I finished an art video last night and left it uploading overnight, so it would be ready for people to see in the morning. It’s called “Fetus Balloon”, here it is:
It’s a bit dark because my office is a bit dark, but I’ve got a lamp on my desk now so that should solve the problem in the future. I don’t really care if anyone watches them, I like watching them, and I just bought a video setup to make them, so expect more.
I realize I haven’t been updating a ton lately and most of that has to do with the fact that I’m not feeling particularly “writer-y” these days. I’m feeling more…I dunno, visual I guess. In the video, you’ll see that I’m painting on a pad of watercolour paper. I’ve decided that paper is going to be my only substrate for the entire winter. I thought about limiting myself to only using Inktense pencils but I just couldn’t do it. I used them in the painting in the video but so far nothing I’ve been able to do with them has looked better than my usual acrylic paint so I’ve decided to do the opposite of limiting myself and anything, as long as it’s (relatively) flat, fits on that paper and won’t fall off when I file it in my portfolio, is fair game.
Here’s what I did with the first sheet of paper from the pad:
A photo posted by Sunny Crittenden (@sunnycrittenden) on
I’m so used to painting and working in layers that carefully leaving white space as not to mix your colours was really really difficult. Also there are no caucasian fleshtones in the whole tin and I have the really big 72 pencil one. I dunno, still playing with them.
When I go to San Francisco next month all I’m bringing as far as art supplies is this pad of watercolour paper, the Inktense pencils, brushes, brush basin, 3 Pigma Micron pens, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, exacto knife for cutting eraser, ruler and circle template, gel medium, acrylic glazing medium and 6-8 two oz bottles of acrylic paint, colours to be determined, but Santa’s Flesh, Snow White and Lamp black are definitely going to be in there. I know it sounds like a lot but it really isn’t since almost everything is small or light and it’s NOTHING compared to the resources available to me in within the room I currently sit. So, during that trip I *am* limiting myself to that and whatever Belinda brings with her/buys while she’s there if she comes. We’re gonna sit around and watch movies and make bad art. It’ll be awesome. Steph’s also taking me to a restaurant that ONLY serves fancy macaroni and cheese, which I gotta tell ya, I’m pretty damn excited about. We’re going to see where Steph lives (in a bitcoin-fueled cyber hippie love commune), which should be interesting. At some point we’re going to hang out with Blake’s sisters and their kids, two of which Blake has never even met. They live in Lake Tahoe so they’re going to drive into SF and then I dunno what. On my actual birthday, my friend Kat is throwing me a birthday party and then driving us to the airport the next day (unless we just get a cab cuz it’s gonna be like, 4am). I’m trying to arrange a meetup one day with all the people I work with who live out there, but I’ve never actually met. So that should be pretty cool.
I’m going to SF because I figure by the end of Feb/my b-day, I’m going to be a wreck. The SAD officially kicked in this morning despite doing light therapy 3 times every morning for the last two months. San Francisco has warmth and sunshine and a MACARONI AND CHEESE RESTAURANT and friends. The place we rented has a pretty nice kitchen so we’re going to order in from this food delivery service that has all kinds of weird produce and organic meats. And I’m sure we’ll hit up a grocery store at some point. (I loooooove American grocery stores.) Blake’s going there to see his sisters and work on his book and be warm. I’m thinking about maybe getting a tattoo while I’m down there but I haven’t decided yet. I want to have my scar accentuated somehow because it’s fading, but I haven’t come up with anything yet. I don’t want to tattoo the actual scar though. I dunno, was just an idea. I want to buy THE most touristy godawful bong I can afford that says San Francisco on it, if I can find such a creation. I’ve been assured that such an item has been spotted once or twice so, I’ll be on the lookout.
Almost bought plane tickets to Vegas last week because my work can get us free tickets to AVN which is a big porn convention at the end of the month. Didn’t end up doing it because unless we could have rented a place with other people from work, we couldn’t afford to stay anywhere. I guess there’s also an electronic gadget convention happening at the same time so all the hotels raise their prices. Flights were pretty cheap, though. Plus doing that at the end of Jan. would mean only 3 paycheques between now and San Francisco and I want to save as much money as possible for that. This year would have been ideal to go to AVN because it’s their 30th anniversary so I bet there would be more than the usual amount of free swag. Oh well.
What else? Well, Madison has her learner’s permit and is learning to drive. She has two part-time jobs and spends all her money on Magic cards, something that she has gotten all of us into because the only shop worth going into in our town is the comic shop and they have Friday Night Magic until 1am or longer, depending on how things are going. My deck is white with a bit of blue, but I’m thinking about switching to a straight white deck when the new cards come out later this month. I guess we’ll see what I pull (I’m buying a full box of boosters and so is Madison).
Other than that like, all I do is work. I may play Sims 4 today though because I haven’t touched it since it first came out and I have no plans for today. Spending the day either in my Sims Bunker or farming in Warcraft and eating pizza sounds pretty damn good to me. So that is what I am going to do.
I finished work at noon and had between then and 3:30pm to roll enough joints for the night, figure out where to eat, co-ordinate all this with my mom and get myself ready, which not only often involves multiple wardrobe changes, but more importantly, well-timed pharmaceuticals, and I was freaking at twelve-oh-one because I didn’t know where to start. I started by rolling joints and listening to bad hip hop because medication of all kinds is the most important thing to not leave the house with and I’ve been known to take a VERY long time to do this, even with a rolling machine, so yeah, started there. As I got to about my 2nd (of a planned 5) joint, Blake got home with lunch from Fresh-A-Fare, which I had really really wanted when I asked him to bring it home half an hour prior, but since I hadn’t had a ton of time to actually medicate between then and when he got home, my stomach just wasn’t ready for it so we ended up leaving it in the fridge for Wes for dinner if he wanted it, which he would because it was a ham and cheese sandwich and turkey with wild rice soup and he eats like me, so he’d be all about it.
As Blake ate and I rolled, we watched Once Upon a Story in Wonderland because it’s free on this trial Netflix type deal we have right now, and when the episode was over, Blake went to the bathroom to start getting read and I so, so stupidly checked e-mail and Facebook. And that is how I learned that my friend, Jeff Depew, the drummer from Scratching Post, had passed away. As some of you know, I was sort of the band’s first unofficial mascot/panty girl/merch bitch who did a lot of touring with them and became very good friends with everyone involved. I was/am shocked and saddened by the news of Jeff’s passing and however it happened, it is my hope that it was peaceful. I found out at around 2:30pm and had to be out the door at 3:30pm. At first I almost didn’t go. Just didn’t feel like partying or having a good time or being social. Then I almost went in overalls, which in hindsight I probably should have, it’s what I’d originally wanted to wear, but I settled on the same thing I wore on our attempt to see Book of Mormon, which had been thwarted by a blizzard so the outfit had never been seen before.
It took me half an hour to do my makeup because makeup won’t stick to tears, no matter how much primer you try to use. I’m a very simple lipstick-top-lid-eyeliner-one colour of shadow-mascara kinda gal. Makeup usually takes 10 mins, tops.
Anyway, traffic was hellacious and it was becoming apparent that we’d be late, so I texted my mom who said they were running late too, which I figured because that’s how my mother rolls. We get to the parking lot and it’s 100 km away from the restaurant we were meeting at and it’s blowing snow and I’m in a skirt. That walk made me so unhappy, especially since at the time my mother kept texting me from the restaurant about stuff as I’m trying not to get hit by cars or drop my phone or get it wet. Finally I literally told her to “stfu lol” and eventually we got to the restaurant.
We went to this St. Louis Grill place that I don’t think I’d ever bother with again unless I had to. Typical chain, with tiny across-from-Skydome Toronto portions and prices. I did eat a piece of macaroni and cheese wrapped in bacon and deep-fried that was pretty wonderful but I forgot to bring enzymes with me and really really should not be eating something like that anyway.
After eating, we went to the show. I went there. I saw that my painting was in the very back corner in the dark where it belonged. I looked at everyone else’s stuff, some good, some not so good but overall WAY better selections than previous years, then I parked my ass at the bar where I could see people looking at my painting (but turned my back to it because I couldn’t look) and see when they did the speeches. Speeches were uneventful except that this year there were prizes and our old friend from town here, Brian, won an honourable mention in his category and his girlfriend won best of show for her category.
After the speeches and awards and stuff, the place cleared out pretty fast. It wasn’t like previous years at all. See, something happened. I don’t know what but last fall there was some drama surrounding the show and suddenly touchedbyfire.CA was NOT the place to go, but touchedbyfire.CO and there was a mad scramble to get sponsors and find a space. It seemed like too much drama for me so I didn’t enter. This year it was run with the same group as last year and I noticed a lot of familiar artist faces missing, which seemed odd to me. I mean, this show has its regulars and I didn’t see two of its most prominent ones represented there last night. The bust for Rebecca Burkhardt, the person in whose remembrance this event takes place, was also missing, or at least I didn’t see it anywhere. Her dad was there though.
Before we left the show, Blake and John went around the room to see if anything had sold and only 2 things had, one being the most inexpensive piece in the show.
While the quality of work this year was definitely better, the experience wasn’t. There was no printed catalogue, which is really the only reason I go, just printed postcards with instructions for people to use their phones to take pictures of the QR codes beneath them or whatever they’re called, to pull up basically this page. That makes sense for the paintings being up in the gallery for a month but the show should have had a printed catalogue, especially since if I sell my piece, I’m giving them 20% and I want certain things, like show catalogues, for them to deserve that 20%. There were also no name tags for artists which was a mixed blessing. Every other year I turn mine around as not to be identified but this year I was trying to get up the courage to actually speak to people, to sell that damn thing, and them approaching me first would have been better.
The show’s been running 8 years, my first time was the 2nd year and I think I’ve been in it a total of 5 times. Last night marked only the 2nd time I’d submitted anything that was actually for sale and I really really need to sell this piece or make money from it somehow, in order to complete my next project before I get frustrated by money and logistics that I give up.
Anyway, here’s my painting and what I wore and how far away I was away from my painting at all times. THE END.
PS. I also invited my brother and his girlfriend to dinner and the show but he never even replied. I have no idea why, I haven’t done anything to him and we haven’t had a fight, so wtf? This hurts me a lot more than it should and was on my mind all night.
PPS. If you want to buy my painting, help me make BETTER art and see my awesome artist statement, click here.
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.
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.
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!
I’m having a really hard time with this whole poetry deal. I find it incredibly frustrating. Right now I’m reading Collected Poems 1947-1997 by Allen Ginsberg more or less one poem every time I go to the bathroom (I’m not JUST reading it on the can) and I’m frustrated because I don’t understand why it isn’t more literal and why lines are broken up the way they are. It makes no sense. No one talks like that. And even Allen has some pretty foofy rhymey crap, but I’m forcing myself to even read those ones because I think the only way I’ll understand why people write poems instead of prose (just say what you mean! fuck! dammit! Jesus!) is if I read it and if I don’t read it, I won’t be able to do it.
I figure it’s like comic books. I never used to understand comic books. They just didn’t make sense to me because the pacing of them pissed me off. The only comics I read as a kid were some of the comic strips in the Saturday paper, my mom’s For Better or For Worse books, which I now know are trades, and Archie Double Digests. I bought some comics when I was a kid because I thought they’d be collector’s items, and as such, I never read them (and they ultimately ended up being thrown out), but as you can see, when it came to comics I was used to reading a lot more in one sitting than your standard little flimsy paper comic. Plus all the comics I ever saw were superheroes and I have zero interest in superheroes then or now, so I just wrote comics off completely until I met Blake. (With the exception of Princess Ai but that’s Courtney Love and I didn’t like it.)
It started with the tv show LOST. Blake said, “hey, since you like LOST, maybe you’ll like this Brian K. Vaughn comic about all the men on Earth dying but one and his pet monkey”. Next thing I knew, I was nose deep in Y: The Last Man and I ended up getting all the trades of that between Xmas/birthday/Mother’s Day and I loved it. It wasn’t about a goddamn superhero, there were obviously a lot of female characters, it was an interesting story and the art was decent. I didn’t know comics could be like that. I didn’t realize that after a while some comics become trades*. I forget the order of things after that but I read the Scott Pilgrim comics because they’re Canadian and so was the movie and I started reading the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics but didn’t really like Scott Pilgrim even though they’re thick like trades (I don’t think they were ever flimsy paper comics) and couldn’t get into the Buffy ones. I still plan to revisit the Buffy ones because I didn’t read all of the ones I have, but it’s one of those “when I get around to it” kinda things. Disappointed in Buffy and Scott Pilgrim, I gave up on comics for a few years.
Then The Walking Dead TV show happened. I knew it was a comic because Blake had been reading it when it first came out, but it wasn’t until I found out that there were fucking COMPENDIUMS, (PLURAL!), I obtained those and devoured them. And it was good timing because the second compendium came out at a time where you could pick up with flimsy comics where the compendium left off, so that’s what we did. Except again, the timing of issues and the fact that each one only tells one snippet of story, it just pissed me off so we buy them and Blake reads them and they pile up on my shelf and what ended up happening was we downloaded all of them onto the iPad and I read a year’s worth of Walking Dead comics in like, 45 minutes or less, in the car, in the dark, on the way to Florida. And I think that’s how comics should be read. This one issue thing is bullshit.
After Walking Dead I tried out Pretty Deadly, at my friend Diego’s suggestion and it was just beautiful. I didn’t know comics could be like THAT! Again, I hated the pacing and since it was only 5 issues, I ended up reading them all again in one sitting after the last one came out so I could read the story as a complete thing. Because I liked that so much, I gave Itty Bitty Hellboy a try because I like the Hellboy movies and it was cute. I still have not read them, however because every time I think about reading them, I think “comics blah” because while I’m learning, due to being exposed to different things, that comics can be good and not annoying, I’m still biased against them for some reason. Having said that, now that I understand how they work a little better, they just make more sense and my brain can comprehend them. I’m not there with poetry yet. All I’ve read so far is Allen Ginsberg, a TEENY bit of Sylvia Plath (just peeked inside the book, said, “oh dear” and closed it), I gave Walt Whitman a shot (just no), Percy Shelley (Blake’s favourite, I don’t get it) and I’ve just been paying attention to the poetry all around me, which there is actually a surprising amount.
I have a lot of doubt as to whether I’m capable of writing a poem at all, let alone one that isn’t complete garbage. I’m so petrified of not being able to do it that I haven’t actually tried. I have pages and pages of poetic snippets of things from my days but I have no idea what to do with them or how to assemble any of them into a poem. I’ve started a running list of things I could write poems about and the list is sitting at 42 items right now. All I fucking have to do is pick one and try but I stare at the cursor blinking in Word and my mind goes as blank as the page. I told Blake that I wasn’t sure, at this point, if A) I were capable of writing anything other than worthless blog posts or if B) I was capable of writing outside of WordPress, like maybe I need the clutter of WordPress to not be intimidated by the page. For the longest time I wasn’t capable of writing anything outside of the Live Journal client Semagic. I would write blog posts in Semagic and paste them into WordPress. So dumb.
In case it’s never been completely fucking evident: change freaks me out. I’m (almost) always the last person in the pool. I still use SquirrelMail because I have e-mails saved in there from like, 2003 and I’m not sure how to preserve them if I switched to gmail. I also don’t know how to make all my domain e-mails work with gmail AND SquirrelMail colour-codes all of my e-mail by e-mail address (different domains) and I don’t think gmail can do that. Eventually I’m going to have to switch to something because SquirrelMail isn’t even really supported anymore but I will go clawing and scratching.
I have one REALLY simple idea for a “poem” but it’s very difficult to execute and I’m not sure if I’m up to the task since it’s something, as far as my googlings tell me, has not yet been done. If it were easy, it would have been done by now, I figure. I also figure I have my whole life or until someone else thinks of it for that one though. I spent most of yesterday thinking about it as hard as I could and now it’s time to forget about it and think about other things because usually that’s how the ideas come. So I guess technically I did try a “poem” but if you knew what it was so far you’d think “not really” too because it’s not yet…
Soooo begrudgingly I have Instagram. I know I ranted and raved about Instagram “photographers” being annoying with filters a while back (and I still pretty much think that) but a couple of weeks ago maybe, my friend Leora, who lives in Vienna, asked on Facebook who all had Instagram because she just made an account to document her time there. And then I watched as so many of my friends one by one said “I do!” so I decided to follow my friends and give Instagram another chance, this time looking at it more as a social networking site than just a site to share photos with shitty filters. So far it’s been okay. I like that I can post to multiple places all in one shot (if it would do Live Journal, that would be great but I don’t foresee that ever happening), the editing tools are simple and easy to use and I think square photos look nicer than the rectangular ones my phone automatically takes.
Tomorrow I see Stephanie the dietitian. According to Wii Fit I’ve lost another 5 lbs since I saw her last, which isn’t great, but right now I’m eating okay because of this cannabis strain I have, as I’ve posted about before. I’m not eating a lot but what I eat I try to make “count”. Last night I actually ate an entire hamburger with ketchup, mustard, relish and onions. Normally I would eat 1/3 of that same burger with just ketchup. Furthermore, my comment after it was gone was that it would have been better with cheese, which is what I asked Blake for originally but he didn’t see cheese in the list of toppings (I wrote “I want a cheeseburger from South St…” and since I would never ordinarily order that, he saw “hamburger”) so there was no cheese to be had. But still, I ate it and I normally would not have. So that’s good. I can’t remember if I posted this at the time, but when I saw my shrink a little over a week ago, she went over my bloodwork and my anaemia is out of control which could be contributing to my depression and the fact that I’m tired all the time. She also wants me to have them draw blood again to check my B12 levels because apparently that can have an effect too. I told her if my B12 was too low then that was too damn bad because the treatment for it is never ever going to happen in this lifetime or the next, which I told her in those exact terms. She wants the bloodwork done anyway. Godammit.
And that’s all I can think of posting at this very moment and I think I need macaroni and cheese, so I’m gonna go get started on that. Blake’s not going to be home until like, 8pm tonight so this will be lunch and I think for dinner I’m going to either have a hot dog or a P.L.T. because I need meat and those are my options. (Newly formed food rule because the idea makes me feel like barfing: I don’t think I can eat eggs and macaroni and cheese on the same day.) Peace oot.
(*My friend Diego says ALL comics become trades. Is that true?)
Friday I saw my shrink. My shrink who is retiring in August. She thinks I’m depressed and that this is probably not a life phase and maybe my B12 is deficient (which she only thought of because I’m a moron and mentioned it without thinking and now I have to have another blood test) and I should be taking iron (nothnx) or eating more meat (just can’t). She prescribed an anti-depressant called cipralex which I started last night. I’m in a pretty good mood today but I don’t think the drug would work that fast, especially not at such a low dose (it’s so low they don’t even make pills that small, I have to cut them in half). It’s probably because it’s spring and I’ve had/am having a good weekend and [REDACTED] [REDACTEDED] on Game of Thrones last night and also Mad Men started but I haven’t watched that yet because I wanted to get my weekend down “on paper” before my fuzzy goldfish brain forgot crucial details. Oh and the strain of cannabis I have right now is working EXTREMELY well. Like, I’ve been eating every single day since having it. I just ordered 90 more grams of the stuff because I’m afraid they’ll run out (they do that….it sucks….it’s a new system and a new company, it’ll get better….)
Writing at Froth on Friday after my shrink appointment was a bust. We got there around 4:20pm and there was a sign on the door that said they were closing at 5pm for a private function. This put Blake and me in a crapola mood but we went to Fran’s in Barrie (45+ minutes away from where we were) which is a chain diner that’s open 24 hours (except ours isn’t, it’s just open late) anyway because we’d scouted it out as a potential writing place the Friday before and had planned on trying to write there at some point.
Fran’s was yes & no. I had issues with Fran’s food this time around. I ordered the chicken club, which I’ve ordered before, and there was a bucket of mayo on it on all sides of the inside of the sandwich, which is three pieces of bread if you’ve never had a club. As I’ve explained before, I like mayo and I did ask for mayo, but lots of mayo makes me feel sick just looking at it. I ate 1/4 of the sandwich and just couldn’t do it and the fries were stupidly salty and the gravy no good. This put me in a crappier mood because honestly, I was hungry and this shouldn’t have been difficult. I cried a little (luckily we were in a booth). Blake told me I could order something else but we are so fucking broke right now that this was going to be our last excursion until next paycheque and that just made me feel guilty so I just ordered the soup of the day, which was mushroom, because it was only $3.99 and when the waiter inquired as to why this was happening, Blake just told him the sandwich was not good. This was like sending something back, which I’ve never done before in my life and I was not comfortable with in the slightest and the unfortunate thing was that the soup was pretty terrible too. I ate about half of it just to be polite to the chef since I felt bad for “sending back” the sandwich which was truly difficult for me to do but that was how awful I felt about the sandwich.
After the waiter took away the soup, we got refills on our drinks and set up our writing devices (my laptop/his Surface tablet). Fran’s doesn’t have wifi so we used my phone as a hotspot because we had to access our Sky/One Drives and I’m not sure how long we stayed before the waiter told us “no hurry” but presented us with the bill and didn’t offer to give us any more refills. We decided t0 leave and they didn’t charge us for the sandwich. I’m not sure how good it was for Blake as far as productivity but after the food fiasco was over with, I didn’t write anything but I did read about Allen Ginsberg, Lucien Carr, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs on Wikipedia (not done with the latter) and I was in full on sponge mode which I find difficult to do when Blake’s home for some reason. I just don’t like being online when Blake’s hanging out in my office but I don’t want him to not hang out in my office either so Fran’s worked well. If there is a next time (up to Blake, I can work there), I’m going to stick to breakfast foods. It’s pretty rare that a restaurant will fuck up peameal and eggs, in my experience.
After Fran’s we came home and watched the movie Immortal Beloved, which was recommended by Anne Rice and it was an okay movie but I didn’t find it anywhere near as inspiring as she said it was to her, so I think I ended up just going to bed afterward.
Saturday morning I woke up and Blake and I tried to watch Amadeus, also recommended by Anne Rice and I think I made it about half an hour in before I knew there was no way I could commit to 3 hours of that.
Stupidly I relied on those two movies to carry me through inspirationally until my books got here from Amazon (hopefully today) and with that plan falling through completely I felt totally dejected. Not good on a Saturday when I have to work my marathon shift and I spent the last hour of freedom before work crying because work is the last thing I wanted to do. This is definitely a depression thing, mixed with a constantly feeling weak or sick thing, with a little bit of just being plain ol’ burnt out because I haven’t really felt like I’ve had a chance to recharge my mental batteries in a long time. My last good creative idea, based on inspiration, was in November and it was only a little one.
Also on Saturday, making things worse, Blake and Madison were going to see Courage My Love in Barrie and Nicole would be there (because she manages the band), who I’ve only seen once since moving here.
When I logged into work at 2pm, my coworker and buddy whose shift overlaps mine by an hour, asked how I was and I was honest with her. And because she is probably the most positive, sunshiniest outlook person I know she was like, “I can cover you if you want to go see your friend” and I was thankful but she could only cover me for 2 hours and that wouldn’t work with everyone else’s plans. That’s when I remembered that one of my other coworkers technically owed me 2 hours because I covered for her last week so I texted her and asked if she could help me out and she said yes despite the fact that it was super short notice, which meant that I had the last 4 hours of my shift covered and that was the perfect amount of time to throw on a pair of jeans and some lipstick and go to the rock & roll show with Blake and Madison (and Madison’s friend) and Nicole.
This is Courage My Love:
They’re supernaturally talented 20 year old twins and a dude named Brandon and they put on a really good performance with their “bring the guitar” boxes to jump around on, as Blake calls them. They’re playing Warped Tour this summer so if you’re going , check them out!
It was a rock show so it was hard to really talk to Nicole but it was still good to see her and at the end of the night when it was time to leave, I cried. I miss her. And afterward I was thinking about how, before Blake and I were together and I was in a long distance relationship with Chris, Nicole and I used to spend hours on the phone together shooting the shit and writing song lyrics and song lyrics are a lot like poems so if I’m capable of that – or was at one point – then poetry shouldn’t be this giant mystery to me.
Truthfully, I think the biggest creative obstacle I have right now is that I don’t feel like I have anything to say. Or I do but I either don’t know how to best express it (if at all) or I can’t express it at all due to outside factors. At least not publicly. Blake would say to just get it out, but things are still percolating and I can’t. The other thing, and I said this to my shrink, is that I need to get out and experience more and get out of my comfort zone, which is also partially why I decided to go to the Courage My Love show. It’s also why Sunday happened.
So Sunday morning Blake and Wes went to swimming and when they came back, Wes paid me the money he owes me, which meant I had enough money to take Blake and myself out for breakfast at Cora’s. Cora’s is good because it’s not super expensive (under $30 with tip) and I like their bacon because it’s the least fatty bacon that isn’t peameal that I’ve ever had. They don’t fuck up my eggs. I like their french bread type toast. And they also serve everything with fresh fruit art that I find that very appealing because apparently my hunger brain is 5 years old. Their chicken salad sandwich is pretty good too. I still think crepes are kinda gross.
After Cora’s we just came home and we started watching the movie Howl, which is about the obscenity trial surrounding Allen Ginsberg’s book of the same title. I thought it was great except for James Franco, who played Ginsberg. His overacting was terrible and they gave him too modern of a haircut for the role. I didn’t care about finishing it but Blake wanted to. While we watched the rest of the movie, I started making plans with our friend Steph (the Geek), who was in Toronto from California (but she’s Canadian – we’re all so very complicated) because of a Bitcoin conference, but things ended earlier than she expected on Sunday so there was time to meet up and hang out, something we hadn’t done since like…uh…Vegas, August of 2005. (Her wedding doesn’t count, I only got to talk to her for maybe 10 minutes total.) We decided to go to Vapor Central, which is, if you hadn’t guessed, a vapor lounge in downtown Toronto that I’ve been wanting to go to for a long time and this was a good opportunity to do so because Blake doesn’t smoke weed and would be driving anyway (and I would feel weird vaping alone) and the city freaks me out. I figured a Sunday would probably be a mellow day to go, especially since we couldn’t get there until 6pm, and Steph said she was available then so it all just kinda fell into place. Also, I haven’t smoked weed with another human being since our anniversary party almost 2 years ago and never with Steph, who I figured would be a good Sunday stoner buddy (I was correct in that assumption).
So we get down to the city and we find a cheap municipal parking lot just down the street a few blocks from Vapor Central – score! And on our way down the street to Vapor Central, we passed what looked like a pretty decent pizza place that I took mental note of because – and I only realized this recently – I’m constantly in search of the world’s best slice of pizza. So far the pizza place (that I don’t know the name of) that we ordered from all the time in NY beats everything by a mile no contest, even Stouffville Pizza (that’s 2nd best) but I don’t live in NY so that’s not exactly an option for me. I’m straying from the story…
…we get to the vapor lounge and you go up these stairs because it’s on the 2nd floor of a building and we’re greeted by a wall of haze and the familiar smell of vapor which kinda smells like toasted nuts or maybe popcorn a little bit or maybe a little bit woody. It tastes exactly the way it smells (which is better than smoke). I know this because Blake bought me a personal vaporizer (Magic Flight Launch Box) for Xmas and it just didn’t do anything for me so I gave it to my friend after 3 or 4 days of correct usage with little to no result. Pretty much the entire reason we wanted to go to the vapor lounge was because they have Volcano vaporizers which are, as Steph said, “the Cadillac of vaporizers”. They’re $700 tabletop vaporizers that work by filling up a big plastic bag with cannabis vapor that you “sip” out of a special mouthpiece that allows the vapor to remain in the bag until you inhale it. The benefit to vaping is that you use WAY less weed and it’s a lot healthier because you’re not breathing smoke into your lungs. Since the personal vaporizer didn’t do anything for me, I always wondered if it was the vaporizer or me, like maybe I was immune to vaping. That’s why I wanted to try a Volcano because if a Volcano didn’t work for me, then no vaporizer would and I should just give up on the idea.
Vapor Central charges you a $5 membership day fee to get in and that gives you access to the lounge, which is full of couches and tables with a Volcano for each seating arrangement, and I think they’re supposed to charge us for the Volcano bags/mouthpiece/reservoir but they didn’t. They just made Blake give them his licence until he returned it all.
The girl who was at the desk when we first walked in was incapable of dealing with new customers because she was so completely adorably blitzed out of her mind so she sent someone else over to help us. She explained everything I said above (but also explained that there were bongs in the back that we were allowed to use, which surprised me and then I looked around and noticed that some people were smoking so I guess that’s okay there) and took our membership fees and then we went through a turnstile into the lounge. Everyone was mostly at the front of the space, where the couches are, watching a movie on the TVs that are around the room. In the back of the lounge, there are cafe-style tables so we grabbed one of those with 4 seats and waited for Steph.
Steph got there and the first order of business was to figure out how to use the Volcano on the table. Steph had only used one once so she didn’t know either, so Blake found a guy to show us how it’s done and it’s really very simple and off we went on the first bag.
It was good catching up with Steph. She’s gone through a lot of crazy shit in the last little while and I was relieved to find out that things are starting to look up. Also despite all the crap that’s been hurled at her by life in general she’s still the same Steph she’s always been and that was reassuring. Since I hadn’t seen her in so long I was worried that we wouldn’t have anything to talk about, which is so dumb because Steph is one of the most interesting people I know and she’s also one of the most extroverted introverts I know so catching up with her was like nothing, like no time had passed. Just easy conversation.
Over the course of an hour, Steph and I shared 5 or 6 Volcano bags worth of vapor, with me inhaling 3/4 of it and with pausing in between to talk and stuff and I would say that I got as medicated as I would have been with one of my bong’s bowls worth of weed except I used a little more than a thimble’s worth. I didn’t get stoned, that wasn’t the goal, but I got to a good place where I wasn’t freaked out to be in the city in a room full of strangers, I didn’t feel sick and I actually got hungry (thanks to this strain I’ve been using). So vaping obviously works on me and the Magic Flight Launch Box not working on me is simply that my tolerance is way too high for it. Even with the Volcano, I felt like staying medicated with it would be a full-time job. At the same time, I’m a person with a lot of free time and nowhere to be so if I vaped most of the time and only smoked joints or brought my bong with me places, I would use so much less weed so who cares?
At about 8pm, we walked down the street to that pizza place where I got a slice of (pretty decent but not the greatest but better than a chain – actually it could have been a city-wide chain, I have no idea) pepperoni and a Diet Coke and that’s where we left Steph and headed toward the parking garage.
On the way home Blake and I were talking about the experience and now our interest is two-fold because he thinks it would be a good idea for us to hang out there for a day and use the Volcano as if I were at home using it, just to see how much a day’s worth of weed would be with one (I smoke 2.5g/day at the moment and I’d guess vaping would be 1/4 of that or less) and I want to hang out there again because I think I can write there. And Blake said maybe he could write there too. AND even with parking and gas and refreshments (a cold can of Diet Coke is $1), it cost us less than going to Fran’s or Froth and personally I liked the experience and atmosphere better. Plus I think you get in and out privileges with your daily $5 membership fee and there are a billion food places around the lounge that are better and cheaper than here. There’s a falafel place pretty much right across the road. I’m not totally sure what a falafel is but maybe I’d like one and maybe it’ll be my new favourite thing. WHO KNOWS? We’ll be in Toronto, the gastro-adventure and writing possibilities are limitless! And even if I don’t like falafel, maybe falafel is awful, at least there’s decent pizza down the street, which is more than I can say for our town, the next town over AND the town next to that. This Sunday is 4/20 so it would be dumb to go then, but maybe the Sunday after that.
After we came home, I watched the first half of Game of Thrones but I accidentally took my sleeping pills when I took my meds after we left Steph so I couldn’t watch the 2nd half. Blake paused it to tuck me in (because yes he does that, every single night and every single morning if I go to sleep after work and he’s home) and I said something like, “yeah I doubt anything interesting’s going to happen in the 2nd half of the 2nd episode of the season…” and Blake, who has read the books, was like, “ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm” so I made him tell me what was going to happen to whom and how and I almost forced myself to get back up and watch the rest because HELLO, but I was too tired and figured it’d still be on the DVR in the morning. It was and it was so spectacularly gruesome that I was practically applauding by myself at 9am.
And then basically I sat down to write this post but the hydro went out in our whole town so not only did I not finish this post before Blake got home (it is currently 6:20pm), I didn’t get to see the premiere of Mad Men, but Blake’s making me macaroni and cheese for dinner and my plan is to watch while I eat. In other news, I got both books and pornstar money in the mail today so I guess you could say that the last 2 & a half days half been pretty great. Hopefully the rest of the week will be as well.
Can you believe that 20 years ago yesterday, Kurt Cobain killed himself? It won’t be until 2 days from now that the police would have found his body. I was 15. I’m listening to Nevermind very loudly this morning, the neighbours be damned, because Blake and the kids are at swimming so there’s nobody in the house to care. In Utero is actually my favourite Nirvana album but I’ve already been listening to the Nirvana tribute Milkin’ It (google! it’s amazing!) in the last little while, which is all of In Utero plus a few other b-sides so I’m a little In Utero‘d out.
So yesterday was potentially lifechanging. My whole life I thought I hated like, 99% of poetry. Basically if it wasn’t a haiku, I wasn’t interested and even those got tiresome eventually because they all blur together after a while. Until yesterday, with the exception of one poem I never even read, I just heard about, every poem I can think of ever hearing would fall under the “foofy” category. Or it was a greeting card. Or it was someone I know’s poetry and I had to be supportive but it was secretly really not any good. Or at least I didn’t think so.
See, something most people don’t seem to understand about me is that I basically have a grade 8 education. My grade 9 year – 20 years ago – was so messed up due to suicide attempts, crazy family drama that is more or less ancient history and 3 different schools, that I only (barely) earned 4 grade 9 credits (science, math, history, english). I got that math credit with a 51%. I think they passed me because they felt sorry for me. Then I got kicked out by November of grade 10 so any classes I had been taking, I never completed. I tried going back in grade 11 but I got kicked out again. In between, I did correspondence education through the government (I wonder if they still do that?) and I remember completing grade 9 art, grade 10 basic math and parenting. Correspondence was the slowest way ever to gain a credit, my god. I went to college as a “mature student”. All I really had to do was write an essay about how awesome at advertising I’d be and send a small portfolio of specs and then *boom* I was in ad school. But ad school’s not like “college” like…by the American definition. Ad school was not University. Ad school was a 3 year program with only room for 1 or 2 electives per semester and I didn’t finish that either. The only electives I remember taking were a stress management class (holy bird class!) and a class on myths, but I know there had to be 1 or 2 others.
My point, and I have one I swear, is that poetry is not something I’ve ever really been exposed to. I was never taught poetry. To this day I’ve never read a poem by Shakespeare because reading Romeo and Juliet in grade 9 was torture enough. Anything not in plain english, I just get annoyed with. I have no time for foofy and “all poems are foofy”, said I, therefore I have actively avoided poetry like the plague for most of my life.
Until yesterday. Yesterday my brain split wide open and from within the seed of a spectacular flower begins to grow…yesterday I met Allen Ginsberg.
I have been so fucking wrecked since just before Christmas. Everything’s been grey, lumpy mush and I’m honestly a little surprised I made it out of this winter alive. I’m not sure it was totally the winter though, I think that was just the catalyst. Anyway, as I’ve been writing about, nothing had any meaning for me and the things I previously enjoyed doing, I just stopped enjoying and every day was (is?) just a series of wasted hours and minutes, staring at the internet, counting down the time between getting off of work in the morning and going to bed at night.
Blake keeps saying I’ve changed or that I’m changing and he’s suggested that I try changing willingly because it’ll be easier that way, and we’ve both decided that staying open to everything right now is probably the best way to go about things.
Enter Kill Your Darlings. We watched this Friday night and it’s the story of Lucien Carr murdering his ex-lover and the time surrounding that, meaning that the movie was basically about Ginsberg with a little William S. Burroughs. Harry Potter plays Ginsberg and I thought he did a really good job. I liked the Ginsberg in On the Road better, but that’s being nit-picky. At the end of the movie there’s an epilogue and it said that Allen Ginsberg published his first book, Howl and Other Poems, with a dedication to Lucien who in turn requested his name be taken out of future editions. I thought that was interesting. I thought the movie was just kinda “meh”, but it did get my brainmeats jiggling and by yesterday morning I was convinced that Allen Ginsberg was my salvation and I think I may be right.
First we went to the library to get a copy of Howl because I am poor as fuck and if I don’t have to buy something I’m not sure I’ll like, I’d prefer not to. The library did not have a copy. THE LIBRARY. DID NOT. HAVE A COPY. This shocked me, but it’s Elmvale so I’m not sure why. Next the plan was hatched to drive to Chapters in Barrie and buy a copy because I checked online and there was a pocket edition that was only $10. So that’s what we did. I also picked up a Charles Bukowski poetry book that I’d tell you the name of if it wasn’t all the way across the room and completely unimportant at this very moment. I didn’t even know he was a poet and I know absolutely nothing about him. I just know that I see a lot of quotes by him, often quoted by famous people I like, and I usually like them so I figured I’d give him a shot too. It took us at least 20 minutes to even find the “arts and letters” section of the store which comprised their entire poetry catalogue and was only one small, waist-high shelf unit. That shocked me too. They had a million copies of Dante’s Inferno and Carroll’s Jabberwocky. I’ve never read either but probably wouldn’t because long boring poems are long.
After Chapters, we went to a breakfast place called Cora’s that was actually pretty awesome and I wish we could go back today but like I said, I’m broke, and during breakfast, Blake told me stuff about poetry. He has an English degree but specialized or whatever in 18th century sumpin sumpin so while he’s read a lot of poetry, he hasn’t read a lot of contemporary poetry which is all I’m interested in because old timey poetry is foofy and boring unless someone proves otherwise with zero cost to myself.
When we got home from breakfast, we talked about poetry some more and I read the title poem in Howl, which was the first one. I cried when I realized that poetry is like art art, that it’s as wide open as that, both because I was inspired and because I was scared by the idea of infinity. The lens by which I view the world cracked and went from slighty fuzzy big picture to macro kaleidoscopic, like a switch had been flipped and the lights came on behind my eyes and it’s GOOD but I am so so scared that it’ll just be a fleeting thing so I’m going to spend my Amazon gift certificate on more Ginsberg and ask you guys, if you know anything about non-foofy contemporary poetry, what else I should add to my wishlist or find at the library. I think my only real criteria is no eroticaZzzzzzzZZZzzzzzZZzzzz. Or just tell me what you know about poetry! Thanks!
Blake is home so I’m going to go participate in the day.
I’m ridiculously, stupidly, unbelievably happy about this Hole reunion things that I almost can’t even think straight or even move. Like, I don’t even know what to do. I feel like I should call someone to tell them but A) I don’t think my mom would care and she’s the only person I would ever call for anything and B) I’ve already posted the Rolling Stone link everywhere I can think of. Speaking of Rolling Stone, this is my current cam image:
This is Rolling Stone dated August 24th, 1995 and it’s very special to me for a few reasons. Mostly, Alex gave this to me and it is one of the best things anyone’s ever given me in my whole life and that is because Lollapalooza ’95 was my very first concert and my first time seeing Hole and one of the best, weirdest days/nights of my life and this issue is mostly about that. According to the cover anyway, because I’ve never actually opened it or read it because I’m scared I’ll damage it. I did just acknowledge on Facebook that this was probably stupid and I should just read it because it’ll probably never be worth anything to anyone but me, but even after I posted that I still debated and decided to just put it back in its safe spot with the Juxtapoz magazine with the Mark Ryden cover that I’ve also never opened (I plan to frame both of these at some point if we ever overhaul my office…)
Hole getting back together might possibly be the best non-important news I’ve ever heard in my whole entire life and I mean that pretty literally in that I cannot think of anything I’ve ever heard that was any better and I can also say that the day they announced they were breaking up was one of the worst non-important things that has ever happened to me and I mean that pretty literally too because at this very moment, I cannot think of anything worse. And when I say “non-important” I mean, in my whole grand scheme of things. On a life level, they are seriously bipolar moments. It may seem silly but they get notable tickmarks on my life line, despite the fact I never remember the dates of anything so I don’t actually know when they broke up. I just know it sucked to be Blake that day.
It’s also a sunshiney day today, I had peanut butter and toast for breakfast even though it made me feel sick afterward (but was okay after cannabis) and I’m listening to my “Like a Hole in the Head” playlist which is all Hole, so it’s pretty much impossible for me to be in a bummer mood, but this is going to be sort of a bummer post maybe because yesterday was a good/bad day.
By good/bad I mean that it was a good food day:
There were a lot of tears before most of that food happened but it happened.
Wouldn’t have if Blake hadn’t have worked from home yesterday and drove me to Clover for a bag of chips and Flynn’s for a sandwich, of which I ate half, but it did.
The unfortunate thing though, is that a food day like yesterday cannot be duplicated for a while because the chips are bad for my pancreas, despite taking enzymes, and are just bad in general and I rarely eat them and their kind of Havarti cheese is sliced sort of thick and it’s spiced so I can’t really have that very often either because it tends to make me feel sick, as does the mayo (I like mayo a lot but if there’s too much on something I can’t eat it; often wiping some of it off isn’t good enough either, it’s either made right the first time or I don’t want it which sounds bitchy but the problem is that if it DOES gross me out too much to eat because there’s half a jar of mayo on something, there goes ALL my eating for that day because any time I think about food, until I fall asleep and forget it, all I can think about is the thing that grossed me out). I drank the ginger ale with my sandwich to help me keep it down and I figured the extra calories would make the dietitian happy even though they’re shitty calories. Ginger ale is pretty much okay any time, but I don’t drink pop with sugar and I think diet ginger ale is disgusting so it’s basically only used as a medicine to me. There’s probably not even enough ginger in it to be beneficial, it’s probably just the carbonation that makes me feel better (as diet Coke also makes me feel better but sometimes not as well as ginger ale) but sometimes it works so I just go with it.
So yesterday was a good food day AND a mostly sunshiney day but it was also mostly a bummer day because, to put it simply, there is no joy in my life. Even until today I hadn’t listened to music since Florida because I am so sick of everything that I’d prefer silence. And that makes me sad because that is a first in my life, my life has never been without soundtrack. Normally, as long as I’m awake and as long as we’re not watching TV, there is music playing because silence traditionally drives me insane because it’s never really silent and I can hear every little goddamn thing. The neighbours are having their roof done starting today and all morning I didn’t even have music on to drown them out (they’re on a 2nd story roof, but only feet from my office) because until the Hole thing I just didn’t give a single fuck about anything auditory.
I have no art and that makes me sad. My whole life every teacher and my mom and just about every adult I encountered have all remarked on my so-called creative “talent” and I have been conditioned since I was wee to feel like that’s all I’ve got. That’s the only thing that makes me worth a damn. And it’s gone.
Sick of paint.
Sick of paper.
No interest in canvas – front OR back.
Even glitter has lost its lustre.
Polymer clay didn’t really work out although I haven’t given up on it completely. Actually I have a $48 gift certificate for Amazon.com and all I can order from there is books so if anyone has any recomendations on a couple of good books on polymer clay, I’d definitely be open to them. Right now I have this one and this one in my cart but I’m scared to waste the gift certificate on something I won’t like or use so if anyone has any opinions on those books specifically, I’d like to hear those as well. Amazon reviews are terrible and I don’t count on them for much. I chose those two books because they looked the most comprehensive and had the nicest covers out of the others I found when I searched. The others were very specific like, “how to make X with polymer clay”, which I don’t really want either I don’t think so that’s why I passed over those. I’m just scared that polymer clay will just be another dead end and I’ll have wasted the gift certificate on something I’ll end up donating to the library in the end anyway.
I have no interest in photography. Part of the reason photography was fun was because the people I was taking pictures of liked to see themselves through my lens. But then Madison started getting self-conscious I think and didn’t want me to take pictures of her anymore and I love Wes to the end of the Earth and back but he is the WORST model. He likes the idea of taking pictures and he likes seeing them afterward, but he is such a massive pain in the ass that unless we’re doing something specific, forget it. I took a couple of classes and got okay at taking pictures of my family. And now I think I’m done. This is not my thing. If I need to document my life, I have my phone and my iPod and both will upload to the internet immediately which is usually what I’m going to do with them anyway. Like, I see pictures EVERYWHERE – EVERYWHERE! – but I feel too self-conscious carrying the big camera around with me and most of the stuff I want to take pictures of you either probably aren’t supposed to and/or you’d have to ask permission and I’m not down with either of those potentials. I want to be the girl who carries a camera and a Swiss army knife but I just don’t think that’s me. I don’t know how to be that person.
And like, throughout all of this, as I’m writing this, I’m thinking, “did I ever really give it a fair try?” and the answer, I feel, is “no”. So there’s that bit of fucking guilt laying in the pit of my stomach now. A couple thousand dollars worth of camera equipment and no…whatever ingredient it is I need to be that person.
My girls. My beautiful girls. I decided that what’s on sale on Etsy is what’s for sale and once they’re gone, they’re gone and there will be no more for sale. I will only make boys and girls as gifts and this was pretty much decided when one of our friends the other night told Blake that he was expecting his first child and I realized…holy shit man, so many of our friends either have babies right now or are having babies right now or are soon to have babies right now that I’m pretty sure I’m only going to paint them for girls and boys I know from now on and not until the bun’s out of the oven, hopefully starting with our friend’s son Apollo. The only worry I have with that is I’ll feel pressured to make them for everyone, like maybe people who think they’re better friends with me than they really are, or that someone might feel offended that I didn’t make one for their kid. Realistically that already happens though, so I guess I shouldn’t worry about it too much. I haven’t decided on commissions yet. We all know how I feel about them and we all know that if I’m low-balled I’m going to be seriously pissed off, so it’s probably just best if I didn’t. Zazzle shop is staying. Truthfully, I find the Zazzle stuff more interesting than the originals and so far I’m my own biggest customer. I don’t understand why more people don’t utilize that when I’ve been hearing for years and years that people wished they had a more inexpensive way to procure my work. Originals are work, man. I can’t afford to buy the world a Coke. I’m still interested in the colouring book idea although I’m sure that by the time it’s actually finished, you won’t be.
All I have right now, creatively, what I’m clinging to, are these two writing projects I’m sort of not working on at the moment simultaneously. I loved writing at Froth but Froth has shitty hours (only open until 6pm/4pm on Sundays and it takes half an hour for us to get there; even with Blake working from home, the earliest we can get there is like, 5 and by the time we get set up with food and drink and are ready to work, they’ll be almost ready to close) and Froth is really expensive. We’ve scouted out Wasaga Beach and a few other places for nice, independently-run coffee shops that don’t care if you’re there all day/night and have wifi. And aren’t full of annoying kids. All. The. Time. And actually now that I think about it, we didn’t try the Starbuck’s that’s inside the Chapters bookstore in Barrie which is tiny tiny but most people get their shit and go browse the store so if they have tables at the back that I haven’t seen because I haven’t been back there, I’m betting that might be a more adult place to write that’s open relatively late and isn’t super expensive. Sucks that it’s Starbuck’s* and the music (among other things) is terrible but Blake swears to me that he thinks that’s the best we can do. I’d love to just write at Tim Hortons but they don’t have Coke products and I don’t drink coffee. I’d love to write at the Coffee Time down the street that’s SUPPOSED to be open 24 hours but really closes between 8pm-9pm, depending on how busy it is, but I don’t think Blake ended up liking it there. Can’t remember why. That place would be good because I could maybe go there during the day if I got comfortable enough there with Blake and write without him and they have Coke products BUT! I asked Blake if he would buy me a patio table with an umbrella for our front porch this spring BECAUSE, and I DECREE:
If I am going to plant the fuck out of my front yard this summer and put in all that effort, I am NOT going to hide in my house like a little fucking mouse like I have every other year, only scuttling out at 7am when no one’s around to take pictures. NO! I will sit at my patio table on my front porch and I will drink my own Coke products and eat my own free food (or not, as the case may be) and I will write there! Whenever I fucking feel like it! Have laptop, have wifi, have diet Coke, have bong – the only potential problem here is me. And rain.
This is what I’ve got going for me right now: flowers, two stories to work on and a patio table. And I have to wait for half those things at the moment so basically until then it’s Bummersville, population: me. Apologies in advance.
I am getting more and more excited about the garden the more sunshiney days we have, though. I can’t plant anything until next month but I’ve already sent Rugg my Keep Off The Lawn 2014 flower wishlist and we’ll see what happens I guess. I’m hoping for a lot of things on it, but mostly the lily of the valley “pips” which I think are like bulbs except they’re not dormant when you plant them like the ones you plant in the fall are? Anyway, these you plant in the spring and I specifically wanted them because they are the flower of May, which is the birth month of both my grama and her mother, my great grama, the latter of whom used to lay in bed with me at night and we’d list all the flowers we could think of. Then we’d list all the birds and she’d do all of their calls (poorly). Then I’d fall asleep. She had lily of the valley in her garden and because it was both her and my grama’s birth flower, it was just around a lot growing up and it’s an important plant to my family. I don’t have any and they also happen to grow well in shade, which is exactly where I need them because so far I can’t find anything else I like that will. If I recall correctly, lily of the valley likes to spread itself around if it’s happy, I feel like my gramas were constantly giving some away, so instead of digging up the daffodils and hyacinths in the front bed in front of our living room window and relocating them for something a lot bigger like peonies (which won’t grow in shade), I want to plant the lily of the valley all around them so they’ll fill in the whole bed and it’ll look full the whole growing season, unlike now when the daffodils and hyacinths peter out by May and then the bed lays empty or full of weeds for the rest of the season because nothing else will grow there. (Speaking of daffodils and hyacinths, I just checked and they’re both up and out of the ground about an inch and a half so far, so that’s pretty cool.)
Actually, that’s only partially true. Originally these ugly things were in that bed and the first summer I was here and we did the front garden I ripped them out of the bed because I didn’t like them and planted wildflower seed instead (which didn’t grow) but then I felt really bad at this pile of still-alive flowers I had dug up and didn’t know what to do with them AT ALL so I basically ended up just transplanting them a few feet forward. So dumb. Now they’re there and I still hate them every year and wish they’d die on their own but the fuckers thrive instead and I have no idea what to do with them. Suggestions welcome. I don’t even think I could drive them somewhere, throw ’em in a ditch and wish ’em the best. I’d feel like such a terrible person, I would not be able to live with myself. But every year they grow and every year I think about it…maybe I should let them grow, cut them down and decorate random graves with them…hmmm…
Anyway, I think that’s all I’ve got in me for today. Well, there’s one more thing but it’s its own post and isn’t about me at all or even important.
I’m sitting at a Starbucks because Blake assured me it “won’t be busy” and we haven’t found an alternative to Froth, in Penetang, which closes at 6pm and wouldn’t have given us enough time to work on anything between Blake getting off work, driving 40 minutes to get there and getting set up with drinks etc. So he suggested we come to this fresh Hell. I don’t drink coffee. Their frappuccinos make me sick. They don’t even have diet Coke OR Pepsi so I’m stuck drinking a Jones Soda root beer that I don’t even like. To my left are long lost friends of some sort, women, blah blah blah, to my right is a girl and a guy who are probably doing some sort of university work but we’re sharing a long table with them and they’ve made it very clear that they’d really rather we didn’t. I can’t even look in their direction, which means that I have no idea what’s happening in the other 2/3 of the building except that the staff sure do like to talk – and so they should, I’m not saying they shouldn’t. The soundtrack to Hell is muzak jazz, just so you know.
I’ve already had to pop olanzapine/zyprexa and two Ativan, the latter of which I’m going to have to take two four more to just be able to breathe and even still, if I don’t calm the fuck down and NOT cry, we are going to have to leave pretty much immediately and the sooner the better.
Blake’s writing a book so I’m trying to be a good sport about this with him. I guess I’m technically writing a book too, but in the way that I’m ALWAYS writing a book and it’s not even worth talking about. Blake will actually probably finish his. And actually he sabotaged me in Florida anyway by telling his Aunt Pat that I was working on one and then she asked me what it was about and if I wanted to talk about it I’d be talking about it and obviously I haven’t been – WITH ANYONE ON PURPOSE WHICH I’VE SAID IN THIS BLOG AT LEAST TWICE – so thanks a lot, FUCKER.
Whatever. Just whatever. He’s doing his writing thing and I’m trying to be supportive FOR RIGHT NOW but this little experiment was an epic failure an hour ago and there will not be a repeat.
Wednesday I went to see Stephanie, the dietitian. I told her about how I’ve lost 30 lbs in the last few months and just kind of explained to her my eating habits, the fact that I don’t usually eat every day or sometimes every two days and when I do it’s not usually very much. I told her that I’m primarily concerned with protein because I’ve been feeling weak and I’m scared my hair’s going to start falling out like it did before.
She said some surprising things. Like, she wanted me to switch from Diet Coke to regular Coke because I need the calories. That was not something I was willing to do and I still think that’s really shitty advice. She made me agree that Diet Coke would be the only diet product I consume. I think we use 1/2 the fat mayonnaise and I’m not going to stop using it and buy regular mayonnaise instead though because Wes uses it too and he definitely needs 1/2 the fat. She also said that my Diet Coke consumption was within the “safe” range for my age, height and weight. In fact, we guess that I drink between 6-10 cans of Diet Coke per day (it varies because every day is different and I open a lot that I don’t finish) and the “safe” limit for me is 17.
Then she got out a good ol’ Canada’s Food Guide and started telling me about protein and what counts as a serving of protein. Examples of one serving of protein are: 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, 50g/1.5oz of cheese, 2.5 oz of meat, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, 1/4 cup of nuts. I’d never had Greek yogurt before but we got some on the way home. Strawberry. They said it had a different texture than regular yogurt and still recommended it knowing full well that I don’t even like regular yogurt to begin with. I got a pack of 4 single-serve portions of the stuff just in case I don’t like it, which I’m well prepared for. Ditsy says it’s palatable with chopped up fruit in it, sprinkled with brown sugar and I happen to have strawberries so that’s probably what I’ll do.
Anyway, the goal for right now is to eat 2 servings of protein per day. I made it yesterday because I got shepherd’s pie from Flynn’s and had two cheese strings before that but today has been less successful with only one egg and 21g of cheese. Maybe after we’re done in this terrible, awful place that more and more people keep coming to, we can go to the big grocery store in this plaza to see if I can find products like the ones I was finding in the US and maybe then on the way home we can get burgers from South St. Burger Co.
And friends just bumped into the girl to my right. I really hope they’re not staying.
The only thing I guess I really have left to say is that the dietitian calculated that I should be striving to eat 1450 calories per day to maintain my weight. I’d say right now, 500 is a good day.
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…
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.
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.
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)
Last Monday, Pie was having $4 pizzas to celebrate their 4th anniversary so Wes, Blake and I went there for dinner.
After waiting about 15 minutes for a table, we were finally seated and our waitress, whose name I think was Bianca (who looked and acted like a total Carrie Bradshaw, except more adorable and less annoying), asked us if we would like some drinks to start. Blake and I ordered Diet Cokes and Wes ordered an orange pop.
A few minutes later, Bianca returned with our drinks, setting mine and Wes’ down first (we were in a booth and Wes was on my side) and then Blake’s, we ordered our pizzas and off she went. That’s when Blake and I noticed that Wes and I have the same sized cup while Blake had a bigger one…in other words, she gave me a child’s cup. I was like, whatever, doesn’t matter, just means she’s gonna have to get me refills more often, no big deal, because I assumed she did it by accident but Blake had a different theory.
It was insanely busy at Pie because of the $4 pizza thing and I had finished my drink before our food got there. Just then, Bianca walked past our table to go to the kitchen and on her way, she told us it would be a few more minutes and that she was sorry and that’s when Blake said to her, “Can I ask you a question?” and she stopped and said sure, and Blake said, “Did you give my wife a smaller cup because you thought she was a child?” Bianca looks at him and then at me and she’s kinda horrified and Blake’s killing himself laughing and saying, “it’s okay! It’s okay! It happens all the time!” and finally she’s laughing (she even had the Sarah Jessica Parker laugh) and totally freaking out. I could tell she wanted to ask me how old I was so I told her “I’m going to be 35 on March 1st” and she was all “NO WAY!!!!!!!!!! You must get carded for everything!!!” and freaking more and eventually Blake asked her for another refill for me and when she brought it, it was a grown up GLASS from the bar, not the regular plastic cups they usually use for the pop.
Later on, when the restaurant was less busy and she had to bus the tables next to us, she talked to us as she worked and was STILL spazzing out saying, “does it REALLY happen all the time or are you just saying that?” so we told her about the time at the hospital when they thought Blake was my dad and my mom was my sister to reassure her and then she says, “yeah I’m 22 and people tell me I look young all the time.” I figure if a reasonably intelligent 22 year old thinks I look like, forget a child, I’ll even take YOUNGER THAN SHE IS, I’m doing something right! Thanks, Bianca!