I’m sort of in the process of rebuilding my life and I’m at a point where I feel I can share my plans with you.
I have a bit of an internet presence…
twitter x 2
tumblr x 2
friends only facebook that I’ve recently been posting more publicly with
facebook fan page x 2
does snapchat count?
…plus a million other things I’ve signed up for and never used again. The tumblrs and fan pages hardly ever get updated, so let’s pretend they don’t exist for now. YouTube is only used to embed videos in other places, so it’s more of a utility to me than any kind of community that I have to participate in, so take that off the list too. Everything else I use and most of them have some kind of community linked to them that I am part of.
Well, I want to build a new community around myself where my site or LiveJournal is not necessarily the center of it because I don’t think either has been the center in quite a while. I want this community to be built around Patreon, and my creative life,with everything else mostly pertaining to that. But I’ll get to how I plan on using each component after I explain Patreon.
Patreon is a website that allows me to receive monthly payments from generous patrons who wish to support my work. In return, patrons receive perks, like Kickstarter, and they get to share in the experience of creating some pretty cool stuff, which, if I don’t suck, should give them a little bit of pride of being a patron of the arts and having a hand in whatever crazy thing it it is coming into being! And yes I *am* proud of that run-on sentence!
My first project is a zine that I’m (oh so originally) titling “Textibitionism”. I haven’t really posted anything about it over on Patreon yet (that’s my next task), but what I envision is 20 individual pieces of paper-based art which tells stories from my life and the things I care about. The original idea was to use traditional scrapbooking materials/embellishments and instead of making typically pretty layouts with smiling children or whatever those happy scrappers do, I would be, well, me. The original idea was also that I would only use materials that I already had, but I already blew that idea out of the water, bigtime. Now what I envision is a mix of altered scrapbook materials, subverted and perverted by my very being, original writings and hand-drawn illustrations. If this sounds good to you, then you should know that almost all pics of works-in-progress, process videos and discussion about this project will be on Patreon, mostly via the patron-only activity feed, which is like a blog with comments and likes. This will be the centre of my creative universe, if the Patreon model of getting money to make art actually works. (We’ll see. I’m not totally convinced. Steph the Geek seems to be doing okay so far, though. Ana Voog and Blake are also using it.) Unlisted YouTube videos, Snapchat (which is where you get videos and pics exclusive to that app on your phone) and private Twitter will be used for daily life stuff for sure, but those media will mostly be where spur of the moment creative thoughts, ideas and work-in-progress photos, things that are pains in my ass etc., will be posted for patrons.
I’ll still be using my main Twitter account and I will (hopefully) only ever have one Instagram account because switching back & forth all the time sounds like a nightmare. LiveJournal is going to continue to be used for the emotional, real life stuff while my site’s updates are basically going to be State of the Union of Sunnyland addresses, linking to everything else once in a while.
I realized when I was in San Francisco that aside from my job, there was very little structure in my life and if my job is any indication, I think I’m less productive as a result. It’s not that I don’t have ideas, I have tons of them, but for a while, whenever I tried to put an idea to paper, I’d start but ultimately lost interest for whatever reason and nothing ever got finished. “Textibitionism”, and the other creative milestones I’ve set for myself on Patreon, is the first time I’ve felt excited and energized about a creative project in a really long time so I really hope that if I make it, I’m not the only one who’s going to see it.
The big picture is that if the zine is well-received, eventually I would maybe like to build Textibitionism.com/.ca/.org where it would be for sale both digitally and hard copy after everyone on Patreon who is supposed to get a copy, does, and the site will have links to all the girls I can find still making and selling zines on Etsy and elsewhere.
The big, BIG picture I’m still working out in my head but there is one. Not giving it too much thought yet though, since so far Blake is my only patron haha
As far as adding structure to my life, today for example, I got off work at noon so I knew I was going to medicate at noon and then write this post directly afterward. I’m falling behind schedule already because I meant to have this done by 3pm but that’s okay. I bought a day planner to help me keep appointments and structure my days to be the most productive I can make them because I’m a freak and I’m happiest, the most emotionally stable and the most satisfied with life when I’m busy creating something, whether it’s writing this post or painting a mermaid. In the past, my creative endeavours have made other people happy too so I’m hoping for this whole thing to be mutually beneficial.
Now I think it’s time to forage for food. Peace oot, homies!
PS. It is a VERY GOOD IDEA to insure your camera equipment, as I found out this week when I realized my camera’s messed up after taking it treetop trekking. I got it insured a few hours before we went! *whew*
Last year I heard about this cannabis-infused female sexual enhancement oil, called Foria, that one woman claimed had given her a 15 minute orgasm and thought that it sounded too good to be true. Surely if there was something that gave women a 15 minute orgasm, women everywhere would be clamouring for it. Hell, if it even caused ANY orgasm, women would be clamouring for it, right? Anyway, it wasn’t available here so I kinda just put it out of my mind. That is, until I started planning my trip to San Francisco which was preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetty much a weed vacation. The ONLY thing I bought there was weed, concentrated weed or things to smoke weed out of/with. Foria was available at one of the dispensaries we were utilizing and I think it was $40 US for a 10 or 15ml spray bottle.
I actually smuggled the Foria home with me because I never felt like trying it when we were in SF and I was pretty sure I could get away with it.
When we got home, I put the Foria in the bedside table drawer where all my toys live, and pretty much forgot about it until Monday night.
First, a little background about me:
– I have been on anti-depressants for the past year that annihilated my sex drive completely that we’ve only begun to wean me off of (by 1/3 so far).
– I have only had one orgasm in my entire life from penis-in-vagina sex and to this day we still don’t know why or how it happened.
– Oral does nothing for me. I mean, it doesn’t feel bad or anything but I’d take a back massage over that any day of the week.
– I can only have clitoral orgasms that I cause myself and when not on shitty anti-depressants, I am multi-orgasmic.
– I am a medical marijuana patient with a ridiculous tolerance to the herb.
I forget whose idea it was, but one of us suggested that since we had nothing better to do, we might as well try the stuff.
In the bedroom, I sprayed my pussy with 8 squirts of Foria coating everything on the outside and a bit of the inside. It seemed like a lot, like my vagine was slick as hell, but it wasn’t lubey, it was silky, then I laid on my side and vaped some cannabis using my Pax, while Blake’s fingers massaged the oil into my skin. After half an hour, the oil was about 3/4 of the way absorbed into my skin and that’s when we started fucking. Nothing fancy, THIS WAS SCIENCE, so just missionary position.
Upon insertion of Blake’s penis into my vagina, I was immediately pre-orgasmic with every movement. From my vagina hole. Not even g-spot stuff, it was like the nerves around my vaginal opening, and about an inch inside, woke up for the first time in my life. Where there used to just be the same feeling as sticking my finger in my ear, there was suddenly a symphony of pleasure, it was crazy. I felt colours and I wasn’t even stoned. Is this what sex is SUPPOSED to feel like? It was actually sort of weird because, while I always participate in sex, it’s never had anything to do with me so movement has always been in response to what Blake wanted to do but with Foria, I kinda lost myself in the moment and turned into a literal greedy fuck where each movement was optimized for MY pleasure. Afterward, Blake even remarked that he could tell something was going on because I, from the bottom, basically controlled everything we did without even realizing it. In fact, I’m a little embarrassed even writing this, but Foria has basically turned me into a cock hungry monster because it’s all I’ve thought about this week but I only have this itty bitty bottle and can’t get more so it’s a special occasion kinda thing until laws change. I have never craved – nor even particularly wanted – dick in my life. I have always, in the back of my mind, wondered if I wasn’t asexual because I was so disinterested in sex. But now every time I look at Blake, all I can think is, “your dick could be in me right now”.
But that was pre-Foria sex. I didn’t think it would do a damn thing and now I’m trying to think of elaborate strategies to make what I have last longer or get more of it.
Now I know that my body is CAPABLE of producing these feelings (and honestly, that’s kind of a relief after feeling defective most of your life) and I know what they feel like, I’m hopeful that eventually body recall could kick in and the Foria would be unnecessary. Like waking a sleeping dragon. But testing that theory would require lots more experimentation.
Having said alllllllllllllllllll of this, I did not have an orgasm (but it felt so good compared to what I’m used to, I ain’t even mad). The Foria did not seem to stimulate my clitoris in any way but that could be due to meds and the fact that my jackpack needs serious replenishing. (Recommend good porn!) My very first thought when we were finished was that if they could get more THC in this stuff, it would DEFINITELY give me an orgasm. From my vagina. No doubt in my mind. I think the only reason it didn’t is because my tolerance is too high. I also no longer call bullshit on the 15 minute orgasm due to this stuff because I was in the first stage of orgasm the entire time we were fucking so I totally believe that a woman could have a sustained orgasmic experience from using this. Again, no doubt in my mind. That’s why I cannot believe that this stuff is only available in TWO US STATES by prescription. This is all-natural Lady Viagra! Like I said in the beginning, women should be clamouring for this shit the way men went nuts over actual Viagra and change some super stupid laws in the process. I don’t understand why this isn’t happening already! GIRL POWAH! No? :o/
I’m definitely not saying it’s the magical cure-all for every woman (just as I don’t think weed is the magical cure-all for every affliction), there’s not enough evidence to suggest that, but it is absolutely worth trying if you get the opportunity And if you have tried it, I wanna hear about it!
I have to see my new shrink in 3 hours, which means we have to leave in a little less than 2 hours and I’m not sure if that’s enough time to fit in everything on my mind but I’ll do my best.
At my last shrink visit, we discussed getting me off of the Loxapine, which is an anti-psychotic I’ve been using to sleep for about 3 years that’s apparently not only not that fantastic for your liver but one of its side effects is this neurological issue called Akathisia which is the inability to sit still, pretty much. It sounds really dumb, but on a scale of “excruciating” to “dear god just please kill me”, with pancreatitis at the high end and endometriosis and childbirth at the low end, Akathisia would actually be closer to pancreatitis. It’s not painful, per se, but it’s almost like there’s high voltage electricity inside you, like physical calories, that can only come out or be expressed through your arms and legs by jumping jacks or running on the spot or just finally, because you’re completely exhausted and should have been asleep hours ago, plain old continuous contortion in the dark in your bed while you cry and feel guilty for keeping your husband awake (or hating him for being asleep). The only thing that we found consistently worked was me overloading on sleep meds (which we had no idea were causing this in the first place) and having Blake drive me around the beach until I fell asleep, like a baby. These episodes would begin shortly after I took my sleep meds (but again, we never made the connection) at about 7pm and would continue until I passed out around midnight. Which really fucking sucks when you work in 4 or 5 hours. This had been happening, mostly in the warm months, about once every 2 weeks or so since I started taking this stuff and I never knew what was happening. The sensation of this “electricity” is a lot like when your foot falls asleep and in waking up, AFTER the pins & needles phase, the one right after that where if someone were to touch your foot you’d punch them right in the fucking face. You know the one. It’s shocking, right? Almost painful but not? I dunno how to describe it other wise but it’s like a constant pressure of that and the need to relieve it. So hard to explain and I am so happy that my new shrink connected the dots on that one so hopefully now that I’m not taking the drug anymore it won’t happen any more. It hasn’t so far and it’s been like, 2 months.
Something else I thought of while writing this is that I didn’t experience acute Akathisia as often this summer/fall as I did the previous year and I think that’s because this summer/fall, I changed my routine so I don’t take my sleep meds Fri/Sat/Sun and I stay up until between 3am-never making art and hanging out with some of my cyberpals in a top secret location. It would make sense that since I started taking less of it, the issue didn’t happen as often.
I’m so annoyed I didn’t catch this myself because I’m usually really proactive about researching the meds I take and I know I looked Loxapine up when I was first prescribed it but nothing bad happened right away so I just never put two and two together. I never told any doctors about these episodes because they were simply so bizarre and indescribable and FLUKEY that I was convinced either “this is not a chronic thing and it’ll just go away” (lie) or if I tried to describe it to a doctor they wouldn’t take me seriously.
Stopping the meds should make the symptoms disappear, although in some cases it can take years for it to stop completely. I’m pretty confident that I’m done with it though. Not worried. Now I’m taking Trazodone to sleep instead and so far everything’s been a-okay.
Next thing on the list to discuss with my shrink is getting me the FUCK off Cipralex because, while I’m actually pretty happy and it’s good stuff, I’ve only had *maybe* 3 orgasms in the last 8-9 MONTHS, which is starting to drive even me, the sexlesss wonder, absolutely crazy so it’s time to find something new that doesn’t break my clit. I was told to give it 6 months for the side effects to go away and it’s been long enough, this is not just gonna go away.
Speaking of genitals, I had my pap smear a few months ago and told the nurse who did it that my endo is starting to become a problem again (yay, right? of course it is…) and since I now have a mesh in my stomach holding everything together, I can no longer safely have laparoscopic surgery and I’m not willing to have a hysterectomy, so my options now are painkillers and taking the birth control pill continuously so I don’t have any periods anymore. She understood as she had endo and went the hysterectomy route and from experience, she agreed with all of my reasons for being against it at 35. She left a note for my doctor about a prescription for birth control and he called it in the next day, Blake picked it up and I started taking it. It’s Tri-Cyclen Lo 28, but the first thing I did was ditch the sugar pills because I didn’t want to accidentally take any of them and long story short I’ve either been spotting, full on bleeding or leaking brown tissue and fluid since I started taking this shit so I need to see him pronto to get me on something else. I don’t think the nurse fully explained in her note what I was doing or why I was doing it because if she would have, I’m pretty sure he would have put me on something different. I think these pills are like, baby birth control pills for teenagers. I really wanted to ask my doctor for Marvelon 21 because that’s what I was on before and it did the job of keeping my periods at bay (not pain-free but period-free most of the time), but then I read this page about it and now I don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m 35 and I have had a blood clot (when I was sick, I had a clot in a vein in my spleen – god it is so gross knowing that *shudder*) and I don’t smoke cigarettes but I do smoke weed obviously and I’m not sure if that’s the same thing as far as clots are concerned. I just need something that’ll stop my period and not kill me, kthnx.
I need all this shit figured out pronto! Because! Dammit! I wanna get laid in San Francisco! There’s this stuff you can get in California called “Foria“, which is weed spray for your pussy and I plan on shelling out seventy-nine American dollars to be sorely disappointed haha BUT! It’s for science! And I’m on holiday! So whatever! Truthfully, I’m skeptical about it for myself because as I’ve explained before, eating or vaping weed doesn’t do anything to me so I’m not totally convinced it’ll work subdermally either, but hey! Cool if it does! And if it doesn’t, I’m sure if I leave it in SF, Steph will put it to good use. :o)
Well, I guess I better go get ready to see my shrink. Peace out, homies!
I finished an art video last night and left it uploading overnight, so it would be ready for people to see in the morning. It’s called “Fetus Balloon”, here it is:
It’s a bit dark because my office is a bit dark, but I’ve got a lamp on my desk now so that should solve the problem in the future. I don’t really care if anyone watches them, I like watching them, and I just bought a video setup to make them, so expect more.
I realize I haven’t been updating a ton lately and most of that has to do with the fact that I’m not feeling particularly “writer-y” these days. I’m feeling more…I dunno, visual I guess. In the video, you’ll see that I’m painting on a pad of watercolour paper. I’ve decided that paper is going to be my only substrate for the entire winter. I thought about limiting myself to only using Inktense pencils but I just couldn’t do it. I used them in the painting in the video but so far nothing I’ve been able to do with them has looked better than my usual acrylic paint so I’ve decided to do the opposite of limiting myself and anything, as long as it’s (relatively) flat, fits on that paper and won’t fall off when I file it in my portfolio, is fair game.
Here’s what I did with the first sheet of paper from the pad:
A photo posted by Sunny Crittenden (@sunnycrittenden) on
I’m so used to painting and working in layers that carefully leaving white space as not to mix your colours was really really difficult. Also there are no caucasian fleshtones in the whole tin and I have the really big 72 pencil one. I dunno, still playing with them.
When I go to San Francisco next month all I’m bringing as far as art supplies is this pad of watercolour paper, the Inktense pencils, brushes, brush basin, 3 Pigma Micron pens, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, exacto knife for cutting eraser, ruler and circle template, gel medium, acrylic glazing medium and 6-8 two oz bottles of acrylic paint, colours to be determined, but Santa’s Flesh, Snow White and Lamp black are definitely going to be in there. I know it sounds like a lot but it really isn’t since almost everything is small or light and it’s NOTHING compared to the resources available to me in within the room I currently sit. So, during that trip I *am* limiting myself to that and whatever Belinda brings with her/buys while she’s there if she comes. We’re gonna sit around and watch movies and make bad art. It’ll be awesome. Steph’s also taking me to a restaurant that ONLY serves fancy macaroni and cheese, which I gotta tell ya, I’m pretty damn excited about. We’re going to see where Steph lives (in a bitcoin-fueled cyber hippie love commune), which should be interesting. At some point we’re going to hang out with Blake’s sisters and their kids, two of which Blake has never even met. They live in Lake Tahoe so they’re going to drive into SF and then I dunno what. On my actual birthday, my friend Kat is throwing me a birthday party and then driving us to the airport the next day (unless we just get a cab cuz it’s gonna be like, 4am). I’m trying to arrange a meetup one day with all the people I work with who live out there, but I’ve never actually met. So that should be pretty cool.
I’m going to SF because I figure by the end of Feb/my b-day, I’m going to be a wreck. The SAD officially kicked in this morning despite doing light therapy 3 times every morning for the last two months. San Francisco has warmth and sunshine and a MACARONI AND CHEESE RESTAURANT and friends. The place we rented has a pretty nice kitchen so we’re going to order in from this food delivery service that has all kinds of weird produce and organic meats. And I’m sure we’ll hit up a grocery store at some point. (I loooooove American grocery stores.) Blake’s going there to see his sisters and work on his book and be warm. I’m thinking about maybe getting a tattoo while I’m down there but I haven’t decided yet. I want to have my scar accentuated somehow because it’s fading, but I haven’t come up with anything yet. I don’t want to tattoo the actual scar though. I dunno, was just an idea. I want to buy THE most touristy godawful bong I can afford that says San Francisco on it, if I can find such a creation. I’ve been assured that such an item has been spotted once or twice so, I’ll be on the lookout.
Almost bought plane tickets to Vegas last week because my work can get us free tickets to AVN which is a big porn convention at the end of the month. Didn’t end up doing it because unless we could have rented a place with other people from work, we couldn’t afford to stay anywhere. I guess there’s also an electronic gadget convention happening at the same time so all the hotels raise their prices. Flights were pretty cheap, though. Plus doing that at the end of Jan. would mean only 3 paycheques between now and San Francisco and I want to save as much money as possible for that. This year would have been ideal to go to AVN because it’s their 30th anniversary so I bet there would be more than the usual amount of free swag. Oh well.
What else? Well, Madison has her learner’s permit and is learning to drive. She has two part-time jobs and spends all her money on Magic cards, something that she has gotten all of us into because the only shop worth going into in our town is the comic shop and they have Friday Night Magic until 1am or longer, depending on how things are going. My deck is white with a bit of blue, but I’m thinking about switching to a straight white deck when the new cards come out later this month. I guess we’ll see what I pull (I’m buying a full box of boosters and so is Madison).
Other than that like, all I do is work. I may play Sims 4 today though because I haven’t touched it since it first came out and I have no plans for today. Spending the day either in my Sims Bunker or farming in Warcraft and eating pizza sounds pretty damn good to me. So that is what I am going to do.
So I guess the last thing I posted while in Florida was when Noelle woke up. Well, we got in the car and we followed her to this town that I forget the name of, to go to this place I forget the name of (but it had VALET PARKING, ooh la la) where we sat on picnic tables with umbrellas on the beach and we ate and just talked to Noelle for about an hour. I’m not sure what everyone else had. I had a clubhouse, which I only had 1/4 of because they used some kind of funky processed turkey and Noelle had coconut shrimp. Madison probably had some kind of veggie burger, Wes probably had the clubhouse too and I’m sure Blake had a cheeseburger. The menu was really limited, which seemed to be the case for all of these beach-side kind of shanty restaurants. The bathrooms were sorta cool though, I wonder what the men’s bathroom walls said?
This was only the second time I was meeting Noelle. The first time I think was the spring after Wes was born and I think I stayed in the bedroom making art almost the whole time she was there so her and Blake could catch up. They’ve been really good friends since high school. Anyway, Blake hadn’t seen her or really talked to her more than once a year since then so he wasn’t really sure what to expect (soon after she visited us her life got flip turned upside down) but I think we were both pleasantly surprised. She’s got her shit together bigtime and as Blake said to her while we were having lunch (to her) she’s very good at being her. She’s 40 like Blake (I assume) and she owns her own business and her own home and drives a convertible, I mean she’s super successful, but she’s still fun and energetic and ready to party like a 22 year old. It was actually pretty awesome and makes me wish pre-getting-sick-me could have partied with shit-together-Noelle because I think we’d have had a really good time!
It was sad leaving Noelle, it would have been cool to hang out longer, but we had to get back on the road to get to Blake’s mom’s house by dinner.
This is Noelle.
Noelle is awesome.
This is Bubbles.
She’s been my car mascot since my very first car.
The jewelly thing was made by my mom’s fiance, John.
It’s a suncatcher made out of an antique spoon.
When we stopped at a gas station, I saw this sign and wondered how I could cash in my kids!
Then someone told me it was probably a tax thing and my hopes for selling children were dashed.
Then Blake presented me with this glorious thing!
Pineapple Fanta was on my MUST list & that shit is hard to find!
This was the only bottle I ended up having, but at least I got to try some!
It was as wonderful as I knew it would be, but I don’t think I’d ever want more than a small bottle like, once a month.
Any more than that and I’d end up in a diabetic coma.
We made it to Venice, on the Gulf side of Florida where Blake’s mom lives, about 8pm and soon after we dropped the kids off and got acquainted with the house, we went to Wal*Mart to get groceries because Blake’s mom is gluten-free and paleo, Madison’s a vegetarian and I have food issues that are out of this world, so we figured it would just be easier if we got our own groceries for the week and fed ourselves, with the exception of the roast beef Blake’s mom – whose name is Brooke, by the way, but for some reason I just always call her Blake’s mom, kinda like how I just call Blake “hey you” (no joke) – was going to be making at some point in the week as my “birthday dinner”.
Well let me tell you. Wal*Mart was an experience. The following may seem like…”normal” to Americans, but this shit is B-A-N-A-N-A-S to Canadians…
Ice cream flavoured Chips Ahoy.
Okay in Canada we have like, I dunno, maybe 4 kinds of Chips Ahoy cookies and they’re all fairly standard chocolate and cookie combos.
But it get’s even fucking crazier…like, insane…
In Canuckistan we have regular Oreos and Golden Oreos. MAYBE double-stuffed if you’re in a big grocery store.
We had the birthday cake ones for a limited time and gingerbread ones at Xmas and those were both disgusting as I’d imagine most of these are.
Katie and Alex think the “spring” ones looks like a maxipad box. I concur.
I also spied these, which I was assured on Twitter were poison as I had suspected.
Some people go on holiday and take pictures of the wildlife or the landscape or the architecture…I take pictures of junk food.
Seriously though? It was so easy for me to eat in the US. For example, in the produce section of Wal*Mart there was a bagged product that had small florets of fresh broccoli and pasta that you microwave and also in the package was a packet of cheese sauce that didn’t look half bad, so I bought it. I never got to have it because we bought more food than we ended up needing for the week, but that’s the kind of thing I could make myself and have for a pretty okay dinner. We have Green Giant frozen broccoli and cheese sauce but I don’t like their cheese sauce and of course we have actual broccoli and packets of cheese sauce that you mix with milk on the stove to make cheese sauce but that takes a while to make. Anyway, there were lots of things in that Wal*Mart that I would/could have eaten compared to the grocery stores and brands here. Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough, but that’s a whole other post…
The next morning, I was the first one to get up, then Wes, then Blake and Blake and I just hung out at the table outside (they have a screened-in room with a pool and hot tub, a patio table and a tiki bar) while Wes swam. Wes has been taking swimming lessons and he swam in that pool every chance he got, no matter how cold it was.
From here the days all kinda blur together so I’m just kinda going by the order I took pictures in. On this day, which I guess would have been the Tuesday, Madison caught a lizard while we were waiting for everyone elser to go to the beach, which would be one of many.
Before we went to the beach, we stopped off at the Venice Chamber of Commerce where Blake’s mom picked up the kids some prehistoric shark’s teeth:
Venice is something like the shark tooth capital of the world.
When we got to the beach, we saw lots of people with mesh shovels looking for them, but I didn’t take any pics of them.
This was Sharky’s on the Pier.
Brooke and Blake, Madison looking for shells.
When we got home, Brooke made us prime rib as my birthday dinner, check this shit out:
Not much else to say about that.
Then we all went to bed early because we had to get up at 6am to go to Shy Wolf Sanctuary, which was over 2 hours away and Wes’ birthday present from Brooke and Charlie because Wes is absolutely obsessed with wolves (and platypi, but there probably aren’t many of those in Florida.)
When we got to Shy Wolf, they had us sit on these benches in front of the main building while everyone for tours gathered and Wes was telling the volunteers everything he knew about wolves and he asked if he’d be able to pet one, and this was his reaction when he was told that he could:
He was very attentive while the volunteers told us all about how wolves are shy and if you meet out in the wild, it would be more afraid of you than you were of it.
Before we met any wolves, we met a fennec fox and one of many prairie dogs (which do NOT make good pets, they could not stress enough):
That’s our guide, Mark. Mark was awesome.
This is an arctic fox and he was my favourite.
He was a long way from home!
Another prairie dog…
NOT GOOD PETS!
The first couple of wolves we couldn’t pet…
But this one we could!
I liked this pic of the next wolf because he looks like he’s gonna eat that kid who was in my way the whole time…
Also the whole wolf sanctuary reminded me of this:
And then this happened faster than I could get the camera on and set and focused, which sucks, but it was still pretty cool:
This is Wes and Dancer, the wolf he ended up sponsoring in the end thanks to grama and grampa:
At Shy Wolf, there are wolves and wolfdogs. Wolfdogs are half wolf, half dog and their temperament can go either way depending on how much wolf if in them and how much dog. I forget the 4 or 5 stages of mammal development but it goes from infant to juvenile, to adolescent, to adult – I think – and dogs only make it to the juvenile stage where they are dependent on humans for their basic survival while wolves make it all the way to the adult stage where they are completely independent. This is a wolfdog:
I got french-kissed by a wolf…
They also had a bunch of tortoises:
And this bobcat that had the biggest yawn of any animal I’ve ever seen, check this out:
PRAIRIE DOGS DO NOT MAKE GOOD PETS!
These ones seem like they’re good pets because they’re handled by lots and lots of people but all of the animals wound up at Shy Wolf because they were all former pets.
Including the cougar that I didn’t take any pictures of.
This was Wes reaction in the car after we were about to leave Shy Wolf:
After that we went to Cracker Barrel! We don’t have these in Canada!
My mom’s fiance, John, told me that I had to try the macaroni and cheese and my friend Jax told me that while I was in the US I had to try Coca-Cola Cake:
I got a chicken salad sandwich, which was pretty unappealing but the macaroni and cheese I got on the side was ah-may-zing.
The Coca-Cola Cake was a texture and sweetness I just could not even deal with and neither could Madison so none of us ate it.
After that we got back in the car to go to the Everglades on an airboat tour. An airboat, for those that don’t know, is the kind you see on TV with the big fan on the back.
I thought the airboat was fun even though we really didn’t see anything other than mangroves and a couple of birds.
When it was over, the kids got to hold baby alligators though!
The next day, despite the fact that it was frigid, we went on a boat.
We stopped at a place to get food and while we were waiting, I took a picture of this pelican who we watched fish for a while:
It was so cold that at this outdoor restaurant/bar place we went to wheeled in these giant electric heaters to our table that did virtually nothing or maybe I was just in the wrong spot. I noticed them when we went to another town to visit Blake’s Aunt Pat too, which we did the next day, so it must be a thing in Florida. I think if it’s cold outside then you fucking eat inside, but that’s just me.
The next day, as I said, we went to Sarasota to go to the Dali museum and to visit Blake’s Aunt Pat afterward and here’s where things get a little sad for me because I was really excited about the Dali museum. I’d never been to an art museum before in my life, which I think is a pretty pathetic thing for a 35-year-old person who sometimes calls herself an artist, plus they were doing a Warhol exhibit, which is really the only artist I know anything about (and not a whole lot).
Well we got there and paid the $5 for parking and got parked, then we walked up the stairs to get inside and then into the doors and it was MAYHEM. There were people EVERYWHERE. We made it to the line to pay admission and there had to have been 30 people just in line with us, not counting everyone who had already paid who were milling about and all the people who were at the section of the room that served as the gift shop. It was just loud and crazy and overwhelming and I had a panic attack very much like the one I had when I tried to go to the Leafs game, both in severity of the attack and the feeling like shit afterward because it was something I really really wanted to do and I’m just such a constant disappointment to myself.
So that happened, then we went and had dinner with Blake’s Aunt Pat, who is just an amazing person we just don’t get to see enough. That was the Friday.
Also on the Friday we found more crazy American shit:
We can apparently get the dark chocolate ones here now, I’d just never seen them.
I refuse to try the birthday cake ones. Madison said they taste like pressed cake batter powder. Blake says they taste like a regular M&M. I may have to have one to see which one of them is crazier.
On Saturday morning, we hit the road for home…this was my road breakfast, which I think is actually pretty healthy…
We saw these guys in a tourist shop on our way out of Florida:
I tried Nutella!
It was good…at first…and then it wasn’t and I wanted to barf….
We saw these guys in Northern Florida:
Blake bought me a grumpy cat at Cracker Barrel and she became the trip home’s mascot…
THEN WE FINALLY WENT TO SONIC WHICH IS THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!!!!!!
I had a hot dog (which Ruggedo recommended, it was good! But no street meat..) and a cherry limeade which, no joke, is the greatest drink I’ve ever had in my life…
And this was at the bottom of my cup!
We got fried chicken in either North or South Carolina, I’m not sure…
It was so good but I felt too sick to eat more than a few small pieces.
We stopped the night in Virginia at a roach motel…
We met one of my coworkers and her family in West Virginia for lunch!
Her name is Tashia and I’ve been working with her for 2 years but since we all work online, we’d never met!
After that we drove pretty much non-stop back home, arriving at around midnight, I think, maybe a bit later.
And that was pretty much our entire holiday.
It was really awesome of Blake’s mom and Charlie to open their house up to use for the week and show us around and the same goes for Noelle, Aunt Pat and Tashia’s family.
The food was good, but it was the people that made the trip. :o)
So, we’re in Florida now at Blake’s friend’s house where we spent the night.
We left our house at about 8:30pm Saturday night and got here to Noelle’s about…10 or 10:30pm last night, I think. We stayed up until maybe 12:30am or 1am talking on Noelle’s patio and then I took Xanax for the very first time, just 1/3 of a pill and I was like…this isn’t doing anything, and then…that shit gives you a 2 minute warning before you are going to pass your ass out! Holy Hannah! And I have a drug tolerance that would put Keith Richards to shame too, wtf!? And people take this recreationally? Why? How is passing out “recreation”? Was I supposed to get high off of it and just didn’t? Hmmm. Maybe I should have taken the whole pill…
…maybe then I wouldn’t haave been woken up at 7am by this ferocious beast of Florida:
His name is Greg and I would guess he’s about 7 or 8 months old. He’s teething and he woke me up by jumping in front of me (I was laying on my side) and claiming my right thumb as his own personal teething ring. He chews and sucks, it’s so weird.
This is his sister, Mary Anne:
When I got up, I came out to the patio because everyone’s still sleeping but me and Wes, so the whole house is quiet and dark and I thought my typing would wake people up. Plus, if I’m out here I can quietly listen to music. It’s so weird to be sitting OUTSIDE in just a t-shirt and hoodie in MARCH. My brain is having a hard time processing this, like I keep forgetting that it’s March because it feels like June.
The drive was interesting…not really. I thought it was interesting that you’d see a billboard for a titty bar one minute and another asking who Jesus is the next. Blake said, “welcome to the bible belt”.
I think driving through West Virginia was the best part of the drive. I’d never seen mountains before, neither had the kids. The Appalachians aren’t all that impressive by mountain standards, at least not where we were, but they’re the biggest we’ve ever seen and all the trees on the mountains were bare and I think that was prettier than if the trees had had leaves on them because then you could see where the mountain stopped and the trees started. There was a shocking lack of snow though, for mountains. Or at least I figured there would be more. There were like, little rivets of ice coming from the giant wall of rock along the sides of the road, that I know as “Canadian Shield”because we have it up North, but I’m sure it’s called something else down here.
I wasn’t sold on the idea of leaving our house at night but I think that was the best way to do it because, as my mom had pointed out, we’d be in the dark or sleeping through the boring stuff (NY/PA) that I’ve either already seen or looks just the same as home. I didn’t really sleep on the way here though. I dozed off for about 2 hours in the middle of the night but mostly I just listened to Blake’s podcasts and got caught up on the Walking Dead comics because Blake put them on the iPad for me so I could read them in the dark. SMART THINKIN’, EH? On the way back we’re spreading the drive over 2 days and staying at a hotel in between somewhere so we’re not driving in the dark so I don’t think I’ll try putting a book on the iPad would be necessary.
Speaking of books, I brought with me: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Wasp Factor by Iain Banks and The Wolves of Midwinter by Anne Rice. I’ve read The Wasp Factory before but I forget what it’s about exactly. All I remember was that I really liked it (I read it a long time ago when a friend from the Stile Project Forum sent me a copy) and for some reason I think it might be something Madison might be interested in. The Neil Gaiman book is young adult fiction which normally I have negative interest in but so many people I know loved this book and it’s short, so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve never read anything else by Neil Gaiman, but he’s a very nice man on Twitter. I tried really hard to read the first Sandman trade and couldn’t get into it, which I KNOW is like blasphemy to some people, but hey, it’s the truth.
Blake and Madison woke up while I was typing this and as it turned out, Blake had forgotten the power cord for his CPAP machine and slept like shit last night so he started googling for a company here that sells them to see if we could buy another cord. He found a place 30 minutes away so we were like, “yay!” but they didn’t have any cords. They could order us one but that wouldn’t help us out any for now. The guy on the phone said that he could find a cord with the right end at Radio Shack and there happened to be one of those in the town we’re in too, which was right beside a grocery store.
We went to the Radio Shack and Blake got his cord and then we went to the grocery store to find breakfast food. Something about the US that’s always bugged me is that in the US, there are TONS and TONS of junky cereals, whereas in Canada, there are probably more healthy cereals than junky ones. I mean we have the usual suspects, Corn Pops, Fruit Loops, Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Trix and a couple of others but mostly it’s various incarnations of Cheerios, various incarnations of Shreddies, Honeycomb and Alphabits which is the junkiest cereal I was allowed to eat when I was a kid…anyway, Wes got Cookie Crisp and I got Crunch Berries. Oh and Madison got Fruity Pebbles, all of which we cannot get at home. We also got milk and bagels. I looked in the pop aisle for pineapple Fanta and they had some but it was 2L bottles and we’re only going to be here for another few hours so I’ll try and find some when we get to Blake’s mom’s house on the other side of the state.
Noelle just woke up and said that we are going to go to some lake somewhere where there’s a little town to buy stuff and then we’re going to apparently show the kids the ocean. Then at about 4pm, we’re going to start making our way West to the other coast where Blake’s mom lives. Blake says we should be there by dinner, I remain skeptical.
Anyway, I better shut this down and participate in the day.
Sooooooooooooooooo this Florida thing is 98% happening so I think I can post about it…
Next month, when the kids are on March Break, we’re driving to Florida to stay with Blake’s mom and Charlie at their house there because they’re snowbirds now. We’re going to be going through the following states:
– New York
– West Virginia
– North Carolina
– South Carolina
I love car rides. I hate driving and sometimes people’s driving freaks me out, but I like riding shotgun and watching the world pass by. I have no idea how the kids are going to be in the car because the farthest they’ve ever been away from home is Militiagan. They’re good going that far, which is about 5 hours, but Florida is like, 20.
The plan, as of right now, is that Blake’s going to sleep all day on the Saturday and then drive it straight, with us leaving right after I get off work (at 11pm!). Then the kids can sleep in the car (and me, theoretically) and we’ll miss the stuff that’s boring that I’ve seen before and that looks the same as home because it’ll be dark, but then we’ll all be awake for the bizarro stuff we’ll no doubt start seeing around West Virginia. At least this is what people are telling me. Just like, weird signs and houses and stuff, I guess. Then if Blake gets tired, we pull off and get a hotel room and he sleeps for a while.
I’m stoked at the idea of getting actual fried chicken from “the South”. Laugh all you want but I live in Canada and with very few exceptions, fried chicken here fucking sucks. My concern though, is that they’ll look at me funny if I ask for white meat specifically, is that a nit picky thing in the US (specifically the South) or a common thing? It’s a common thing here and I’m super picky about which parts of a chicken are edible soooo, lemme know. Oh and do I have to have it on a waffle? What is with that? Why a waffle? And I’m guessing it’s corn syrup you put on it. Ugh. No, I just want a fried piece of chicken breast please, maybe some fries, DEFINITELY pie. That’s another thing I’m looking forward to, all the various types of pie available throughout our trip through the good ol’ US of A. Supernatural and Twin Peaks make the US seem like some kind of pie mecca and I really like pie. And American junk food! Woo hoo! The last time I was in the US, I got these buttery garlic pretzel twists from some random gas station, like just on our way back to Canada, and I am determined to find them again! Also! Pineapple Fanta! PINETHEMOTHERFUCKINGAPPLE pop. When I learned of this product, it blew my mind and IMMEDIATELY went on my list of things to try because it sounds awesome. Also apparently they make a strawberry flavour so that’s on the list too. What other things do you think I should definitely try? Oh yeah! I want to go to Sonic and get a…cherry lemonade? Is that what I want?
We’re not going to have time for visiting anyone on our way to and from Florida, with the exception of one of my coworkers who lives in West Virginia, right on our route, but while we’re in Florida we’ll be visiting Blake’s friend Noelle and his Aunt Pat.
The plan for being IN Florida is to show the kids the ocean, which is apparently down the street from Blake’s mom’s house, swim in her pool, hang out in her hot tub, eat stuff…Blake and I plan on doing a lot of writing while we’re there. I know one day we’re going to a wolf sanctuary because Wes is obsessed with wolves and he is absolutely going to lose his shit when he gets there. I know another day we’re going to this cool Dali museum that Skylar told me about AND as it turns out, while we’re there, they’re having a Warhol exhibition. So that’s pretty cool. Also I’ve NEVER been to an art museum so I’m excited about that. I barely know who Salvador Dali is and I’m staying willfully ignorant until we go to the museum and learn about him because I feel like if I go on a Wikipedia rampage, it’ll be like reading spoilers since we’re going to a whole museum about him. But yeah, other than that stuff, the plan is to do a whole lotta much-needed nothing.
So, my American comrades (okay and everyone else too), what things should we see, do, eat and listen to during our trip? All suggestions welcome even if we can’t do it! As far as “listen to”, we’re going to be in the car for over 40 hours by the end of this so suggestions of songs to download would be WONDERFUL and I thank you in advance! To get an idea of what I listen to, here’s the current playlist I’m working on called “Blake is REALLY stupid” but any internet music suggestions will go in their own playlist (if I get enough suggestions):
Soooooo I watched the Super Bowl yesterday because nothing else was on and I didn’t really have anything better to do. This was my first real Super Bowl and I gotta say, it was pretty freaking boring except for the one part where the one guy like, had a breakaway and ran a long way and no one caught him and he scored a touchdown (?). That was exciting. That was like “run Forreeeeeeeeeeeest!” But that only happened once. And because I’m Canadian, I was watching Canadian ads, most of which I’d seen before and weren’t special to the Super Bowl.
I did get caught up on the American ads this morning though (or most of them; if it looked like it would be a crappy ad because it’s a crappy brand, I skipped it), thanks to the Huffington Post, and I think Axe, as much as I’m loathe to say it because I hate Axe and traditionally also their advertising, is the winner as far as I’m concerned. And what is with Dylan totally selling out for Chrysler? Wut? That was a TWO MINUTE ad. They paid a lotta scratch for that and I think it might piss more people off than endear them to the company. The Butterfinger peanut butter cups commercial was just creepy and come to think of it, so was the M&M’s one. I loved Coke’s “America the Beautiful” and think it’s hilarious that stupid fuckers on Twitter were calling for a boycott of Coke because of it. So stupid. I think the SodaStream commercial with Scarlett Johansson was kind of interesting in that she was all about “helping people” but she dropped her ambassadorship for Oxfam because it conflicted with that endorsement. (I’m not saying she was wrong, she has her opinion and that’s fine, I just think they should have gone with a different approach in the commercial. Especially because that commercial sucked balls.) And that’s really all I have to say about the ads this year, they were just completely underwhelming, nothing really “wowed” me. Then again, I’m kinda hard to please…y’know, that’s not even true, that is not even true. It’s just that making good ads is not that difficult. Sometimes the simplest ideas can “wow” a person and that’s especially true with ads.
Yesterday we went to Penetang with the idea being Flynn’s, but we parked out front, got to the front doors and other people walked in, opening the doors which flooded the street with music. Live music. Also, it was Super Bowl Sunday and Flynn’s IS a bar, so we decided to go to this cafe down the street called Froth that Blake’s been wanting to try for a while. Their chalk sign out front says, “Froth and was chosen as one of the best restaurants in the country by the national restaurant guide “Where to Eat in Canada”, now 43 years old.” and every day, they e-mail the specials to their mailing list. Here’s an example from Friday:
“Soup is Coconut Curry Sweet Potato or Cream of Parsnip –
Sandwich is BBQ Steak Bacon Cheddar –
Wrap is Mexican Chicken –
Vegetarian is Grilled Veggie & Goat Cheese Panini –
Quiche are Chicken Bacon Blue and Cheddar Cheese or 3 Cheese & Spinach or Ham Broccoli Cheddar
Bowl of the day is Sweet potato Avocado Rice Bowl – Salad is Mango Spinach Walnut”
I would eat absolutely none of that but they have two paninis and and a bagel sandwich that I would eat, which is why we decided to go. Blake got some kind of black bean quesadilla that he really enjoyed and I got a BLT on a bagel, which was good because their bacon is excellent quality, not super fatty but it was bad because the bagel was hard as a rock. Blake got a cappuccino and I got a pomegranate iced tea, both of which we really liked. I dunno, it was okay. I don’t think I’d ever be like, “YAY LET’S GO TO FROTH!!!!” like I have been with Blue Sky and Flynn’s, but if Blake wanted to go and he was paying, I wouldn’t not go.
I don’t know what the deal is with Penetanguishene that makes it this crazy food mecca, but we’re pretty convinced it’s magical.
Sooooo I went to see my shrink yesterday and because I seem to be on an upswing, we decided not to adjust my meds, but she did want me back for her next available appointment (March) and I have to get blood work done because we haven’t done it in a year. I told her my triglycerides would be high because that’s always the result. (I’m on two different cholesterol medications and try my best to eat lower cholesterol/fat stuff ever since I got sick because it’s been high for a long time. This is for three reasons: 1. Psych meds 2. Genes 3. Pancreas. The first two cause the high cholesterol which affects the health of the third, which helps process cholesterol and other fats.)
I’m still definitely depressed and under a lot of fucking stress right now due to things I can’t even write about except on paper, but I think I’m more sad and angry and confused than suicidal. I dunno, it’s hard to explain. The seas be choppy and I’ll be happier when we have calmer waters. I keep thinking that I just have to make it until March, until we go to Florida. I didn’t even really want to go to Florida (quelle surprise) because I was really stressed out about working while I was down there and still being able to do things with everyone (if we do things, I know there’s a trip to a wolf sanctuary for Wes planned – which is amazing because he’s obsessed with them – but that’s all I know). Plus using my days off of work for the driving had me envisioning us rolling into Elmvale at like midnight or something, the driveway won’t be shovelled so we’ll have to deal with that and then I’ll have to work in the morning. Same with driving TO Florida. But now that I have the week off and those stresses are removed, cannabis delivery, Doug Benson and Florida on the horizon are what keep me alive at the end of the day.