July 22, 2014

Meanwhile, back at the farm…

Hi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 6, 2014

Rhymes With Orange

Can you believe that 20 years ago yesterday, Kurt Cobain killed himself? It won’t be until 2 days from now that the police would have found his body. I was 15. I’m listening to Nevermind very loudly this morning, the neighbours be damned, because Blake and the kids are at swimming so there’s nobody in the house to care. In Utero is actually my favourite Nirvana album but I’ve already been listening to the Nirvana tribute Milkin’ It (google! it’s amazing!) in the last little while, which is all of In Utero plus a few other b-sides so I’m a little In Utero‘d out.

So yesterday was potentially lifechanging. My whole life I thought I hated like, 99% of poetry. Basically if it wasn’t a haiku, I wasn’t interested and even those got tiresome eventually because they all blur together after a while. Until yesterday, with the exception of one poem I never even read, I just heard about, every poem I can think of ever hearing would fall under the “foofy” category. Or it was a greeting card. Or it was someone I know’s poetry and I had to be supportive but it was secretly really not any good. Or at least I didn’t think so.

See, something most people don’t seem to understand about me is that I basically have a grade 8 education. My grade 9 year – 20 years ago – was so messed up due to suicide attempts, crazy family drama that is more or less ancient history and 3 different schools, that I only (barely) earned 4 grade 9 credits (science, math, history, english). I got that math credit with a 51%. I think they passed me because they felt sorry for me. Then I got kicked out by November of grade 10 so any classes I had been taking, I never completed. I tried going back in grade 11 but I got kicked out again. In between, I did correspondence education through the government (I wonder if they still do that?) and I remember completing grade 9 art, grade 10 basic math and parenting. Correspondence was the slowest way ever to gain a credit, my god. I went to college as a “mature student”. All I really had to do was write an essay about how awesome at advertising I’d be and send a small portfolio of specs and then *boom* I was in ad school. But ad school’s not like “college” like…by the American definition.  Ad school was not University. Ad school was a 3 year program with only room for 1 or 2 electives per semester and I didn’t finish that either. The only electives I remember taking were a stress management class (holy bird class!) and a class on myths, but I know there had to be 1 or 2 others.

My point, and I have one I swear, is that poetry is not something I’ve ever really been exposed to. I was never taught poetry. To this day I’ve never read a poem by Shakespeare because reading Romeo and Juliet in grade 9 was torture enough. Anything not in plain english, I just get annoyed with. I have no time for foofy and “all poems are foofy”, said I, therefore I have actively avoided poetry like the plague for most of my life.

Until yesterday. Yesterday my brain split wide open and from within the seed of a spectacular flower begins to grow…yesterday I met Allen Ginsberg.

I have been so fucking wrecked since just before Christmas. Everything’s been grey, lumpy mush and I’m honestly a little surprised I made it out of this winter alive. I’m not sure it was totally the winter though, I think that was just the catalyst. Anyway, as I’ve been writing about, nothing had any meaning for me and the things I previously enjoyed doing, I just stopped enjoying and every day was (is?) just a series of wasted hours and minutes, staring at the internet, counting down the time between getting off of work in the morning and going to bed at night.

Blake keeps saying I’ve changed or that I’m changing and he’s suggested that I try changing willingly because it’ll be easier that way, and we’ve both decided that staying open to everything right now is probably the best way to go about things.

Enter Kill Your Darlings. We watched this Friday night and it’s the story of Lucien Carr murdering his ex-lover and the time surrounding that, meaning that the movie was basically about Ginsberg with a little William S. Burroughs. Harry Potter plays Ginsberg and I thought he did a really good job. I liked the Ginsberg in On the Road better, but that’s being nit-picky. At the end of the movie there’s an epilogue and it said that Allen Ginsberg published his first book, Howl and Other Poems, with a dedication to Lucien who in turn requested his name be taken out of future editions. I thought that was interesting. I thought the movie was just kinda “meh”, but it did get my brainmeats jiggling and by yesterday morning I was convinced that Allen Ginsberg was my salvation and I think I may be right.

First we went to the library to get a copy of Howl because I am poor as fuck and if I don’t have to buy something I’m not sure I’ll like, I’d prefer not to. The library did not have a copy. THE LIBRARY. DID NOT. HAVE A COPY. This shocked me, but it’s Elmvale so I’m not sure why. Next the plan was hatched to drive to Chapters in Barrie and buy a copy because I checked online and there was a pocket edition that was only $10. So that’s what we did. I also picked up a Charles Bukowski poetry book that I’d tell you the name of if it wasn’t all the way across the room and completely unimportant at this very moment. I didn’t even know he was a poet and I know absolutely nothing about him. I just know that I see a lot of quotes by him, often quoted by famous people I like, and I usually like them so I figured I’d give him a shot too. It took us at least 20 minutes to even find the “arts and letters” section of the store which comprised their entire poetry catalogue and was only one small, waist-high shelf unit. That shocked me too. They had a million copies of Dante’s Inferno and Carroll’s Jabberwocky. I’ve never read either but probably wouldn’t because long boring poems are long.

After Chapters, we went to a breakfast place called Cora’s that was actually pretty awesome and I wish we could go back today but like I said, I’m broke, and during breakfast, Blake told me stuff about poetry. He has an English degree but specialized or whatever in 18th century sumpin sumpin so while he’s read a lot of poetry, he hasn’t read a lot of contemporary poetry which is all I’m interested in because old timey poetry is foofy and boring unless someone proves otherwise with zero cost to myself.

When we got home from breakfast, we talked about poetry some more and I read the title poem in Howl, which was the first one. I cried when I realized that poetry is like art art, that it’s as wide open as that, both because I was inspired and because I was scared by the idea of infinity. The lens by which I view the world cracked and went from slighty fuzzy big picture to macro kaleidoscopic, like a switch had been flipped and the lights came on behind my eyes and it’s GOOD but I am so so scared that it’ll just be a fleeting thing so I’m going to spend my Amazon gift certificate on more Ginsberg and ask you guys, if you know anything about non-foofy contemporary poetry, what else I should add to my wishlist or find at the library. I think my only real criteria is no eroticaZzzzzzzZZZzzzzzZZzzzz. Or just tell me what you know about poetry! Thanks!

Blake is home so I’m going to go participate in the day.

February 27, 2014

I’d like to thank The Academy…

I’m probably the only person who’s going to care about the following. Others may care and will be thinking, “Sunny, you n00b idiot!” Whatever. I’m AMAZED.

Tomorrow is the eve of my birth and in celebration, some friends are coming over to play euchre cuz I’m (almost) old now and this is what old people do on Friday nights. This will be party #1 because I have to work all day Saturday, until my actual birthday is almost over. More on party #2 later.

In preparation for tomorrow night’s festivities, I have rolled birthday cake flavoured joints (that were soooooo fun to roll with my little rolling machine thing, it’s like arts & crafts!) more because I could than anything else. The papers exist. I had ’em. Realistically they’ll probably end up in my purse to be smoked on the go at a later date because joints aren’t really my thing. Truthfully there are only two shitty things I’ve found about weed so far: 1. I can’t drive medicated. (Having said that, I shouldn’t have been driving on some of the stuff I was on prior to weed either.) 2. I have to smoke it or it doesn’t work. Eating it doesn’t work. I’ve had zero success vaporizing. Smoking it is. And a joint is probably the 2nd worst way to smoke it, only second to a blunt (I would assume, I just figure cigar wrapper is more junk in your lungs than a super thin rolling paper). Some people enjoy smoking, I do not. So I want to do it the easiest and least harsh way possible, so that’s why I use a glass bong. It’s still unpleasant but at least you don’t want to expel your lungs (necessarily – everyone/strain’s different) during the process. I still cough even with the bong because I suck at smoking weed, but at least the whole thing’s over in 3 rips and you can get on with your day, meanwhile it takes me a thousand years to smoke a joint and I’m hating every single second of it.

By the way, I’m writing this post mostly for people who don’t regularly smoke weed, which I’m assuming is the majority of the people reading this based on my completely scientific research a while back on whether or not people could name strains.

Anyway, we told our guests to be here “sometime after 6pm” tomorrow and I plan on staying up pretty late, so I’m not sure how long they’ll be staying (overnight is always a possibility, we can sleep 7 extra people in our tiny little house), but what that does mean is that I’m going to be medicating, with my bong, in front of people, in a well-lit kitchen for what’ll be a pretty long time. And this brings us to the bane of my existence: resin. Resin is sticky brown shit that is a byproduct of combusting or heating cannabis and it coats the inside of  your bong, is totally gross (but some people re-smoke it, which I think is also gross) and is a total pain in the ass to remove from basically anything. It’s unavoidable.

It wouldn’t be classy to have a dirty bong sitting on the kitchen table while we play cards and I would be a bad hostess if my guests brought their own legal herb to smoke and all I had to offer them was dirty glass.  But the thing is, cleaning resin off glass is a total bitch project to the point where a shocking amount of the stoners I know will buy NEW glass rather than clean their old glass. I only have a small glass pipe and the bong and the pipe’s used so infrequently it’s still preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty much clean so all I had to do was the bong. Like I said though, it sucks to do – at least I *thought* it did – and requires the bong to be out of commission at least a day and overnight, sometimes longer, so it hadn’t been done in a long time. It wasn’t super gross by MY standards? Or if I knew I would be the only one smoking and we were playing cards in my office where it’s darker I probably wouldn’t have bothered cleaning it, but since I didn’t know if I’d be “going alone” (ha!) and we’d be playing in my pristine (thanks to my loving children) kitchen, I figured I’d better clean the bong.

When we went to Liquid Chrome on whatever day it was when I bought all those papers, I also picked up this stuff called Purple Power, which is a cleaner I’ve always used for my glass. That’s specifically what it’s meant for. The problem though, is that to clean a bong with it, it’s usually a 48 hour process involving a lot of really annoying agitation of the cleaner every time you walk into the kitchen, and then some, to re-soak and rinse the parts that can’t be directly covered by the cleaner itself, like the shaft and the perc, because you can’t really get at the inside of a bong any other way.

All week I’ve been dreading this project so I put it off until after my first bowl this morning, aka the last possible minute for the Purple Power to work by the time our guests got here tomorrow. As per usual, I put the stem and the bowl in a plastic container, covered them both (mostly) with Purple Power and put the lid on. Then I swirled the cleaner around for about 3 minutes making zero progress and then I remembered something. Blake had found 99% rubbing alcohol to use as an aftershave, which has been long rumoured to be an excellent cleaner of bongs and as I recalled, a few weeks ago he said I could use it as long as I left him some. Honestly the reason I never tried this before was because I truly thought 99% rubbing alcohol was a banned substance in this country since I’d only ever seen 70% before. I assumed there was a reason for that and knew that 70% wouldn’t work because I read my Reddits.

I poured the alcohol into the base and perc of the bong, stuffed this piece of sponge I use into the hole the stem goes into, put my hand over the top and shook with the other for about 30 seconds. Then I set it down and watched as the resin melted and slid down the glass. IT WAS ALMOST INSTANT AND SO SATISFYING. Then I poured coarse salt into both parts and shook it up for about 8-10 minutes (intermittently because my arms kept getting tired) and then it was SPARKLY CLEAN! The salt doesn’t dissolve in the alcohol, which I thought was interesting. I poured the Purple Power that the stem and bowl had been in back into its bottle (the stuff’s reusable) and while I had to soak them for about half an hour, but they came completely clean with alcohol, agitation and salt too! I will never buy Purple Power again! That shit is like, $9-11/bottle. Rubbing alcohol is like, $2. I’d be shocked if I used 5 cents worth of salt total. Sure, the alcohol’s not reusable (or maybe it is, I have no idea) but you can’t get 5 uses out of a bottle of Purple Power anyway and f0r less than an hour’s work, who the fuck cares?

See? I told you no one would care about this. But just keep it tucked in the back of your brain if you ever seriously take up pot smoking.

On Saturday, my actual birthday, like I said I have to work all day until 11pm so we’re not really doing anything. Blake’s making Mississippi Mud Pie though, which we’ll have on Sunday during party #2 with the kids and Ronny and Alex who are coming over for that reason and for possibly watching the Oscars with me, which The Academy is so graciously hosting in honour of my turning 35. I meant to watch Her today but got sidetracked and I still haven’t seen Labor Day, but other than those two I’ve seen all of the Best Picture nominations and I don’t think ANY of them are worth an Oscar. I guess the one I enjoyed the most was Dallas Buyer’s Club but that wasn’t because it was a good movie, it was because it had good actors and hopefully they’ll win their respective categories. So many people I know absolutely went crazy over Her, but I fell asleep about 10 minutes in and Blake said it wasn’t that great. Hence why I meant to watch it today.

As I’ve been typing this, crazy things have been happening. Here’s what it’s looked like here all day:

I messed up the days forgetting that there were only 28 this month. My birthday is in 1.5 days!

This morning I accidentally woke Blake up at 5am, so he went into the office early since he was working in Toronto and because he did this, he missed the *96* car pile-up that occurred directly on his route at about the time he’d normally be going through. So that happened. As I’ve been writing this, he’s been on his way home from Toronto, where he left the office at around 3:30pm. Right now it’s almost 7:30pm and he’s not home yet. Last time I checked in, he said he was 20 minutes away but in this weather that doesn’t necessarily mean anything.

About half an hour ago, Madison’s boyfriend’s mother – whom I’ve never spoke to – called me and asked me if he could spend the night at our house because he lives in the beach and all roads to the beach have been closed since this afternoon so he’s stuck at the school all of his busmates with no way to get home and it’s not safe for anyone to come pick him up. Obviously, without question, I said it was fine that he stay here. I got off the phone with his mom and sent Madison to the school to pick him up not knowing when Blake would be home, called Blake just to double check he was fine with it, which he was and when I got off the phone with Blake, Ronin’s mom’s calling again saying  that apparently they’re not releasing any of the kids without an adult. I asked if it could be any adult and she said it could so I told her I’d call Blake to pick Ronin up at the school on his way home and as I did all this, I told Wes to run after Madison so she didn’t have to walk all the way to the school for no reason. He didn’t catch up with her so I told Ronin’s mom that when she called the school to tell them it’s okay for Blake to pick Ronin up, to tell them to tell Madison to stay there and wait for him too. OH CALAMITY!

And now you’re up to speed and I’ve gotta go prepare/take my pills, choke down an egg and I guess…wait….maybe I’ll see if I have enough time for Her before bed…

October 31, 2013

Born Slippy

I dunno why this just came to me but it did so I thought I’d post it because at least Madison will find it interesting.

When I was pregnant with Madison, I lived in an apartment in my grampa’s building, above my mom’s wallpaper/paint/decor store in Uxbridge. The apartment was at the very back of the building, near the fire escape and the layout that’s important to the rest of the story is as follows: two bedrooms facing North, one right beside the other and the kitchen was a strip of space between those two bedrooms and the living room/rest of the apartment. The kitchen had a window that faced East and that’s where my kitchen table was. I never used it for eating on though, it was basically just the computer desk. so that was the Eastern side of the room. On the Western side of the room, you had fridge, sink, cupboards, microwave and then this goddamn ancient stove.

And that is where this story begins. With that goddamn ancient stove.

See, I’ve never been a very good cook, it’s just never been my thing, so most of the time when I was pregnant with Madison, I ate raw healthy foods like cheese and fruit and veggies and milk and nuts but I also ate a lot of take-out. Big surprise. I know.

But there’s some things you *have* to cook on the stove. Like Kraft Dinner. Which is what I was craving one day when I was like, just pregnant enough with Madison to be able to feel butterfly-like movements and I had just started putting an elastic through the button-hole of my pants and hooking it over the button to give me a couple of extra inches.

Well this stove we had was from the ’50s, maybe earlier. It was very round and had like, REAL knobs, the likes of which I don’t think they make anymore.

And only the oven and 1 out of 4 elements worked and to make matters worse, the 1 that worked really ONLY boiled water (so within the 8/10+ range on the dial) and would stay ON even after you turned the knob to “off”. You could turn the knob to anything and the result would pretty much be the same. To get the element to turn OFF, as that’s obviously a safety hazard right? You had to tilt the top part (where the knobs were) forward a bit because it was on hinges for this purpose and BLINDLY reach back there and unscrew, then pull out the right fuse. When I was done cooking, I would put the top part back into its normal position and set the fuse on top.

One day I go to make Kraft Dinner so the first thing I did was pick up the fuse, tilt the top part forward and reached back to put the fuse into the, uh, fuse-hole. In one full movement I both DROPPED the fuse AND stuck my finger in the fuse hole.

I wake up on the other side of the room on the floor by the kitchen table. My heart is racing like crazy and I’m just like hoooooly shit. I check myself out and I’m not hurt anywhere and I can see okay and the only thing that really seemed “wrong” was the fact that, obviously I had blacked out and fell/threw myself and had a fuck tonne of electricity go through my body but I felt like a hummingbird, like my heart was just going so fast but there was so much adrenalin (I’m guessing) going through me at that point that I felt light.

I truly don’t remember what happened after that but in the end I called a friend who took me to the hospital where I felt Madison move and they listened to her heartbeat, which was normal and by that time so was mine, so they sent me home. We joked that I would give birth to Powder.

I still used the stove after that, I had to it was the only one I had, I was just very very careful putting the fuse in.

And that’s my story.

Posted at 3:16 pm in: Fall , Family , Food , Gratitude , Hospital , Kids , Life , Madison , Misc. , Movies , Technology , the 90's
October 30, 2013

Les choses que nous apprenons…

yo yo, quoi de neuf?

Blake, as a new Canadian (did I mention he took his citizenship test and he passed and he was sworn in and can vote and everything now? well, that happened), has decided to take a French class. It started in September and goes until December so it seems like they’re going to cover a lot. He has flash cards and has to do tests and shit. Honestly he’s doing really well. I haven’t heard him speak much of it, I think he’s still unsure of his accent, but he’s showed me his tests and how they do it – I think – is that the teacher gives them a piece of paper with maybe 12 English phrases on it and they’re all numbered. Then the teacher says the first phrase en francais and the students are supposed to write down what they hear. I have no idea how they’re learning things like “est-ce que” (“is that”), which sounds like “eska” (more or less). I would never hear those two syllables and think “oh, that must be three words”. It was on Blake’s test a few times so they must be learning spelling and grammar as well, I just thought Blake told me the whole class is oral/aural. Maybe there’s more to it than that. I know there’s homework involved.

As a Canadian native, I started taking French in school in kindergarten and took it up until grade 9. French is written on everything here, so I know the words for a lot of things but it’s been so long since I used or heard it that I would probably be useless in Quebec and I know I can’t watch TV in French…I’m pretty sure by December, after one class, Blake will be more fluent than I am. C’est la vie!

So this means that on Wednesdays, the kids and I are on our own for dinner and I only see Blake in the morning while I’m working because he doesn’t get home until after I go to bed.

Oh look. Here comes Madison, bugging me for Halloween costume ideas at the last minute…as long as she doesn’t go as a scumbag teenager in normal clothes begging for candy, I *don’t care what she goes as. Also she’s had months to figure this out and it’s the night before, I’m scanning my brain for fucks to give…scanning….scanning…none found!

Awww she suckered me into helping her be Pinkie Pie from My Little Pony. Damn me for having a ridiculous amount of pink clothing and a hoodie with ears that also happens to be pink! Wes, in case you were wondering, is being a werewolf. We went straight off the rack for his costume and he’s wearing a mask so unless he really wants me to I’m not going to take pics. I may have better luck with Madison.

This last week has been the pits, as far as first world problems, because we’re using shoddy wireless internet using the router built into the modem, so that’s issue #1. Issue #2 is that our ISP something something is having problems something something resolving DNS something something, which in layman’s terms means it takes me approximately 20 tries to load a webpage or upload anything because the internet won’t connect to the host. It’s like, “Connecting….” and then it says, “resolving host…” and then Chrome or whatever browser takes a shit and asks if I want to reload. Repeat literally 20 times or until you give up and try looking at it on your phone.

This DNS issue or whatever it is (Blake’s been on the phone with tech support a million times and they told us a couple of days ago to wait 72 hours to see if it got any better) really fucking sucks because I effectively can’t do part of my job because it involves a form to send e-mails to people and there’s an iFrame or something that tells me when the e-mail’s gone through. With this issue, that iFrame won’t load and tell me either way if the e-mail went through so if I click to send the e-mail again, did I really just send it again or did I now just send two? Oh. iFrame didn’t load again. What now? Possibly send three? There is a work-around I’ve found, but it takes something that already took a long time take ten times longer. What also sucks is that the site I do support for is super bandwidth intensive and I have to run it while I’m working. That’s my job. I can run it mostly okay during my early mornings when no one else is online but when we tried using the internet normally during my shift on Saturday, doing my job was just impossible so everyone was pretty much device-bound while I was the only one using the internet at all. And I was *still* having trouble. It sucked. It does suck.

 There’s also an itty bitty conspiracy theorist in me that thinks our cable company is messing with us because we have unlimited bandwidth now, just this month, and have been pretty liberal with it. But that’s probably crazy…right?

Blake and my brother just taught me how to use the bit torrents to download media and I barely even had a chance to try it out before the internet went down and then we were rendered mostly impotent. I was cut down in my youth. What kind of animals would do this to me?

Anyway, since Blake had French class today after work and didn’t come home in between and he works in the city tomorrow, the earliest he can try the troubleshooting process with tech support again is tomorrow night after taking Wes out to get candy. Like I said, my mornings are okay except for that one thing I can’t/is difficult to do, but on my Saturdays, that part of the job is pretty unavoidable so hopefully they fix our internet before then. I also have my work meeting on Friday which is through Skype so hopefully that’s not a nightmare.

So yeah, tonight we’re on our own. Madison and I each have a frozen pizza that we could eat, but Wes ate his last week so his options are grilled cheese with either Kraft Dinner or soup or neither or any one of those things alone or in conjunction with each other. Honestly, I’ve felt so barftastic today that I’m not sure I’ll eat at all, especially pizza. So we’ll see. I do have like, $50 worth of pharmaceuticals to take right now though and they should be taken with food so…yeah. We’ll see.

And with that, I think I’m off to take my pills, watch Weeds and go to bed.

PS. I mostly liked the new Carrie movie. Finally, some justice for Tommy Ross! Madison HATED the movie and says the original is her favourite movie right now. I expected to have the same reaction because Carrie (1976) is in my top 5 favourite movies and I hate two things: remakes and sequels. But nope, I thought it was actually pretty good. Nothing could ever live up to the piece of art that is the Brian De Palma film, but this new one is way better than any of the other Carrie-related efforts I’ve seen over the years. By miles.

And NOW I’m off to do that shit I said I was going to do 10 minutes ago…

(*mostly.)

October 21, 2013

All in a day, all for me…

On Friday all of us went to my grama’s to see my brother, my mom and John and to eat pizza.

My grama was her usual self, honestly, the only thing I noticed was that she called my brother by her other grandson’s name, but that’s not an abnormal thing though I don’t think. She’s been getting names mixed up for years, it’s almost a family trait once you reach a certain age. Physically she does look older and thinner and generally smaller but her hair’s growing back. When I hugged her (both times) I was scared I’d hurt her or break her or I’d knock her down. But she was in a good mood and I think she really enjoys seeing my kids, even if they don’t say very much.

Seeing my brother was awesome, I wish we could spend more time together. We decided to keep in touch via text message since his only internet is his phone and he got an apartment. He moves in Nov. 1st but is leaving my mom’s on Sunday to gather his shit from wherever and get ready to move. He suggested we get together at my mom’s on Friday but A) I don’t know how my mom feels about that and B) I don’t know how Blake feels about that so I dunno how feasible that is. We’ll see, but I kinda don’t think so, which I told him.

He totally remembers me scaring the shit out of him the first time he watched Carrie and we decided he was 9 when that happened and I would have been 15. There are many joyous moments in my life and that is definitely one of them. I drink the dewy tears of children for breakfast. Mmmmmm delicious.

So that was Friday.

Then Saturday morning Blake took the dogs to the SPCA to get microchipped because they were doing a clinic (that our friend Mark told us about because of this post; total fluke thing that it was happening now) so that’s one less thing to worry about, especially if we move and they ever got loose in a new place. Saturday night Madison, Blake and I tried to watch Much Ado About Nothing, the Joss Whedon version, but I could not follow it AT ALL and have no idea what it was about or how it ended. I’m sure it was genius…

Sunday all we did was watch Sam and Dean because Madison had a friend over and today I have a work meeting, which sucks. And now you’re up to speed!

October 9, 2013

Slip & Score

Right now my face is frozen because I just came back from the dentist and I’m listening to this awesome In Utero tribute album that was done by a bunch of Toronto bands

…I know, when I first heard that, I was like, “ugh, no” but because of who recommended it and the fact that it’s completely free I downloaded it aaaaaand like I said, it’s pretty awesome. There are some not so good songs but mostly I think it’s a solid effort and worth the hassle of downloading (oh, 1st world problem me to death why don’t ya?). I don’t know a single band on the album or anything about them though. All I know is this compilation of covers is good. “Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle” done by Fresh Snow & Julie Fader (whoever they are) is so so good.

On Sunday afternoon we watched the original, 1976, Sissy Spacek, Brian De Palma motherfuckers, Carrie movie with Madison which Blake and I had discussed the night previous so when the hand comes up at the end, Blake grabbed Madison who screamed and jumped 30 feet haha It was awesome. Almost as awesome as when I did it to my brother when he was maybe 12 and he cried and threw shit at me hahahaha oh god, it was so funny, I wonder if he remembers that? I probably scarred him for life. Anyway, Madison really liked the movie and we are now prepped to see the remake, which will surely be a disappointment but I’m probably going to try and see it in the theatre, ideally with Madison, regardless because sometimes I’m a little masochistic.

We’re on the last episode of season 4 of the Sam and Dean show (Supernatural) and it’s brother against brother, whatever will they do? However will they kill Lilith if not together? OH FUCKING NOES! This show is so stupid but so good at the same time haha I’m completely addicted to it. I think season 9 premiered on TV last night so we’re halfway done.

Anyway, I’m babbling. I really don’t have a ton to talk about and I’m starving but half my face is still frozen. Blah. Have a lovely Wednesday!

October 6, 2013

Derp.

My macro class got cancelled because there weren’t enough people signed up to go through with it. I’m going to sign up for the one in the spring though, and hope there are more photography students who need the class for their certificates. I’m kind of relieved. Fall just isn’t my good time of year AT ALL so throwing the added pressure of a class onto an already stressful time is probably a bad idea. Plus, the class conflicted with Madison’s art class sometimes too, which made things even more stressful. So I guess the class being cancelled was probably a good thing. Unfortunately I signed up for the fall class specifically because I wanted to learn how to take a picture of a single snowflake and that seemed more possible/likely to happen in the fall than the spring, even if it is early spring. Oh well. I’m sure there’s a tutorial on how to do that on the internet somewhere anyway.

Last night while I was working, I leaned on my right armrest and the stupid thing snapped off! So now I only have one armrest, which is really annoying.

Also last night while we were watching Saturday Night Live, Madison and Blake – for reasons I’m not totally clear on – decided to bleach and dye Blake’s hair pretty colours, so here’s some pics from that:

So that was our Saturday night.

I have today and tomorrow off from work but we’re not doing anything special. It’s rainy and blah outside so we’ll probably just watch the Sam and Dean Show and possibly play a game of Cards Against Humanity if I can get everyone (including myself) motivated. I finally used some of our blank white cards by writing the names of everyone we know on them, including our pets so hopefully if we play, those cards will be in the mix.

On Friday I went to Curry’s and got a pink mechanical pencil that I’m going to use when I’m drawing my girls for the colouring book maybe. I’m not usually a fan of mechanical pencils, but this one is pretty cool so we’ll see what happens. I also got like, 8-10 new Pigma Micron pens because I’m wearing mine out pretty fast from using them for the colouring book. I got 3 sheets of hand-dyed artisan paper that I plan to use for paintings and I also got these neat Liquitex paint markers in pink and light aqua so my career as a graffiti artist is well under way! (That’s a joke. Unless it isn’t!) And finally, they had the new glitter Sharpies for $11.99 for 3 of them, so I got myself the pink, blue and green pack (sorry Lisa!). They’re pretty cool, actually. More metallic than glittery though or maybe I didn’t shake them up enough.

On our way home, I asked Blake to stop off at Shopper’s Drug Mart because I wanted to get hair dye (see roots, above…), with full knowledge that Shopper’s Drug Mart is dangerous territory for me because I could easily buy out the whole store with little assistance or trouble. I got my hair dye and Blake got shampoo, conditioner and leave-in conditioner and I got 3 bottles of nail polish because 2 of them were on clearance and 1 of them I just liked. One is by Quo, which I think is Shopper’s Drug Mart’s brand and it’s a gold glitter polish called “Gold Rush Sparkle”. The next one is by Sally Hansen (the “Gem Crush” line), called “Showgirl Chic”, and it’s a polish with fine silver glitter but with bigger – but not by much – blue glitter. I’ve never seen a polish like it before and it was like $3, so bonus. And finally the one I’m most excited about is “Mermaid’s Tale”, which is also by Sally Hansen and it’s a blue glitter polish, which sounds so ho-hum, I know, but it’s actually pretty much identical to Natalie Dee’s Super Black “The Bends”, which is A) expensive and B) they won’t ship to Canada and again, the one I got was only like, $3.99.

Anyway, I’m sure you all find that fascinating. I know I do.

The last thing I got was the National Geographic photography special edition because I hadn’t seen a National Geographic in god, at least 15 years, and because obviously I like photography. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet but I’ll probably do that…when I get around to it. I am so far behind on reading it’s ridiculous. I just haven’t been in the mood or inspired to read anything or continue reading what I am reading (And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, On the Road by Jack Kerouac (yes, still) and I’ve been trying really really hard to get into Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie and it’s just so…I dunno if I can do it) but that’s not necessarily unusual. In my life, I’ve gone through phases where I won’t read anything for like, a year or maybe even longer and then after that I’ll devour books like crazy. I think these days I’m just feeling a little more audio/visual.

 Madison’s never seen the original Carrie movie. Like the Brian de Palma/Sissy Spacek masterpiece that is definitely within my top 5 favourite movies of all time. So we’re going to watch that at some point today and I can’t fucking wait.

And I guess that’s all I have to report. I hope everyone’s having a fantastic weekend! Peace!

September 13, 2013

Through the Roof ‘n’ Underground

So I’m going to link to the song in the title because I want you to listen to it. I think the video is a little spoilery of Wristcutters: A Love Story, which is an excellent movie if you haven’t seen it.

I’m also going to link to “Shitty Day” by Soko because it’s…fitting.

And now onto other things…

…earlier I was trying to take a picture of my ass on Camwhores but my cam’s cord would NOT let me get the angle I was looking for so I googled for a solution and found the “Logitech Broadcaster Wi-Fi Webcam for HD Video Streaming, Calling, Recording” which is a wireless HD webcam. BUT, the catch is, it’s Mac only. WTF, LOGITECH? I thought we were cool? What I just linked to was $199 US on amazon.COM whereas on Amazon.CA it’s $246 CDN. I dunno if that’s the same with the exchange rate though. I couldn’t find a wireless and/or HD webcam for a PC in my googlings.

Regardless, what I use is just fine for my purposes most of the time (I don’t take a picture of my ass every day!) but I saw this when I was googling webcams and it’s on amazon.COM which I’m pretty sure doesn’t ship to Canada. The other thing is that I don’t *need* a new webcam and not one that’s going to cost me $40 US + shipping (twice) + customs fees (duty/tax) if I get someone in the US to buy it for me and have them ship it to me. Oh the plight of the camgirl!

Anyway…

Here’s my single solitary video for this post, courtesy of my friend Jax, “Royals” by Lorde:

I start my super early mornings with this song every day. I guess you could even go so far as calling it my current “jam”.

…I just got the strangest question on Facebook. How to harden a tarantula for use in jewelry-making. Would flower fixative work for this? If anyone out there knows, hit me up, my friend Kim would be grateful.

Also just got an e-mail saying that this coming Monday is too much for her – which I understand as the following Monday, which is right after *my* tour, I can’t do it because I’m going to be fried – and that sucks because there is literally no other day that would have worked and I’m not going to be able to see my brother before he moves back to the city.

That’s all I got right now. Peace oot.

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