like, “ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm” so I made him tell me what was going to happen to whom and how and I almost forced myself to get back up and watch the rest because HELLO, but I was too tired and figured it’d still be on the DVR in the morning. It was and it was so spectacularly gruesome that I was practically applauding by myself at 9am.

And then basically I sat down to write this post but the hydro went out in our whole town so not only did I not finish this post before Blake got home (it is currently 6:20pm), I didn’t get to see the premiere of Mad Men, but Blake’s making me macaroni and cheese for dinner and my plan is to watch while I eat. In other news, I got both books and pornstar money in the mail today so I guess you could say that the last 2 & a half days half been pretty great. Hopefully the rest of the week will be as well.

April 10, 2014

Vocation Advice from Anne Rice

Posted at 3:27 pm in: Art , artists , Books , Creativity , Misc. , Poetry , Spring , videos , Writing , youtube

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