April 21, 2015

Creatively speaking…

Hi.

I’m sort of in the process of rebuilding my life and I’m at a point where I feel I can share my plans with you.

I have a bit of an internet presence…

  1. website
  2. livejournal
  3. twitter x 2
  4. tumblr x 2
  5. friends only facebook that I’ve recently been posting more publicly with
  6. facebook fan page x 2
  7. instagram
  8. youtube
  9.  does snapchat count?

…plus a million other things I’ve signed up for and never used again. The tumblrs and fan pages hardly ever get updated, so let’s pretend they don’t exist for now. YouTube is only used to embed videos in other places, so it’s more of a utility to me than any kind of community that I have to participate in, so take that off the list too. Everything else I use and most of them have some kind of community linked to them that I am part of.

Well, I want to build a new community around myself where my site or LiveJournal is not necessarily the center of it because I don’t think either has been the center in quite a while. I want this community to be built around Patreon, and my creative life, with everything else mostly pertaining to that. But I’ll get to how I plan on using each component after I explain Patreon. 

Patreon is a website that allows me to receive monthly payments from generous patrons who wish to support my work. In return, patrons receive perks, like Kickstarter, and they get to share in the experience of creating some pretty cool stuff, which, if I don’t suck, should give them a little bit of pride of being a patron of the arts and having a hand in whatever crazy thing it it is coming into being! And yes I *am* proud of that run-on sentence!

My first project is a zine that I’m (oh so originally) titling “Textibitionism”. I haven’t really posted anything about it over on Patreon yet (that’s my next  task), but what I envision is 20 individual pieces of paper-based art which tells stories from my life and the things I care about. The original idea was to use traditional scrapbooking materials/embellishments and instead of making typically pretty layouts with smiling children or whatever those happy scrappers do, I would be, well, me. The original idea was also that I would only use materials that I already had, but I already blew that idea out of the water, bigtime. Now what I envision is a mix of altered scrapbook materials, subverted and perverted by my very being, original writings and hand-drawn illustrations. If this sounds good to you, then you should know that almost all pics of works-in-progress, process videos and discussion about this project will be on Patreon, mostly via the patron-only activity feed, which is like a blog with comments and likes. This will be the centre of my creative universe, if the Patreon model of getting money to make art actually works. (We’ll see. I’m not totally convinced. Steph the Geek seems to be doing okay so far, though. Ana Voog and Blake are also using it.) Unlisted YouTube videos, Snapchat (which is where you get videos and pics exclusive to that app on your phone) and private Twitter will be used for daily life stuff for sure, but those media will mostly be where spur of the moment creative thoughts, ideas and work-in-progress photos, things that are pains in my ass etc., will be posted for patrons.

I’ll still be using my main Twitter account and I will (hopefully) only ever have one Instagram account because switching back & forth all the time sounds like a nightmare. LiveJournal is going to continue to be used for the emotional, real life stuff while my site’s updates are basically going to be State of the Union of Sunnyland addresses, linking to everything else once in a while.

I realized when I was in San Francisco that aside from my job, there was very little structure in my life and if my job is any indication, I think I’m less productive as a result. It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I have tons of them, but for a while, whenever I tried to put an idea to paper, I’d start but ultimately lost interest for whatever reason and nothing ever got finished. “Textibitionism”, and the other creative milestones I’ve set for myself on Patreon, is the first time I’ve felt excited and energized about a creative project in a really long time so I really hope that if I make it, I’m not the only one who’s going to see it.

The big picture is that if the zine is well-received, eventually I would maybe like to build Textibitionism.com/.ca/.org where it would be for sale both digitally and hard copy after everyone on Patreon who is supposed to get a copy, does, and the site will have links to all the girls I can find still making and selling zines on Etsy and elsewhere.

The big, BIG picture I’m still working out in my head but there is one. Not giving it too much thought yet though, since so far Blake is my only patron haha

As far as adding structure to my life, today for example, I got off work at noon so I knew I was going to medicate at noon and then write this post directly afterward. I’m falling behind schedule already because I meant to have this done by 3pm but that’s okay. I bought a day planner to help me keep appointments and structure my days to be the most productive I can make them because I’m a freak and I’m happiest, the most emotionally stable and the most satisfied with life when I’m busy creating something, whether it’s writing this post or painting a mermaid. In the past, my creative endeavours have made other people happy too so I’m hoping for this whole thing to be mutually beneficial.

Now I think it’s time to forage for food. Peace oot, homies!

PS. It is a VERY GOOD IDEA to insure your camera equipment, as I found out this week when I realized my camera’s messed up after taking it treetop trekking. I got it insured a few hours before we went! *whew*

March 19, 2015

WordPress Ate My San Francisco Post…

…long story short, I put as much faith in WordPress to save when I tell it to, as I do LiveJournal, and that was a big mistake.

So San Francisco.

The reasons I went to San Francisco are the following:

1. I wanted to try every form of weed I could get my hands on.
2. I wanted to spend time with my friend Steph who’s healing just like me, but in a whole new life in a whole new place with whole new people.
3. I wanted to take advantage of SF’s connectivity and CA’s produce in general and eat good, healthy foods I can’t get at home – delivered.
4. I wanted to spend time with my friend Kat and if you know Kat at all, which some of you do, there’s no “because” necessary. She’s Kat-fucking-neko and she’s one of my oldest cyberpals. The very inspiration for me becoming a camgirl.
5. I wanted to be in a place with sunshine and no snow during what is the worst time of winter for me at home, which happened to have also coincided with my birthday (based on flights/weekends).

Everything else beyond that was icing on my birthday cake. And oh what a cake it was…this was the brainchild of a little bit of Blake, a dash of Belinda and a whole lotta Kat…

Most of it is a reference to my favourite MFC model, who refers to her fans as “cyberpals”.

The green purse was a raffle prize of said model.

These are raffle tickets for said model’s raffle and the number 28 because each raffle ticket was 28 tokens because that’s the model’s favourite number. Kat bought me lots of raffle tickets but I didn’t win. (Long story.)

This MFC model calls herself an “internet sensation”, cuz she is.
I’m humbled my cyberpals would bestow upon me the same honour.

Kat threw me my first birthday party since grade 5 and my old school camgirl friends Sapphire and Artfag and Steph and their significant others all came. It was so surreal with all these old school camgirls in the same place. Like, I could barely speak. All I could do was listen. Especially with Camwhores closing and all that comes with that, I was just sorta there taking it all in. We talked and ate lots of delicious food prepared by Kat and Blake and then we streamed cake-eating at Camwhores. Steph got mushy in her card and lamented about how we’ve seen each other change and grow into like, “adult girls”, and it was super apparent looking around Kat’s living room at how much all of our lives had changed from 10-15 years ago, that the same really went for all of us. It is so fucked up saying that. That we did or do something that long. I remember Madison on my lap when I was on Portal 9.

I’m sort of spacey today. Camwhores is closing on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and I feel like I have to like, be there as much as possible, get in as much time there as possible, before it’s gone forever. I’d never be able to write a farewell post or eulogy to Camwhores, so I’m not gonna try, but Kat did remind me that once upon a time I had been writing a book on cam culture and I realized that some of it might be relevant now. I found a hard copy (cuz I print & never throw away anything, but lose digital files constantly), which Blake read yesterday and he says that the chapter on Jennicam is probably worth sharing as it has some relevance to what’s happening now, and the Camwhores chapter naturally. I’m not sure if I finished the CW chapter. Anyway, I was going to type up the Jennicam chapter and share it here when I got around to it and then either on my last show (Wednesday morning @ 1am-2am EST) or an impromptu time before, I would go on streaming cam and read the Camwhores chapter. I dunno.

San Francisco was good for me and Blake. It was good for us to be around people who are geeky in similar ways to us and creative in similar ways to us and who make and build and create things the way we do. There is good stuff on the horizon as a direct result of this trip, as I was pretty damn sure there would be. When I imagined the words “San Francisco” in my head, I imagined the letters made out of glass containing live blue lightning with a plug on one end for me to plug myself in and recharge. And that’s what I did.

Like literally, pretty much every day I woke up, smoked or vaped some form of weed and worked on some stuff online (but I took the week off of my job, so it wasn’t like, paid work) while watching US Netflix and waiting for people to come over to our airbnb, which you can see here. And I just hung out with my friends as if we lived there and this were any other day and it was great.

Edibles Day was pretty fun. Steph got us TWO brownies from a dispensary that had 500mg of THC in each of them (Black Mamba) and she predicted that for her tolerance, she would need to eat 1/4 to 1/2 of a brownie. We weren’t sure what MY tolerance was gonna be like because edibles had never worked on me before and the whole point of Edibles Day was to try and figure out if I truly was immune to them or not. I’d tried them a good 7 or 8 times and they’ve never had an effect. Doesn’t matter what kind of food it is sweet, savory, greasy, creamy, gummy – it’s never worked on me.

Here’s the brownie:

Here’s me and Steph trying to get the damn thing down:

It took about 600mg of THC (a brownie and 1/4) for me to be “stoned” – but I never got that “body high” people talk about – for about 20 minutes. I think the brownies were about $35 each so obviously this would not be a cost effective or realistic way for me to medicate. Do note that they legalized medical marijuana in New York recently, but ONLY edibles on the logic that smoking is bad for you. I’m living proof of how idiotic that is. Patients need choice, variety and freedom.

This is a vape pen with 500mg of cannabis oil.
This one was “Blue Dream” and was my first taste of California.
It is super duper stupid that these are not legal/we can’t get these in Canada.

This is wax, wax, glorious wax.
Just another form of cannabis concentrate.
You vape or smoke it.
Forget which has more THC in it though.
I think wax has more THC than oil which has more THC than smoking or vaping dried weed.

Weed & wax.

This is called shatter.
Another weed concentrate that is the consistency of taffy and I think has the highest percentage of THC overall.
This stuff you vape with a “rig” by doing “dabs”.

I got to meet cyberpal Erica, of former-Camwhores fame (the cute one from Florida with really big boobs, she’s a boxer now and careful talking about her boobs cuz she could fuck your shit up physically and virtually!), and she gave me a really nice refillable vape pen and some hash to put in it, the strain of which I remembered 5 seconds ago, FUCK! I didn’t end up putting the hash or anything else in it though because I didn’t want them to confiscate the pen at the border and Blake said the hash smelled a little weedy to him even with the container closed (I dunno how much drug dogs can smell). I can get hash at home, that’s actually the one concentrate I have access to, but the pen was a gift so it was more important. I smoked some of the hash in the bong I was using though and it was very hashy. In the container it was pre-ground, which I found interesting because it comes in circular chunks here.

Part of the reason I wanted to go balls to the wall and basically have a weed vacation was to test limits and tolerance and how you would medicate with the various types of things. I also wanted to see what California dispensary system quality was like compared to Canada’s pharmaceutical Licenced Producer system since Doug Benson and I got in a Twitter fight over it a while back. On his YouTube show this fall, he told his guests they were smoking a Sativa and that it was called “Blueberry”. At that same moment, I was smoking an Indica called “Blueberry”, THE Indica named “Blueberry” because “Blueberry” IS an Indica, not a Sativa. I verified this on Leafly. He DMs me, saying how there are no standards and Leafly can be wrong smileyface. (Note: Leafly is a former sponsor of his show.) He wasn’t following me so I couldn’t DM him back, but I tweeted @ him that that sucks and I’m sorry that’s how it is where he lives because it’s not like that here. Keep in mind, I am part of a legal, pharmaceutical program where specific, standardized testing is mandatory and there are product recalls & shit when they fuck up. It had never occurred to me that it would not be the same rules in California, like part of the state law or whatever, since medical had been legal there for so long. He throws a shit fit at me – again, in DM so no one else can see this – about how he’s been more places than me, that names and labels of strains are just slapped on and there’s no consistency from club to club, state to state. Then he blocked me “so we won’t argue anymore”. I was trying to have a conversation, who knew he was such a baby?

Anyway, he’s basically right, as far as California’s testing and labeling. Some stuff had been tested or had claimed to have been tested and those had THC percentages but it wasn’t consistent and because it’s not consistent and not legislated I’m not totally sure I’d take those numbers at face value. A guideline sure, but that’s all. I think packaged edibles are probably consistent because baking is a science and those companies are bigger than farmers and can afford to test. It’s in their best interest to do so. Also as I mentioned in the beginning, I smoke Sativas and the first oil cartridge I had for the vape pen was a Sativa as verified via Leafly, but the second one, called “Green Dragon”, comes up on Leafly as Indica even though it was definitely packaged as Sativa.

Anyway, it’s taken me forever to get this much written up and I started writing this before Camwhores closed and right now that’s all I can think about so I’m just gonna post this and hope it’s entertaining enough for y’all.

February 19, 2015

Camwhores. Babbling. I has a sad. :o(

Yesterday Camwhores.com, where I have had my webcam exclusively for 14 years and where practically every single one of my friends come from, made a public announcement saying that they will be shutting down the site as of March 17th. I’ve talked with Kevin and there’s nothing to be done, it’s just time. A lot of people have been talking about building new portals or new communities so we all stay together but knowing what I do about what it took to make Camwhores work, I’m not very optimistic anything will last very long. I think the idea that shows the most promise is the subreddit Belinda set up, but I’m not really that much into Reddit so I can’t say if I’ll be in there much. I’ll definitely try. I know I won’t be posting nude cam pics, if I am, because the best part about CW for me, was that all my nudes and shows and sexual anythings were “contained” in one place where all of that was appropriate and inaccessible to minors. I don’t want sex stuff on my site and there’s no such thing anymore as a 30 second refreshing still cam portal. Camwhores was the the first and last one. And even if there was, honestly, I doubt I would trust it unless I knew the person running it. (And anyone I can think of who I’d trust wouldn’t be able to pull it off, I’m fairly sure.)

I’m fucking sad and I can’t stop crying.  I had the realization today that since Camwhores is the ONLY place I cammed, if it doesn’t exist, I guess I’m not a camgirl anymore. :o/

A lot of girls will go to MyFreeCams.com and probably make more money, but for some of us, it was never ever about money. And me? I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate streaming video. Loathe. I don’t like watching myself move and talk and hear myself, like I just can’t deal. But at the same time, I can’t not watch. The other thing is that MFC has a lot of trolls who are gonna make fun of me because I have a space between my teeth or because of my scar or because they’re just assholes out to ruin a girl’s day and I did the dealing with those kinds of trolls 15 years ago when the internet was much smaller and my reputation was a lot bigger and I am way too grown to step into that arena and get “rolled in” again. And for what? It’s not like I *have* to show off my body or I can’t live or anything. It’s just that sometimes you wanna post a pic on the internet of (a) body part(s) you can’t show on Instagram or Facebook. Even though we’re all friends, being on CW was/is partly performance, you’re in the spotlight while doing a show, with a totally appreciative audience who all know it’s better to leave for 20 minutes, than to say anything negative because they will be banned for various lengths of time to indefinitely. To express your negative opinion of a camwhore, members could vote them minus or vote all of their pictures 1s (on a scale of 1-10). There was a healthy outlet built into our community for negative feelings and as simple as it was, most of the time it was enough. In recent history, the only egregious thing I can recall is a member got really drunk and went on an awful tirade in chat about one of our girls, who I think was even live at the time, and he had to be given a timeout. But what did he do when his ban was over and he came back? He wrote a sincere public apology to the girl by way of CW’s blogs and while I forget if she actually accepted it, that’s the kind of gestures that could happen in our Camwhores community completely organically. You are never going to find a community on the internet that moderated itself so well, with very few people actually having the ability to moderate. Especially not one that grew out of the E/N scene. (I actually only know of one person from the E/N scene A) still doing E/N basically and B) making a decent living at it, but some people I know are primed and ready for it to come back.)

There is nowhere on the internet where you can post a picture straight from your webcam, let alone a nude, let alone the most explicit nude you can think of. You can post nudity on Twitter but my mom’s on my Twitter. She was probably okay with naked tree pose last week but I doubt she’d be happy knowing the precise colour of my labia. And the picture I *was* gonna post on Camwhores 2 days ago that would be totally within site rules but decided against because I had an ingrown hair and it wouldn’t be perfect enough, would almost definitely get me perma-banned from Twitter. And we all know Facebook and Instagram are lame when it comes to nudity in even ART. My friend and fellow artist Ana Voog has been suspended from Facebook a million times for posting artwork barely featuring nudity, it’s ridiculous. I get wanting to keep Facebook a SFW place, I agree with that and think it should be what it is, but when we’re banning art and breastfeeding, something’s fucking wrong with us. And of course there’s Instagram whose most famous hashtag is #freethenipple. Need I say more on  that one? (I like to covertly insert my boobs and nether regions into Instagram. Only I know it’s there or what it is, but it’s there dammit.) You can get naked on tumblr. Yes. Yes, you can. Tumblr is basically the 2nd last place on the internet I’d like to be, with 4chan taking home the prize. Tumblr just confuses me and ruins all the shows I watch because I download or record them and watch them later and how some of these people get gifs BEFORE the show airs, I have no idea, but tumblr is just a spoiler minefield so I avoid it at all costs. I realize I can stop following these people but sometimes I like seeing the gifs. Anyway, the tumblr community freaks me out and it’s a shitty place to actually communicate with people so that’s just a great big “no”.

So that pretty much leaves LiveJournal – which is totally fine with nudity but a bloody tampon is “obscene”, as Ana found out over a decade ago – and my site. You can’t make a webcam page on LiveJournal. I have a webcam page on my site, but it just tells you to go to Camwhores with a brief description of what I do there and approximately when. If I could change that page, and I only say “if” because it’s a WordPress page, so that my cam image updates every 30 seconds (maybe longer since it won’t be like CW), no archives and there’s a little chat thingy on the page, that would be good. Ideally the chat thingy would be one that you can pop out of the page or one that makes sounds when people talk and one where you can definitely ban people. In my brain, this sounds like an impossible thing, maybe to someone else it sounds simple. I dunno. A bonus to having a cam on my site is that Wes and Madison can be on it, so that would be cool. Instead of a PayPal link (because PayPal gets in a snit if they think you’re using it for anything “adult”), I think fuckit, I’ll accept Bitcoin. Why not? Camming’s not about money to me and Bitcoin’s not even real money to me, but with it there’s still an exchange of value, of appreciation, even if it’s a fragment of a cent. (I have no idea how Bitcoin works but I am signed up with this cool Bitcoin thing that Steph (the Geek) used to tip me enough Bitcoin to buy a cupcake if I’m ever anywhere that takes Bitcoin and has cupcakes that price! It’s made for tipping so it would be perfect. Totally forget what it’s called but it’s in my e-mail.)

Kevin doesn’t think there’s an audience for 320 x 240 static cams anymore but Ana and Steph and I are not so sure about that. What we all do about it remains to be seen. Maybe Everything/Maybe Nothing.

January 26, 2015

Shrinkage

Hi.

I have to see my new shrink in 3 hours, which means we have to leave in a little less than 2 hours and I’m not sure if that’s enough time to fit in everything on my mind but I’ll do my best.

At my last shrink visit, we discussed getting me off of the Loxapine, which is an anti-psychotic I’ve been using to sleep for about 3 years that’s apparently not only not that fantastic for your liver but one of its side effects is this neurological issue called Akathisia which is the inability to sit still, pretty much. It sounds really dumb, but on a scale of “excruciating” to “dear god just please kill me”, with pancreatitis at the high end and endometriosis and childbirth at the low end, Akathisia would actually be closer to pancreatitis. It’s not painful, per se, but it’s almost like there’s high voltage electricity inside you, like physical calories, that can only come out or be expressed through your arms and legs by jumping jacks or running on the spot or just finally, because you’re completely exhausted and should have been asleep hours ago, plain old continuous contortion in the dark in your bed while you cry and feel guilty for keeping your husband awake (or hating him for being asleep). The only thing that we found consistently worked was me overloading on sleep meds (which we had no idea were causing this in the first place) and having Blake drive me around the beach until I fell asleep, like a baby. These episodes would begin shortly after I took my sleep meds (but again, we never made the connection) at about 7pm and would continue until I passed out around midnight. Which really fucking sucks when you work in 4 or 5 hours. This had been happening, mostly in the warm months, about once every 2 weeks or so since I started taking this stuff and I never knew what was happening. The sensation of this “electricity” is a lot like when your foot falls asleep and in waking up, AFTER the pins & needles phase, the one right after that where if someone were to touch your foot you’d punch them right in the fucking face. You know the one. It’s shocking, right? Almost painful but not? I dunno how to describe it other wise but it’s like a constant pressure of that and the need to relieve it. So hard to explain and I am so happy that my new shrink connected the dots on that one so hopefully now that I’m not taking the drug anymore it won’t happen any more. It hasn’t so far and it’s been like, 2 months.

Something else I thought of while writing this is that I didn’t experience acute Akathisia as often this summer/fall as I did the previous year and I think that’s because this summer/fall, I changed my routine so I don’t take my sleep meds Fri/Sat/Sun and I stay up until between 3am-never making art and hanging out with some of my cyberpals in a top secret location. It would make sense that since I started taking less of it, the issue didn’t happen as often.

I’m so annoyed I didn’t catch this myself because I’m usually really proactive about researching the meds I take and I know I looked Loxapine up when I was first prescribed it but nothing bad happened right away so I just never put two and two together. I never  told any doctors about these episodes because they were simply so bizarre and indescribable and FLUKEY that I was convinced either “this is not a chronic thing and it’ll just go away” (lie) or if I tried to describe it to a doctor they wouldn’t take me seriously.

Stopping the meds should make the symptoms disappear, although in some cases it can take years for it to stop completely. I’m pretty confident that I’m done with it though. Not worried. Now I’m taking Trazodone to sleep instead and so far everything’s been a-okay.

Next thing on the list to discuss with my shrink is getting me the FUCK off Cipralex because, while I’m actually pretty happy and it’s good stuff, I’ve only had *maybe* 3 orgasms in the last 8-9 MONTHS, which is starting to drive even me, the sexlesss wonder, absolutely crazy so it’s time to find something new that doesn’t break my clit. I was told to give it 6 months for the side effects to go away and it’s been long enough, this is not just gonna go away.

Speaking of genitals, I had my pap smear a few months ago and told the nurse who did it that my endo is starting to become a problem again (yay, right? of course it is…) and since I now have a mesh in my stomach holding everything together, I can no longer safely have laparoscopic surgery and I’m not willing to have a hysterectomy, so my options now are painkillers and taking the birth control pill continuously so I don’t have any periods anymore. She understood as she had endo and went the hysterectomy route and from experience, she agreed with all of my reasons for being against it at 35. She left a note for my doctor about a prescription for birth control and he called it in the next day, Blake picked it up and I started taking it. It’s Tri-Cyclen Lo 28, but the first thing I did was ditch the sugar pills because I didn’t want to accidentally take any of them and long story short I’ve either been spotting, full on bleeding or leaking brown tissue and fluid since I started taking this shit so I need to see him pronto to get me on something else. I don’t think the nurse fully explained in her note what I was doing or why I was doing it because if she would have, I’m pretty sure he would have put me on something different. I think these pills are like, baby birth control pills for teenagers. I really wanted to ask my doctor for Marvelon 21 because that’s what I was on before and it did the job of keeping my periods at bay (not pain-free but period-free most of the time), but then I read this page about it and now I don’t think it’s a  good idea. I’m 35 and I have had a blood clot (when I was sick, I had a clot in a vein in my spleen – god it is so gross knowing that *shudder*) and I don’t smoke cigarettes but I do smoke weed obviously and I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as far as clots are concerned. I just need something that’ll stop my period and not kill me, kthnx.

I need all this shit figured out pronto! Because! Dammit! I wanna get laid in San Francisco! There’s this stuff you can get in California called “Foria“, which is weed spray for your pussy and I plan on shelling out seventy-nine American dollars to be sorely disappointed haha BUT! It’s for science! And I’m on holiday! So whatever! Truthfully, I’m skeptical about it for myself because as I’ve explained before, eating or vaping weed doesn’t do anything to me so I’m not totally convinced it’ll work subdermally either, but hey! Cool if it does! And if it doesn’t, I’m sure if I leave it in SF, Steph will put it to good use. :o)

Well, I guess I better go get ready to see my shrink. Peace out, homies!

January 6, 2015

Fetus Balloon and Other Things

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:

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.

Peace oot.

November 6, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 6, 2014

Sunny Versus the Volcano

So as I’ve mentioned before, I hate smoking cannabis and I can’t eat it. That leaves vaporizing. For those who have no idea what that is, vaporizing is where you have a device that heats up finely ground weed, which I *think* makes everything good in the weed (cannabinoids) evaporate (?) and it creates vapor that you inhale the way you would smoke but it’s a million times better for your lungs than smoking and you theoretically use less cannabis with a vaporizer than smoking it and definitely a lot less than eating.

There are all kinds of vaporizers on the market but they basically fall into two categories: personal and tabletop. A personal vaporizer is small, usually discreet and portable for medicating on the go; with these you use the draw of your own breath to inhale the vapor and they are powered by batteries. A tabletop vaporizer is exactly what it sounds like, it plugs into the wall, is usually about the size of a teakettle and some of them have a long hose (called a whip) where you again, use your own breath to draw the vapor out of the machine while others have fans built into them, shooting the vapor upwards and into plastic bags with special ends on them so the vapor doesn’t leak out and with these you “sip” the vapor out of the bag.

In the summer my friend lent me the tabletop kind with the whip and it didn’t do anything for me. Literally. I used it and nothing happened. A person I was with used it and got high as fuck on like, NOTHING, but that person is a lightweight so I figured I just didn’t use it enough or properly and I didn’t, at the time, want to use a gadget to medicate anyway so I gave it back to my friend. (And they told me before they lent it to me that “it’s not a very good one” so I figured it was the machine, not me.)

Then I became legal and since I was legal, I wanted to be able to medicate out in the world and I didn’t know how to roll a joint. That’s pretty much the end and short of it. Plus, better for your lungs, less weed etc. So I ask Blake for a Magic Flight Launch Box for Christmas as my main gift because I figured if it had its own really popular subreddit, it must be good*. He obliges and gives it to me early because I wanted to practice with it before we had to go to Blake’s work Christmas party. As I’ve explained before it didn’t work for me and yes I was using it correctly. I ended up giving it t0 my friend because it was useless to me.

At this point I figure it’s gotta be me so I start googling for reasons why nothing would happen and asking around and suuuuper long story short it IS me AND it’s the device, my tolerance is just too high for a personal vaporizer to be effective to me in any way, it doesn’t produce enough vapor in a short enough amount of time to be beneficial just due to its size.

Everyone I tell about this flat out does not believe me and tells me I have to try a Volcano. The Volcano, as my friend Steph put it, is the Cadillac of all vaporizers. It’s a tabletop unit that uses the bags and it’s $700 USD + shipping + customs & duty fees. It’s a pricey device. It’s not like I can just buy one and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, oh well, like with the Magic Flight, which was pretty inexpensive as far as vaporizers go.

One day I was on Reddit, looking at r/trees as I often do and someone mentioned this place in Toronto called Vapor Central which was “a good place to warm up” according to the poster. So I google and go to the site and it’s a “vapor lounge” (and yes I know the entirety of this post may be a repeat for some people, this is gonna be the last time I go through all the backstory) and at this vapor lounge, you pay a $5 day fee and with that fee you are allowed to use their Volcanoes and bongs and they also sell candy and pop. I tell Blake about it and all winter it ends up being one of those “meant to do” things that never happened.

Then my friend Steph comes to town and by “town” I mean Toronto (this time, “town” can literally mean the town I live in or it could mean Barrie, which is biggest city close to us or it can mean Toronto) and we hadn’t seen each other in a really long time so we wanted to get together. I don’t know Toronto AT ALL and wouldn’t have even known where to begin, but I floated Vapor Central as an idea, which she was down for and I blogged about that experience HERE.

I thought Vapor Central was pretty cool but didn’t feel I got to really try out the Volcano fairly because I was sharing with Steph so it was hard to gauge how much I was actually inhaling and because we were being social and sharing and stuff it was harder to tell if I was still medicated from before leaving the house or just in a good mood and how much I was actually getting. I did feel like pizza afterward so it did work to some degree but I was not the “high as fuck” I was promised by pretty much everyone.

Blake said that we should go back for an afternoon so I could use the Volcano to medicate and stay medicated as I would at home with my bong and out in the world with joints and if the Volcano was a viable option, he’d get me one, figuring it would pay for itself over time in how much we’d be saving on weed.

So Sunday we packed up our shit with the intention of going there and staying there as long as basically I could stand being there, and using the Volcano as I think I would use it at home. I brought my laptop, which only has a battery life of about 2 hours and it’s not worth it to get a new battery because the laptop will die long before any new battery would anyway, so I was a little concerned with what I was going to do to keep myself entertained while we were down there. I also had my phone, which we were going to use as a hotspot; the iPad and two notebooks, my working notebook and a new “all subject” one for more longform writing. At the last minute I decided to bring my laptop’s power cord even though I was sure there was no free outlet at the table I was hoping to get.

The drive down there was pretty uneventful and we parked at the same P parking lot as we did last time, just down the street from the lounge, but once we were parked and I had my bag in my lap ready to get out of the car, I started having a panic attack. It basically boiled down to feeling judged and not good enough to be at the vapor lounge because we’re not from there and we’re not regulars and we’re literally using them so we never have to go there again. Whatever, I took half of an olanzapine and two Ativan and after a while I felt okay and we walked to Vapor Central.

We get there and it’s on the 2nd floor of a storefront so we go up the stairs and immediately at the top of the stairs is a counter with a turnstile where you pay your day fee and go in. Blake went in first because I make him go in first everywhere (which makes him feel like people think he’s the rudest man on Earth but it’s either that or literally never go anywhere) and he pointed out that not only was the table I wanted free, but it had an open outlet that no one would probably notice if I plugged my laptop into. We pay our fees, claim our table and Blake goes to the back to get me a Volcano bag (you have to leave your driver’s licence with them so you’ll bring it back) and a Diet Coke. He returns with both AND Oreos, which have been my main sustenance lately. He shows me again how to use the Volcano (once the temperature is set, which it already was, it’s 2 buttons) and then he leaves to get a coffee next door at Starbucks.

We ended up being there for about 4 & a half hours and during that time I inhaled 8-10 Volcano bags and I got medicated enough to think trying both chicken shawarma and chicken souvlaki on a pita was a good idea (only liked the souvlaki but once it got messy I handed it off to Blake), so YAY TRYING NEW THINGS! ESPECIALLY FOOD! (That’s due to the strain though.) The problem is, it took me quite a while to get there. I’m a terrible scientist but I vaped to the same point I would have gotten with one bowl of my bong only it took me a long time to get there (hours) and the bong would have taken 4 minutes (I’ve timed it). That got me to the point of appetite stimulation, so that’s when I ate and then if I were at home, I would have smoked shortly after eating, if not immediately after, because if I don’t I’ll get sick (if I’m not already), so that’s what I did with the Volcano only the Volcano was ineffective for after meal use because it just takes too damn long. I was starting to feel sick from eating and the Volcano wasn’t really making me feel better fast enough that I got so annoyed with it that I figured I could sit at Vapor Central and hit the Volcano for 2 more hours and hope it worked or we could drive 2 hours home where I could use my bong and feel immediately better guaranteed. So we packed up and left.

I often feel sick first thing in the morning, which is why I get up so early before work, so I can medicate to be able to work but be clear-headed by the time it’s time for cognitive function. The Volcano would never work for that. I can’t get up THAT early for work to do nothing but sit there and suck a bag. I already suspected the first time we went to Vapor Central that medicating and staying medicated with the Volcano would be a full-time job and I’m only more convinced of that now. And yeah, I was using it correctly. Kinda hard to fuck it up. If anything, I was dumping out vaped bud that was still useable and overdoing it because I wanted every bag I inhaled to have visible vapor in it to be SURE I was doing it right.

I don’t think this is just tolerance though, I think maybe there’s something to vaping itself that just doesn’t jive with my system the way eating it doesn’t. Like maybe not all of the cannabinoids are released through vaping and it just so happens to be one of the ones that doesn’t that helps me. Who knows? Unfortunately there’s not a ton of actual science out there about this stuff, or at least not that I’ve ever been able to find. Just anecdotal evidence that some people can’t eat it and people online saying that personal vaporizers don’t work on them, but admitting that it could be a tolerance thing. Oh well.

 So that’s it. Volcano: case closed.

TL;DR Sunny is a cyborg.

(*this is dozy logic. Do not use this logic for anything.)

PS. In case you missed it other places, here’s me on Sunday trying desperately to get stoned at Vapor Central:

And here’s me on my very first legal 4/20:

April 14, 2014

Too old to die young.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is Courage My Love:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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