June 12, 2014

Election Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, peace oot.

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

May 28, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is a shaker of pure MSG.

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

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

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

Next up was the Elmvale Beer Challenge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 14, 2014

Devil Car 666

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

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

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

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

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

I’m sure Blake will have a reason.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 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 22, 2014

Forsythia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 16, 2014

Dear Jay & Sapphire,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unfortunately though, I am but one voice of many.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 14, 2014

Too old to die young.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is Courage My Love:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 21, 2014

Starbucks is Hell on Earth and I Would Literally Rather Be Anywhere Else

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.

And now we need to leave.

March 5, 2014

So my shrink just told me she’s retiring in August…

I’ve been seeing her since 2006 and she’s the first shrink I ever met that I didn’t hate immediately.
This old shrink to new shrink transfer process could get messy…

February 24, 2014

Let your backbone slide…

Canada won gold in both men’s and women’s hockey and curling. Our tagline for these Olympics was #WeAreWinter and while all the other events were important, it’s those two that are at the heart of Canadian sport. We finished 3rd in the Olympics overall, which is cool by me!

I wore my Team Canada jersey for every game…

…and yesterday, when we won the men’s gold medal hockey game I did something that I sorta think is pretty brave. It’s one of those things that only I’ll think is brave (and Blake), probably, but I’m going to write about it anyway as insignificant as it may be.

Yesterday after the game, I wanted to go to Liquid Chrome, which is the local head shop, because I needed to get Purple Power (glass cleaner for bongs/pipes etc) and screens (you put in the bottom of the bowl of your bong/pipe so your weed doesn’t get sucked through the hole) and we keep forgetting to do it. Also, since my birthday is on Saturday (send me money for Florida since I took the week off unpaid! :oP), I wanted to see if they had any novelty rolling papers with birthday cakes or candles or cupcakes on them. I also, since we’d just won gold, wanted to see if they had any Canadian flag papers because I’ve seen those on TV before. Then I decided, after going to the website of one of the bigger flavoured paper manufacturers which was a brand I knew Liquid Chrome carried, that I wanted a few other different types of papers, depending on how much they were. I made a list and we decided to go.

Halfway there I started freaking about two things:

1. We would be getting there half an hour after they opened and I didn’t want to be their first customer. Blake assured me we wouldn’t be and that they’ll be happy to see us because they want our money.

2. I was still wearing my jersey and that made me stick out like a sore thumb, a target. A target, I figured, for positive stuff since we’d just won gold and everyone would be out celebrating (you’d think), but even that’s embarrassing so I kinda wanted to die at the idea of getting out of the car. Blake again told me it would be okay.

On the way there I took half an olanzapine and when we were almost to Liquid Chrome, I put 3 Ativans under my tongue and then Blake parked like, RIGHT in front of Liquid Chrome. We had to sit there and wait for a little while for my Ativans to dissolve and for Blake to talk me down. See, the thing with Liquid Chrome is that, despite it being one of the coolest places in Barrie and despite the fact that I know I have every right to be there, it’s an intimidating place because it’s a “boy store”. Whenever I go in there I’m always the only girl and it’s sometimes a really uncomfortable experience because it feels like the (all male) staff don’t want to be dealing with me. I just typed “but that could be me COMPLETELY projecting” but then I remembered that yesterday I came home with a complimentary calendar featuring scantily clad women featuring some of Liquid Chrome’s most interesting pieces. It’s a dudebro store. That is a calendar for dudebros.

Anyway…we go in and just as I’m going through the front door I freak and turn around to go back out, running into Blake’s chest because I was still wearing my “safety goggles” (star-shaped, glitter sunglasses) and didn’t have my glasses. I slipped off the safety goggles and went into the store. The guy behind the counter, where all the stuff I needed was, was helping someone else so I just looked around at all the pipes while trying to summon courage to talk to the guy and while Blake ran my safety goggles to the car and bring back my glasses because I wouldn’t be able to read the paper boxes behind the counter without them. Blake came back and I handed him the list and said that he needed to do the talking because I just couldn’t. I explained to him the order of importance of each type of rolling paper and then the Purple Power and screens and we waited in line behind this guy who was big enough that I couldn’t even see who was working behind the counter. A couple of other guys milled about the first floor, not sure about the second and third floors.

Eventually the guy behind the counter says to Blake, “have you been helped?” and Blake said no, so he ended his conversation with the big guy and we were next. I was glad to see it was the guy who owns the place. I don’t know his name but every time I’ve been in there and dealt with him, he’s been great. But then again, he owns the place so it’s different and still, every time, Blake has to get the ball rolling. That’s on me though, not the Liquid Chrome guy. So Blake asks how much all the papers are and the guy tells him, then he says, “the next thing we need are rolling papers with something birthday-related on them…” and the guy finds said item and puts it on the counter. They’re king-sized and the rolling machine I use is regular so I’ll have to cut them but they’re exactly what I wanted and I said exactly that to both of them. Then Blake asks for the ones with the Canadian flag on them and the guy sorta smirks and says, as he’s reaching for the top shelf, “we have these called O Cannabis…” and he shows us and they were awesome so I said, “sold!” and then from that point forward it was pretty much me who did the rest of the talking. We did just ultimately hand him the list to find papers because it’s easier but we talked throughout the experience and it was just chit chat and everything was fine. I walked out of there proud of myself for not only NOT just walking out, but staying there and not just participating in the interaction but basically leading it for the purposes we were there for. So yay me. :o) It’s not a huge thing, like I said, but it sort of is for me.

And that is my story.

PS. I also got maple syrup flavoured papers with maple leaves on them haha

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