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.

July 22, 2014

Meanwhile, back at the farm…

Hi.

So yesterday was my last appointment with my shrink and it was pretty weird because there was no emotion, for either of us, and I didn’t really have anything to talk to her about because nothing’s really happening. My meds are the same (well, she actually weaned me off the gabapentin, which is awesome) I told her my grama died but I didn’t get into the funeral craziness because that’s a can of worms she knows very little about, so I might as well save that for the new shrink. Not that there’s much to really talk about at this stage of the game anyway or that there will be anything in the future. She wrote me a 6 month prescription for all of my meds and said someone would call me eventually to set up an appointment with my new shrink, who we don’t know as of yet.

The biggest thing that’s bugging me right now, and I told her this, is that I haven’t really been driving and I haven’t really been driving for a lot of reasons. A lot of it has to do with the fact that we live in a touristy area with all our beaches so there’s a lot of traffic now that the kids are out of school and the beaches are busy and that’s where I was primarily going. Also Madison has her learner’s permit now and just completed the class portion of Young Drivers (driving school) and I’m scared if we go anywhere she’s going to either tell me I’m a shitty driver or pick up my shitty driving habits that I don’t even know that I have (I took Young Drivers too), but I’m sure I do. I worry constantly that I’m a shitty driver and having someone say it, even someone with like, 2 days driving experience, would freak me right out. Getting Wes to come with me anywhere, even when it benefits him, is like pulling teeth. So far I’ve talked him into getting Chinese food with me and then to Nicholyn Farms, which is my new favourite place.

Nicholyn Farms is basically a grocery store for a farm but in the back they have a little sandwich and ice cream shop so the one day Wes and I went there and got sandwiches and I got him and Madison organic strawberry milk (blech). The rest of the store is full of fridges and freezers full of organic, free range, no antibiotics/hormones meats and meat products; all kinds of vegan and vegetarian stuff made locally; shelves of all kinds of craft spreads and sauces, most of which are veggie or vegan and of course organic produce. The place is magical because there are lots of things there that don’t gross me out. For example, ground beef really gives me the willies and the reason it does – and you can argue that this is completely irrational, maybe it is – is because when you buy ground beef at the grocery store or you get a hamburger at McDonald’s (or anywhere), you’re probably eating the DNA of like, 100 cows. And I don’t think that’s healthy – and this is my own theory, but I think it may contribute to cancer. I don’t think human beings are supposed to eat like that. If they were, cows would be much smaller and easier to catch, kill and cook, if we were still catching and killing our own food, which, again arguably, is how we “should” be eating, if you believe we should be eating meat at all. At Nicholyn Farms, when you buy ground beef, it’s probably from one cow. That is a natural and healthy way to eat. That’s normal. That’s how people have been eating since the dawn of time. That said, I’m still a little “iffy” on the amount of individual DNA in their chicken burgers, but I still figure no matter what, it’ll be less than anything from a grocery store or restaurant.

Anyway, what started us going there was I had a really shitty experience at The Keg, which is a steakhouse chain. A pretty expensive one that we never go to because it’s expensive. What I get there, every single time, is their filet – medium –  which comes with garlic mashed potatoes and is around $40. So the last time we were there was during the period of time where I was having difficulty eating and losing weight like crazy because I was so sick all the time and I put that in past tense because *knock on wood* the marijuana gods have been good to me lately, and the only thing one day that I could think of to eat was steak and it had been like, 3 days since I’d eaten anything so at that point, money was no object, I just needed to get food in me. I order the filet, again, medium. When it comes, I cut into it and it’s pretty rare, which grosses me out and since my stomach was fragile to begin with, it turned me right off food again and I just couldn’t eat. I tried to eat like, the edges, but the rest was just raw and gross. Blake finishes his meal and we ask for a bill. The waitress takes our plates and asks why I didn’t eat my steak. So I said I just didn’t like it and wanted to get the fuck out of there. Well then the manager comes over and he says, “I saw your steak on the way back to the kitchen and it didn’t look very good so I’m going to take $20 off your bill.” So that was nice of them but it still bummed me out because The Keg is now no longer an option and you can’t get that kind/cut of steak at the grocery store here. I didn’t know where people bought good raw steaks, but it wasn’t any of the major grocery stores, that was for sure.

Then one day we were driving past Nicholyn Farms and the sign out front said they had elk for sale so I asked Blake to turn around because elk is awesome. I’d only had it once and was curious to see how much it would be to buy an elk roast (about $50, which is a pretty good deal if you ask me, but not in our budget at the moment).

Well, we go in and start looking at the stuff in the freezers and I open the one with the steaks and they have the same steak I could pay $40 for at The Keg for like $16. They’re vacuum sealed and frozen, like Omaha Steaks, which were the best steaks I’d ever had up until now. Stoked, I get 2 of them (one was bacon-wrapped, I didn’t like that one), and Blake made it for me the next day on the BBQ and it was literally the best steak I’d ever eaten in my whole life. Like, it was almost shocking what beef is SUPPOSED to taste like vs. what grocery store steak DOES taste like. And I don’t like any foofy spices or anything on my steak either, which all restaurants do, so it was a bonus in that regard as well. Ever since, Blake and I have been buying each other steak dinners, courtesy of Nicholyn Farms and it’s been awesome, especially when you pair the steak with potatoes dug out of their own fields.

They also have homemade pierogi and pre-made meals that I love. They have single-serve sizes of a few things but I only like their shepherd’s pie and macaroni and cheese which are $5-6. All mass-produced shepherd’s pie is gross to me (see ground beef) and making it is a total pain in the ass. It’s one of my go-to foods though and up until we found Nicholyn Farms, I’d been paying $14 + tax for it from Flynn’s, it wasn’t that great and it was cold by the time we got it home. We went to Nicholyn’s yesterday and I got one of their pre-made chicken alfredos, so we’ll see how that is. And finally, they have like, honest to god organic , hand-made frozen TV dinners in segregated plastic containers that remind me of my great grama because when I was little, she used to make me TV dinners in pie plates and tin foil that she’d freeze after making a roast or whatnot. This was pre-microwaves. I haven’t tried the chicken one yet, but the beef dinner has three large slices of roast beef with no fat on them with gravy, at least a full cup of carrots and enough mashed potatoes that I’d safely wager that there’s at least a whole potato in each one. A Swanson TV dinner from the grocery store, not on sale, is about $4-5 and everything in it is questionable. They use flaked potatoes. With the Nicholyn Farms ones, they’re $7 but it’s all stuff that’s good for you and when I had the beef one last week, I couldn’t finish it because there was just too much food.

Ah, the benefits of living in farm country. It makes the occasional stench of manure-sprayed fields worth it.

Anyway, all of this is good because it’s stuff I can eat (yay!) and stuff I can make myself (bonus!).

Other than that, not a whole lot has been happening. I’ve been making things that I don’t want to discuss yet for a project that I can’t discuss yet and I’ve been watching a lot of really shitty Netflix movies while I do it.

And that’s all the poop that’s fit to scoop.

June 18, 2014

We’re Okay!!!

Just thought I’d make a quick post to let everyone know we’re okay from yesterday’s storms. A friend had seen on the news last night that a tornado touched down near us yesterday and wanted to know if we were okay and we are, hence this post. The tornado touched down about 20 mins away and there’s some cool home video of it in this article, as well as disaster porn pics.

I had actually taken the dogs with me to the beach to watch the storms come in over the bay becaaaause…it’s cool? I dunno. There was also no hydro at home because of the weather when I left so I packed a lunch, brought a book and watched the show. Then at about 3:30pm, Madison texted me and said that the school was on lockdown because of a tornado watch. They hadn’t even dispatched the buses because things were so hairy at home. Wes’ school, which is right across the road from Madison’s and also on lockdown, was walking some kids over to the high school through a break in the storm because I guess there wasn’t enough room wherever they had them. Madison texted me and said a tornado had touched down in Midland, according to one of the kids who was on lockdown at the school there and that was about 10 mins from where I was so I figured I had two choices: I could wait it out where I was, which was probably relatively safe, tornados don’t tend to happen on beaches; or I could go home and hope for the best, with the idea that I would go to the grocery store and get stuff we could BBQ for dinner in case there still wasn’t any hydro.

Madison was in constant contact with me via text so I  knew what was going on and I was basically wasting time in the grocery store waiting for her to say that the schools were letting the kids go and I could pick her and Wes up. They ended up keeping the kids on lockdown for about an hour and a half and Madison wanted to stay with her friends until they got on their buses so I came home but looked for Wes on the way and didn’t see him.

I came home and grabbed my purse/camera/lunch bags and let the dogs out of the back seat and we came in the house. Next thing I know, Wes comes screaming out of the living room and into my office (our “front” door is in my office so you have to come through it to get to the rest of the house) and just about knocks me over and makes me puke, he hugged me so hard. He was SOBBING. I was like, “whoa whoa whoa, what’s happening?” thinking a kid kicked his ass or his girlfriend broke up with him or something but he starts telling me about the lockdown at his school and how at one point they were all in the gym and the power went out (there are backup lights, I’m sure, but I can imagine it was scary) and how when they finally let them go home, he ran all the way. He said it wouldn’t have been as scary to come home to an empty house if the dogs had been there but he thought with me AND the dogs gone, that I had to go somewhere safe. (We don’t have a basement.) I asked him if he had my cell phone number and he said he tried calling me but it said I was “unavailable”, which made him freak out more. Truthfully, I *did* get a call when I was at the grocery store but I was so concerned with making the noise of it stop that I didn’t even look at the number to see that it was my own house. I just saw “incoming call”, which ALWAYS means a wrong number because no one who actually knows me would ever use that number to like, verbally speak with me. I don’t answer the phone, especially that phone. That number is text only unless I specifically tell you to call it, which I can’t see myself ever actually doing. This is because I have “issues” with talking on the phone that maybe one day I’ll get int0, but today is not that day. Obviously, being 11, Wes can’t text me, so I now have the home phone in my phone’s contacts with a picture of Wes so I’ll know next time.

Also next time, I will leave a note as to where I am and approximately when I’ll be home. It’s things like this that I just haven’t thought about in 10 years that I need to start thinking about. Another thing, though, is that I’ve been home for Wes after school pretty much every single day of his life and now I’m not, necessarily, so this is change for him too that he’s gonna have to get used to. I think I’m going to have a talk with him about either starting to come with me (and Madison), if I wait until after school, or starting to become more independent like I am. We both need to change. I hope he chooses to start coming with me because I’m really getting annoyed with the fact that he spends every waking moment watching other people play Minecraft on YouTube. But that’s yet another post for another time.

June 12, 2014

Election Day!

A pic I took the other day of how ridiculous the signage is.
There were easily 14 or 15 signs.
It’s like they’re having a sign war.

This morning I drove the kids to school because they were late and would have to run and Madison was wearing a dress. Since I drive right through the parking lot of the voting location on my way home, I figured I’d just pull in and get it done before things got crazy. I also really wanted a sticker that said “I voted!” because I’ve never gotten one and I always assumed it was because I always voted in the evening. Well. I did not get a sticker, but I did do my civic duty. All by myself. For the first time ever in all my 17 years of voting. So be crazy proud!

So that’s the good news…here’s what happened yesterday that almost made me title this post #YesAllWomen but I was afraid that if I used a “feminist” title, some people would be less likely to read this. Yesterday I grabbed Chinese food and went to Woodland Beach, which is near my house. At Woodland Beach, the parking is parallel to the beach, so it’s on your left when you park and ahead of you is a sparse evergreen forest with wooden walkways that lead to picnic tables or the beach itself. There was no one else there. I parked in the very last spot, right next to the water, rolled down my windows and smoked a joint while I paid for parking. I parked far away enough from the ticket machine that I smoked an entire joint getting there, paying, and getting back to the car.

I spent a bit of time getting myself situated; pushing the steering wheel all the way up, putting the seat all the way back, getting my book out and propped in such a way that would enable me to eat and read at the same time, getting my food set up on the passenger’s seat etc. Finally settled, I grabbed the box containing 3 egg rolls and started eating and reading. (I only eat the outsides of egg rolls. Sprouts really gross me out.)

Not 3 minutes later, a navy blue car that looked like an SUV but was smaller than one, pulled up about 5 spots away from me and 2 guys get out and start talking to each other across the hood but I couldn’t really hear what they were saying. But whatever they were saying, they both glanced at me several times. I would have pegged them at around 22 years old, give or take. I didn’t think much of it at first because I was stoned and there was food in front of me, so priorities, but as they disappeared and I lost track of where they were, the hairs on the back of my neck started sticking straight up. There I was: a small, unarmed girl in a secluded area, all alone. If those guys decided they wanted to rape me, they would have little trouble. I rolled the windows up almost all the way and locked the doors. I probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought but there was no reason for them to park so close to me when it was so far from the ticket machine and there were 20 other empty spots to choose from that were closer to the machine.

This really really freaked me out and was very triggering because I felt vulnerable in a way that was identical to when I was raped. It also made me incredibly sad because I was doing so well with immersion therapy partly because I “decided” that I was going to feel safe without the help of anyone else because usually when I don’t feel safe it’s unfounded and part of mental illness. That’s not what this was. I mean, keep in mind that up until mere weeks ago, I never ever went anywhere without Blake to protect me from all the world’s dangers whether it be snotty salespeople or rapey guys. This place that I really really liked where I’d felt completely safe for weeks didn’t feel safe anymore and I wanted to go home and cry but I had just smoked a joint, so before returning to my book, I took multiple pictures of their vehicle, figuring that if they raped and killed me here, Madison, who would inherit my phone, would maybe put 2 + 2 together when she’s browsing my photos and those are the last ones.

I took anti-anxiety meds and ate my egg rolls but by the time the panic subsided, the rest of my food (Special Dinner For One, #2!), was inedible because it sat in a styrofoam container for too long and everything got soggy. :o( So there was $10 down the drain that I totally could not afford. Wes ate it when I got home.

I’ve decided that even though I don’t have dog seatbelts yet, one or both of them are going to come with me when I go to Rapey Beach. I’m not sure what either of them would do if I were actually being hurt. Hoover gets pretty fucking scary just when we’re playing or he’s grumpy,  and Lucky’s meek and a big scaredy cat but when someone’s at the door, he’s usually the first one there to check the person out and if he gets past you and it’s a kid he doesn’t know, he may snap at them, but that’s the only aggression I’ve ever seen in him. The dog has separation anxiety for god’s sake. That’s the reason why I may have to take both of them with me or just Lucky. Lucky’s fine at home without people as long as Hoover’s with him, but I’m not sure how he’d do without Hoover.

Anyway, that’s what happened yesterday that has me feeling a little gunshy about this whole driving places by myself business, but I’m not going to let it beat me because I’ve been down in the muck long enough. In fact, right now I am going to pack up my shit, pack up the dogs, grab a pizza to share with them in Penetang and bring it to Balm Beach with my book.

Btw, I was serious when I asked for ideas of things I can put in my lunch bag to bring with me to the beach. Yesterday I brought goldfish crackers for something salty and mandarin oranges for something sweet. I ate the oranges but I’m going to let the kids have the rest of them. I just don’t like fruit in plastic, it’s different, like the texture of the oranges is different. Mandarin oranges in single serve pull-top cans don’t exist anymore, it’s all plastic. Normally I buy store brand mandarin oranges in a can for 99 cents and those are good but it’s too much (for me) for one serving and I don’t want to have to bring a can opener with me.

Okay, peace oot.

PS. I’m reading “Girls At the Front” (finally, it was gifted to me a long time ago), which is about Riot Grrrl so I was actually reading that and listening to Bikini Kill while being scared strange men were going to rape me.  Which seems…counter-intuitive?

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!

June 4, 2014

Intergalactic Planetary, Planetary Intergalactic

Yesterday, I executed my plan. I drove from my house, to Balm Beach and back. On the way there I got passed while doing the speed limit by an SUV and then later a motorcycle and then when I got to the beach, the guy on the motorcycle was there and I just thought…”you really had to get here 10 minutes before me?” That’s just dumb. Especially because weirdly, he left right as I was coming down the lane that leads to the parking area, which is where he was. There are also bathrooms there (that I’m sure are disgusting) so maybe he had to take a shit or something. Yeah I’ll go with that. He had diarrhea. In fact I think from now on, every time someone passes me I’m just going to assume that they’re rockin’ the ‘rhea. Other than those two things, which really aren’t even “things” at all because I don’t even give a shit, I was right so whatevah, the drive was pretty okay. I was super nervous the whole way there but not so much on the way home because it was around the time the school buses are out so I figured people would be going the speed limit anyway. I had a bit of a panicked moment at one point on the way home though. There’s this curve on county rd. 6 (the one that had the giant snow drifts I told you about this winter) just past the “murder house” (forget the story now but people were murdered there a few years ago, forget who did it, if I ever knew) that leads into a right-hand turning lane that merges onto county rd. 27 which takes you into my town. That curve snuck up on me so I was doing 80 km/h with this dude on my ass so I signaled as soon as I realized we were coming up to that turning lane and sloooooowed down probably too early but I don’t care because I knew that turning lane’s speed limit is 40 km/h. As I’m doing this I’m hoping the guy behind me knows what I’m doing and is turning left, while panicking about merging because I haven’t done it without Blake before. I aced it, of course and panicked for no reason so maybe I won’t panic next time at all.

As it turns out, parking IS only $2/hour at Balm Beach, however there is a $4 minimum. Ugh. Still $1.50 cheaper than Wasaga Beach, the one 10 minutes away from me, but how much am I paying for gas? I think ultimately it really doesn’t matter which beach I go to because between gas and parking it probably evens out. Blake’s looking into parking passes for both beaches though. Balm Beach issues 150 non-resident parking passes per season, so those could all be sold out for all we know.

Anyway, yesterday I got to the beach and scored the most cherriest of parking spots because no one else was really around. There was a couple on the actual beach with their little dog that would run into the waves and then run back out and yap at the water as if it were giving it shit. The beach is actually a horseshoe shape. I was on the tip of one side of it and there were some people hanging out on the other side of it, but other than that, there really wasn’t anyone around, so I got out of the car and walked over to the parking ticket thingy, placed my first ladybug and paid for parking.

I was worried about the ladybug because I guess I used too much glue because while I was paying for parking, it slid down a bit and I had to push it back up to where I wanted it and we were also under a severe thunderstorm warning and it was spitting, so I was hoping that it wouldn’t start storming and wash away my glue. Then I came back to the car and smoked a joint. For the record, while novel and cute, these papers are actually terrible to smoke.

…which lead to lunch (I ate a little less than half)…

I stayed in the car the whole time because at first I was afraid I’d get everything all set up on the beach and then the storm would happen (it never happened), there were seagulls EVERYWHERE and I just felt safer in the car. It didn’t matter though because I had water on two sides of me and the windows down and the sun came out and I just sat there and took my time eating my lunch because I paid for 2 hours worth of parking and had nowhere else to be. While I ate, I looked at Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on my phone while also watching the people around me.

There was a lady who had to be about 70 slowly walking a dog that also looked about 70, who didn’t appear to approve of my joint. Oh well. Then there was a guy in a truck who pulled up sorta behind me and to my left who seemed humoured by my joint (I’m pretty used to the smell so I forget that to other people it has a pretty distinct odor and he saw me trying to take the pic of the joint above, of which there are a million outtakes.) Then there was a couple who disappeared beyond the rocks in front of me and they stayed there for a good 20 minutes before heading back onto the beach and then I stopped keeping track of them. Having seen no signs that dogs aren’t allowed and seeing two dogs while I was there, I think it’s safe to assume Hoover or Lucky can come with me if I want them to. They’ve never really been in/near water outside of baths before so I’m not sure how they’d react.

After I finished my lunch (or rather, what I planned on eating of it), I checked on my ladybug and the glue was dry so I packed my shit up and split.

Today Blake is working from home and I only have $46.67 to my name from now until next Thursday so I don’t plan on going anywhere by myself. Today when he’s done working, we have to take my car to the gas station so I can fill the tank because I’m almost at the halfway mark and my grama always told me that you should never let it go below half and as long as I have ever owned a car, I never have. Blake has to come with me because the gas station in town is pretty crazy. Although theoretically I could go to the gas station up the road closer to Wasaga Beach. Anyway, he showed me how to pump gas but I have to see something and do something like, 3 times before it fully registers so for now he has to come with me. After we get gas I want to go back to Balm Beach because apparently there are 3 more beaches around there with parking that we’ve never seen that may have less people. This matters when you’re deciding between two beaches to get a parking pass for.

And that’s all I got! Peace oot!

June 3, 2014

Leave Only Loveliness

So a couple of weeks ago, I read this article about this lady in BC who had made almost 10,000 painted, clay ladybugs and her aim was for them to be a guerilla art project in that, if you sent her your address, she would send you 10 ladybugs and a small tube of glue and you were to stick them in public places. Mine came on Friday and you can find more info/sign up here. She said that as long as people were interested, she would keep making them. The project is called Leave Only Loveliness because a group of ladybugs is called a loveliness, like a group of crows is a murder.

Because the glue she sent was just white glue in a little plastic baggie with instructions to snip the corner of the bag and I don’t plan to stick all my lovelies at one time, Blake and I went to Michael’s on Sunday where I bought a 2 oz bottle of good glue for 97 cents with a 40% off coupon. Score! I already have two places I want to put ladybugs so my plan is to do that this week if it doesn’t rain. I hope it DOES rain all week, my garden could seriously use it, though.

Also yesterday, Blake bought me this fancy Thermos lunch bag and matching anti-stress air freshener for the car:

I told him I wanted a little cooler or lunch bag for the car because I thought that once my cell phone holder gets here from China and I have Waze, it could be interesting/good/maybe even fun to throw a few Diet Cokes in there, a sandwich and maybe a couple of cookies, take the car and get lost for a little while. If I have Waze, I’ll always know how to get home, so that shouldn’t be super scary. I haven’t used it before though so it’s totally possible that I get completely lost for real, but I’ve seen Blake use it 1000 times so I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay. I figure when I get my phone holder thingy, I’ll practice letting it tell me where to go when I go places I know how to get home from. Two things I’ve learned since venturing out of the house on my own are that A) I’m not as dumb as I sometimes think I am and B) people are generally nice to you when you’re giving them money.

After having the lunch bag for a few days and thinking about it, I think today I’m going to go to Balm Beach with is liiiiiiike North…I dunno if East or West because the road to get there is windy. I think West. Anyway, y’know how I constantly say I live “10 minutes away from the world’s longest freshwater beach”? Well, I do, which is awesome because it’s one of my favourite places to be, but the bummer is that I only ever want to stay for about an hour and you have to pay $5.50 for 2 hours of parking there which is pretty steep, especially when I’d be wasting half the time and it’s unclear as of yet if the provincial park annual day passes include parking or not (if they did, it’d only be $2.50 for ANY length of time if I went 3 times a week between now and the end of September, which isn’t unheard of, especially if I’ve prepaid for cheaper parking). WELL. Since I live on Georgian Bay there is also Balm Beach which is about 20-25 minutes away and we cased it yesterday after Blake was finished work; there is parking by the HOUR at only $2 and it’s just a more interesting beach. I suspect it’s also a busy-as-hell-once-school-is-out beach though, so I’m hoping the provincial park pass thing for Wasaga works out, but for now I think my driving goal for today is going to be Balm Beach and placing a ladybug. I’ve driven there once and to Penetanguishene a couple of times (you take the same road) with Blake, plus I’ve made him drive and show me the route to both those two places and Midland a few times now and honestly I’m a little overwhelmed so I think Balm Beach is good for now so keep an eye on Instagram and Twitter. :o)

I’m going to roll a joint for when I get there, pack up a lunch, pack up my lovely ladybugs and go! I really wish I had a dog seatbelt so I could bring Lucky with me safely because there are no signs at Balm Beach saying “no dogs” like there are at Wasaga and he would probably like to chill on the shore with me and eat a sandwich. Then I wouldn’t feel so alone. Anyway, sandwiches and joints don’t magically appear in the air (but that would be awesome!) so I’m gonna go get onto my project.

May 28, 2014

Life Ain’t a Track Meet, It’s a Marathon

Holy fuck, where do I even begin? I guess I’ll begin by saying that if you don’t follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you’re probably missing a lot and will continue to miss a lot because honestly I’m too busy doing stuff right now to e-mail myself the pics from my phone that I’ve posted on Instagram just to upload and repost them on my blog to tell a story. I may post like, highlights, but I’m not going to cross-post that stuff here unless Instagram gives me a button that allows me to do so, like it does for Facebook (but not my fan page and no offence, I don’t want randoms on my personal Facebook), Twitter and tumblr, to which I cross-post lots of stuff, but still not everything. Life is 3-dimensional and social media is a reflection of that I think. Anyway, I’m using it to document life as it happens and since I’m doing that in real time, I often don’t feel the need to have to write about it in order to process the experience, which is why I started blogging in the first place. I’m not saying I’m not going to blog anymore…I’m just saying if you want a more complete picture or you’re wondering what I’m doing in between blog posts, those are the places to check. No pressure, I’m just sayin’. Because a lot of you aren’t reading this on my site where those links are like, *right there —>*

That said, there are going to be some pics in this post.

My shrink doubled my cipralex (anti-depressant), which had me taking a whole pill and then I wasn’t feeling better so she had me up it by half a pill and I was supposed to call her on Monday but I’m having serious phone phobia and honestly I don’t even know how I feel so I don’t know what to tell her. I think I’m mostly good?

 I mean, I’m not suicidal anymore so obviously the meds are working but I still kinda feel flat when I think I’m supposed to feel happy or excited or proud of achievements or whatnot so I think I’m going to ask her to up it by another half pill so I’m taking 2 pills and leave me there for a while, maybe over the summer, to see how things shake out. She’s retiring in August so I kinda wanna get this shit worked out before then.

I’m over the new car. I kinda like air conditioning. The moon roof is handy for when you’re smoking a joint in the car. The stereo is better than in the old car, which I guess I’ll start referring to as either “my car” or the “Sunnymobile”, and it came with a subscription to XM radio which I actually really like and wish I had that in my car. And his stereo is super smart and if I plug my iPod into it, you can control the iPod on the car’s nerdscreen. So that’s sorta cool. And when I call him while he’s driving I can actually hear him so that’s a bonus. What else? I dunno, whatever, it’s a stereo you (well, he) can drive.

Madison turned 16 on the 16th and she had a party with some of her friends where lots of sushi and ice cream cake was consumed. In a rare act of bravery on the 15th, I called my favourite flower shop – on the phone- which is in Barrie, and asked them if it would be possible to have 16 roses sent to Madison’s school on her birthday the next day for under $60. The lady on the phone was super nice and worked it out so that she could do a mixture of short-stemmed roses for about $50 and delivering to a school was no problem. So she asked what school and when I told her she said, “oh dear, that’s out of our delivery area” and I felt SO defeated because it took so much courage to even make this call and they really are my favourite flower shop and I told her so and I asked her if she could refer me to a shop that could deliver to Madison’s school. So she starts google-fuing within her flower system and she’s like, “geez, you don’t really have a lot of options…” and she gave me the name of a shop in Wasaga Beach that MIGHT deliver to our town but she said she couldn’t speak to their quality etc. Then she said, “what if we did it today instead?” and I was like, “wha’?” and she said, “my driver just got back and my boss isn’t in today, let me ask him if he’ll do it”, so she put me on hold and when she came back, she was excited and said he’d do it and I got excited and damn near cried and when she told me the total, I asked her if she could please add an extra $5 for the driver because that was super nice of him/them and after 20 minutes on the phone, Madison was getting roses at school that afternoon. I was pretty proud of myself for doing that when literally I don’t think I’d used the phone to call anyone outside of my immediate family in a good year or more. I just don’t use the phone, it freaks me out. Anyway, Madison liked her flowers. Her ex sent her crappier flowers the next day at school from an inferior flower shop and Madison handed them out to people.

So Madison turned 16, then the Sunday and Monday after that Blake and I got to know the new car. Then on the Tuesday, the first day I was left alone with the keys to my own car, the craziest damn thing happened: Madison and I went to the mall. In Barrie. I have never driven to Barrie, half an hour-40 mins away before and have purposely avoided it because there is lots of traffic and you have to go over 80 km/h, which to everyone else means 90 or 100 and then the road splits into 2 lanes in a couple of places and it’s just generally a more difficult drive than say, the beach, which is two turns and 10 minutes away. The mission was pretty simple: get to the mall, smoke a joint, have mall teriyaki because it’s the best teriyaki, go to Spencer’s Gifts to find accessories for our (Madison & mine’s) new car, drive home before dark.

This is my pretty perfect mall joint.
(I cheat and use a rolling machine. :oP)

For the record, I don’t drive while medicated and I don’t think anyone else should either.

I know some people say they’re better drivers while stoned and I’ve witnessed this phenomenon myself, but everyone’s different and I would never in a million years get behind the wheel if I didn’t feel it was safe to do so.

Keep in mind that I am a terrified, by the book, go the speed limit kinda driver who does everything in her power to avoid any and all conflict so it’s just not in my nature to fuck around.
I have literally never even had a single drink and driven. Like…it’s just, no.

Anyway…

That is me, in the driver’s seat, parked perfectly between two yellow lines, in the parking lot of the Georgian Mall in Barrie (that tall sign is the mall sign).

We got there and I smoked my joint and we went in.
Oh yeah, I didn’t take ANY anxiety meds during this trip.

Mall teriyaki was gotten.
I ordered and paid all by myself.
Mine was beef, Madison got tofu.

After we ate, I did take 2 Ativan because the mall apparently freaks me out more than actually driving there, and then we went to look for Spencer’s Gifts. We found it and it was sadly devoid of anything I’d ever put on my vehicle. Madison pointed out a couple of weed-related car things but that’s just asking to get pulled over and harassed and Madison and I would rather avoid the hassle. I did put a Liquid Chrome sticker on the back window though, which is the smoke shop in Barrie. That’s a little more subtle than a giant rasta-coloured weed leaf or something. And we have the Flying Spaghetti Monster “Jesus fish” on the back of the car with Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls hanging with one of John’s suncatchers from the rearview. Those are our car decorations so far. Madison has been told to keep an eye out for others. I don’t even know where you would buy a plastic/vinyl bumper sticker as opposed to a  regular sticker that’s just glossy and bumper sticker-shaped. Those are no good. I’m thinking the dollar store but I don’t think the dollar store is gonna have the kinda stuff I want to put on my car. I don’t even KNOW what kinda stuff I wanna put on my car! All I know, is that it’s really really boring, and it’s too new/I’m too poor/uninspired to sand it down and paint like my mom did with her old van. The thought had definitely crossed my mind but I just don’t have that kind of dedication and even she would probably agree it would be ill-advised. Although the idea of this car eventually being a derby car sorta made my heart skip a beat, but that would be a looooong ways off. Did buy $10 worth of crap NO ONE needs and figured I’d spent about $2.50 in gas which made me sort of freak out once I got home because with that and food that was an expensive experiment and it just completely overshadowed any “good” that would have come from it. (My mom didn’t want me to worry about it so she paid for the outing though. <3)

The next day, I decided to google a decent-looking recipe for Steak and Guinness Stew because I really like the kind at the pub but it’s like, $11 all told and you don’t really get very much. I figured it can’t be very expensive to make, so I got a recipe, made a list and went to go to the grocery store because it’s in town, so it only takes gas fumes to get there and I can park in the parking lot away from everyone else and spend Blake’s money instead of mine. He said  if I made it there, like when we were driving around in the new car breaking it in over the weekend, I told him I was scared of buying like, $300 worth of groceries if left to my own devices because I’m bad at math and I do a lot of “just in case” purchasing. So he made it pretty simple: if we needed it because it’s something we’re out of, get it and as for anything else, only get it if I think we’re going to use it in the next 24 hours. This is why I went in with the ingredients for a recipe I intended to make once I got home. And because driving alone and navigating the grocery store and paying alone weren’t difficult enough, I decided to raise the difficulty level by adding BEER. I have been in The Beer Store only once, with Madison, that one time she and I decided Blake needed beer when he got home and we carried it home as a surprise. It was 11am, I knew it wouldn’t be busy, but it is Elmvale, so that was really just a theory. Who knows what time farmers start drinking? Really though, the challenge with getting beer at The Beer Store here is that potentially the only way to obtain it is if I parallel parked, which I will flat out tell you, I do not know how to do. And I do not care that I do not know how to do it. BUT! Like I said, I’d be getting there shortly after they open on a Wednesday, chances are no one will be parked out front.

Got to the grocery store and parked a million miles away from all other cars because the less shit around me that I could potentially hit or back into, the better. Here are some pics from my trip:

I bought like, 30 cents worth of these with the intention of Madison making them for the kids to try (she’s vegetarian and likes t o try new things) but I threw them out today because forest food is super perishable and I just completely forgot to tell Madison they were there or what to do with them. Oops.

This is a shaker of pure MSG.

Blake says some of the guys at work  have this stuff at their desk to put on takeout food and I’d never seen it before in the wild AND my friend Paul had just linked to an article about this stuff and a guy who spent 30 days putting it on everything he ate and it didn’t seem to really affect him in any way, if I recall, so I threw this in the cart. More because Blake would find it funny than to actually consume because I grew up that MSG was what caused migraines and that it was super bad for you so I can’t bring myself to actually put it on anything but Blake’s been using it.

I also got these awesome corn trays for our family because Blake wasn’t there to tell me they’re dumb.
I, for one, will greatly enjoy using these because plates are for the birds when it comes to even butter distribution, which is essential.

Checking out went pretty smoothly except that I forgot to bring bags (though truthfully I bet they were in my  trunk) so I had to buy some, but other than the fact that I took 10 times longer in the grocery store to get 10 times less stuff than if I were with Blake because I kept taking pictures of things and uploading them to Instagram…

Next up was the Elmvale Beer Challenge.

I took the back street home and turned right at the library where I had to wait and could scope out the front of the beer store pretty well. Much to the delight of my lucky ass, NO ONE was in front so I just parked on the street and went in. The Beer Store is extra challenging also in that you have to ask for what you want. I thought ahead though and printed out my recipe with a picture of the exact kind of Guinness it called for, so all I did was show the guy the picture and tell him “I want as little of this as possible”. Turns out it came in 4-packs so I got that and came home, TRIUMPHANT!

The stew turned out pretty well, I thought, but Blake wasn’t a huge fan and it didn’t taste as good as the pub’s so the quest for the ultimate Steak and Guinness Stew recipe is still on.

Another day, Madison and I went to get Chinese food. This was my fortune cookie:

Twice now, Blake has shown me how to get to Penetanguishene and Balm Beach and Midland and even though I can pretty much recite the directions, I don’t feel confident enough on those windy backroads where people go way too fast. I’m working on it though. I’d really like to be able to go to Froth by myself eventually. I ordered a windshield mount for my phone and I’ve signed up for Waze and as of tomorrow or sometime very soon, I’ll have the equivalent of AAA and once all that is in place, I think I’ll be more prone to venture farther away from home because with Waze I pretty much can’t get lost. Anyway, there’s a church on the way to and from Penetang that I like sometimes so I took a picture of it last week:

Anyway, it’s taken me all damn day to get this written up between doing other things (like driving to Wasaga Beach by myself for the first time to get myself lunch which I ordered over the phone and paid for by myself), I’ve gotta take my meds, figure out what everyone’s doing for dinner and watch Bates Motel. Peace oot.

PS. If anyone knows anything about seatbelts for dogs, lay it on me.

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 12, 2014

Ooooh You Fancy

Saturday morning, Blake and I went to Cora’s for breakfast, as has been our tradition for the last few weeks, and on our way back, Blake asked if I minded if we stopped in at the Hyundai dealership because he wanted to ask about a car. He’s been talking about cars for the last couple of weeks but I thought it was just talk in preparation for later. As far as I knew, we weren’t getting a new car until next spring. Apparently I misunderstood and long story short, Blake bought a new car on Saturday and he picks it up on Friday. He, unbelievably to me, bought a car that I can’t drive because it’s standard and DO NOT tell me I can learn because that is not the goddamn point. Driving is almost impossible for me as it is and he bought a car that adds a great big serving of extra difficulty. And don’t tell me it’s easy either. Fuck you. Again, that is not the point.

So now that I’ve said that, now that I’ve stated to the universe for the record that I am absolutely livid and deeply hurt that he did this, allow me to continue.

See, what happened was he was telling me about all the features over the phone while I was trying to work and I was like, “I do not give a fuck this is not my car, I will not be driving it”. It never even occurred to me in a billion years that he would buy a car that only he could drive. Standard transmissions simply do not exist in my world.  I don’t know how they work, I don’t know how to work them and I don’t fucking care because they make these crazy newfangled fancy automatic transmissions now and in 2014, people who “drive stick” on purpose and are proud of it are beyond my comprehension. Unless you’re driving a Mack truck or a tractor I just don’t see the point. There are two types of people guaranteed to annoy the ever-loving shit out of me: first, “horse people”, keep those fuckers away from me; secondly, “car men” (and I say “men” because I’ve known a million of those but only one person I’d consider a “car woman”). Those are two subjects I have negative interest in so if those are your primary areas of expertise, um, I’m sorry, and you better be super funny or have other interests or something because we probably aren’t going to be friends otherwise. And until last night at around midnight when Madison told me he bought a car with a standard transmission, I thought Blake felt the same way. If people asked what kind of car he had, he said “a red one” because the kind AND even the colour he would say, ultimately, didn’t matter because we picked the colour the dealership had that day. But standard transmissions apparently exist in Blake’s world so when that was presented to him by the salesman, who I’m sure was a real swell guy, with a million bells & whistles for only like, $20 more a month than we were paying for our current car (which we only stopped making payments on recently) that the fanciest thing on it is that the FRONT windows are power windows, the back ones aren’t though, that’s how base model it is, Blake went for it. Because after all, I wasn’t going to be driving it anyway, right? He thinks this detail SO INSIGNIFICANT that he doesn’t even tell me about it. I know it has a moon roof (who fucking cares, that’s stupid and if I could have picked one without that I would have). It has ass warmers. I know it has cruise control, which I’m glad he has. I know it has air conditioning, which I’m glad he has. I know it has a rear-facing camera, which is just whatever. Blake could parallel park the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile in the middle of Toronto during a blackout. Big fucking deal. It has bluetooth something and a big screen on the dashboard so he can see in super big letters what song he’s listening to. It doesn’t have GPS or anything useful on that screen, just basically music information. According to Blake. So this to me is nothing more than unnecessary  nerdbait. So I know ALL OF THIS BULLSHIT THAT I DON’T CARE ABOUT OR I’M IMPRESSED BY IN ANY WAY, but he doesn’t tell me, “oh and I’m the only one who can drive it”. Uh, that should be fact #fucking 1 when you call me on the phone asking me if you should buy the fucking thing. Oh and I know it’s silver. That should be fact #fucking2.

When he came home from the dealership he said “we” bought a car. There was no “we” involved. There was no “we” in his thinking. Blake bought himself a car that only he can drive. A car that we didn’t even need because the only thing wrong with the old one was that it didn’t have AC or cruise control. Let me state for the record that when we bought the last car, I told him to get both of those things and when he said money would have to come from other places, I said that was fine. Because I was actually at the dealership for that one. The only reason I wasn’t at the dealership this time was because I had to work.

And I know full well how venomous I’m being right now. I warned Blake that I would be processing this ENTIRE car thing – because there’s more to it than this – via blog because that’s just what I do. I’m writing this NOW so I don’t bring it up in every fight we have from now until we die.

Having said all this, here’s what Blake really did or thought he was doing:

– made it supposedly financially feasible for me to have my own car despite my having no use for one
– Madison turns 16 on Friday and will be getting her learner’s permit on Monday, so he’s enabled her to have access to something to practice on…if I’m with her.
– got the air conditioning and cruise control that we wanted to get in the old car because he has a 4 hour commute twice a week which sucks 2 months out of the year, but couldn’t afford at the time

The car he bought, supposedly, *was* “just what they had”, like the floor model, when they said “standard or automatic?” to google their inventory Blake probably said it didn’t matter because Blake doesn’t care about cars (supposedly) and is really cheap, so he wants the most bang for his very small buck. To get a more modest car or an automatic transmission, he said it would have cost more money and we would either have had to trade in or sell the car we have now or wait another year to get a second car because I guess spring is the best time to buy cars because of reasons, I dunno and I don’t want Blake to have to go another summer without AC & cruise control. It’s just the fact that I wasn’t even a consideration in the most important aspect of this supposed “married people ‘we’ purchase”.

When Blake and I were talking about it last night because you’re goddamn right I woke his ass up in the middle of the night when I found out he bought a car I cannot drive, he told me to pretend like he hadn’t signed the paperwork yet and to tell him what decision to make because if it bothered me that much, he was pretty sure he could get out of it. He’d probably lose his deposit but the deal didn’t need to take place. But he presented me with all of these scenarios that ended up with us still only having one car or still only having the old car with no air conditioning or cruise control which he refuses to be an option, so there really wasn’t a choice to be made if those were the only options.

So as of Friday, Blake has a new car. A new car that I can’t drive. It’s silver and it’s fancy. I haven’t even seen it and I despise everything about it. I despise how we came to have it and I despise what it means. I just want to take a crowbar to the fucking thing and light it on fire. I will celebrate every dent and ding of this car’s natural born life. The more I write, the angrier I get and the more I don’t know if I can do this. I feel like I’m being lied to and manipulated, like there probably WAS another option and he’s just lying because he wants air conditioning so badly OR the salesguy is full of crap and actually CAN give us a better deal on a car I can live with. He says this is the cheapest car on the market, well maybe I don’t believe that. Maybe we could go to another dealership and tell them what this dealership is offering and they can give us something better that is more modest and more inclusive. Blake does it all the time with the cable companies. I just feel like he didn’t even try at all, and I know he didn’t because I wasn’t a thought in his mind.  I should have never said yes. No one should walk into a dealership and just buy a car the same day. That’s not enough time to think. That tells me they got suckered/upsold into something and Blake’s just not telling me what or he hasn’t realized it yet. For THAT DAY ONLY we could get no payments for 60 days. Why only that day?

SOMETHING IS JUST WRONG. THIS HAPPENED TOO FAST.

So as of Friday, I have my own car. Yay. It’s going to sit in the driveway and rot. Maybe I’ll take a crowbar to that one and light that one on fire. Drive it into a wall. It is mine he said, after all. Blake says it’s normal for families to have 2 cars but it doesn’t feel right or normal to me AT ALL. I am extremely uncomfortable with the entire situation from every conceivable angle. 99% of me wants no part in any of this 2 car business whatsoever but there’s 1% of me who agrees with Blake that maybe in the summer if he’s at work, it’s hot as fuck outside and we’re all stuck inside that me or Madison could drive us all to the beach. But then there’s the realistic side of me who knows that isn’t going to happen and I can’t afford for it to happen anyway. I can’t afford gas, I can’t afford parking, I have no way of increasing my income and I’m stretched as thin as possible.  I see no other practical application for this car involving me. Explain to me why I’m supposed to be excited about this again? Because clearly I’m missing it.

And I also realize that probably every single one of you reading this is thinking I’ve lost my mind and I’m making a big deal over nothing and that I should be happy I have a car and I agree with you! You’re also probably thinking “Saint Blake” thoughts. This is not particularly rational but if you know me at ALL you know that I am NOT A RATIONAL PERSON and I don’t do well with change. We got a dishwasher last month and every single time I go into the kitchen and it’s running and I can’t get a fork or I have to interact with it, I think “who are we?” I don’t even know how to use it, haven’t even looked at the buttons, I want no part in it. It’s witchcraft. I’m getting better at ignoring its existence though, just as I’m sure I’ll eventually get better at ignoring Blake’s existence the less he considers me until we die.

Now I’ve been interrupted by a work meeting, kids coming home and Blake finishing work so there’s no way I can finish this post properly. I’m going to tell Blake that we can keep things as they are with his new toy, but I’m just gonna be sad about it and disappointed in him for a little while. This post may also need to be a two-parter, I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m any better off now than before I started writing this.

PS. Our driveway won’t even hold 2 cars and there’s not a chance in hell I’m shoveling the driveway. Thought I’d throw that out there also.

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