September 17, 2014

I was not a cool kid. I was a ghost.

I work a lot. That’s what I’ve been doing. My grama died in July, my shrink retired in August and just as life was normalizing, I asked for extra hours at work now that I have a car (which I got)  but we also hired 3 new people which means working overtime to train them. On top of that, a couple of Sundays ago, when I was in Militiagan for a wedding (more on that later), my boss messaged me on AIM and asked if she could have a word with me, freaking me out completely  at first because I thought I fucked something up and I hadn’t worked since that Friday morning so for it to have cropped up now, I figured it must be something pretty bad that she’d spent time talking to other people about. I wasn’t far off the mark about her talking to other people, but it wasn’t anything bad. She told me that there was one aspect of our job (our job is not just e-mail, it’s many things) that she thought I did a really good job at and she wanted me to sort of be like, the expert/final decision-maker/manager of this one thing. So that was really cool and I felt really good about myself (although part of me is terrified that she only thinks I suck the least at this thing because I also probably do it the least and now that I’m doing it MORE my fuck up rate is going to go up too). She told me that this would take effect immediately and it would mean that my workload would increase but that was okay because she gave me 9 extra hours per week that she wanted dedicated to this task. BUT I’m training and I can’t train people unless another senior person is working with me (or it’s really difficult to) because while training, it takes at least 10 times longer to get the work done than if I was doing it by myself so even with help, I fall behind on my regular tasks and I don’t have time during my regular shift to do my new task the way I think it’s supposed to be done so that means staying an hour-hour & a half past the time I’m done training, which was overtime to begin with. (Why, yes I *am* proud of that run-on sentence…) In a span of about 6 weeks, I went from working 3 hours a day to 7 minimum, which may not seem like a lot to people who work the standard 40 hours a week but for me that’s a lot.

Having said all that, honestly? Mostly I’m having FUN. I’m being CHALLENGED. I imagine this is what it feels like when people who like working out work out. All 3 new hires are personal friends of mine and I thought it was already pretty sweet working with the group I do because we’re all friends outside of work as well. I mean, I’m getting paid to hang out with my friends on Skype all morning in my pajamas and tell them about the job I love WHICH I NEVER GET TO DO WITH ANYONE BUT BLAKE and he only understands like, 75% of what I bother telling him. (Better than the 5% of his job that I understand, however.) Due to the nature of what we do, who we do it for and who we do it with, we’re just supposed to talk about our jobs as little as possible outside of the company which suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks because our jobs are ridiculously interesting (to me), so it’s awesome to finally be able to be like “WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! PORNO PORNO PORNO!!! XXX!!!” while listening to 80s & 90s rap at 9am. (That is the soundtrack of Sunny’s Porn School.)

My work day still starts at 5am though and doesn’t usually “end” (*cough*at all*cough*) now until, well, 2:30pm for me today. And to compensate for having to be “on” and a fully functional cyborg that early, for that long, I’ve been trying to go to sleep around 7:30 or 8pm so right now it feels like all I do is work, talk about work, talk to work friends, hang out at the site I work for and go to sleep tired as fuck, but I guess I’ve done more than that. Not much more, though.

Like I said earlier, we went to a wedding a couple of weeks ago in Militiagan for Blake’s cousin Helena and fiance Bill, which isn’t his real name. His real name is something super Albanian and unpronounceable so I guess they just call him Bill. They’ve known each other since they were 14 and now they’re 30, so that’s sort of cool. The ceremony was crazy religious and almost entirely sung. There was incense involved, which the priest did at Blake’s grama’s funeral too and I thought was cool and I tried to get video of it but the priest is actually like, this HUGE conservative guy who frowns upon anything newer than last century and there were a couple of signs saying “no cell phones” but Blake’s Aunt Pat was inconspicuously taking pics beside me with hers so I got a short clip of the dude on Instagram but not what I wanted. Oh well, so not the point….anyway, during the ceremony they blessed this and that and the President (no shit) three times, in English AND Albanian, all while singing a call and return with the priest and some lady and his incense shaker had bells on it and made clanging sounds and the whole thing seemed to me like he was trying to get God’s attention for a sec and get him to bless the marriage. There was some heavy old school bare foot and pregnant shit in the vows, but what I noticed in the ceremony is that the priest STARTED with, “do you take this man to be your…?” etc and they did their “I do’s” FIRST so everything after that they technically didn’t agree to in any legally binding way (not that a wedding is “legally” binding, but y’know, if this was a deal with the Devil they could get out of it on a technicality by traditional mythological standards).

I’m not going to post what I wore because I think I looked like crap. I also think me and Blake’s step-monster were the only blondes at the whole event.

At the reception, we got sat at the “cousin table” (and not with Blake’s dad and his bitchfaced wife, who got stuck sitting beside the priest all night heh) and I got to meet all of Blake’s Albanian cousins who have all grown up and have since left Albania for greater things, I guess. Blake’s cousin Shirley is a dentist living with a dude named Stiig who’s an engineer for Rolls Royce in Norway. Blake’s cousin Nonda and his wife Eva live in NY and have two little kids. They met in Albania and came over a while ago. Blake’s cousin Livvy is like, an international free spirit party girl type who lives somewhere in Europe too but I forget where. I wanna say Prague? Not sure.

What kills me about Blake’s Albanian family is like HOW into family they are. It’s so weird to me because my family isn’t like that at all. It’s hard to explain, but like, Blake just met these people for the first time since he went to Albania when I think he was 18 and they were weirdly close considering I’d never heard of these people before that day and I’m pretty sure this was only Blake’s second time meeting them in person. I’m pretty sure you could ask a favour from practically anyone in the room and they would oblige just because you were related and vice versa. There was a lot of hugging and picture taking like, with people who barely knew each other but they were related so HEY LET’S TAKE A PICTURE! NOW LET’S TAKE THE EXACT SAME PICTURE WITH 5 MORE CAMERAS FROM 5 MORE STRANGERS! It was weeeeeeeeeeeeeeird, man. Weird. It was the biggest display of pronoia in action I think I’ve ever seen. Just a whole lotta people conspiring toward good things for a whole lotta other people simply because they’re related somehow.

My family is more…strategic, political, hostile, a little phony and now, extremely small. Almost non-existent. And I don’t foresee that changing any time soon. God, honestly I’m not even sure I have the energy to have it any other way, so whatever. I haven’t talked to my brother since my grama’s funeral because I don’t know what to say to him. I’ve exchanged 2 e-mails with my mom, pretty much the same thing.

At the end of the wedding, there was a coney bar set up because when Blake’s grampa came to America, he opened a coney dog restaurant called George’s Famous Coney Island and this restaurant was the foundation for just about everything in that ballroom. I thought that was pretty neat even though we left before it got set up.

Other than that, the only thing I have to report is that I broke down and bought Sims 4 even though I had initially decided not to get it because I’d heard nothing but bad things about what WASN’T going to be included, but I was bored and I’m a sucker so I downloaded it and while I’ve only had a chance to play it three times, I think I like it. It’s VERY bare bones, a lot like OG Sims, and I kinda like that because the complexity of Sims 3 got so ridiculous with all the expansions that I lost interest in it a long time ago. The emotions system combines with the Sims’ needs, so for example, if my Sim is angry or tense (emotion) AND has to go to the bathroom (need), the interaction “take an angry poop” appears. “Wants” contribute to emotions. Anyway, I’m having fun with it so far and I have high hopes for future expansions.

Annnnnd I’m tired and have to go to bed soooooo peace oot. *yawn*

March 21, 2014

What Us Canadians Did on Our Holiday to the US of A

So I guess the last thing I posted while in Florida was when Noelle woke up. Well, we got in the car and we followed her to this town that I forget the name of, to go to this place I forget the name of (but it had VALET PARKING, ooh la la) where we sat on picnic tables with umbrellas on the beach and we ate and just talked to Noelle for about an hour. I’m not sure what everyone else had. I had a clubhouse, which I only had 1/4 of because they used some kind of funky processed turkey and Noelle had coconut shrimp. Madison probably had some kind of veggie burger, Wes probably had the clubhouse too and I’m sure Blake had a cheeseburger. The menu was really limited, which seemed to be the case for all of these beach-side kind of shanty restaurants. The bathrooms were sorta cool though, I wonder what the men’s bathroom walls said?

This was only the second time I was meeting Noelle. The first time I think was the spring after Wes was born and I think I stayed in the bedroom making art almost the whole time she was there so her and Blake could catch up. They’ve been really good friends since high school. Anyway, Blake hadn’t seen her or really talked to her more than once a year since then so he wasn’t really sure what to expect (soon after she visited us her life got flip turned upside down) but I think we were both pleasantly surprised. She’s got her shit together bigtime and as Blake said to her while we were having lunch (to her) she’s very good at being her. She’s 40 like Blake (I assume) and she owns her own business and her own home and drives a convertible, I mean she’s super successful, but she’s still fun and energetic and ready to party like a 22 year old. It was actually pretty awesome and makes me wish pre-getting-sick-me could have partied with shit-together-Noelle because I think we’d have had a really good time!

It was sad leaving Noelle, it would have been cool to hang out longer, but we had to get back on the road to get to Blake’s mom’s house by dinner.

This is Noelle.
Noelle is awesome.

This is Bubbles.
She’s been my car mascot since my very first car.
The jewelly thing was made by my mom’s fiance, John.
It’s a suncatcher made out of an antique spoon.

When we stopped at a gas station, I saw this sign and wondered how I could cash in my kids!
Then someone told me it was probably a tax thing and my hopes for selling children were dashed.

Then Blake presented me with this glorious thing!
Pineapple Fanta was on my MUST list & that shit is hard to find!
This was the only bottle I ended up having, but at least I got to try some!
It was as wonderful as I knew it would be, but I don’t think I’d ever want more than a small bottle like, once a month.
Any more than that and I’d end up in a diabetic coma.

We made it to Venice, on the Gulf side of Florida where Blake’s mom lives, about 8pm and soon after we dropped the kids off and got acquainted with the house, we went to Wal*Mart to get groceries because Blake’s mom is gluten-free and paleo, Madison’s a vegetarian and I have food issues that are out of this world, so we figured it would just be easier if we got our own groceries for the week and fed ourselves, with the exception of the roast beef Blake’s mom – whose name is Brooke, by the way, but for some reason I just always call her Blake’s mom, kinda like how I just call Blake “hey you” (no joke) –  was going to be making at some point in the week as my “birthday dinner”.

Well let me tell you. Wal*Mart was an experience. The following may seem like…”normal” to Americans, but this shit is B-A-N-A-N-A-S to Canadians…

Ice cream flavoured Chips Ahoy.
Okay in Canada we have like, I dunno, maybe 4 kinds of Chips Ahoy cookies and they’re all fairly standard chocolate and cookie combos.

But it get’s even fucking crazier…like, insane…

WHAT

THE

FUCK

IS

THIS?

In Canuckistan we have regular Oreos and Golden Oreos. MAYBE double-stuffed if you’re in a big grocery store.
We had the birthday cake ones for a limited time and gingerbread ones at Xmas and those were both disgusting as I’d imagine most of these are.
Katie and Alex think the “spring” ones looks like a maxipad box. I concur.

I also spied these, which I was assured on Twitter were poison as I had suspected.

Some people go on holiday and take pictures of the wildlife or the landscape or the architecture…I take pictures of junk food.

Seriously though? It was so easy for me to eat in the US. For example, in the produce section of Wal*Mart there was a bagged product that had small florets of fresh broccoli and pasta that you microwave and also in the package was a packet of cheese sauce that didn’t look half bad, so I bought it. I never got to have it because we bought more food than we ended up needing for the week, but that’s the kind of thing I could make myself and have for a pretty okay dinner. We have Green Giant frozen broccoli and cheese sauce but I don’t like their cheese sauce and of course we have actual broccoli and packets of cheese sauce that you mix with milk on the stove to make cheese sauce but that takes a while to make. Anyway, there were lots of things in that Wal*Mart that I would/could have eaten compared to the grocery stores and brands here. Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough, but that’s a whole other post…

The next morning, I was the first one to get up, then Wes, then Blake and Blake and I just hung out at the table outside (they have a screened-in room with a pool and hot tub, a patio table and a tiki bar) while Wes swam. Wes has been taking swimming lessons and he swam in that pool every chance he got, no matter how cold it was.

From here the days all kinda blur together so I’m just kinda going by the order I took pictures in. On this day, which I guess would have been the Tuesday, Madison caught a lizard while we were waiting for everyone elser to go to the beach, which would be one of many.

Before we went to the beach, we stopped off at the Venice Chamber of Commerce where Blake’s mom picked up the kids some prehistoric shark’s teeth:

Venice is something like the shark tooth capital of the world.
When we got to the beach, we saw lots of people with mesh shovels looking for them, but I didn’t take any pics of them.

Da beach.
This was Sharky’s on the Pier.

Brooke and Blake, Madison looking for shells.

When we got home, Brooke made us prime rib as my birthday dinner, check this shit out:

Not much else to say about that.

Then we all went to bed early because we had to get up at 6am to go to Shy Wolf Sanctuary, which was over 2 hours away and Wes’ birthday present from Brooke and Charlie because Wes is absolutely obsessed with wolves (and platypi, but there probably aren’t many of those in Florida.)

When we got to Shy Wolf, they had us sit on these benches in front of the main building while everyone for tours gathered and Wes was telling the volunteers everything he knew about wolves and he asked if he’d be able to pet one, and this was his reaction when he was told that he could:

He was very attentive while the volunteers told us all about how wolves are shy and if you meet out in the wild, it would be more afraid of you than you were of it.

Before we met any wolves, we met a fennec fox and one of many prairie dogs (which do NOT make good pets, they could not stress enough):

That’s our guide, Mark. Mark was awesome.

This is an arctic fox and he was my favourite.
He was a long way from home!

Another prairie dog…

NOT GOOD PETS!

The first couple of wolves we couldn’t pet…

But this one we could!

I liked this pic of the next wolf because he looks like he’s gonna eat that kid who was in my way the whole time…

Also the whole wolf sanctuary reminded me of this:

And then this happened faster than I could get the camera on and set and focused, which sucks, but it was still pretty cool:

This is Wes and Dancer, the wolf he ended up sponsoring in the end thanks to grama and grampa:

At Shy Wolf, there are wolves and wolfdogs. Wolfdogs are half wolf, half dog and their temperament can go either way depending on how much wolf if in them and how much dog. I forget the 4 or 5 stages of mammal development but it goes from infant to juvenile, to adolescent, to adult – I think – and dogs only make it to the juvenile stage where they are dependent on humans for their basic survival while wolves make it all the way to the adult stage where they are completely independent. This is a wolfdog:

I got french-kissed by a wolf…

They also had a bunch of tortoises:

And this bobcat that had the biggest yawn of any animal I’ve ever seen, check this out:

PRAIRIE DOGS DO NOT MAKE GOOD PETS!
These ones seem like they’re good pets because they’re handled by lots and lots of people but all of the animals wound up at Shy Wolf because they were all former pets.
Including the cougar that I didn’t take any pictures of.

This was Wes reaction in the car after we were about to leave Shy Wolf:

After that we went to Cracker Barrel! We don’t have these in Canada!

My mom’s fiance, John, told me that I had to try the macaroni and cheese and my friend Jax told me that while I was in the US I had to try Coca-Cola Cake:

I got a chicken salad sandwich, which was pretty unappealing but the macaroni and cheese I got on the side was ah-may-zing.
The Coca-Cola Cake was a texture and sweetness I just could not even deal with and neither could Madison so none of us ate it.

After that we got back in the car to go to the Everglades on an airboat tour. An airboat, for those that don’t know, is the kind you see on TV with the big fan on the back.
I thought the airboat was fun even though we really didn’t see anything other than mangroves and a couple of birds.

When it was over, the kids got to hold baby alligators though!

The next day, despite the fact that it was frigid, we went on a boat.

Captain Charlie

We stopped at a place to get food and while we were waiting, I took a picture of this pelican who we watched fish for a while:

It was so cold that at this outdoor restaurant/bar place we went to wheeled in these giant electric heaters to our table that did virtually nothing or maybe I was just in the wrong spot. I noticed them when we went to another town to visit Blake’s Aunt Pat too, which we did the next day, so it must be a thing in Florida. I think if it’s cold outside then you fucking eat inside, but that’s just me.

The next day, as I said, we went to Sarasota to go to the Dali museum and to visit Blake’s Aunt Pat afterward and here’s where things get a little sad for me because I was really excited about the Dali museum. I’d never been to an art museum before in my life, which I think is a pretty pathetic thing for a 35-year-old person who sometimes calls herself an artist, plus they were doing a Warhol exhibit, which is really the only artist I know anything about (and not a whole lot).

Well we got there and paid the $5 for parking and got parked, then we walked up the stairs to get inside and then into the doors and it was MAYHEM. There were people EVERYWHERE. We made it to the line to pay admission and there had to have been 30 people just in line with us, not counting everyone who had already paid who were milling about and all the people who were at the section of the room that served as the gift shop. It was just loud and crazy and overwhelming and I had a panic attack very much like the one I had when I tried to go to the Leafs game, both in severity of the attack and the feeling like shit afterward because it was something I really really wanted to do and I’m just such a constant disappointment to myself.

So that happened, then we went and had dinner with Blake’s Aunt Pat, who is just an amazing person we just don’t get to see enough. That was the Friday.

Also on the Friday we found more crazy American shit:

We can apparently get the dark chocolate ones here now, I’d just never seen them.
I refuse to try the birthday cake ones. Madison said they taste like pressed cake batter powder. Blake says they taste like a regular M&M. I may have to have one to see which one of them is crazier.

On Saturday morning, we hit the road for home…this was my road breakfast, which I think is actually pretty healthy…

We saw these guys in a tourist shop on our way out of Florida:

I tried Nutella!
It was good…at first…and then it wasn’t and I wanted to barf….

We saw these guys in Northern Florida:

Blake bought me a grumpy cat at Cracker Barrel and she became the trip home’s mascot…

THEN WE FINALLY WENT TO SONIC WHICH IS THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!!!!!!

I had a hot dog (which Ruggedo recommended, it was good! But no street meat..) and a cherry limeade which, no joke, is the greatest drink I’ve ever had in my life…
And this was at the bottom of my cup!

We got fried chicken in either North or South Carolina, I’m not sure…

It was so good but I felt too sick to eat more than a few small pieces.

We stopped the night in Virginia at a roach motel…

We met one of my coworkers and her family in West Virginia for lunch!
Her name is Tashia and I’ve been working with her for 2 years but since we all work online, we’d never met!

After that we drove pretty much non-stop back home, arriving at around midnight, I think, maybe a bit later.
And that was pretty much our entire holiday.

It was really awesome of Blake’s mom and Charlie to open their house up to use for the week and show us around and the same goes for Noelle, Aunt Pat and Tashia’s family.
The food was good, but it was the people that made the trip. :o)

February 17, 2014

Don’t you like American music, baby?

Greetings, Earthlings.

Sooooooooooooooooo this Florida thing is 98% happening so I think I can post about it…

Next month, when the kids are on March Break, we’re driving to Florida to stay with Blake’s mom and Charlie at their house there because they’re snowbirds now. We’re going to be going through the following states:

– New York
– Pennsylvania
– West Virginia
– Virginia
– North Carolina
– South Carolina
– Georgia

I love car rides. I hate driving and sometimes people’s driving freaks me out, but I like riding shotgun and watching the world pass by. I have no idea how the kids are going to be in the car because the farthest they’ve ever been away from home is Militiagan. They’re good going that far, which is about 5 hours, but Florida is like, 20.

The plan, as of right now, is that Blake’s going to sleep all day on the Saturday and then drive it straight, with us leaving right after I get off work (at 11pm!). Then the kids can sleep in the car (and me, theoretically) and we’ll miss the stuff that’s boring that I’ve seen before and that looks the same as home because it’ll be dark, but then we’ll all be awake for the bizarro stuff we’ll no doubt start seeing around West Virginia. At least this is what people are telling me. Just like, weird signs and houses and stuff, I guess.  Then if Blake gets tired, we pull off and get a hotel room and he sleeps for a while.

I’m stoked at the idea of getting actual fried chicken from “the South”. Laugh all you want but I live in Canada and with very few exceptions, fried chicken here fucking sucks. My concern though, is that they’ll look at me funny if I ask for white meat specifically, is that a nit picky thing in the US (specifically the South) or a common thing? It’s a common thing here and I’m super picky about which parts of a chicken are edible soooo, lemme know. Oh and do I have to have it on a waffle? What is with that? Why a waffle? And I’m guessing it’s corn syrup you put on it. Ugh. No, I just want a fried piece of chicken breast please, maybe some fries, DEFINITELY pie. That’s another thing I’m looking forward to, all the various types of pie available throughout our trip through the good ol’ US of A. Supernatural and Twin Peaks make the US seem like some kind of pie mecca and I really like pie.  And American junk food! Woo hoo! The last time I was in the US, I got these buttery garlic pretzel twists from some random  gas station, like just on our way back to Canada, and I am determined to find them again! Also! Pineapple Fanta! PINETHEMOTHERFUCKINGAPPLE pop. When I learned of this product, it blew my mind and IMMEDIATELY went on my list of things to try because it sounds awesome. Also apparently they make a strawberry flavour so that’s on the list too. What other things do you think I should definitely try? Oh yeah! I want to go to Sonic and get a…cherry lemonade? Is that what I want?

We’re not going to have time for visiting anyone on our way to and from Florida, with the exception of one of my coworkers who lives in West Virginia, right on our route, but while we’re in Florida we’ll be visiting Blake’s friend Noelle and his Aunt Pat.

The plan for being IN Florida is to show the kids the ocean, which is apparently down the street from Blake’s mom’s house, swim in her pool, hang out in her hot tub, eat stuff…Blake and I plan on doing a lot of writing while we’re there. I know one day we’re going to a wolf sanctuary because Wes is obsessed with wolves and he is absolutely going to lose his shit when he gets there. I know another day we’re going to this cool Dali museum that Skylar told me about AND as it turns out, while we’re there, they’re having a Warhol exhibition. So that’s pretty cool. Also I’ve NEVER been to an art museum so I’m excited about that. I barely know who Salvador Dali is and I’m staying willfully ignorant until we go to the museum and learn about him because I feel like if I go on a Wikipedia rampage, it’ll be like reading spoilers since we’re going to a whole museum about him. But yeah, other than that stuff, the plan is to do a whole lotta much-needed nothing.

So, my American comrades (okay and everyone else too), what things should we see, do, eat and listen to during our trip? All suggestions welcome even if we can’t do it! As far as “listen to”, we’re going to be in the car for over 40 hours by the end of this so suggestions of songs to download would be WONDERFUL and I thank you in advance! To get an idea of what I listen to, here’s the current playlist I’m working on called “Blake is REALLY stupid” but any internet music suggestions will go in their own playlist (if I get enough suggestions):

(more…)

January 14, 2014

Love is old/Love is new

One month until Valentine’s Day! I love Valentine’s Day! It’s probably my 2nd favourite holiday after 4/20! I love the colours! The hearts! The lace! The ribbon! The flowers! The food! Everything! And that is why I made this painting in 2011:

“Valentine” lives with a little girl named Claire, who I think is 5 years old now and continues to be some of my best work, I think. Putting her up for sale was easy, but leaving her there until she sold, wasn’t because I really don’t like selling my originals, especially ones I really like. That said, it went to the best possible home and that makes me happy. Since a lot of people inquired about it last year but it was too late for shipping, I’m pimping out my Zazzle shop yet again because I have poster prints, greeting cards, postcards and more of this painting there. AND! I just finished making my shop a spiffy banner, so you should go look at it.

Basically I’m just trying to stay busy. Yesterday journaling just made me miserable so I’m not gonna try doing that again. I have The Wolf of Wall Street and 12 Years a Slave to watch so I’ll probably do that at some point today. I also think I’m going to make egg salad. We bought cheap eggs (as opposed to the pricier omega-3 ones that I think taste better and have a better texture that we use for eating) to use for meringue cookies but I never ended up making the cookies and as it turns out, you only need 3 eggs for that anyway sooooooooooooo egg salad.

I guess since it’s pretty much a “for sure” thing now I can talk about the Florida trip we’re planning in March with the 4 of us. We’re going to board the dogs at this awesome kennel where they get fed twice a day, get treats 3 times a day and they can be in the same pen together so Lucky’s separation anxiety shouldn’t be an issue. The cat should be okay here on her own while we’re gone, we just have to leave out a huge bowl of water, a big bowl of food and a clean litterbox and she’ll think she’s on vacation too. Blake’s mom and husband Charlie have a house there with a hot tub and a pool and they spend their winters down there. I forget how long Blake said it was going to take to get there but it’s something like a 22 hour drive from our house straight down and we plan to do it over two days. I guess we’re just gonna drive drive drive and then when Blake gets tired, find somewhere to sleep and continue the next morning.

Personally I’m looking forward to the plethora of American junk food and cuisine we’re going to encounter on our journey. I really really like pie and Jack Kerouac wrote a small sentence in “On the Road” about the portions of pie and ice cream getting bigger the farther south you go, which is a bit of wisdom I fully intend to test.

One of my coworkers lives right on the way so even if it’s just for a gas station hug, we’re gonna finally meet face to face after 2 years of working together. So that’s cool. Oh and we’re going to see Blake’s friend Noelle and Blake’s Aunt Pat while we’re down there and maybe some more people I don’t know about yet.

So that’s happening.

Anyway, I’m freezing and hungry and have to pee so I’m gonna go fix myself and watch movies.

PS. Blake’s been trying to get me in to see my shrink before my appointment in March but no one’s picking up the phone at her office. :o(

October 9, 2012

Pathetic.

I’m sitting here crying, literally, because I’m also literally sitting here, watching the clock, waiting for 4pm when the kids come home so I have someone to talk to. Because I’m lonely. I mean, I have friends & all, but I don’t have any friends here. And now that Ronny works nights and Alex doesn’t drive, we never see them anymore. The rest of our friends live in Toronto.

And moving is not the solution. If we moved I would be further away from Alex and not much closer to our Toronto friends if you consider the fact that I get off work at 8am and have absolutely nothing in my life to do until I got to bed at 9:30pm.

TV holds zero interest for me. We’ve been watching Dowton Abbey and that’s okay, I guess, but it’s a “Blake & Sunny show” because I don’t want to watch it alone. I have a REALLY hard time watching TV because it seems like such a waste of time unless it’s something that I’m super into and I feel like it enriches my life like Community or Doctor Who or even Walking Dead (which starts in 6 days btw – no idea if Ronny & Alex can come watch it with us as is our tradition of 2 seasons). Actually come to think of it,, those are the only 3 shows that even matter. SNL is a staple since I get off work at 11pm on Saturdays but if someone lame is hosting (and I stopped caring about the musical guests years ago when all these fucking stupid hipster bands with beards started popping up and sounding the same and the host always announces them like they’re some revered classical pianist worthy of worship – give me a fucking break)…anyway if someone lame is hosting, I’ll just go to bed. We record it but it’s Saturday Night Live. It seems to be missing the entire point if you watch it Sunday morning and all the best skits will be on YouTube the next day and if they’re any good they’ll make it to Facebook and I’ll see it then. We only record it in case we have to start watching late for some reason, like if we have Doctor Who to watch since Blake and Madison wait for me to get off work so we can all watch that together.

Anyway, my DVR right now is literally *all* Oprah’s Next Chapter (honestly, I’m just so sick of Oprah, especially because she asks the dumbest questions; she used to be such a good interviewer, now she’s just boring), the last two episodes of Doctor Who that I want to rewatch but again, I don’t like watching them alone, and about 30 episodes of Toddler’s & Tiaras which I usually save to watch with Madison but since I stopped painting pretty girls, because I was sick and tired of painting pretty girls, I stopped having the desire to watch pretty little girls on TV. Plus, honestly, I think the show’s gone downhill. It’s just way too over the top and I think the psycho moms are acting extra psychotic just to get their kids on the show or to win pageants or to be the next Honey Boo Boo (which was a terrible show; Madison & I watched the first episode and were like, “wtf is this shit?” and then I deleted them all from the DVR and made it stop recording them).

So TV’s out. So are movies for the most part because I can’t JUST watch a movie. It’s so very fucking difficult for me to just watch a movie at home. I can watch a movie at the theatre, that’s a life enriching experience. Plus you get popcorn. But movies at home are hard, especially if I’ve seen them before because I don’t paint pretty girls anymore and I don’t have anything to DO while watching. Except to sit there and watch which seems like a pure and utter waste of valuable time.

Not that sitting here crying and being codependent on your kids is productive either but I can’t help that. I’ve been saying it a lot because people seem to have forgotten but I am a sick person. I am not well. My body may be healed/healing (I say “healing” because I still haven’t had a period in 15 months so until that happens everything is NOT kosher inside me) but my mind is getting sicker by the day the greyer the sky gets and the more leaves fall from the trees in front of the house. Fall is the absolute worst season. Everything is dying. Not to be dramatic or emo or whatnot but I just feel it. I know for a fact that it’s the change in the light and I should really ask my shrink if I can borrow an S.A.D. light from the mental health centre, which I will probably do when I see her on the 26th, but that’s a therapy that happens over time and I’m pretty fucking dead inside these days. I stopped using the flower essence sprays because I’ve had a headache for the past 2 weeks that won’t go away and the only 2 things that are different is that I’ve been weaning off the hydromorph (yesterday was my last one) and I’ve been using the sprays. I’ve been 3 days off the sprays and 1 day off the hydromorph and my head is still killing me. I take 3 extra strength Ibuprofen a day and about 12 Tylenol 1s but nothing helps. Crying certainly doesn’t help, when I was little and I would cry, my mom would ask if the crying was really helping and the answer was always “no”, but I have little control over that. If I could change one thing about myself instantly, it would be to not cry at every. little. fucking. thing. I think cognitive behavioural therapy is supposed to help with that but I’m not there yet.

Want to know something super sad? So I bought this camera backpack and it cost me $125. It was becoming stupid to carry around both the camera bag and my purse so I wanted the backpack so I could combine the two, especially since Charlie had bought me two new lenses and it had compartments for them (plus a compartment up top for all my “purse junk”). Yesterday Blake helped me put all the camera stuff in it in its various compartments and then I emptied my purse of all its junk and organized it all and it’s been sitting on my desk ever since, right side up because it has a flat bottom, with my geocaching patch and my 1 inch buttons and Hello Kitty zipper pull and my customized Flip camera in the mesh side pouch, along with my flower essence serums and it’s all packed up and ready to go but…go where? I *can’t* go anywhere!

I wanted to go somewhere all day. I wanted to go on the trail by my house and take pictures with my new lens but there are scary construction workers in front of my house for one and for two there’s probably rapists on the trail at noon on a Tuesday or maybe just a person walking there dog which – not to minimize rape because I’ve been raped, repeatedly and I know how that feels – is pretty on par in my hierarchy of terrible things at the moment BECAUSE if I ran into either one type of person and they interacted with me in the way that those kinds of people would interact, it would freak me right the fuck out and it would probably be months until I left my house alone again. Can you understand that? In my imagination someone forcibly holding me down and putting their dick in my vagina (or worse) would be just as terrible as if someone walking their dog stopped to chat with me on the trail. I probably wouldn’t react the same way at the time (can you imagine?) but both instances would equally make me not want to go there ever again. It’s not right, it’s not rational and again, I can’t help it because I AM SICK. That’s why I want to bring the dogs with me bu they won’t listen to me off leash (they’ll listen to Blake) unless I have Milkbones maybe but we don’t have any and I can’t walk both of them at the same time and I can’t walk Hoover at all because he pulls. (I realize it’s my job to train them how I want them to be but I’m only one person in this house of 4,  I’m definitely the weakest link and I just don’t know how. Plus I’m kind of lazy and training a dog is also training yourself and that’s work. That would mean going on the trail every single day and risking them taking off, which would be my worst nightmare. And I can’t take pictures of things and hold a leash at the same time and i just can’t go on the trail to be on the trail, I have to be doing something, which is why I bought the camera in the first place.)

And I also literally think that the trail – even in a town of just 2000 people in the middle of the day – is probably full of rapists and thugs. At the VERY least, the construction workers would be staring at me, if only because they now know everyone on our street but they don’t know me and maybe one of them would talk to me and I wouldn’t know what to say back so they would think I’m an asshole and I would think about them thinking I was an asshole the whole way down the trail and I would start to cry and then I’d be scared to go home because I wouldn’t be able to STOP crying and I wouldn’t want the construction workers staring at some weird lady crying up and down the street.

But back to the backpack for a second. It’s big. It’s really big. And I’m really not big and I’m scared and self conscious that I’ll look weird or people will think I’m weird for carrying around this gigantic backpack around with me all the time. But I can’t have it both ways. I can’t move all my purse junk back to my purse all the time if I just want to carry my purse and the smaller camera bag with just the camera and whatever lens happens to be on it. Why do I have to carry around all 3 lenses all the time? So I just can’t win with this backpack but we already took the tags off it so I can’t take it back. And I did that on purpose actually, because it IS what I need, even if I don’t necessarily want what’s good for me.

So I have this backpack all packed up and I had from 8am-present to go on the trail and take pictures, which is what I wanted to do all day, but instead I pretty much literally sat and stared at the wall. Refreshed Facebook about a million times. Tried to find that supersonic bungee jumping thing on TV (not successful) but settled on an episode of The Office I hadn’t seen before and that half hour was about all I could stand for TV. I could barely sit through it it felt like such a waste of life, being a rerun. And now it’s 4pm, I can hear Wes in the driveway talking to a friend and making plans to hang out with the neighbour kid and Madison’s going to be home any minute. I’m mad at Madison so I don’t want to hang out with her until after she’s read the post I made this morning about her selfishness, which she’ll do as soon as she gets home because as selfish as she can sometimes be, she does read my site pretty religiously, if only to see what I’m saying about her but also because she’s an extra pair of eyes in my constant sanity checks. (I have to have Blake read everything I post because I just don’t trust myself to be healthy minded when I write things ever since I was literally psychotic on the internet and thought I was communicating with god.) Anyway, she’ll read the post and will do one of two things: she’ll either be mad at me back and not talk to me (which is fine) or she’ll feel bad and come talk to me (which is also fine) but either way I’m going to lose the light to be able to take pictures on the trail at a time when I could, theoretically, have one or both of the kids come with me.

And Blake’s not even going to get out of work, in the city, until 6pm so we’re fending for ourselves for dinner tonight. Then he’s going to Lush to get Wes Lemony Flutter for his cracked feet and me Veganese because I’m out. Then he’s stopping at a pharmacy to get Tylenol 1s because I’m down to my emergency purse supply of them and that’s bad news when you’ve had a constant headache for 2 weeks and you’re coming off major narcotics. Then, possibly, he may stop at a grocery store to buy Milkbones but I told him that’s not super important when IT’S SUPPOSED TO RAIN THE WHOLE REST OF THE WEEK so if I wanted to take pictures in the trail, today’s the only day for a very long time.

And yeah, I’m supposed to be doing immersion therapy and yeah, forcing myself to go on the trail today would have been immersion therapy but it’s too big of a step and there are no small steps in between my house and there, especially not with construction workers in front of my house all the way to the park ( where the trail starts) all the fucking time. My caseworker scares the ever-loving fuck out of me and I have a card in my purse with his name and phone number on it but I can’t bring myself to call because I just don’t like him and I don’t think there’s anyone else. And truthfully, he’s probably the best option BECAUSE he scares the shit out of me and I don’t think I can bowl him over with irrational, possibly bullshit excuses as I’m prone to do and I did to my other caseworker until she finally gave up on me. Like I said, I see my shrink on the 26th and I don’t know what to ask her about this. Like if I should ask for a new worker and run the risk of them being a push-over or if I should stick with the one I have even though he scares me. And why does he scare me? Because he asks you a question and then you answer and then he keeps on staring at you for like, 15 seconds more like he’s expecting you to say something else, but not really because he’s just boring a fucking hole through your forehead for no reason. Maybe he’s thinking, I dunno, but staring is one of my major “things” so this man is barely tolerable. (And yes, I’ve only met him once. His only two redeeming qualities are that he’ll probably legitimately get mad at me if I don’t do what he says to do and also that he’s willing to work with me via e-mail in some capacity. So I should probably stick with him. But then the problem is actually physically calling him, which I can’t do because I don’t know what to say so I’ll probably ask Blake to do it but he won’t know what to say either. Maybe my shrink can do it. But maybe not because that would be enabling. I dunno. I dunno. I dunno.)

And now Madison’s home and she’s being snobby to me so I’m assuming she either read my post at school or someone told her about it (it happens; there’s this annoying kid named Daniel who apparently announces to the class every morning what I blogged about the day before – hi Daniel, you’re an asshole!) or maybe she’s just being snobby because that’s how she is. If she didn’t read my post today at school then she’s surely reading it now.

My cousin about an hour ago asked me on Twitter, “whatever happened to that colouring book you were making?” and that’s a very good question. I told her I lost interest, which is true, but I lost interest because of rejection. I knew I would work super hard on it and if I ever actually completed it (which, let’s face it, would be a first) no one would actually buy it. In my experience, people say they’ll buy things but then they never do. “Oh if you paint X, I’d for sure buy it!”” so I paint “X” and it rots in my Etsy shop for a year. A $20 colouring book that I’d sell maybe 20 copies of, tops, just isn’t worth my time for all the work I’d put into it. The paper dolls idea was another one that I liked but it would be the same. Plus I’m just honestly sick to death of pretty girls. I’m sick of making them, I’m sick of seeing them. Pretty soon I’m going to take everything off my walls and down from my Etsy shop and make a bonfire in the backyard I’m so sick of them.

Although that thought makes me cry so maybe that’s not true. :o(

I just don’t know what to do. I’ve said that a lot in my life and yeah, I’ve got first world problems coming out my ass here but I live in the first world so these are my problems dammit. I thought that after I got better life would be different, that everything would start over and I would have a brand new life because “life’s too short to…” sit there and cry, not leave the house, not try new things. But it’s just turning out to be more of the same from before I got sick, the only thing that’s changed is that I work less hours (partially because I have to work less hours to save my sanity, partially because that’s all the hours available; I don’t think working more is the answer to my problems, I’m pretty sure that would just make things worse unless I had to work more hours to keep my job) so I have more time on my hands to do nothing.

And yeah, I worked in Lightroom for most of the morning. I re-edited all of Madison’s grad pics for printing and my friend Sondra challenged me to correct a photo of her that she just took this morning. Challenge accepted. Here’s her before pic:

Here’s her after:

I think I made her look artificially young, to be perfectly honest, but I also think I’m getting better at retouching.
It also takes a good friend to volunteer to let you Photoshop them silly.

So I guess I was semi-productive today and I listened to really loud music all morning and was generally having a good time. I even Blipped a time or two. But then I ran out of pictures to play with and the light inside our house sucks so taking pictures in here is pretty much impossible and I’ve already taken pictures of the dogs in the backyard and the kitchen and the kids weren’t home, and neither was Blake and I couldn’t leave the house and I don’t know how to use the remote for the camera plus I look like a bag of shit today so self-portraits were out of the question…I literally did nothing but cry and reload Facebook from about 1pm-present. I read half a chapter of the newest Sookie Stackhouse but even that felt like a waste of time, especially because Charlaine Harris is actually becoming a WORSE writer as the series goes on and she starts getting more colloquial  but in a totally overdone Louisiana hick way so all the characters sound stupid and then she “borrows” characters from the show or pieces of them and renames them and they’re all really obvious and it should be the other way around, with the show borrowing from HER, so if I can’t get through this book, which has been a real chore and I’m only on chapter 3, then I won’t be buying any more of them. I thought about having a bath but even that seemed like a waste of time. I knew that if I ran the bath water, I’d just sit in there and cry so I might as well cry and be clothed at the same time. Crying in the bath tub is just super pathetic and I couldn’t bring myself to risk it. I usually read in the bath and I have a million things to read but no interest in anything. I just have a serious case of ennui, I think. So very little holds my interest. The only thing I care about right now is photography and it’s the absolute worst season for it. Have I mentioned how much I loathe fall? The only good thing about it is Thanksgiving but I gave that up this year to go to Militiagan because I thought a change of scenery and people would be good for me. Not that I don’t love all the people we saw, but the only really good part of the trip for me was seeing Blake’s Aunt Pat, who I absolutely adore. And I was so fucking mad at myself because I forgot the camera bag when we went to visit her. Blake’s mom even called out to us before we left while we were getting in the car that we’d left behind a backpack but because she called it a backpack I thought she meant my actual backpack which just contained my hoodie and the connection that she meant the camera bag which I DID mean to bring didn’t connect. I really would have liked to have gotten some pictures of Wes and Pat so I could have printed one and sent it to her for Xmas. That was my only goal for the trip besides successfully working somewhere other than home and I totally and utterly failed. This is another reason why the camera backpack is a good idea for me. It has Ativan in it which I won’t leave the house without.

Anyway, I think that’s all the pathetic juice I’ve got in me. Madison wants to take pictures on the trail (actually taking pics was her idea, the trail was mine) and she’s choosing not to read the post I made about her this morning after I told her what it was about (or maybe she’ll read it later because I really want her to, I really need her to see, in writing, how selfish she’s been lately so she’ll understand) and she said she’d make her and Wes frozen fries and corn for dinner and me spaghetti so we’re good. And now I’m going to go take a crap, gather the kids (Wes is next door) and hit the trail before the light dies completely.

Sorry for making you read this.

PS. i still haven’t even started my sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project. I don’t even know where it is. :o/ Another thing I could do but I have zero interest in. It’s not just ennui, I’m pretty sure it’s also depression.

PPS. Madison has decided that we’ve lost the light and she’d rather talk about the post I made about her this morning. Fair enough, but this is just going to turn into the exact same scenario tomorrow when I don’t even have pictures to edit to keep myself occupied.