May 3, 2014

“You are capable of tremendous creativity.”

Blake fucking ditched me today for a hot tub!

He worked in the city all week this week which meant he didn’t get home before 8pm ALL week and I go to bed at 8:30 or 9pm.

Then last night? Bachelor party for a guy at work.

Now this morning he tells me “oh by the way, today is Bare Oaks‘ day of helping [or whatever the fuck it’s called], I totally forgot…” and what that is, is you go to Bare Oaks, which is a naturalist park, to help them prepare for the season. Last year we went there and painted deck chairs. Nekkid. But it was like, 20 degrees C and Blake got sunburnt. Today it’s 10 degrees and rainy out so everyone’s going to be clothed and it’s going to suck but Blake’s like “it’s part of the community…” and I get that, I do, so I was like, FINE, whatever.

So then he gets his shit ready and he stands in the doorway of my office and then he just couldn’t contain his excitement over Bare Oaks’ hot tub any longer and voiced it and I’m like, “NOW IT ALL COMES OUT! YOU’RE DITCHING ME FOR A FUCKING HOT TUB!!!” He’s like, “yes, yes I am…”

Since Bare Oaks is near Stouffville and next weekend is Mother’s Day and we would have been going there anyway to get Stouffville Pizza because it’s the best pizza on Earth, I asked Blake if he would pick me up a pie both to save us a trip and because fucker’s ditching me on my hardest day of the week where I need like, hours of mental preparation to be able to psychologically handle my job for 9 hours straight so he can buy me dinner.

Speaking of dinner…

Do you believe in fortune cookies? Because I totally do. I believe that they are little prophecies or messages from the universe that you’re meant to get and I save every single one I get. They’re all over my journals and notebooks because a fortune is a little smaller width-wise than a piece of tape so they’re easy to preserve and I know it’s kooky but they’re just like…sacred to me. Fortune cookies as a taste, are actually my favourite cookies too, so bonus.

I got that one last week and it was exactly what I needed to hear. When I opened it I actually cried and I like it so much that I’m considering it as a candidate for my next tattoo.

That said, I’m actively giving up on poetry. I wrote one really shitty stupid poem and realized that I am just way too long-winded and literal for poetry. So much poetry like, actively angers me because…okay so Blake explained to me about this superhero whose name might have been Silver Surfer? Anyway, this character goes super fast, like the Flash, only apparently much cooler because I think it’s Marvel and not DC or whatnot. Blake said that this character was a dick all the time, he was just constantly angry, and in one comic he explained it like…y’know when someone’s going super slow at the ATM, like painfully slow and you get mad and you’re just like “jesus christ, what are you trying to do, renew your mortgage?” Well for that character, the whole world is that slow and after a lifetime of that, you’re going to be an asshole. That’s me and poetry. Poetry is painfully slow to me. You can’t just read it and immediately know what the fuck the poet is talking about. You have to analyze it and consider every word and that is slow. I don’t have the patience for that shit! Also when I’ve asked people to explain certain things to me, they haven’t had an answer so I kinda think poetry might be a little bit of bullshit where you just make up the rules as you go along and if you do it in a way no one else has ever done it before then you’re a genius. Which is fine (and can be applied to most things I suppose), but not my thing. I don’t need to be a genius. BUT! Do keep in mind that I said I am ACTIVELY giving up on poetry, if one passively slips out by accident, then hooray for humanity, I guess.

What I have been doing though is writing the world’s most terrible short story and guess what, though? I FUCKING *FINISHED* IT! I, Sarah Danielle Crittenden, on Thursday, May 1st, 2014 finished something for the first time in my entire 35 years so far on this planet. It’s weird, I never really considered the short story as anything that I’d ever be interested in. I’ve never heard of any writers famous for short stories – I’m sure some exist – and “The Yellow Wallpaper” is probably literally the only short story I’ve ever read. A long time ago I asked Blake how long a short story had to be and he said something like, “I dunno, shorter than a novella…? There are no set rules.” (Answers like this annoy the shit out of me. I like specifics, which is part of the issue with poetry, but whatever.) The answer was so sort of…not “dismissive”, but I guess sort of off the cuff maybe, that in my head I just kinda moved onto the next topic and put the idea away as something not for me.

But then three things happened.

1. I subscribe to a t-shirt website’s newsletter and every day they send out an e-mail about a t-shirt on special or a t-shirt battle and 98% of the time I don’t even open these e-mails, I just read the bit of subject line my e-mail allows for, select and delete. Well, a few weeks ago they sent out an e-mail where the t-shirt was called one thing but in my head when I read it, it sounded like another thing and that sparked a TERRIBLE creative idea (I cannot stress enough what an absolute stinker this is) that I didn’t know what to do with.

2. I started reading more about Kerouac and how people thought it was a big deal that he’d written a million words by X amount of time or whatever, so I was like, “hmmmmm, I wonder how many words I’ve written just in blog posts alone?” just out of curiosity. So I counted. I’ve posted 5,779 blog posts on Live Journal and my average blog post is 2000 words. That’s 11,558,000 words.  I feel like all of those words were wasted and that number really bothers/ed me.

3. I realized that a lot of my blog posts are between 3,000-6,000 words and that’s gotta be short story territory.

I decided to put #1 + #3 together to alleviate #2 and the next thing I knew, I had a complete 6,086 word story sitting in front of me. And now I have no idea what to do with it. I mean, I am fucking RELIEVED to know that I am capable of finishing something. I know one short story is not a big deal to most people but considering the winter I’ve had and hell, the lifetime I’ve had, this is like a single, bright green sprout on a scorched landscape and with the 46 *other* writing ideas I’ve come up with in the last few weeks, that sprout could grow to be a mighty beanstalk and the giants are waking up.

My stinker story needs some tweaking and polishing. My narrator is supposed to be 14 years old but Blake says she doesn’t sound 14. He’s literally the only person who’s read it though so I don’t know if that’s just his opinion or if it’s true and I need to tweak it that deeply. I’m terrified to show anyone else but at the same time, as soon as I was done, my first instinct was to turn it into a free PDF for EVERYONE to read, for free, but for fuck’s sake I gotta quit doing that man. At this point in my life, there is zero benefit to me doing shit like that. If this turns out to not be as terrible as I think it is, maybe I’ll try and get it published. Where, I have no fucking clue and I’m probably just talking out of my ass and I’ll just post it here for free in the end anyway, but right now I feel like this thing is so fragile that I only feel like I can trust a few people with it and unfortunately, those people are busy and probably don’t have time to read 9 pages of anything so I don’t want to bother them. I sent it to someone who is IN the story as herself for her approval and even she hasn’t read the whole thing yet and that’s driving me crazy because I don’t want to release it outside of this house to anyone without her permission. I will because I can’t sit on this for much longer but I don’t want to.

Anyway, I have to start work in 2 hours so I’m going to medicate and make myself a bagel sandwich. Cya on Instagram and Twitter! @SunnyCrittenden!

May 14, 2013

Greetings Earthlings,

So the leafs lost last night, which sucks. This guy who went missing here (“here” being within my bubble of safety) after going on a test drive of his truck with two guys who answered his ad. Well they found his body. It’s just terrible. I mean, when I was a kid, you bought used cars from Autotrader, which was this magazine of people selling their cars that was free at coffee shops, and you either fantasized about the car you could buy in it or you (or more likely your dad) which one was going to be the next in your driveway. And all you did was show up and be nice to these people because they want to buy your truck…and then you made the sale, usually cash, sometimes certified cheque or money order.

You are not supposed to die during this transaction. That’s fucked. UP.

And I dunno if Tim Bosma had ads on the internet or just local ones, but either way, this is why I would never meet someone alone, from the internet, in a non-public venue. It’s also shit like this that literally makes me scared to leave my house.

(Whoa. The prime minister just tweeted “My thoughts and prayers go out to Tim Bosma’s family during this difficult time.” Harper has a heart. Who knew?)

It’s just so crazy to hear of this happening when I’ve seen tons of these interactions since I was a child. And now you can’t trust that anymore.

Terrible.

Madison has banned me from taking pictures of her twice now in like, 3 days. The first was while she was watching hockey and she was playing the same game on her phone as Blake was playing on the iPad and their expressions were identical but Madison saw me reach for the camera and said “NO.” :o( The second time was about an hour ago because she said she “looks like crap” and she did only have 10 minutes to get ready to go back to school so I said “maybe later?” and she said “maybe…” but she really wants her hair to be mixed with pink right now for her birthday, which is on Thursday, but she sucked at budgeting her allowance and while Wes has a bigger cashflow than Madison because he doesn’t spend his money stupidly, we’ve told him that he’s only allowed to buy her ONE bottle of hair dye when we need TWO to do her head properly.

But I think her hair looks cool now, especially since she got a trim on the weekend. Hopefully she’ll let me take pics of her when she gets home.

Wes got a haircut too so he’s not all shaggy. He sang me a special song on Mother’s Day for his YouTube channel, which you can see here:

Right now I’m listening to The Bastard Fairies doing “Brand New Key” with ukuleles because it’s what came on my iTunes and if you haven’t seen that, you probably should:

Anyway, what else?

I want to see the Gatsby movie but can’t until it’s been in theatres for the first few weeks so we can use our passes. We went to see that stupid wedding movie with Diane Keaton and Susan Sarandon and Deniro and they were like, over 15 minutes late starting the movie so Blake went out to tell them and even though there were only 4 of us in the whole theatre they played the movie and gave us these free passes for another. But they can’t be used during the first few weeks of a movie’s release. (Which sucks, but free is free, man. And that was decent of them.)

Belinda showed me how to use Reddit so now that’s basically all I do now. I *HAD* been working on something that’s shaping up to be a musical but it started feeling like work so I thought I should let it percolate for a little while. Reddit’s a good distraction.

Angelina Jolie cut her boobs off. Not sure what else I can really say about that. Not sure what I’d do in the same situation. Thinking about it.

This is the best thing I may have ever seen in my whole life:

There was a shooting at a parade on Mother’s Day in New Orleans and I thought, “really America? You can’t even keep it together on Mother’s Day?” It’s sad and it’s tragic and it’s scary but on way different levels than Boston or Sandy Hook or 911 or whatever. This is a new thing.

Right now my friends and I on Twitter are talking about which is better, BSG or LOST (BSG, FTW, BTW) and then Leora comes out with “I know a former cylon!”

Interesting.

It’s so weird waking – no, re-waking up in the morning and Madison being home so you automatically think Blake should be home too for some reason and you ask Madison where he is and she’s like, “uhhhhh at work? He’s working at work today.” So weird.

Not sure why I thought he’d be at home this morning or how I forgot him leaving this morning. (Until Madison reminded me.) I must have still been partially asleep still.

I haven’t fed myself yet today and it’s 1:41pm so I should probably do that soon. Really I was just posting because I hadn’t in a while.

Oh! The sweetheart roses my grama bought me are doing the craziest thing right now. Their centers are turning purple as they decay. If I can get pics of them, I will.

Peace oot.

May 14, 2012

We had the BEST day!

So Mother’s Day was pretty great. I slept in until like, 11am which I never do anymore, and when I woke up, I was greeted with hugs and presents!

The children together, got me two of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer graphic novels (which I have to get to reading, I still haven’t read all the ones they got me last year…), then Wes gave me some pictures of flowers he drew in school and a poem where he said I was “amazing”, “artistic”, “cool”, “outstanding”, “loving”, “extraordinary” and that I mean so much to him and that he loves me “more than Mars”. He also gave me a Dragon’s Egg bath bomb from Lush.

Madison on the other hand…I knew she was up to something because all day Saturday she was in her room and she was going through my paint and asking to borrow paint brushes and stuff but I was not prepared for the awesomeness that would be bestowed upon me yesterday morning.

SHE PAINTED A NUDE PORTRAIT OF ME!!!!!!!!!

I’m not even kidding, check this out:

This is the original photo, which Blake gave to her (he gave her a bunch to choose from):

HOW FUCKING FUNNY IS THAT???
God, I love this kid.
Best. Present. Ever!!!

So that was the present portion of Mother’s Day. After that, Blake talked to Ronny and Alex to see if they wanted to go geocaching in Utopia with us, they said yes, and we scrambled to get ready for adventuring! I decided to have a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich for breakfast because I never get to have those since they’re 590 calories but I figured that we’d be doing lots of physical activity so it would be okay and as it turns out, it was more than okay (more on that at the end).  Smucker’s makes this new strawberry jam that comes in a squeeze bottle which means it’s SMOOTH, there are no nasty strawberry chunks in it like regular jam which is awesome because I HATE THAT and think it is BEYOND DISGUSTING.

Anyway, I ate it in the car on the way to Ronny and Alex’s house and it was fantastic. I also brought 2 bottles of water to bring geocaching and a half bottle of diet Coke.

We picked Alex and Ronny up at their house and then they followed us to Utopia. We got to the Tiffin Conservation area around 2pm and the adventure started immediately with a cache right6 outside the parking lot called “Log Licence Renewed”, which I found inside a LOG! It was a microcache so we all signed our names on the log and I used that opportunity to take pictures of the trillium that blanketed the entire forest floor in some places, like where that cache was:

I think I’ve mentioned it before but these are Ontario’s provincial flower and it’s illegal to pick them.

We hiked for about 20 minutes to the next cache on our list, which was “Don’t Cut the Red Wire” which all of us did last time we were out there, but we wanted Ronny to get that one too because it’s kind of a neat one so that’s what we did. This is Blake and Ronny figuring out the first part of the cache:

And this is what the device that tells you the coordinates for the final cache looks like:

There’s a legend on a piece of paper in the cache with the device (which IS the cache) and you touch the wires with a metal wand so the little lights on the left light up which corresponds with letters and that tells you the coordinates for the final cache. I forgot to take pics of the final cache, although it wasn’t anything spectacular anyway.

On our way to going back to Wonderball, we saw this:

No idea what kind of leg that is or what might have eaten the rest of it…

Next we went back to Wonderball because we bought a stamp pad to use instead of the crappy marker that was in the cache so I could get a better stamp, plus Ronny didn’t come with us when we went to it the first time so we wanted to show it to him. I didn’t bother taking pics of the actual cache this time because I did last time so you’ve already seen it, but I did take some pics of my favourite people while we were there:

And this is what the stamp looks like, because like I said, it’s a letterbox cache:

A few feet from Wonderball, I found a really awesome skull of something, but I don’t know what. I carried it around with me for a while intending to keep it, but I decided to leave it by a tree instead because really, what was I going to do with it? And also I didn’t want it in my bag the whole day either and Blake didn’t want it in his so I just decided to leave it behind. Here it is though, in case anyone has any idea what it might be of?

My guess was a raccoon.

After Wonderball, we went after “ROY G BIV”, which we ultimately never found and that bugged the crap out of me because it was a letterbox cache too. :o( I did take a pic of these little purple flowers on the way to finding it though:

Oh and I took pics of my friends…

And my kid…

Then we went to find “Moontaker”, which was another letterbox and I got this cool stamp:

Almost all of the caches in this area were placed in 2007 for the Central Ontario Geocachers’ Spring Fling “mega event” and as such, the theme was 007, hence the names of a lot of them. Like “Cachino Royale” was another one we found and “003 1/2” and “Moneypenny’s Diaries”. I’ve never seen a James Bond movie so I’m not sure if the others were named after them or not, like the next one we went to was called “Cones Around the Bend” and it was a camouflaged microcache hidden in a goddamn pine tree! Those are THE WORST! But Madison found it with her eagle eyes and I took these pictures of her (she didn’t want her picture taken but it was Mother’s Day and we waited extra time when getting ready for her to iron her hair [who flat iron’s their hair to go hang out in the fucking woods?] so we said TOO BAD!)

Alex is in the background, signing the log.

Madison is ticklish!

Madison died.

This is Wes opening a cache but I forget which one and now that I look at the list, I think we might have missed this one when we were logging at the end of the day because it’s definitely not any of the ones on the list Blake sent us…hmmm….must investigate later…

Madison finally said “okay FINE, ugh” when I pestered her about taking her picture so I got these shots. She’s so fucking pretty, I don’t know why she doesn’t want her picture taken all the time.

Plus she’s wearing my shirt.

“Get it over with, mother.”

And our final cache of the day was called “You Have a Nasty Habit of Surviving” and it was another letterbox! YAY! (Those are my favourite, in case you couldn’t tell.) Here’s the stamp from that:

It wasn’t a microcache so I dunno why the stamp says “micro”. Maybe that was the name of the person who made it.

By the time we got back to the parking lot, it was 6pm which meant we’d been hiking up and down hills and traipsing through the woods and muck for 4 HOURS!

We were all pretty hungry and thirsty so we decided to meet up at South St. Burger Co. for burgers and poutine and milkshakes made out of REAL ice cream! I know I’ve posted about this place before, but I cannot sing its praises enough. They use grass fed, organic beef and you can really tell the difference in their burgers. I mean, they actually taste like BEEF, not SALT to cover up the taste of crappy beef like McDonald’s or Burger King or Wendy’s. (Actually I’ve never had Wendy’s so I’m just guessing.) It’s still fast food, but it just tastes so much better and it feels so much more nourishing, if that makes sense. You don’t feel like shit after you eat it like I often do after I eat a McMeal. It IS pretty pricey though for fast food. We got 4 burgers, 2 large poutines (with a coupon where you got one for $2), onion rings, 3 softdrinks (2 smalls, 1 large) and 2 milkshakes and it was apparently almost $60. I think it’s worth it though.

While we were at South St. I logged my physical activity into the app I use to track my calories called My Fitness Pal and it said that for 4 hours of hiking I burned 1409 calories! My daily calorie allotment is only 1200! Even after my cruddy breakfast, my fast food dinner and the ketchup chips I ate later on, I was UNDER calories by 666! hahaha!

Sunday nights is Game of Thrones and Mad Men night so after dinner, we all parted ways and would meet up again at our house around 8:30pm for Game of Thrones.

On our way home, I was feeling pretty good and I thought I deserved a treat since I got out of the house and did so much physical activity, so I asked Blake if we could stop off at the grocery store. He said okay. I also informed him that I would be going into the store and getting ketchup chips and paying with my debit card all by myself. He asked if I could also get margarine and I said okay.

So that’s what I did. I went in the store, and I was pretty much shaking uncontrollably, but I know the grocery store pretty well, especially the junk food aisle, so I went in with my bag that Blake gave me (like, reusable grocery bag) and first I looked at the cake but there was nothing inspiring so I went to the junk food aisle and a regular sized bag of ketchup chips was $2.99 but a FAMILY sized bag was $2.66 so I got the bigger one (obvs) and then I went to the margarine aisle and was shocked at how much margarine is. It’s like 7 fucking dollars for the kind we get! (Olive Oil Becel) I couldn’t even believe it!

Then I took my items to the checkout and there was a line so I wanted and tried not to freak out and then another cashier opened her checkout so some people left to go to hers but I stayed in my original line since the lady in front of me was almost finished. When it was my turn everything was just a blur. I couldn’t tell you what I said to the guy who was checking me out. I know I was nice and polite to whatever he said, but that would be all I could tell you. While I was pressing the buttons on the debit machine, he put my stuff in my bag to which I thanked him for, and then the transaction was approved so I removed my card from the machine, put it back in my wallet, said goodbye and took my bag and went back to the car.

When I got in the car Blake asked me if everything went okay and I said it did and he left it at that. Inside my head I was going over everything with a fine tooth comb, trying to figure out which part didn’t go right but there was nothing so I was kind of overwhelmed with that. I didn’t know how to feel or react so I just kind of didn’t. I know I could do that because I knew I had enough cash in my wallet to cover the purchase if the debit machine didn’t work for some reason. Also as a backup, I knew there was enough money in both of our bank accounts to cover it so if one didn’t go through for some reason, I could use the other, but I knew it would go through because we had the money.

All in all, it was a positive experience. I don’t know what got into me that I thought I could do that, but I did and all went well so I’m not traumatized. I still doubt very much that I could walk there and do the same thing but maybe eventually…I know there are 3 letters waiting for me at the post office if I ever got up the courage to go there and get them but who knows when that will happen…

Anyway, we came home and I had a shower because I was disgusting and sweaty and just plain gross and my wound was seeping through its bandage so we had to change my dressing anyway. There was no more breakdown than before but the fact of the matter is, the damn thing’s not going to heal under these conditions and there’s nothing that can be done. All we can do is try to keep it from getting infected between now and whenever I have surgery.

At about 8:30pm, Ronny and Alex got here and we said goodnight to Wes, then the rest of us watched Game of Thrones. Then Ronny & Alex left and Blake and I watched Mad Men. Then Blake went to bed and I watched The Pitch, which is a terrible show about D level ad agencies trying to win accounts with terrible ideas. It’s kind of horrific, actually.

And then I could barely keep my eyes open so I went to bed! Then this morning Cheryl came and changed my dressing again, I had a nap, then I woke up, started writing this post and now it’s almost 4:30pm.

Madison and I are going to watch Toddlers & Tiaras and I’m going to work on my painting for the rest of the day. I’m still exhausted from yesterday, like, barely keeping my eyes open kind of exhausted, but maybe if I drink a diet Coke, the caffeine will kick my ass into gear and I can get some work done.

I hope all the mamas out there had a good one yesterday! Happy Mother’s Day!