August 6, 2015

Day One

“Throw away the radio, suitcase keeps you awake
Hide the telephone, the telephone
Telephone, in case you realize
That some days, you’re just not okay
You’ll level off, you’ll level off, you’ll level off

And it’s not alright now
You need to understand
There’s nothing strange about this
You need to know your friends
You need to know that

I’ll be wavin’ my hand
Watching you drown
Watching you scream
Quiet or loud

And maybe you should sleep
And maybe you just need, a friend
As clumsy as you’ve been
There’s no one laughing
You will be safe in here
You will be safe in here

Throw away this very old shoelace
It tripped you again
Try and shrug it off, shrug it off, shrug it off

It’s only skin, now
Now you need to understand
There’s nothing fake about this
You need to let me in
Watching you and

I’ll be waving my hand
Watching you drown
Watching you scream
No one’s around

And maybe you should sleep
And maybe you just need, a friend
As clumsy as you’ve been
There’s no one laughing
You will be safe in here
You will be safe in

I will be waving my hand
Watching you drown
Watching you scream
Quiet or loud

And maybe you should sleep
And maybe you just need, a friend
As clumsy as you’ve been
There’s no one laughing
You will be safe in here
You will be safe in here

Well, you will be safe in here
In here, in here
In here, in here
In here, in here”

– “Clumsy” by Our Lady Peace

On July 29th, I tried to kill myself and no, I am not okay. But there is a plan in place and there’s a faint glimmer of hope in the distance that I will be.

It was not a cry for help. When I tried to kill myself twice before as a teenager, those were cries for help, from a kid. What happened last week was an adult making a conscious decision to cease existing and let the consequences of that decision be whatever they may be because if all went as planned, I would be worm food and unable to feel, see, hear etc. any of the aftermath and ultimately I knew my people well enough that they would be perfectly okay without me, perhaps even better off. If not? I would be nothing, there would be no such thing as Me, I would never know the difference.

Obviously, I failed. And trust me, it was not for lack of trying (but definitely due to lack of planning). If I wasn’t actively avoiding the internet right now, I’d be googling “how the fuck am I alive right now?” because I took what seemed to me to be a hell of a lotta cyclobenzaprine, clonazapam and trazodone. I didn’t overdose on any of my serious psych meds because I was afraid they’d leave me retarded if I failed. I thought I’d fall asleep and just never wake up. Instead, cops broke down my back door (which I had locked, and I had locked and put a chair up against my office/front door) and told me I could get out of my bed and come to the ambulance quietly or they could cuff me. I went mediumishly…voluntarily, swaying and stumbling, yet still saying “fuck the police” (which apparently they hear so often, they just refer to it as “ftp”) at an audible level about 25 times between my bed and the ambulance. I owe one of the cops an apology and a “thank you” and it’s something really bugging the crap outta me, actually.

At the hospital they did not pump my stomach or give me charcoal, they just put me in the ICU hooked up to an ECG machine, the little finger thingy that measures your oxygen levels and an IV that they never hooked anything up to and just took out after letting me sleep for about 48 hours. Then they transferred me to Royal Victoria Hospital’s (RVH) psychiatric ward which was where I was also sent in 2006 when I had my psychotic episode which lead to my diagnosis of bipolar disorder I, generalized anxiety disorder and agoraphobia, and also the same hospital I spent 6 weeks in after coming seriously close to dying in 2011 from pancreatitis.

So now you wanna know why, right? Cuuuuuuz that’s the next logical question and the most difficult one for me to answer. It’s actually kinda funny, if you know me well enough or have been reading my blog for a really long time, you know that I have a billion different, ever-evolving reasons for why I didn’t get into advertising, choosing to drop out of school at the last minute instead, and I always say like, “Reason #3875736254 I dropped out of advertising…”. This is kind of the same thing. As a person who is depressed with suicidal ideations a lot, it’s a complex thing with a million tentacles. It occurred to me when I was 5 years old that killing myself was a legitimate option. Most people never see suicide as a legitimate option because most people don’t try to or successfully kill themselves, according to my retired extra special needs teacher friend, Carole R. who told me that about 14 years ago when I went to work with her for a day and met young children who had already taken measures to end their own lives or seriously hurt themselves for whatever reason it is we all have in common on these things.

I don’t know where it came from or how it started or why I peg it at 5, which was right when my mom married my stepdad, but that’s when it started as a tiny seed of an idea and then grew, like I said, into this thing with a million tentacles, as if there’s some chunk of my grey matter dedicated to just this one specific area, like building my own killswitch I guess, and for whatever reason “I”, “Me”, “Myself”, liked being in there and focusing on there. Not always, but…a lot.

This could be chemical or this could be “something else”. What that “something else” is, I have no idea because I’ve never really spoken to anyone about any of this with any real detail or seriousness. Everyone I know (plus a lotta strangers) knows I want to kill myself regularly. That’s, “just Sunny” at this point. Even this time, my own daughter thought my last words to her were just me being “melodramatic” when she read them after not being here or talking to me for several weeks. (Which I don’t fault her for, especially because she’s 17. Again, I’m avoiding the internet right now – all I have open on my computer is Word and Spotify because I just spent a week in a world without electronics of any kind and everything is so noisy in this one – so I don’t remember what I said to her or if she replied. I’ve seen her since I’ve been out, though, and we’re okay so it doesn’t even matter for the time being or even at all maybe.)

For the first 2 days at Georgian Bay General hospital where I was in the ICU from July 29th-31st the only communication I had with anyone not involved in my care, including AND (at the time), especially my husband Blake, was sending a short e-mail to my boss (cc’d to my coworker/friend it would impact the most/immediately as far as work was concerned) saying long story short: I tried to kill myself, they’re sending me somewhere 45 mins away to see a shrink* and I was sorry. That was the last time I saw my phone until yesterday when I was released from Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH). I think they said Blake called the hospital to talk to me but I refused his calls and I guess Amy also called when I was in there too but at that point I just told them to refuse all calls so I didn’t hear about anyone else.

On the 31st, around sunset, I was told that I would be taking a taxi cab from Georgian Bay General in Midland, to RVH in Barrie where they were more equipped to deal with me, which would be about a 45 minute drive and I would be accompanied by this nice lady security guard, who would get me signed in and then take the same cab back to Midland. I don’t know how much that cost because the taxi driver lady put a cover over the meter. I do know from listening to the conversations around me that the lady had $158 on her Visa and that wasn’t enough so they had to get one with a bigger limit, but despite that it made sense to me for them to do this than waste an ambulance on me. I was happy at the healthcare system’s ability/willingness to adapt so successfully to non-government community services.

I can’t remember if I had any conversations with the security lady. Mostly the security lady and the cab lady talked while I enjoyed the ride (car rides actually calm me). I don’t think this was their first time making this trip, though. When we got to the hospital, the taxi lady told the security lady that she was going to Tim Hortons to get them both coffees, what does she prefer etc. and then the security lady and I started navigating the outside of the hospital because it’s all new and ever-changing, up the elevator to the 3rd floor, and through the psychiatric unit’s front doors. I was processed by the security lady and hospital staff (at this point I had everything but those people tuned out completely) and taken to a dorm-like room with 2 empty beds with nice blankets, 2 floor-length cubbies and a nice, clean bathroom. The security lady wished me good luck and left. I have no memory of anything else that night, I just got in the bed facing the wall and window and went to sleep. I don’t think I cried, I was just kinda unable to process anything happening to me so everything shut down.

The next morning I woke up and a nurse told me where I was and asked me questions about how I got there but I couldn’t really communicate with anyone yet. All the drugs I overdosed on (plus the ones I was supposed to be taking for my mental illnesses that they never gave me the 2 days I was in Midland) were coming out of me and I was just confused and scared. I’m agoraphobic so I don’t leave my house and when I do, it’s with Blake, so I was TERRIFIED to leave my room. I’d been in the psych ward twice before this and I knew the kind of people/experiences can happen in them and I just couldn’t deal. I only got up to go to the bathroom and get cups of tap water that were never cold enough to quench my thirst.

On August 1st, a Saturday of a long weekend, I made contact with Blake because, like I said, I was fucking terrified, and that day was the first time he visited. He brought me clothes and some toiletries, my pencil case, the brand new pad of Bristol paper I’d bought 2 weeks prior for doing colouring pages, some food I could keep in my room and a 6-pack of bottled Diet Coke because we weren’t allowed to have cans and bottles just made more sense since they had lids and stuff. (I’m addicted to Diet Coke, this is just part of me being me. You will probably never see me without a drink in my hand of some sort.) All I had with me when I came in was my bag full of like, basic “purse stuff” because the cops wouldn’t let me pack anything to bring with me except my phone and wallet pretty much and the clothes on my back. I had a greyish-black, t-shirt weight cotton hoodie, my grey “RAP MUSIC MAKES ME FEEL INVINCIBLE” t-shirt, medium-weight cotton yoga pants and my crazy-assed Period Panties. (This is actually my standard uniform.) They let me keep my shoes, which didn’t have laces. My bag was taken from me and everything important from it was put in a bin at one of the nurses’ stations.

No electronics were allowed whatsoever. Not even an iPod to listen to music and there was no music in any of the rooms on the floor except for this shower radio that barely got one pop country station none of us wanted to listen to. The TV in the TV room was stuck on the sports channel because no one could find the remote and then when they *did* find the remote, they changed it to a “48 Hours” marathon on A&E, a “reality” show where there’s been a murder and the first 48 hours are the most crucial to solve the case, which in the 3 episodes I sat through, they did. (And all the victims were women.)

When I’m at home on “normal” Saturdays, I get off work at 11pm and usually draw or otherwise make art until 3-5am or however long I can stay up and then I sleep in the next day to compensate because it’s my first day off so I can and then on the Sunday night I do the same because Mondays are my other day off.

After Blake had left me because visiting hours were over, I left my sobbing roommate (who came in the morning after trying to kill herself the night before) and went down the hall to this patient activity room that had a bunch of big tables in the middle with about 15 or 20 chairs that I’d noticed never had more than a couple of people in it. The second I stepped inside I felt better because there were pencil crayons and markers (not very many and really shitty ones, but pencil crayons and markers nonetheless) on one wall in bins and there were colouring pages and Sudoku puzzles in clear plastic bins on the other and I identified it as an “art room”, a place where I could be comfortable, and decided to just draw. When I was little and upset, my mom would tell me to either suck my thumb or to draw (or both), so I just started drawing a webcam model I watch sometimes.

As I sat in there with my pencil, eraser and Diet Coke, drawing, I could see people walking up and down the hallway and glancing in at me from time to time but no one came in until about 9pm and that person was Rich. Rich is 25 and basically a pussy magnet and he knows it. He said his mother had him put in the hospital on his birthday. He’d been there for almost a month and was going to be there for another month, minimum. He’s schizophrenic with ADHD and at the time he was either coming OFF of some drug or reacting to a new one and he was pacing and antsy and like, just spun out and squirrelly. I think I was the one who spoke first, asking him if he was okay and that’s when he told me his situation. I asked him if he was hearing voices right that minute and he said he wasn’t and we just started talking to each other. He sat in a backwards chair tapping his feet, or pacing the room or doing semi-push-ups from the edge of the table, but able to carry on a conversation. I just drew while he mostly talked about his thoughts on weed, evolution and god and what is good and what his purpose is on this Earth and I have no idea what I told him about myself. I think I told him about my job. He told me I was a good artist and I told him he was a good kid and we decided we were friends. We just hung out in the art room talking while I drew until he calmed down enough to go to sleep around 11pm. The head nurse on duty told me that because it was a long weekend, she’d let the art room stay open until midnight, so I stayed in there and drew until then and then went to sleep myself.

Sunday morning I woke up, changed out of my “RAP MUSIC MAKES ME FEEL INVINCIBLE” t-shirt and put on my grey “SORRY I’M AWESOME” t-shirt and didn’t eat anything. I didn’t eat anything the whole time I was there except a handful of pistachios, a few crackers and about 6 Babybel cheeses. Because of the aforementioned pancreatitis, which is now chronic, I am a medical marijuana patient so I need cannabis before I eat so I *will* eat and then I need it again afterward to keep it down. If I don’t do this, it starts this godawful vomit cycle that often ends with me in the hospital in the worst pain imaginable. Also every time that happens, my pancreas is being damaged which makes me unable to actually absorb the food I eat. Medical marijuana is a weird thing in Canada where it’s accepted but the deal in the hospital was that I could only have it if it was prescribed by a doctor from that hospital and there was no chance in hell any of the psych staff would sign off on that so I didn’t even push it and just dealt the best I could with the few foods I know are okay for me. I also begged and begged for Zofran (anti-emetic) and pancreatic enzymes, even had Blake bring in my own, but they wouldn’t let me have them.

Sunday morning was also when my roommate and I acknowledged each other. We had been in similar states when we arrived and hadn’t started acclimating until then. Her name was Kimmie and she was small, blonde, frail and almost curled into herself. Mother of 2 older teenage boys. I had heard her wearily having a conversation with her husband of 20 years the previous day in our room when I was still too scared leave it, where I heard her ask him for a divorce several times, to sign the divorce papers when he got them and him telling her she was crazy and didn’t mean it. He’d brought her flowers.

Sunday morning I went to the bathroom to pee and of course my uterus had to start spotting; my period was going to be coming any second now. I’m thinking, “of-fucking-course” but it wasn’t enough to worry about yet so I just came out of the bathroom, saw Kimmie was sitting on the edge of the bed, and slightly joked to her that of all the times to have to have my lady rain, it had to be now.  She didn’t laugh because she was so down, but she did offer me a few maxi pads to use from her own supply, which I was grateful for. We briefly shared situations, and basically she had been this man’s possession for the last 20 years and finally he had stepped so far out of line that there was no coming back from it so she, like me, did a swan dive with pills and alcohol and that’s how she got where we were. Her telling me about her husband made me really appreciate mine, so that’s actually what prompted me to call Blake and ask him to come visit. Before that though, I told Kimmie we were in this together and from that point forward I tried to take care of her the best I could. They were giving her pretty heavy anti-psychotics that were making her sleep all day and pace the halls all night and she was just SO sad and confused, like a frail little bird. She didn’t want to come out of her room that day except to bathe twice because she didn’t know what else to do. And the clothes her husband brought her were ridiculous, like a fluorescent pink bikini top and an obviously too small sports bra instead of something useable, period panties not in the fun sense, and stuff that he just would have to have picked out of the very back of her closet or drawers to come up with. I asked her if she thought he did that to be a dick or if he was just a clueless guy and she said it was definitely him being a dick. I reminded her she was safe where we were and I even told her if she needed anything, like a bra, I would get Blake to pick her one up from WalMart in a heartbeat, just tell me her size, but the only thing she ever took us up on was a double double from Tim Hortons.

All Kimmie wanted to do on Sunday was sleep in the room, which I understood, so I took my pencil and eraser and Bristol pad and of course, a Diet Coke and went down the hall to see if the art room was open. It was and was empty, so I took a seat in the corner of the room and kept working on the colouring page I’d started the previous day.

The art room was used during the week for group therapy sessions and since this was a long weekend, one of the social workers, Clayton, a huge guy with ginger hair, used his own day off and his own money to run a game of bingo with giftcard prizes for Tim Hortons or the deli in the food court and a mani/pedi “group session” for those who wanted their toes done. Blake happened to be visiting during this part of the afternoon and I painted his toenails lovely shades of metallic turquoise and magenta, which all the girls got a big kick out of. Every single person who came into the art room that day looked at what I was drawing and told me how much they loved what I was doing and what a talented artist I was. I just said “thank you” and was friendly and open toward everyone because these were my people. These were people who knew what I was going through because they were there too.  Plus for the afternoon, Blake was there to help break the ice with all these strangers. He’s kind of a social butterfly.

It was during the bingo and mani/pedi sessions that I made friends with Amy, whose name was easy to remember because she had the same name as my close friend who had the same name. She has schizophrenia and was hearing voices when I talked to her but she couldn’t articulate what they were saying. Her case was special because the medications that kept her schizophrenia under control affected her heart condition, so it was a delicate balance she had to maintain to pretty much stay alone. She was a super sweet girl who asked me Monday morning if she could bring me back anything from the food court downstairs because she had privileges to go down there. I wanted to barf my guts up so I gave her money and asked her to get me a ginger ale, which she did and I was so grateful for because it made me feel slightly better. She was just a super nice, sweet person who liked to be useful. In fact, she was helping Clayton the social worker orchestrate these extra special group activities on the long weekend. There were other people at the bingo game but I’m not all that into bingo, so I mostly tuned it out and kept drawing.

Also during the mani/pedi group, I met Hurricane Sonya who was manic pretty much the entire time I was there and somehow talked me into braiding her thick blonde hair into a fishtail, which I hadn’t done on anyone since I was like, 11 years old, and Jason who came in later, a paranoid schizophrenic who was interesting to talk to but who stayed away from me after he asked me and Blake if we thought there were any correlation between vaccinations and mental illness and we both pointed out examples of mental illnesses existing way before vaccines.

All day Sunday, I sat in the art room drawing and socializing and was told 100 more times by 20 people what a great artist I was, which felt good and validating admittedly, but inside I was still so shell-shocked by the fact that this time I actually swallowed the pills instead of just thinking about it, which is something I really, honestly didn’t think I was even capable of doing again because when I did it the 2nd time when I was 15 and landed in Whitby Psychiatric Hospital for a few weeks, I hated being there so much (but loved being away from all the chaos that was my home life) that I vowed never to end up in a place like that ever again by my own hand and for 21 years, I had stuck to it. (2006 didn’t count because that was out of my control, but this time I did it to myself.)

Sunday evening after Blake left, some new patients came in and that’s when I met Malachi and Sharon.

I heard Malachi before I saw him. After drawing all day, I went back to my room to lay down for a little while around dinner time and when I was half awake, I could hear this voice in the hallway outside my room that reminded me of the trans character “Nomi” from the Netflix show “Sense 8”, so I thought, oh, maybe we have a transwoman now, but when I went into the art room for the evening and tall, slight, red-haired, bespectacled Malachi introduced himself and started telling me about the troubles he’d been having with his new wife’s family and the police, which was how he got where we were. From what I could gather, he’d had some kind of mental meltdown of some sort in the apartment he shared with his wife and he broke some of their dishes in the process. During that, not knowing what else to do, his mother-in-law called the police on him and the police charged him – for breaking his own dishes, in his own apartment – with something like “domestic mischief” I think he said, and because the police put it down as a domestic dispute when it was a mental health call, Malachi is not allowed to have any contact with his own wife or live in his own home until after his court date. Due to this, he and his wife wouldn’t be celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary together and he was pretty upset. I didn’t ask how old this kid was but there was no way he was older than 23 and he worked at WalMart.

It was also Sunday night that I met Sharon. I don’t know what her diagnosis was but both she and Malachi came from another psychiatric facility somewhere. Blake told me he noticed tons of scars on her wrists so that’s all I know. She reminded me in looks like Peppermint Patty. She had medium-length reddish brown hair and spoke so quiet and low, it was almost a mumble, but with effort you could understand her. She watched me draw for 2 days and told me multiple times that I had to figure out a way to make some money from my drawings. Most of the people there, except for Rich and Malachi, weren’t “internet people” so to speak. I tried to explain Patreon to them after Sharon suggested that and a bunch of folks agreed with her but I don’t think they really understood what I was talking about. No one had ever heard of “crowdfunding”, let alone its pitfalls.

Sharon and Sonya had been in the same psychiatric facility 4 times but this was the first time they were ever spending any time together and the two of them were like the dynamic duo, with Sonya being loud and manic and flagrant and Sharon following her around trying to keep her calm and quiet.

Sonya was loud and probably the ward’s biggest personality. She was honest and had even less filters than I do. She’d been to jail. She used to be addicted to crack. She was depressed before she came there. She had kids, lost kids, had her tubes clipped and unclipped and had another baby who was now 13 years old and Sonya really wanted me to draw something for her daughter’s birthday, which I said I’d do but really meant I’d get Blake to bring in copies of the more kid-friendly colouring pages I’d done, which we did on Monday.

Monday was much like Sunday except that the art room wasn’t open until 9am and I woke up at 7. Breakfast was at 7:30. I felt confident enough in having new buddies that I’d have somewhere to sit in the dining room so I went down during breakfast and sat with Amy and her roommate whose name I *think* was Deborah, and who was literally the most beautiful older lady I’ve ever seen in my whole entire life. When I sat down, they were discussing the fact that the night before, Amy, in a dead sleep, got 3 tea biscuits from one of her drawers and ate them all sitting on the side of her bed and then just fell back into bed and slept for the rest of the night. She was really freaked out, as I think I would be too. Deborah noticed that I have “Sunny” engraved in the arms of my glasses like a giant nerd and asked me about it, so I explained to her that in my day to day life, the only people who called me by my real name was my mother and doctors. She told me she liked my glasses and I told her I got them for like, $6 on the internet which sort of left her speechless.

After breakfast I went back to my room because the art room still wasn’t open and I talked with Kimmie about coming into the art room and colouring mandalas while I drew, which she ended up doing for maybe an hour but just after lunch she had a meltdown and needed some time to herself so I just stayed in the art room and, you guessed it, kept drawing, and talking to people and hearing what a great artist I was. I met a new girl there who had OCD and couldn’t stop coming into the art room, getting agitated by its messiness, cleaning it for 10 minutes, going away and coming back to do the same thing. She didn’t want to talk about how long she’d been there but what I gathered from Rich was that they were both in the acute part of the ward when they first arrived, meaning that at one point they were both pretty messed up, and she helped him navigate his way out of there and onto the main floor. The only other thing she volunteered about herself was that she was planning to move to Sweden or Switzerland, whichever one is closer to Italy, when she got out of there.

Monday afternoon when Blake came to visit me, he brought with him ginger ale, sushi, a beef teriyaki bento and spring rolls from my favourite restaurant in case I felt like eating anything that wouldn’t hurt me too much and my big black portfolio, which I asked him to bring because I knew I had one copy of each colouring page I’d done so far for patrons inside it, but I wasn’t sure if he’d be able to tell the copies from the originals and I wanted to give the copies to Sonya for her daughter myself. Also inside my portfolio were two large drawings of my girls that were originally going to be paintings, but I never finished them and I gave those to Sonya too because she seemed to be the most enthusiastic about them and I knew I’d never finish them. I encouraged her to do so, though. This was after I decided I didn’t want the Japanese food and started offering it to anyone who came in the art room. The OCD girl had a few pieces of vegetable tempura but wouldn’t take the rest, so I put notes on it all that said what it was and “plz eat me!” and I carried it all to the hallway where I encountered Sonya who asked what I was doing and when I offered her the food, she was like, “fuck yeah”. She ate most of it and shared a lot of it with other patients and told us when she sat in the art room to finish the bento that she had never had Japanese food before and that that was probably the healthiest meal she’d ever had in her entire life and I’d completely believed it.

After Blake left on Monday evening, I went to my room to check on Kimmie and she had just come from having a shower and was in her pajamas. I had told her previously that her ticket to getting out of there was to be out of her room as much as she was comfortable with and to participate in scheduled activities as much as she was able, which was unfortunately difficult because it was the long weekend and nothing was scheduled. She asked me if I would go to dinner with her and then go to the TV room to watch a movie with her because apparently they had found the remotes and we could do that now. The hospital had a bunch of VHS movies and she wanted to find a comedy and just forget about her life for a little while. So I told her we could do this. The TV room had a table and chairs that I could use to draw at while we watched a movie.

Well, when we got to the TV room, there were two guys watching that “48 Hours” show so we sat there and watched too, figuring when it was over, we’d ask them if they minded if we switched to a movie and then do that. Well, when the show was over, another episode started and it was apparent neither man was interested in changing the channel, so Kimmie and I sat through another episode of the show. After that one, both men left and it was about 5 minutes to 9pm, so I told Kimmie that she should pick a movie quick before they came back because if we started a movie right then, we’d have enough time to watch the whole thing before they closed down the room for the night. She chose “Patch Adams” and then she asked me if I knew how to put a movie on. I confessed I did not, but suggested we just try putting the tape in the VHS machine and seeing if it played automatically and if it didn’t, one of us would get a nurse to help us.

Before we even had a chance to try that, the 2 men from before came back in while Kimmie was in the middle of the room holding a VHS tape and looking at me and they sat down to watch the next episode of the “48 Hours” marathon. Kimmie looked at me like, “you ask them” and I looked at her the same way and we were both too chicken shit to assert ourselves with these men to get what we wanted so she laid on the couch and we both just watched another episode instead. And then another. And then it was time to go to bed.

I dreamt of war, which is typical. I always dream about war.

Tuesday morning Kimmie and I woke up around the same time, about 7am and we both got up and got dressed; her in a pink tank top and grey track pants and me in my lightweight, blackish hoodie and t-shirt of the same colour that said, “LESS CRAP MORE RAP” and my requisite yoga pants. See, me and Rich were having an unspoken “t-shirts that say stuff” war so that’s why I wore the 3 specific shirts I mention in this post. One of his shirts said “IT’S ALL ABOUT ME” and another had a list of negative things he was, like, “irresponsible”, and it ended with “…but a lot of fun.”. Not sure who won the war but I kinda think it was me because he ended up asking me where I got mine from in the end since all 3 shirts were made by the same Etsy shop.

Breakfast was late so everyone was milling about in the hallways or hovering around their doorways. Kimmie and I just sat on our beds and chatted about stuff and then all of a sudden from the hallway came this perfect female voice singing one of the songs from “Phantom of the Opera” at full volume and then a few seconds later a 2nd one joins her in perfect harmony. Kimmie and I rushed to the door to peek into the hallway to see who it was and it was this young girl who attempted suicide and who only left her room a few times that I was there and who also wore the same white lace dress every single time she did, and another lady who had grey hair. In the hour that breakfast was delayed, these two women entertained the entire ward with more songs from “Phantom” and I just kinda sat there thinking how surreal this all was. I was sitting in a hospital being serenaded before breakfast by mental patients! Who would believe this?

When breakfast finally arrived, Kimmie and I sat with Deborah, the beautiful lady with the pink cast, and the older lady who had been singing. Deborah asked me if I would write down the name of the company I got my glasses from, so I pulled out one of these little cards I just keep on me for writing little things down that has like, sunflowers and designs on it, just a little 3 x 4 inch card, and Deborah remarked about how cute they were and showed the other lady and explained what the company was, that they could get prescription glasses for less than $10 that looked no different from the ones you spend $200 on from the optometrist, so I wrote out a card for that lady too.

After breakfast I went to my room where I saw my doctor who had just gotten out of a staff meeting with the weekend staff and he asked me if I was suicidal. I said “no”. He then asked me if I wanted to go home, to which I said “yes” and he said, “okay I’ll go write the order, what prescriptions do you need?” So I told him and off he went. When I was admitted to Georgian Bay General, I was admitted on a 48 hour “form”, which was extended by 3 more days when I got to RVH and on Sunday they told me that if I stayed as a voluntary patient for a few more days, I could go home as soon as Wednesday or Thursday, so getting out on Tuesday was amazing to me and I was excited. (In hindsight, I’m not entirely sure I was ready to leave…)

Since the weekend was over, there were group sessions planned for the day on the big whiteboard in the hallway. The first one of the day was about “The Importance of Leisure”, which sounded pretty irrelevant to me but I went anyway because that’s how you get yourself out of somewhere like that and it seemed like what I should be doing so that’s what Kimmie and I did. Partway through the session, my nurse called me out of it and said that I should call my husband to come pick me up because at about 1:15pm, he would be done processing my release and I would be free to go. So that’s what I did. (Did you know it’s now 50 friggin’ cents to make a local call from a payphone and that if you give it a loonie ($1 coin), it won’t give you change? What kinda fuckery is that!?) Then I went back to the group room, finished that, then started telling people I was leaving and getting my stuff packed up.

I was sitting in my room with Kimmie looking at Mark Ryden’s giant “Pinxit” book that I got myself for my birthday this year but never had a chance to look at until I was faced with a whole lotta spare time to fill up, and we were just chatting when this blonde lady in a floral dress came in, introduced herself as Sandra and that she was a social worker. She asked Kimmie if she’d leave the room so she did and then Sandra started talking about what was going to happen after I was released. The Simcoe Children’s Aid was going to be involved because it was a domestic dispute about the cat and a shitty cop that led to this whole thing and that was just what happened automatically in situations where there’s been trauma in a family. When she asked me who my shrink was on the outside, I told her that I didn’t technically have one at the time because the mental health centre I go to in Midland was giving us the run around as far as getting me a new shrink after having serious issues with the one I had previously (who was new and came in after the shrink I’d been seeing for 8 years retired), passing us off from person to person. She said that was unacceptable and to come to her office, so I did, and there she got on the phone with the mental health centre and got me an appointment with a new shrink in September within about 15 minutes. One that even has a therapy dog in her office, which is already an excellent start. Then she got the social worker assigned to our family from the Children’s Aid on speaker phone and a home visit to talk to us all was arranged for the next day. Then she gave me the brochure and contact info for Catholic Family Services where I can apparently get free therapy, which we’re going to set up tomorrow because obviously I need it since I have no idea why or how things got to this point.

After that, Sandra walked me back to the hallway where my room was, wished me good luck and I thanked her for accomplishing in ½ an hour what’s been taking us months to get nowhere. When I started down the hall to go back to my room, I was like, “wtf?” because all my crazy hospital friends were sitting on the floor outside my room along the walls talking with Blake. They looked just as confused to see me because they thought I was in the room with the social worker with the door closed the whole time! I’d asked Blake to bring me about 30 of my plastic business cards that have photos of about a dozen of my different paintings on them like little artist trading cards with all my info on the back and I pointed out the e-mail address to every single one of them and said “please use that”. I got my hugs and said my goodbyes and be goods and then Blake and I walked out of the building, stopping to get a cold Diet Coke before leaving the building.

When we got to the car I loaded my vaporizer with cannabis and began to medicate while Blake and I talked and drove around until eating seemed like a good idea. I got a turkey sandwich from QuizYES but my stomach was shrunken so I only ate about ¼ of it.

When I got home the first thing I did was go to Wes, my 12 year old son, who was sitting at the computer playing Minecraft and I hugged him from behind for a long time and we just cried and I told him that I was sorry for doing that to him and I promised that I would never do that again as long as he lived.

Then I went into my office and got on the ground to say hi to each of my dogs who you could tell had really missed me and they weren’t sure how to be with me. Hoover just hung his head down and let me cry on his shoulder and Lucky licked the tears from my face before having enough of that nonsense and rolled over for a belly rub.

Wes came into my office and we talked a little bit about where I’d been. I asked him if he wanted to know everything that happened and he said he was good with knowing just what he knew but he confessed he had a pretty good idea of what I did.

I was so forlorn and fragile and scared and overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do so I asked Wes if he wanted to go play with the Polaroid camera with me so we went outside and wasted a pack of film. Then he decided to go back to playing Minecraft with his friends just as Blake was getting off of work (he works from home a lot). When he was done, I asked if we could go for a drive because I was just so fucked up trying to process everything that had happened and even though I’d only been out of the hospital for maybe 4 hours, I already wanted to go back and was missing my hospital friends and wondering what they were doing. I needed to calm down and like I said earlier, going for a drive usually calms me.

It’s now the end of day one of being out of the hospital. We navigated the Children’s Aid visit today successfully and the social worker dude is a really nice, understanding guy who is more than welcome to be all up in my business. I gave him my consent to talk to my family doctor and my psychiatrist after I talk to her in September and he told me that he’d actually heard really good things about her so that was reassuring. He also advocated for Catholic Family Services counseling.

So that’s the story up until now. Thursday (tomorrow) I get one day to breathe and then on Friday I have to deal with the police and the court and the charge(s?) being brought against me.

Y’know when you get so mad at your husband you want to kill him and you tell him so but you’d obviously never really do it? Yeah, don’t casually admit to that in front of a certain type of cop because guess what! Admitting out loud that you’d like to murder anyone is a crime in Canada and not just a phrase and Friday I have to go to the police station to turn myself in to be formally charged with whatever they end up charging me with and then they’ll escort me to the courthouse where there’s a special court for mentally ill people and I’ll meet my lawyer who we chose because she had her dogs on her “About Me” page on her website and she’s theoretically going to do all the talking for me. Blake’s going post bail if there is any. The judge could throw the charges out completely or they could stick and I’ll have a criminal record. I’ve never been in trouble with the police before and was clearly not in my right mind so the odds of anything serious happening to me like jail time or even anything other than the counseling and stuff that’s already in place is pretty slim, but being separated from Blake and going through the booking and mugshot process and being detained and in court all by myself is going to be traumatic for me considering I can’t even walk to the end of my driveway to get the newspaper or go to the grocery store or even talk to my own shrink by myself, and the bad cop from the day I tried to kill myself, the person who was the very tipping point for me to say “fuck it, let’s do this” and swallow 100 pills by his escalating the situation and being a power trippy bear instead of a compassionate human being responding to a mentally Ill person under duress, is probably going to be there to purposely work against me.

So that’s what happened and where I am. It is now 12:14am Thursday morning and I’m about to open an internet browser to engage in my own form of ASMR while still ignoring the 396 e-mails in my inbox and the 227 Facebook notifications I have according to my phone because I just can’t deal with that right now but hopefully I can start the cleanup process when I wake up. I’m not sure when I’m going to be ready to communicate 1-on-1 with people because I’m scared people are judging me and looking down on me and secretly (or hell, openly) wishing the pills had been successful. I’m scared that by telling the world that the Children’s Aid is involved with my family that people will assume I’m white trash and this is just yet another dramatic saga of my pathetic, trainwreck life. I’m scared because I know that no matter how much my friends are going to want to be there for me, I really don’t think any of them have ever been in a situation this fucked up. I mean, everyone has their stuff, but in all my years of talking openly about my depression and persistent suicidal thoughts on the internet and social media, not one person I know has been able to really say, “yeah, I know how you feel” so expecting anyone to be like that now is just dumb. And even the ones who try…they’ve all known me for over 15 years and in that time, they’ve seen me have two major mental health issues requiring hospitalization as an adult. I can’t say the same for almost any of them and trying to commit suicide for real, as an adult making a completely rational decision, is a whole other animal entirely.

The Children’s Aid social worker, named Anthony, when I told him some of my fears about being a bad mom on so many levels and being judged by everyone, just said, “you would be shocked if you knew how many and what kind of families we are involved with” so I’m taking him at his word, that sometimes shit just gets fucked up and you need outside help to clean up the mess and do better. And that’s where I am right now: at the mercy of kind people and in the process of starting from scratch and building my mental strength back up – again – just like I had to do in 2006. Even though I said I wasn’t suicidal yesterday and promised Wes I would never go that far again, there’s still a large part of me that wishes the pills would have just worked because what’s ahead seems so impossible for me to overcome or even get through. Blake says the goal now is to feel grateful that the pills didn’t work and most of me is already there but the framework’s pretty shaky.

So far I’ve only been able to message my two best friends to tell them that I’m home and that I love them and that I’m sorry. (And that I can’t deal with the internet or deal with time periods longer than 24 hours.) Blake’s been keeping my boss mostly in the loop but mental illness is pretty outside of her scope just culturally, I think. My well-being seems to be her first priority though and she said she had my shifts covered for 2 weeks last week so there is no real pressure to come back right away. (I work from home doing customer service for a large website.) I was aiming for Saturday because that’s usually the most fun work day of my week, but also the longest so I think I’ve pretty much decided against it, especially considering I may be traumatized from the day prior. Sunday and Monday are my normal days off so I think I’m going to aim to get back to work on Tuesday when my work week would typically start at 5am my time. I decided in the hospital that I was going to talk to my boss about maybe starting an hour or two later than I usually do and just work 2 less hours per day than I did before all of this happened. Work was 100% not even remotely a factor in any of this. I love my job. I get validation at my job because I’m good at my job and my life typically revolves around my job, medication and proper sleep just to maintain sanity. I’m scared my boss is going to see me as unreliable or as the weakest link and somehow inferior to who I was before all this happened. That I wasn’t really deserving of the extra praise and responsibilities she gave me a few months ago or that she’d think that very thing caused me too much stress and that’s why I did what I did. I dunno. I have to e-mail her but I don’t want to until I can give her a firm, committed date for when I’m coming back.

And now I think I have to be done writing this, send it into the world, and let it be whatever it may be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(*originally they were going to send me to Penetanguishene Psychiatric Hospital which is just NO NO NO. I was lucky as fuck not to go there.)

 

January 14, 2014

Love is old/Love is new

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

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

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

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

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

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

So that’s happening.

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

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

November 8, 2013

Flotter plus, bouvillon moins?

This blog post is 2 years old and I’m pretty sure I’ve posted it on my site before, but I know for a  fact I posted it other places so some of you may have already read it. If not, read it, then come back here.

But my first wish is that you’d wake up and start steering your life toward where you want to be.” – Joe Peacock

But what if you have absolutely zero idea as to where you want to be? I have literally ZERO life goals right now for probably the first time in my life. I can’t think of a single one. Not even one. Oh, “don’t die”. That’s about it.

My job is my job, I don’t love it or hate it (but I do think I’m good at it and I’m grateful to have it) but there’s no room for advancement so there’s no life goals to be had there.

I make paintings “whenever I feel like it” or whenever I’m inspired. You can’t make a business plan around that. Furthermore, I haven’t sold a single solitary painting since November 19th of LAST YEAR. (Thanks, Robin.)

I’ve pretty much decided I’ll never be a full-time nor long distance driver ever again. I’ll drive to the grocery store and the post office by myself and maybe even to the Wal*Mart or dollar store in Wasaga Beach if Madison’s with me, but that’s IT. I know I have the ability of driving longer distances, on busier roads, at faster speeds but even with Blake right beside me, telling me what to do and after taking all the Klonopin and Ativan available to me, I still spend the entire time in the driver’s seat crying, gripping the steering wheel so hard with both hands* that my nails go right around it and dig into the fleshy part of my hand and all I can think of is “when is this going to be over? When do I get to be done? How long do I have to do this to be able to say that I tried and then have no one bug me about it for a while? Or hopefully ever?” Maybe I’d feel differently if we had 2 cars, but we don’t and if I crash the one we have, we’re pretty fucked. Also? Over the last 2 & a half years, I have been through MEDICAL HELL and the last thing – the very very very last thing – I want to go through is another medical trauma as a result of my own shitty driving or my delayed reaction time when it comes to someone else’s.

I. Hate. Driving. I cannot handle the stress and responsibility and truthfully, I don’t remember 75% of the rules of the road. I got my licence when I was 20, after taking Young Drivers (Canadian driver’s ed that gives you a discount on your insurance) and drove to Toronto for school almost every single day for 2 years. But 2 years driving experience is NOTHING!  It’s not even a “blip!” in the grand scheme of my life. Might as well forget that ever happened. I’ll keep renewing my licence in case I ever change my mind but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and I just think I’m done. It is literally the most stressful realistic situation I can think of. The whole time I’m just in sheer panic and all I want to do is close my eyes and pretend to be somewhere else…but that would get me killed.

I’ve hit a brick wall with photography. I no longer want to have a photography business. I just don’t like my pictures. I didn’t take a single picture with my DSLR in all of September, only once in October and those were just snapshots and then Madison wanted me to take pictures of her after school today but just looking at the previews on the camera, I don’t think any of them are worth posting, let alone printing. The whole reason I liked photography was because I could document things but we never do anything worth documenting and the kids were my inspiration, Madison in particular, but she’s got some body issues happening and she just doesn’t want me taking her picture these days (yet she’ll sit at my desk where the light’s better and take “selfies” with her iPod for hours) so I’ve stopped asking. I’ve just put the camera away on a hook behind a door with no real plans to pick it up again any time soon.

I have not and will not be applying for an Ontario Arts Council grant this year. I thought I was going to, I’d planned on it, but when I looked at my body of photography work so far, I was too embarrassed to send any of the pictures in and I was going to be applying as an “emerging artist” for money to go toward a photography project I’d really like to do. The bulk of the money was going to be spent paying a part-time female assistant with a car. (For this project, it needs to be a woman.) The rest was going to be used to purchase lights and pay for gas. I am 95% confident that I could execute this project successfully if given the funds to do it but I don’t think I can convince the OAC of that by my shitty sample pictures that are basically only of my kids, my husband and my pets. I’m completely uninspired by my surroundings. I thought about shooting some pics to specifically use as my sample pics but there’s just not a whole lot that’s interesting to me around here. I’m sort of at the point where I dread taking out the camera because I’m either ultimately not going to end up doing anything with it except to put it back and I’m not going to like the pictures I take so it’s just going to frustrate me and make me sad.

The application deadline is December 1st so I have a bit of time, but I still don’t think I’m going to bother applying. They’ve already rejected me 4 years in a row as a painter, I think largely due to the fact that I have like, no exhibition record. I’ve been in Touched By Fire 3 times and I suppose I could add the studio tour to the list since I EXHIBITED lots yet sold nothing, but still, that’s painting. My photography idea will never happen. :o/ Anyone got $5k laying around that they don’t need? I’ve thought about maybe doing a Kickstarter type of thing but I can’t think of incentives, aside from prints, and what is the final goal? If I say my final goal is to show these pictures in a gallery, people aren’t going to give me money because photographs in a gallery do most people no good. There’s no benefit. A book? But how many pictures would I need to fill a whole book? Because the pictures I want to take are super tricky, semi-illegal (trespassing), and it’s gonna take a slick-talking assistant to get “models” (who are actually just random, normal women) to do what I need them to do and where.

Cryptic, I know, but this idea is my baby and I would be absolutely devastated if someone stole it. I’m so protective of this idea that I can’t even ask any photographers for advice because when it comes to ideas, I don’t trust anyone. Especially photographers.

So yeah, I just don’t know up from down these days. Every day is grey. All my plans for this year and next have disintegrated.

As I posted about previously, I didn’t submit anything to Touched By Fire because the whole thing was a clusterfuck from the beginning. First there were $20 submission fees, which counted me out. Secondly, they’ve switched domains inexplicably from touchedbyfire.CA to touchedbyfire.CO. This is suspect to me. THEN they got a sponsor (Deserres) who agreed to cover the submission fees which is fine but at that point they didn’t even have a venue. So long story short, I did not submit. I didn’t feel I had anything to submit to an art show that prides itself on showcasing how fucked up all us mental patients are. My glitter girls are happy. They don’t want happy, they want tortured, mentally ill people and they want their work to reflect that. So fuck it. Who needs a remedial art show anyway? OH! That was the other thing I wanted to mention. Tickets to get into the event? $20 per person. Isn’t that fucking ridiculous? Every other year it’s either been free or $10, so wtf.

I’m lost. I have no direction. Every grey day is the same. I do nothing. I have nothing. I am nothing.

PS. Feel free to head on down to Sunnyland Studio to see what I’ve got in the shop. Unfortunately the Xmas season is upon us…

(*I have never EVER and would not EVER drive with less then two hands on the wheel. 10 and 2, people. The only time my hand MAY leave the steering wheel for 10 seconds is if I’m getting a drink from a BOTTLE because with cans, you have to take your eyes off the road to look at the can and make sure you turn it around so you can actually drink out of it. This is too complicated and for me, too dangerous, so bottles all the way.)

August 14, 2013

400

She pretty much greeted me this morning at about 5am when, I’m assuming, she heard me turn music on in my office because that’s what I do every morning when I’m working. When I opened the door, because I couldn’t see her out my window and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t our cat meowing, she tried to get in, even with Lucky right at the door wanting to sniff her. So I petted her a little, she was shivering, and I felt bad and I ALMOST let her in, just into my office where it was warmer, but I can’t because we can’t get attached and I’ve already e-mailed the SPCA.

Madison claims she’s going to apply for 2 jobs in town and Blake said if she could afford to have 400 spayed & her shots up to date and could afford the food and she stayed outside and he didn’t have anything the fuck to do with it except a ride to and from the SPCA for surgery and shots, then the cat could stay.

I also added “in a timely manner” because she’s not sitting on her ass for a MONTH or something and in the meantime this cat gets knocked up.

Then a friend said she might be willing to take 400, but she has to check on some things first, so that’s a happy possibility. I suggested she come up on Sunday and meet 400 but I haven’t heard back yet.

So things are happening kitty, hold on and cross your legs!

Posted at 9:00 am in: Animals , Blake , Family , Hoover Dog , Kids , Life , Lucky , Madison , Misc. , Pets , Pixel , Summer , Sunnyland , Wes
August 13, 2013

Gods Dammit.

So we have a bit of a predicament. We have a “stray” and by “stray”, with quotes, I mean that people down the street didn’t fix their indoor/outdoor cat, it had babies, and now there are 5 new strays that live outside of their house, including the mother who I’m sure, still isn’t fixed.

But that’s not my problem.

My problem is that one of these strays has started following Madison home, I’m sure with no involvement of Madison AT ALL. *eyerolls* The stray is an intact female, nicknamed 400.

So Madison came up to me a few minutes ago and was like, “Do you want to meet 400?” “Do I what?” “We have a new cat!” “Oh no we most certainly do not!”

Well. I met 400. And she’s very lovely. A little skinny but that’s what happens with strays, right?

Here are some pics I took of her:

She doesn’t stay still so getting pics of her face was hard.

She’s LOVELY.

But.

We have 3 pets already.

2 dogs.

1 cat who is very very much a one cat per household kinda cat.

So what do we do?

I’d say she’s like…I dunno 6 months old? 7?

We can’t start feeding her. We’re moving in a year (hopefully) and who will take care of her once we move?

We can’t let her inside. Even if it gets cold because…we just can’t. The dogs like her but she doesn’t like the dogs. Plus our cat would probably stop using the cat litter in protest and we’re trying to sell our house.

I can’t afford to have her fixed and then release her back into the wild. And I say “I” because Blake wouldn’t pay for it and besides, she’s technically someone else’s cat…and then she’d DEFINITELY never leave our porch.

I would feel comfortable finding her a new home but I can’t advertise around town because like I said, she’s technically someone else’s cat.

I would feel comfortable taking her to the SPCA.

We got cold and had to come in and she’s been meowing at our windows for the past hour. She’s currently sitting on our BBQ and is greeting all of Wes’ friends who incessantly knock on our door all day, every day.

If we just let her hang around, she’s either going to get hit on the road or it’s going to get cold and I’ll feel like shit for taking an already pregnant cat to the SPCA.

So what would you do? What should we do?

I *could* just try to scare her away…but I don’t think that really solves the problem and she’s not doing anything wrong. She just wants a family who loves her. :’o(

Edit: Here’s a video I took of her and the kids:

June 28, 2013

This is pretty cool…

…so I’m posting it here and there and everywhere.

 

Recently I learned I’m not the perfect parent I thought I was…not that I really thought I was perfect, like, in italics, but I’d been complimented and praised so much because of things I’ve written here or just by people who have met my pretty awesome kids and like, my mom once, so I thought I was doing a pretty good job. Blake has shit to work out. I don’t like how much all of us yell and neither does he so it’s something that we’re constantly working on but certain children of ours sometimes test our limits for whatever reason kids do that and we cross the line but so do they. (Well, I don’t think Wes has ever yelled back yet, but obviously one day he will.)

Because Madison has expressed disinterest in my online world and has asked for more privacy, I think she’s going to appear less and less on this blog. But I don’t want anyone noticing this and thinking that because I’m not talking about her on here as much that I love her any less or that we don’t love each other, or anything awful like that. I know a lot of you follow this blog because I post pictures of Madison or I talk about Madison simply because I’ve been doing it since literally her birth in one way or another, online. It started in my Compuserve days, then I made my Angelfire site and then the Scratching Post message board, then Live Journal and now my actual blog for the last almost 7 years. She’s a big part of my life and honestly? My favourite part of my life, especially at this age, but I understand wanting more privacy, especially at this age, so I respect her request.

Wes on the other hand, is now a Pocket Frogs addict, which I introduced to him yesterday and he now has on his iPod, so that happened. We haven’t been making any videos for his YouTube channel because  we’re having bandwidth problems. Both of my Flip cameras have died and you can’t buy them anymore because the company stopped making them, which sucks because they were awesome, and my Digital Rebel, which can make videos, makes huge files and I don’t know how to make them smaller and we think that we reach 75% of our bandwidth cap halfway through the month on months we’ve uploaded videos to YouTube (also with the addition of Netflix). But we plan to make a video soon. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a Minecraft video or a Wes video though, he just said he wants to make a video.

We went to the beach yesterday because it was ridiculously hot and it has been for a few days so the hope was that it warmed up at least some of the lake, at least close to the shoreline, and while the water was still way too cold for me, Blake and the kids swam out to the second buoy and stayed out there for at least 15 minutes before getting too cold and coming back to the car.

Speaking of the beach, I posted this on Facebook yesterday while I was sitting in the car AT the beach:

And when I got home there were comments so I started commenting too, and I had this to say about our lovely freshwater beach:

Jenn, you need to come visit us one day. The beach here is awesome. Too cold for me today, though. I feel bad for the people planning on spending Canada Day here, we just haven’t had enough super hot days to heat a lake that size but once it heats up, it is awesome.

I also added, “Or at least I think so. Keeping in mind that the ocean ALSO creeps me out.

Then there were more comments, but then Belinda mentioned that she worked at a public pool which for some reason reminded me of the public pool that used to be in Stouffville (it may still be there, but I kinda don’t think so), which was one of those memories that hits you in the gut because it was sort of awesome and yet you’d totally forgotten about it. So here’s what I wrote:

Where I grew up we had this outdoor public pool in the park and the changeroom floors were always slimy, wet and disgusting and every toilet had a turd in it and the seats too were also always wet. And there was never any toilet paper or paper towels in there anyway so there was no point in even going there. The “kids pool” (there were 3 pools, a baby pool, a kids pool and “the” pool) water was literally salty and warm because there was so much piss in it. So fucking gross, I’m practically gagging just thinking about it. But when you’re like, 7 and it’s really hot out and your cousins are going because it only costs a dollar to get in, you go! And you have fun! But still, I mostly remember the nastiness.

When I used to go to the pool with my cousins, we lived right in the middle of downtown Stouffville and the pool was just across the park. And we also tended not to have any parental involvement in 75% of anything we did. I was also babysat by my Aunt Heather during those times, who was flat out negligent, possibly crazy, incredibly damaged, but really really fucking fun. Maybe I’ll start writing about that time in my life since I never really have.

Today it’s rainy but it’s supposed to be nice for the long weekend (Canada Day is Monday) and my mom invited us to the cottage on Sunday where we’re apparently going to have fireworks, so that’s something to look forward to. She just e-mailed and said to come whenever we want and that we’d be having hamburgers for dinner. I had to tell her that Madison’s a vegetarian now and that she should get veggie dogs when she does the groceries because I’m pretty sure you can grill them.

I haven’t picked up my camera in weeks. Daisies grew in our front yard this year and I never even photographed them. I meant to but the construction guys freak me out too much. The dogs are crazy shedding right now and our house is carpeted in fur despite our best vacuuming efforts. We found a flea on Lucky so we put Advantage on all the pets so hopefully they’ll fuck right off. Fleas looooove me, as do mosquitoes and horseflies etc. and I haven’t been bitten so I’m pretty sure he didn’t have many fleas on his to begin with. Advantage usually kicks in pretty quickly.

We had a guy at the house this week who re-drywalled our bathroom, fixed the leaky tap and tiled our shower and did a pretty nice job. It’s nothing special or anything, just white tile. We’re fixing up the house so we can sell it next spring, or at least put it on the market. I think the next thing we’re going to do is re-roof the roof of my office. Again. This time with metal. \m/

Yesterday I went to Michael’s to get “Santa’s Flesh” paint by Delta only to find that Michael’s doesn’t carry it. So I bought Americana’s “Flesh Tone” instead and when I got home I compared the two bottles and the “Flesh Tone”  paint is way too dark. I hate playing around with mixing colours so I guess I’m going to have to order “Santa’s Flesh” from Stockade. Which is fine, they’re a good company and everything, it’s just that now I have two bottles of a flesh tone I’ll never use and it’s not worth the gas to take them back. (Because of course I’m an idiot and I bought two, thinking they’d be the same as “Santa’s Flesh”.) I know, first world problems.

I’m working on a pretty kickass angel painting at the moment. One day as Madison was leaving the house, I asked her to give me 3 painting ideas off the top of her head and one of her suggestions was “the moon”, which gave me an idea and an angel made the most sense for the idea I had so there ya have it. People on Facebook liked the initial sketches so I think it’s going to be pretty good.

Right now Wes is at a birthday party for his best friend, Emily, who’s “really into lizards these days” so we got her this blown glass lizard and a little jeweled lizard pin. I think she’s going to really like them.  I got myself 2lbs of Jelly  Bellies. We also went to Pie 2 because it’s closer than the original location and we hadn’t been in a while. Or at least it felt like a while. I got pepperoni and mushroom this time and I really enjoyed it because their pepperoni isn’t crappy pepperoni, it’s the good stuff. I still have 3 pieces left so I think I’m going to go eat those.

Anyway, that’s all I got in me today. I think I’m gonna go eat, watch a movie and work on my painting. Have a lovely weekend! :o)

May 28, 2013

Won’t You Please Fawn Over Me

Lilacs are the best smelling flower. We have a lilac bush in our backyard that I swear has never flowered before now because we’ve been gardening in the garden right beside it for at least 5 years now and I’ve never noticed it. And I love lilacs. Last year we noticed the ones along the side of the house for the first time and this year my baby one in the front is flowering for the first time. All 3 sets are different kinds. The ones at the side of the house are frilly and a very subtle purple. Almost white. The baby bush in the front yard is dark purple. The one in the backyard has petals (?) that are more defined and the backyard one has more scent than the ones at the side of the house.

Oh fuck it, I’ll go take pictures even though it’s crazy windy…

Okay so here’s the one in the backyard. I dunno what the little “petals” are actually called, they’re almost like little flowers themselves, but these ones are more well-defined than the others:

These ones are on the side of the house, see how they’re frillier than the one above? Also almost white, but not quite:

And this is the baby one in the front.

The ones in the backyard smell the strongest so I cut a bunch off the bush and they’re sitting on my desk. I have a fan in here that’s oscillating on the other side of the room and every few seconds it swivels toward the lilacs and blows the scent directly toward me. It’s lovely. Unfortunately cut lilacs don’t last very long or at least that’s been my experience. I’ve heard that you’re supposed to put sugar in the water, you’re supposed to cut their stems on a slant, you’re supposed to crush the ends of their stems…I didn’t do any of that because I’ve never found any of those things to actually work.

Last night we went out for dinner with Brian and I learned that sometimes when a product says it has “natural vanilla flavour” it’s actually an extract from the anal glands of beavers. I don’t know if I believe this, to be honest, but that is what I learned.

Alma’s is closed on Mondays (boooooo) so we went to Steeler’s and I got chicken fingers because you either get chicken fingers or a clubhouse sandwich at Steeler’s since that’s their best menu items and I didn’t feel like navigating a clubhouse while wearing the particular lipstick I was wearing. It’s long-lasting “14 hour” lipstick but I find that all goes to hell when you introduce any type of oil, like mayo, and I didn’t bring the lipstick with me to reapply because honestly, I’d forgotten I was wearing a face full of makeup until I saw my reflection in the window when we were going into the restaurant. Normally just bumming around Elmvale, I either don’t wear makeup at all or very little, but yesterday afternoon I was taking pictures of myself for this post because I dyed my hair “Atomic Turquoise” and of course, y’all would wanna see it.

Anyway, dinner, Steeler’s. After dinner Brian asked if we wanted to walk around the block, so we did and he and Blake talked about how they were the “last men” for many lesbians and that dancing at the gay bar is the best kind of dancing and I don’t even know what else, but what I noticed is that our town has a lot of lilac bushes which are all obviously in bloom right now. Huge bushes that have to be 60 or 70 years old. Or older. You even see them when you’re driving around in the most random places and I think “why would someone plant a lilac bush there?” I don’t think they’re naturally occurring but I could be wrong.

After we walked around the block, we ended up back at Brian’s house, which is where we parked, and we came in briefly while he got some comics that we’d lent him. We met his cats, Veronica and Beatrice, who are tiny little squirrely kitties compared to Pixel, our fatass.

Then we came home and watched Behind the Candelabra. I give it a B-. Acting was good, story was weak. There were certain things in the movie where I think they relied on the assumption that you knew about Liberace to begin with. I didn’t. I didn’t know until this movie that Liberace died of AIDS complications. He died when I was 8 and it just wasn’t on my radar. In fact, until the movie last night, I didn’t even know Liberace was alive during my lifetime. Anyway, I only watched the movie to see if Michael Douglas and Matt Damon could pull off a Brokeback Mountain and they did, it was all very natural. Granted, I have no idea how Michael Douglas’ performance was compared to the real Liberace, I just mean that I totally bought that he and Matt Damon were lovers. The best part of the movie was Rob Lowe. I dunno wtf they did to him but he/his character was amazing.

Just to get it out of the way, here’s the pics from yesterday…


I measured yesterday and my new hair that started growing back after it all started falling out when I was sick is now 8 inches long.
Also that is a terrible picture of me but I’m posting it anyway because I don’t think there are any other pics of me and Wes except for maybe when he was a baby.
I should have adjusted my f.stop so he’d be in focus but I just grabbed him as he came home from school.

The above pics were obviously taken with the good camera.
These ones were just taken with my webcam:

My roots are a liiiiiiittle green tinged because I used the bleach that came with Madison’s Splat dye rather than the stuff I usually use and the Splat bleach doesn’t bleach it super white like Garnier does.
It leaves a bit of yellow.
I didn’t think it would matter that much but it did!

Oh well.

Yesterday I said all I was going to do was dye my hair and paint my toenails and if I succeeded at those two things then it was a productive day. Mission accomplished.

Tomorrow I have to go see my shrink. As per usual I don’t really know what to talk to her about. I’m going to ask her if Rick’s back yet. He went on leave “for personal reasons” in Feb. or March and they said he’d be gone 6 weeks so he should be back. I didn’t want to get started with another caseworker unless I knew he wasn’t coming back. Honestly now that we’re moving, I don’t even know if I want a caseworker at all because it just seems so pointless if I’m going to be starting from scratch in a new area after we move. Part of the reason I stopped driving was because I didn’t know any of the roads or where anything was and now I know a little bit so that’s why I tried driving again, but when we move it’s going to be the same thing as when we moved here, I won’t know the roads or where anything is.

Also I’m not so much sold on Beaverton anymore. I don’t think the grocery store there is 24 hours, which is a big thing for me, and my mom and John are complaining constantly that nothing’s open past 5pm, not even most of the restaurants. It does have a movie theatre but with only 1 screen and I think it only shows one movie at a time. About the only thing it has going for it is that my mom’s there, I like the school district and it has pretty houses. This is the one we’re looking at right now. Or hoping to look at. I think our real estate agent is getting sick of showing us houses when our house isn’t ready to sell yet. Blake touched up the paint in the kitchen this weekend and we’ve contacted another contractor about redoing the bathroom since the one who came out to see the bathroom doesn’t like to reply to e-mails and is pretty much a write-off.

Anyway, that’s all I can think of to write about and Wes is going to be home from school soon so I guess I’ll just stop writing now! BYE!

PS. Blake and Madison are $180 short of their fundraising goal for the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life! Click here to sponsor them!

February 26, 2013

Bam Super Nature Goddamn

It’s super sunny outside right now and I’m listening to music on “11” and aside from the fact that it’s a work meeting day, today’s been pretty great so far. Granted, I’ve only been up (after going back to bed after work) for an hour, but during that hour, I’ve been discussing Doctor Who on Facebook with my friend Ana who has just started watching the reboot (and she’s in luuuuuurve) and her friends. It’s been my experience that life is always good when Whovians gather and geek out. :o)

So was there no new Girls on Sunday night because of the Oscars or has it just not been added to my cable’s OnDemand service? I couldn’t record it because our DVR wouldn’t let me record Girls and Walking Dead AND watch the Oscars so I had to stop recording Girls. Complications! We watched Walking Dead yesterday after Zero Dark Thirty (which I didn’t like, I thought it was pretty boring) and Blake told me how things go down in the comic and then the kids bought me the first Walking Dead compendium from Amazon. So yay! Maybe by Mother’s Day I’ll have it finished and they can buy me the 2nd one. But then what do I do after that? Do I wait it out for the 3rd compendium to come out because I’m completist* like that or do I buy the individual comics to read (then buy the 3rd compendium) or do I buy the trades and just buy those from then on out? Fucking marketing, man! Taking all my damn money!

I still have all the Buffy comics to read too, I still haven’t gotten around to that. Truth be told, I don’t really like comics but I did really like Buffy and was curious to see how the story continued so I’ve been collecting the Buffy trades as they come out. I think I’m up to date, anyway, I’m not entirely sure. I’m not exactly at home in a comic shop.

Yesterday was errand day. First we had to go to Staples to get Madison a binder. Let me tell you what this fucking kid of mine did with that binder. We got her a black one with a clear pocketed cover because she didn’t specify what colour to get and she didn’t like the pink one we got her at the beginning of the school year, which I’m currently using for CBT, so we figured this was the best way to go. Well this morning she shows me her binder to show me what she did with the cover and it was covered in Get Fuzzy comics. I asked her where she got the comics with a sinking feeling in my stomach because I know she didn’t use the printer last night, which, by the way, is also a scanner, and she tells me she cut up her Get Fuzzy books. BOOKS. Not comics. Trades. Anthologies. BOOKS. I just about fell over and she couldn’t figure out what the big deal was and I’m freaking out because YOU DO NOT JUST CUT UP AND RUIN GODDAMN FUCKING BOOKS FOR YOUR STUPID GODDAMN BINDER!!! If she’d have used her brain for 30 seconds and asked one of us how she could do this, we could have shown her how to use the scanner and she could have essentially used the printer to colour photocopy the comics she wanted to use on her binder. It’s not rocket science. I thought “do not ruin books” was just common sense. Anyway, when I woke up this morning, she’d left the binder on my desk, probably because she set it there while tying her shoes and then forgot it. I mean, they’re her books, she can do whatever she wants with them in the end, I just have a reverence for books that apparently I haven’t screamed about in this house enough. But now she knows and as long as she lives in this house, she will never do that again. And when she lives in her own house and maybe decides to do something idiotic like that again, she’ll know better than to tell me about it.

So that’s my story about Madison, books and a binder.

At Staples I got 3 packs of these wicked Bic “Velocity Gel” pens that I fell in love with when we did back to school shopping in the fall but we only got one pack of them and I’d never seen them anywhere else and I’ve lost 2 of them so when I saw them I was like, “gimme”. So I’m now the proud owner of 12 new awesome pens. I used to only use Pilot Hi-Tecpoint V7 fine pens, which I still like, but the gel pens are so much more gratifying to write with. Plus they’re clicky pens so that’s a bonus too. I checked to see if they had the glitter Sharpies because I figured if they did, they’d be cheaper there than at Michael’s but they only had the metallic ones and I already like the fine ones by Pilot that I get at Curry’s for signing my paintings so I have no interest in the Sharpie ones.

Then we went to the mall to go to Black’s which is the camera store where I bought my camera and where Blake used to be a manager before he made the move to TELUS. Our old camera bag was this awesome Roots sling bag that only held your camera and some accessories but not enough room to fit another lens I don’t think and since I was acquiring some new lenses, I invested in my camera backpack. However my camera backpack is a bit too heavy for daily use so I wanted something lighter ad we have torn our house apart looking for the Roots bag but we just cannot find it and cannot figure out where the hell it would have gone. So I was looking for a bag to replace that one so I could bring my camera with me when we go places. Blake gets a 25% discount on bags at Black’s which is why we went there first and his old co-worker, who is now a manager I think, but whose name I forget, showed me this sling bag that was slightly bigger than I was going for but she showed me how you could sort of turn it around on your body to get the camera out and change lenses easily and we were like “how much is that?” and she checked and it was I think $79 + tax. That was a little more than I wanted to spend, even with Blake’s discount but she was like, “lemme check the sale price” and it turned out to be $31! $36 with tax! What a bargain! So we got that one and I’m very pleased with my purchase. And now I think her name might be Lynn. I’ll have to check with Blake. Anyway, totally awesome bag that I’m going to start using regularly.

After Black’s we thought about getting food at the food court at the mall but it was only 11:30am and I didn’t feel like eating beef teriyaki or poutine at 11:30am so we decided to go to the Starbucks that’s inside the Chapters in the south end to get drinks and treats until lunch time because Blake hadn’t had breakfast (I had my leftover pizza from the night before for breakfast so I was pretty much good). I wanted to go to Chapters to get the Rolling Stone magazine with the cover story on Lena Dunham so we were going there anyway. I got a vanilla bean frappuccino and I always mean to tell them no whip because I think their whipped cream is oily and nasty and leaves a residue in my mouth but I always forget and I know that’s a total first world problem but it happens every single time. I also got a marshmallow dream square and Blake got some type of coffee drink and a blueberry square. Chapters had the Rolling Stone I wanted but I couldn’t leave the store without checking out the best sellers and “books in the media” sections and I was thinking about getting one but honestly, I had like, 4 of the books in that section sitting, unread, on shelves at my house so I needed another book like I needed another hole in my head and I just left there with the Rolling Stone that is still sitting on my desk unread. I’ll get around to it…

Leaving Chapters, we went to Best Buy so Blake could look at monitors. He bought me a really nice monitor for my birthday and he needed one too because he was using a laptop screen and a monitor with a blue stripe down the middle of it that he inherited from his mother so since he just got his bonus, I told him he should get one. So that’s what he did. He also got himself an electric razor that works wet or dry and I got what I thought was an OtterBox that fit my phone.

Before I end the Best Buy paragraph, lemme tell you why I never leave the house. When I was in the cell phone section looking at cases, there was this creepy guy who totally looked like a serial killer who said hi to me and smiled. I thought he was just some creepy guy so I sort of mumbled hi back and gave him a look like, “don’t fucking talk to me creepazoid” and continued looking at the cell phone cases. When I found the OtterBox and another one that fit my phone, I grabbed both and went to show Blake and when I came back to the cell phone section to put the other case back and I realized, because the guy was sitting behind a desk, that he was an EMPLOYEE but because he was wearing a dark blue polar fleece zipped up sweater (that I later realized all the employees were wearing) I just thought he was some creep and I felt like such a douche because I was a total bitch to him thinking he was just some creepy dude trying to talk to me. Best Buy employees should be wearing fucking nametags and they should be wearing blue and yellow uniforms, dammit! Then shit like this wouldn’t happen!

Anyway, after Best Buy, we went back to the north end of the city to go to the mall food court where I got beef teriyaki and Blake got green Thai tofu curry, which I tried and hated. After we ate. I asked him to put my OtterBox on my phone and it didn’t fit. Upon further inspection, it turned out I grabbed one for a Note when I have the Note II. The OtterBox was $55.99 + tax and we were still in Barrie so back to Best Buy we went and Blake exchanged the OtterBox for the other case I had been looking at and he put it on in the store to make sure it fit and it did and all was good.

On the way back to Best Buy I kinda had a meltdown in the car. On our way to the mall from Best Buy, we saw an accident and I saw someone being put into an ambulance. Over the last little while, memories of coding and almost dying and being brought back to life and them trying to put in a central line in my neck before transporting me to St. Mike’s and the look on Blake’s face and then my time at St. Mike’s has been coming back to me and mostly I’ve been able to block it out but seeing the ambulance and stretcher yesterday really messed with me.  I haven’t been able to shake it.

So that happened.

After going to Best Buy to exchange the phone cases, we went home and Blake set up his new monitor while I did internet stuff, I think, and then he came in my office and I ate the rest of my teriyaki and marshmallow dream square while we watched Zero Dark Thirty, then Walking Dead, then there was an hour before I had to go to bed so I just fucked around online and then went to bed. And that’s pretty much the end of my yesterday and the end of this post.

I’ll leave you with pictures of my goofball pets that I took the other night. Peace oot.

(*Spellcheck wants to change that to “completest” which is a completely different word with a completely different meaning, so I added this non-word to my dictionary.)

February 20, 2013

No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn

It’s a snow day. Again. Monday was “Family Day” which is this stupid provincial holiday that only some people get to take off. Like, if you work for a national company like Blake does, you don’t get it off. You get a holiday in the summer instead. (So I guess it works out.) Then yesterday was a snow day for some unknown reason, probably to mess with me. And now today. We are having snow squalls today so today’s snow day makes sense but yesterday was a mystery. Madison is allowed to stay home on snow days but Wes isn’t as per his new principal, which I think is fucking bullshit. See, snow days here just mean that the buses aren’t running so the schools are still technically open and his new principal says that kids who walk to school have to come to school anyway on snow days. So the weather’s so bad the buses can’t run, but it’s totally cool to make a 10 year old walk 2.5 km to and from school through snow squalls? I don’t use this word often, but I think it applies: Wes’ principal is fucking retarded. There is literally only two other kids who live further from the school than us and they are siblings who live like, 5 doors down to street. I think it is child abuse to make these kids walk through this shit.

Yesterday after work I went to bed, like I usually do and when I woke up, Madison scared the shit out of me because she was laying on the couch in the living room in the dark playing Minecraft and she said “hey, it’s a snow day” and Wes was already at school. Today I gave him the option of staying home because it was pretty bad out – I mean, fuck this principal, I’m his mother – and he’s trying for perfect attendance this year so he decided to go to school. And he said, “besides, all we do is math, computers and dodgeball” and as for the weather he said, “I’m used to it at this point”. Okay man, whatever. It’s his decision I guess but if his principal wasn’t such a dickhead  who considers snow days as absent days, Wes would be staying home.

All day yesterday, from the time she woke up until after we went to bed, Madison was on Xbox playing Minecraft with her boyfriend and one of her other friends and it’s actually pretty funny because they play with voice chat so last night Blake offered the boys money to kill Madison which Wes found hilarious. I expect when her royal highness emerges from her bedroom she’ll be doing more of the same.

On Monday night we went out for dinner to this super fancy pizzeria called Pie and it was AMAZING.  I forget what Blake got (pizza obviously, but I forget which one) but the rest of us each got a Kobi 43 pie with custom toppings. My usual pizza toppings are mushrooms and ham but they didn’t have ham so I opted for prosciutto, which I’d never really had before and I didn’t really know what it was beyond “fancy ham for rich people”. As it turns out, I think prosciutto is disgusting so I picked it off my pizza and just ate it with mushrooms. At Pie they use a wood fired oven to cook their pizzas and to be perfectly honest, it was the best pizza I’ve had since we moved here. In fact, I dunno which is better, Pie or my beloved Stouffville Pizza. They’re both good in their own ways I guess, but Pie pizza was really fucking good. Also they have drink specials every day and Mondays they have $6 Long Island iced teas of which I enjoyed two and which were necessary (along with Ativan) to sit in the restaurant because it was so apeshit crazy busy in there that my brain was just pinging all over the place. I meant to bring my iPod so I could take pictures of our food (the camera on my phone is crap) for this post but I forgot it at home. Just go to their website and look at the food porn. Anyway, everyone loved it and we decided that if we’re ever going to go somewhere as a family for dinner, Pie is definitely the place to be. It’s the same price as Swiss Chalet for 4 people, where we usually go (or used to, I can’t stand it there anymore) and a million times better.

Also with experimenting, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can tolerate certain types of alcohol better than others as far as my pancreas, as long as I take enzymes before or directly after consuming. I don’t think I could get right royally drunk without painful repercussions, but I can have a few drinks and be okay. The only alcohol I know for sure that kills my pancreas is rye. I had Fireball cinnamon whiskey with Vanilla Coke Zero about a month ago and I only put in one shot and I only drank like, maybe 10 sips because as it turns out I don’t really like it and the next day my pancreas was killing me. I didn’t think to take enzymes though so that could be a factor but so little alcohol caused pain so I think I’m just going to stay away from rye in general, which is a shame really, because that used to be what I drank as a general rule. Rye & Diet Coke. Sometimes we go to Boston Pizza at the beach because they have strawberry margaritas and I seem to tolerate the tequila just fine and obviously I was okay with the two Long Island iced teas I had at Pie and they have all kinds of alcohol in them, but no rye so I was 0kay.

This year my birthday is on a Friday (March 1st, you can buy me presents here!)  and I don’t plan on being sober for it.

Speaking of my birthday, I think my new phone is going to come today or tomorrow. The package tracking said that at 8:30 this morning it was “on vehicle for delivery via Barrie depot” so that either means it’s on a truck on its way to my house or it was on a truck on its way to the Purolator depot in Barrie to be sorted and it’ll be put on a truck going to my house tomorrow. I am so stoked. I hate my current phone with a burning passion; it’s such a buggy piece of shit. I bought it solely for the physical qwerty keyboard, which I love, but it’s old now and I’m using a mod because it doesn’t run properly on the standard Android OS and it wouldn’t let me install more than a few apps because it wouldn’t let me save them to the card instead of the really small physical hard drive. My new phone doesn’t have a physical keyboard, which sucks, but really my only option for a physical keyboard was to get one of the new BlackBerries and the Canadian in me really really wanted to go that route but not at the expense of screen space so I went with the Note II instead. Now I feel like a traitor to my country. There’s this Twitter account called @stats_canada that I follow that posts funny fake facts about Canada and on the day BlackBerry launched their new model they had a tweet that said “95% of Canadian smartphone owners won’t buy a new BlackBerry but really hope that others do” which is pretty much fact. Blake likes BlackBerry because it works with all his work stuff better than any other device/OS so I think there’s definitely a market for them still but I’m scared it’s not big enough to keep them afloat. Bummer.

Well, I think I’m going to go play Minecraft for a while so I can join in the Minecraft insanity that’s taken over our house and I’ll leave you with pictures of Pixel sleeping in Wes’ bed this morning and Lucky sleeping on the living room floor. Hoover was sleeping too – under Blake’s desk – but he woke up when I tried taking pictures of him and then Lucky wanted to play so all I got was blurry pictures. Anyway, here’s fat kitty:

And Lucky:

Peace oot.

December 4, 2012

Nirvana is the cure for everything.

In my last post I forgot to mention that yesterday I started watching Twin Peaks on Netflix. (Did I already mention we got Netflix because Blake got a wireless internet thing for the Blu Ray player for Xmas? Netflix is AWESOME.) I don’t even know what to think of this show. When I was in grade maybe 6 or whatever, my friend Heather’s mom used to rent us movies in exchange for babysitting her brother and she rented us the Twin Peaks movie (Fire Walk With Me) and we were like “what the fuck is this?” Luckily I don’t remember anything about it but the midget from Agent Cooper’s dream talking gibberish so it’ll be a surprise when I watch it after I’m done watching the show but yeah…I just finished the first episode of season 2 and it’s pretty clear that they had absolutely no idea what they were doing and they were completely making shit up as they went along, it’s pretty entertaining. I don’t even know how it’s all going to end or if I’m even going to like it when it does, but I think Agent Dale Cooper is probably one of TV’s greatest characters. I look forward to every scene he’s in and I TOTALLY did not even recognize the actor who plays him, whose last name I can’t spell, until Blake pointed it out to me and I had to laugh because all I’ve ever seen him in is romantic comedies and not even good ones. But in Twin Peaks he’s so good!

God I love TV. Truly. Good TV is one of the best things in life. I only even realized Netflix had Twin Peaks in its entirety when I was looking for I Dream of Jeanie, which they had in its entirety when we signed up last week but it’s not there anymore and I didn’t even get to see one episode. (I’ve seen a million I Dream of Jeanie episodes, of course, but not in probably 25 years and watching it in reruns was one of the high points of my childhood.) So I guess Netflix changes their selection every month? I don’t really know how it works.

While watching Twin Peaks I edited the pictures Madison took last night at my class and the ones I took of Wes and the pets this morning on Charlie’s advice that I should take pictures every day and that I should take pictures of the kids before they leave for school just as something to shoot. I took an awesome picture of Madison giving me the finger this morning while she was on the phone but she forbid me to post it because she said she looked fat (she didn’t). Maybe she’ll let me post it in 10 years.

Anyway, here are the pics Madison took of my extremely photogenic friend Alex:

Despite the fact that there were two strobes in soft boxes in front of her on either side and Blake holding a reflector to her left, I had to lighten all of these pics in Lightroom because there just wasn’t enough light.

Blake looking dumb. As per usual. :oP

This is probably the best pic of Wes that’s ever been taken.

 

Although this one’s pretty fucking cute…

I’m going to frame this one for us & send a copy to Blake’s mom for Xmas.
Actually, I need to do that by the end of this week: get my shit together and upload the pics I want printed to the Black’s website so they’re ready for Xmas.

This is the pic of Wes I took this morning.
The light in our living room is glaringly tungsten so I had to correct it in Lightroom.
The kid looked jaundiced.

 

Lucky watching the construction workers.

Pixel’s getting used to me shoving the camera in her face.
Or at least she doesn’t seem as perturbed by it.

These pics were exposure corrected.
Despite taking them at ISO fucking 3200, they were still pretty dark.
I’m slowly becoming a Lightroom pro.

This is Hoover at the back door, which is in my office.
The black part on the right is the dreadmill.
The light in here are those horrible compact fluorescents so the light’s this godawful greeny yellow and I had to fix it in Lightroom by adding blue and magenta. When these bulbs finally blow (it’s been like, 2 years, they should go soon) I’m going to get Blake to get LED ones.

Then Lucky wanted out too so I stopped taking pictures and let them out.

Charlie got me a flash for Xmas but I haven’t tried to use it yet because I’m not entirely sure how to attach it to the camera or what to do with it once I figure that out. All Andre’s really told us is to bounce flashes off other stuff, like white ceilings and walls and never use direct flash unless you’re shooting outside and you want to fill in shadows because the natural daylight will diffuse the flash so it’s not so harsh.

Anyway, I’m going to RTFM and figure it out, I was just waiting for batteries to charge so I could play with it. I think now I officially have every piece of gear I’m going to need in the foreseeable future. A wide-angle lens would be nice to have but in all practicality I can’t really think of what I’d use it for. I’m not really one for being in places where group photos are taken or around big buildings, although some of the ones in town are super old and might be worth photographing if I ever left my house. But already my super duper special photography backpack weighs a million tons and there’s no room for anything else so I think I’m good.

Something I thought of for “signs of life” is taking my macro lens to the beach on Sunday. I bet there’s lots of signs of life in magnified sand. Little shells, human shrapnel like beer caps and bread ties. Then I could use my 50mm for other stiff, like signs and people. Andre says to never change your lens on a beach because you’re going to get dirt on your sensor but I figure if it’s been raining it’s probably okay because sand won’t really be blowing around and that’ll be the case on Sunday when Blake and I can go to the beach to shoot. Or if that’s a bad idea I can always change lenses in the car. I just can’t think of anywhere else to find signs of life in December. Especially not when I live in a construction zone and they’ve practically scorched and salted the earth.

Speaking of which, the curbs are in and they’ve repaved the road so all they really have left to do is fill in the trenches between the curbs and the sidewalks. They were doing something really noisy earlier, which is why I’m even writing this post (I couldn’t hear the TV), but I’m not sure what. It *looked* like they were actually cutting the asphalt with some sort of saw on wheels but I have no idea why they’d be doing that. They cut a line from in front of my neighbour’s house past where I could see out the window. They’re working on the other half of the bridge now, but they’ve got two lanes going across so it’s not as bad as it was a couple of weeks ago.

I know, this is all RIVETING news.

Know what IS news though that totally isn’t being reported in the Canadian media at the moment? 600 First Nations chiefs are currently protesting on Parliament Hill and so far it’s only being talked about on Twitter. You would think this would be, I dunno, NEWSWORTHY. I mean, I’d certainly like to know what they’re protesting about exactly. So far all I’ve been able to ascertain is that the Harper government’s budget bill that’s either being passed today or being passed soon infringes on First Nations treaty rights and they’re pretty fucking pissed off about it. This may not be news right now, but according to the word on the street, so to speak, it will be soon and this is just the beginning. So far the only “media” coverage I’ve been able to find on it is one reporter on Twitter who works for Sun Media. This protest was rumoured to happen for a while now apparently and they’ve been at Parliament Hill for over 2 hours at this point, so why is this not being reported? The mind boggles.

Okay I think the construction guys are done being obnoxious so I’m going to watch a couple of more Twin peaks episodes before the kids get home. Peace oot.

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