A Stitch in Time

First off, I’m kind of ashamed of myself. It’s been a bloody long time since I even sat down with the intention to write. I’m so sorry to my precious little bloggy. It’s terrible, I’ve been neglecting you again. But it’s hurting me more than it’s hurting you, believe me. And, even worse still, I’ve been neglecting all of my wonderful blogging chums who I love and adore ever more. I’m sorry dudes! I haven’t been around making my usual cheeky comments on all of your wonderful posts. I’m sorry. I’m a self-involved asshole. Send R.O.T.O.R. to collect on my bounty. And don’t let the execution be a swift one, because I certainly don’t deserve it.

I miss you guys. A lot.

For a long while the best part of my day was connecting over all of our posts. Logging on and having a laugh at EI’s latest cinematic adventure or another one of Brian’s witty comments. I don’t even know who T9 has been crushing on these days, or what Zoe has been reading. Is Mikey still churning out those hilarious podcasts? And Dee, that gentleman across the pond who makes me smile, I miss being enlightened and delighted by your posts. I haven’t been around so much, but trust me when I say that you are all in my heart and thoughts every day.

I don’t want to make excuses for my absence, so let’s just call this an explanation and hope it charming enough that you’ll let it slide, just this one time. There just isn’t enough time, like ever. I have no idea how I’m keeping my head above water these days. It feels like I’m doing a desperate doggy-paddle in the middle of the ocean, no shoreline in sight and I’m gulping down more and more water as I struggle to stay afloat. But I keep struggling, because I’m not ready to give up yet, even though it’s so very very tempting some days.

In short: I’m working like a dog, I’m deep into the wedding planning, I’m trying to keep up with my social life, and there’s just no goddamn time to excel at everything all at once. But I want to, so desperately. I’m a shitty juggler, but there’s a big part of me that just belligerently refuses to accept that. With so much on the go, some aspect of my life was bound to suffer. So blogging and writing have taken this hit. And it’s funny, because one of the things that I do to stay sane when my life is a hectic disaster is write. It helps me find my way. I write to escape. I write for reprieve. I write because it feels good and it makes me whole.

I love writing. It matters and it makes a difference in my life. But if I’m being totally honest here, there has also been a major shift in my creative focus these past months and that will certainly shoulder some of this blame. I’ve been escaping all of my stresses with something else, something other than writing. A demanding an insatiable hobby, a jealous and possessive new mistress in my life. I’ve been doing an absolute fuckload of embroidery projects. Yep, you read that right. In the spare time that I do have for creative pursuits I’ve been putting the thread to the needle like a badass motherfucker and I’ve been stitching until my fingers are throbbing sore.

…and it’s been a super fun time.

I fucking love embroidery. There, I said it. But I do still love writing, too.

I’m creative and I’m zany. My imagination is an ogre. I have to focus it on something to survive, my very life depends on it. Sometimes I feel like I’ll die if I don’t find something for the ogre to do. She’ll crumple my cranium and toss it in the bin like an old grocery list if I don’t. I am compelled to create. Something, anything. A piece of writing, a kitschy craft, a silly doodle, making a killer mix CD, or even the shitty ass job I do of wrapping gifts. All just a bunch of ways that I package little bits of my imagination and send them out into the world so I can live. Really live.

The embroidery thing is something my friend The Magpie showed me. Back in the spring, she sent me a wonderful surprise birthday package and it was filled with supplies to jump-start this new hobby.

embroidery supplies

I was excited, but a little too busy to dig into them until the summer. That’s when this embroidery thing really took off. I started out small, trying something simple at first. A little gift for my darling Joce-force.

star wars embroidery

Then, inspired by those wicked pillowcases The Magpie made me last Christmas, I made myself an awesome little robot buddy. He’s since been framed and now lives on my desk at work.

robot and dog

And then, because I really wanted thank The Magpie for showing me this awesome new hobby, and because I wanted to up the ante a little with my newly evolving skills, I made her a birthday gift.

cheeseburger

It took a lot of time, and my craft still wasn’t perfect. But I loved making this weird little cheeseburger for her. I did it on a canvas, another great inspiration from The Magpie herself.

cheeseburger again

And then when that was done, I was feeling so confident and proud of myself that I decided I was really going to put my new-found embroidery skills to the test. I decided to stitch all of the table numbers for my wedding!

I found some beautiful fabric, bought a bunch of frames to put the finished pieces into, and then got to work.

I spent an entire long weekend stitching tirelessly to get them done.

my table numbers

number 8

nine nine nine nine

It was so much work, but I poured my whole self into every single one. And I couldn’t be happier with the end result.

And now I’m tackling another canvas project, larger scale than the last. The cheeseburger for my friend was an 8 x 8 and this one is a 12 x 12, which is much more challenging. I can’t stitch at this one for very long periods of time because my hand and arm ache if I do it for too long.

peacock

But it is really coming along, slowly but surely. I think I’m going to raffle this piece off at our stag ‘n’ doe party next month. People like that sort of thing, right? They’d want to spend a bunch of money trying to take this bad boy home, yeah? I hope so. Otherwise all of that aching has been in vain.

Looking back over all of these projects, I can really see how much I’ve improved since I started a few months ago. Persistence goes a long way. Also, looking back on how I’ve spent my creative energies this past summer I feel really happy. Because even though I haven’t been writing I’ve still been channeling my creativity somehow. I might be stressed as fuck at work and at home, but I do have an outlet for all of it. I’m not going to suddenly and unexpectedly implode because of all the pent-up pressures. I haven’t been letting them pent. I’ve been releasing my daily anguish in steady streams through my relentless embroidery projects.

So know this, dear readers and friends: Even though I haven’t been around a whole lot lately, I’m still here. I’m still insane. And I’m still every bit as zany and ridiculous as I ever was.

And I’ve still got lots of writing in me yet. My creative focus is just temporarily shifted. Sometimes there are words in my heart just dying to be put to page, and other times there’s a vision in my head that only the needle and thread can bring to life.

It’s hard to strike a comfortable balance sometimes. All summer long I was feeling really fucked up and stressed out. And maybe my feelings were just too tedious to try to pin down. I’m just glad that I’ve been given a really frigging rad alternative means of expressing myself. It helped a lot, especially during all those times this summer when writing just wouldn’t do.

Embroidery rules!

Smashelorette

I love that word, it’s the perfect title for this post. My friend the Magpie posted a pic of me from Saturday night using the hashtag Smashelorette and I fucking love it so much.

You guys don’t even know. And I don’t even know if I know how to tell this story… but bear with me. The fog of booze around my brain is clearing, this might start coming together as we go.

smashelorette

I’ve been waiting for this so long. This night. This amazing night out with my girls, getting drunk, laughing. Celebrating like only girls can. With lots and lots of shrill yayys! and wooooos! to accompany every sentence. Excitedly hopping and bopping everywhere and into everything. Chanting deliciously filthy chants at every male we encounter along the way. “SHOW-US-YOUR-PENIS!”, “JUST-THE-TIP!”, and “EAT-MORE-DICK-CHEESE!” among the best  of them.

That’s what girls do. We make ourselves look as classy and lovely as we possibly can, then we go out into the world causing all the mayhem we can muster. And I do have a lot of mayhem in my heart, believe you me. I’m pretty sure that I head-butted one of my friends on the d-floor. Mistakenly, of course. But only because a bunch of mayhem had bubbled over and was going to translate into some insanely rad dance floor head-banging. I just forgot to step back first. Oopsies! It’s not the first time though, definitely won’t be the last either. Very sorry, friend.

That must be why my neck is still so sore two days later. I fucking head-banged the shit outta that dance floor. But when you’ve got a band of rad motherfuckers ripped on heroin and playing the same Led Zeppelin song on a constant loop, there’s nothing you can do but head-bang the fucking shit outta life. The power of Zeppelin compels you!

At one point I had a little chat with the guitarist, about the recent passing of Tommy Ramone. And I begged him to rally his band buddies and play me a killer Ramones cover. He nodded semi-agreeably and went to talk to his musically inclined chums. When they hit the stage again after the intermission, the guitarist tossed me a sly grin and started cranking out yet another classic Zeppelin tune… Oh man! Another 22-minute guitar solo. I shot a look of long-suffering at The Magpie, as if to say “oh well, what can you do?” and she didn’t even have to say a word. She perfectly mimed the tying off of a vein and shot a finger needle into the crook of her arm while rolling her eyes back in a perfect pantomime of druggie bliss. It was so excellent. We just laughed and danced. Then laughed and danced some more because that guitar never stopped.

But I’m getting way ahead of myself. This story clearly won’t be linear, that fucking ship has sailed. It was never going to be anyways, because I don’t remember it that way. I’m slowly remembering my way through the events of the Smashelorette. And every time I talk to someone about it, another little gem of memory is unearthed and lovingly relived.

Like when Joce reminded me that she stole a platter of 20 sliders off of someone else’s table and our motley group of girls gobbled them up in a feeding frenzy! No I didn’t dream that, it actually happened. It’s such a perfectly Joce-force thing to do.

Or when I put on a fake moustache with Dame Edna glasses and Shannie told me that I looked like Freddie Mercury. Dreams really do come true. Playing dress up in general. I mean, if you’re at a party and your friend gives you a box of costumes to dress people up in, it’s going to be a wicked time.

shannie the raver

my little peacock

Playing the underwear game! Everyone bought a pair of panties and I had to guess who bought them. An absolutely hilarious idea. Especially when one of your friends decides to buy you a pair of 3XL men’s tighty whiteys. Oh, Caitlin! You’re a beautiful little sexual harassment just waiting to happen.

she'll get ya

big underwear

Twirling and swirling around the dance floor with a very tall gentleman who didn’t speak a lick of english. But he didn’t have to. He spoke an even more important language: the language of the dance!

Eating a piece of penis cake. Thank you Bec. I always wondered what chocolate ball hair would taste like. It’s sweet. A little sticky too. Not unexpected at all. An unsavoury delight. Much like the dick cheese my friend Hoben moulded to glorious perfection. I’ve also wondered what green onion ball hair tasted like. Cross another thing off the bucket list, darling.

Doing oh so many grapefruit wedge Jell-O shots! Best summertime booze treat you can have.

jell-o shots

And of course, chugging dirt cheap champagne that made me throw up in my mouth a little…

champagne chug

When Caitlin found me a hunk with a ponytail to talk to. I got to touch it! The ponytail, of course. It was curly and sweaty and magnificent. Mmmm, oh yeah. That’s the real dream, a man with a ponytail. I’m totally being serious right now. Just wanted to make sure nobody thought I was being purposefully flip about that. Gimme them long luscious locks any time. Let me run my fingers through your hair, baby. Oh yeah, just like that!

Omg. THE MIDGET STRIPPER. *facepalm*

He was small and sweaty and he blew in my ear. Aggressively. It wasn’t sexy. It was like the blast of a backfiring car right in my earhole.

Oh right, this is an important detail: my Smashelorette party was Star Wars themed. Yeah, that’s fucking right. My friends lovingly coloured a bunch of images from a Star Wars colouring book and used them as decorations all over Joce’s apartment. It was very beautiful and meaningful to me. There were also bottles of chase with Yoda’s picture on them and labelled “Yoda Pop”. Brilliant! There was a hand drawn “Pin The Penis on Darth” game. Oh Sara, words cannot describe how much I love you for making that. And how much I loved seeing the bad first attempt at a drawing of Darth showing through the sliding glass door when I was out on the balcony. Priceless. He’s a hard dude to draw, I was very impressed with the end result.

But back to that stripper…

We were grooving along to some sweet pre-drinking tunes when suddenly the music changed. A very recognizable piece of music started to play. Is that…? Oh yeah, it is! It’s the frigging Star Wars theme music. I got really excited at that point. I sat on the special chair and buzzed with excitement. I’ve always wondered what Darth Vader’s penis looked like and tonight I was finally going to find out what he’s been hiding under that codpiece.

Just as the epic entrance music was fading out, he stepped into the room. All 4 foot 8 of him. Probably more like 5′ 3″, but who’s measuring? And he’s… um. What the fuck? He’s a cop? And now he’s making some lame cliché joke about a noise complaint… that’s something, I guess.

i'm so impressed

Actually, this worked out really well. Even though he wasn’t dressed as the Dark Lord and I couldn’t climb him like a mountain, I’ll never forget pointing and laughing at his sweat-stained underwear while he shook his crotch in my cousin’s face. AND, most important of all… he wasn’t supposed to show us his wiener but he did anyways. Joce told me she wouldn’t pay extra for him to do the full monty. So he was either such a trooper or our rowdy chants just eventually wore him down, but either way, WE GOT THAT DICK FOR FREE!

I just had a great idea for him! He should dress up like Prince when he strips. He’s got the perfect build for it… dammit. Someone should call and tell him that. I bet there are a lot of ladies out there who’d love a lap dance from The Purple One. I know I would.

There’s so much to remember! Too much to remember really. I’m grateful for cameras. And I’m thankful for all of my wonderful friends. I’m so in love with all of you.

friends

my lovely family

Dreams come true. I should probably divorce D and then re-marry him just so we can have another party like this. Another super mega-awesome blast of a time, just us girls.

But I guess even though I’m getting married, that doesn’t mean I have to slow down my bad ass partying ways, does it?

photo-3

Maybe we just need to do one more of these before the wedding. It was always going to take more than one really excellent bender to get it all out of my system anyways, right?

Smash Gets Saucy!

Smash:

This might be one of the weirdest things anyone has ever done on the internet. But this is what happens when you ask me to guest post while you’re on vacation. Check it out, dudes. And maybe someday you’ll want me to guest post for you, too.

Originally posted on Isaacs Picture Conclusions:

Hey dudes, Smash here reporting for The IPC while EI is away on vacation. He’s probably working himself into a righteous fit as we speak because some a-hole planted their beach blanket right beside his even though there are only ten people on the beach. Oh EI, you loveable scamp, don’t ever change.

I’ve been tasked with helping out around here while he’s away. And you guys know that I don’t take my guest post responsibilities lightly. So the little hamster in my brain started running to generate ideas, well more like strolling, but still, he was moving. And I was able to come up with something that I think you’ll enjoy…

There has been a lot of ogling happening over at The IPC lately. Like, a lot. It’s okay though, there have been plenty of fine-looking hardbodies to admire for the male and female readers alike. Yayy, equality! I’m…

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The Strongest Man in the Whole Wide World

I’ve always known that my dad is strong. All dads are. Every dad is the strongest man in the world to their kids when they’re young. He can lift you right up over his head and everything! It makes you laugh, it makes you squeal, and you feel light as a feather, swooping through the air in his powerful grasp. It’s a wonderful, but fleeting feeling. You’ve got to come down eventually, he can’t hold you up forever. But he is still the strongest man in the whole wide world. Until one day when he isn’t…

Eventually, you get older and you realize that it’s just your own silly little misbelief. But that’s okay. It doesn’t matter that he isn’t literally the strongest man in the whole wide world, he’s your dad and he’s still plenty strong for you. He might not be able to lift you right up over his head anymore, you’re too old for that now anyways, but you’ll always cherish those days when he could.

Dad and I, back when I was at the perfect weight to be hoisted up over his head

Dad and I, back when I was at the perfect weight to be hoisted up over his head

I got to watch my dad compete in a power-lifting competition this weekend, and I felt an overwhelming pang of nostalgia for those days when I was young and my dad was undoubtedly the strongest man in the whole wide world. Where did all of that time go? How did it slip away so quickly? Somehow, during that frantic dash to adulthood, I’d forgotten all about what it was like to believe in Dad. But thankfully for me, he’s constantly fanning the flames of belief in my heart, even when I’m out playing “adulthood” and am too caught up in myself to notice.

My dad has always been into weight training, he started doing it back in the ’70’s when he was only sixteen years old and it became a lifelong passion of his. You wouldn’t know it to look at his average height and build, but he’s a very powerful man. He’s totally unassuming in that regard. And he loves pouncing on an opportunity to show someone what he can really do with a set of weights. He’s used to being grossly underestimated by those that so wrongly assume that only “built” or “big” men can lift anything remotely impressive. When I tell people that my dad is a power-lifter they immediately ask me how big he is or they’ll remark that he must be HUGE. But power doesn’t come from having stupidly gigantic muscles. It comes from an unyielding will to conquer the impossible and a relentless pursuit of ever greater challenges.

a very old photo of my dad on his journey to greatness

a very old photo of my dad while on his journey to greatness

Although power-lifting has been a great passion of his for many years, he only recently started competing. He’s been competing for a few years now, but I’d never had the opportunity to go and see him in competition until now. And though I’m quite familiar with what my dad can do–I’ve seen him lift mind-boggling amounts of weight while growing up–he totally floored me. At 57 years old he was the oldest man in the competition by a mile. All of the other competitors were anywhere from 20 to 30 years younger than him. But that didn’t faze him one bit, it never does.

My dad, showing off the deadlift tattoo that I drew for him over ten years ago

My dad, suited up and showing off the deadlift tattoo that I drew for him over ten years ago

Dad gets out there and pushes all of the bullshit preconceived notions about his age and his build completely out of his mind. His only thought is about the lift. I watched as he stepped up to the bar, all determination and focus. I watched with unbearable pride as he shattered every expectation with every successful lift. And just like that, I believed again. I never stopped believing, I just forgot that you have to keep doing it if you want to keep the magic alive.

A power-lifting competition comprises three different lifts: the squat, the bench, and the deadlift. Each competitor will get three attempts at each lift, with the weight increasing progressively for each lift. My dad’s favourite lift is the deadlift. The announcer at the competition stated that it was her favourite too, because “it’s an act of defiance”. Defying odds and defying gravity. For his final lift of the day, my dad did a deadlift of an astounding 402 pounds. I know that’s not a record and it’s not the most that anyone will ever lift. But in that final moment when he dug into every last reserve of strength and snapped the weight into position, my dad was the strongest man in the whole wide world again.

My dad is a remarkable man and I admire him. He’s inspiring and he’s brave and he’s amazing. And I get to have all of the joy in telling people that he’s MY dad. I’m going to hold on to my silly little misbelief awhile longer yet and cherish it. He’s earned it.

My dad is the strongest man in the whole wide world. Everything is exactly as it should be.

Everything I Want

I know what I want and I don’t fuck around when it comes to decision-making. And I’m stating that as simply and sweetly as I possibly can. I’ve never been one of those waffling and indecisive individuals, I’m too impatient for that. I just follow my heart and the decisions come easy. Some people have a hard time following their heart, which makes sense if your heart is a total wiener. But mine isn’t. My heart is open and passionate and fierce. It never lies, its chambers pump honesty through my arteries and into my veins all day long. It’s easy to follow and it never disappoints.

There are an absurd number of decisions to be made when you’re planning a wedding. It can be exhausting, sure. But if you’ve got a bold heart to follow, like I do, then it’s pretty fucking easy. You just have to endure, that’s the trick. Drown out all of the unnecessary babble around you and endure. And don’t put too much weight on the little things, save your energy for more trying decisions.

It took me a long time to wrap my head around the planning of my wedding. I always knew exactly what I wanted, deep in my heart, I just didn’t want to tackle all of those decisions immediately. But when I was finally ready to commence planning, the decisions starting coming fast and easy. Venue, food, colour scheme, music, guests, it all just starts falling perfectly into place.

Stepping back, and looking over the work we’ve done so far, I can safely say that I’m kicking the fucking shit out of wedding planning, you guys. Like, seriously. Kicking the fucking shit out of it.

We’ve got an amazing venue:

Cardinal Golf Course

Our gorgeous golf course venue is going to look stunning all covered in snow

 

A delicious menu picked out:

4 oz. chicken breast and 4 oz. tenderloin

The meat: 4 oz. chicken breast and 4 oz. tenderloin. That’s right, each guest gets both!

roasted red pepper mash and steamed asparagus bundles

The veggies: roasted red pepper mash and steamed asparagus bundles

The dessert: banana chocolate chip cheesecake

The dessert: banana chocolate chip cheesecake

Exciting Do-It-Yourself invitations:

yep, we're gunna print them ourselves!

yep, we’re gunna print them ourselves!

The perfect pair of shoes to carry me down the aisle:

Sparkly golden disco shoes, fuck yeah

Sparkly golden disco shoes, fuck yeah

Our territorial, er I mean ceremonial, rings:

Our wedding bands

Wedding bands

And another majorly huge decision was made this weekend. Probably the biggest decision of the whole entire wedding.

The dress.

Wanting to be different, I originally intended to buy something online. Buying online meant that I wouldn’t have had to order it so far in advance, and I could carry on living my life without stressing too much about my figure. But if you go through a bridal shop, ordering eight months out from the date can potentially be cutting it too close. I was still feeling like I had tons of time, that the wedding was still a good stretch away, like in the distant future. So I had a little bit of a panic attack when I realized that eight months is kind of the unofficial cutoff for choosing the dress. If I left that all-important wedding dress decision unmade for too much longer, then it would be too late for me to backtrack and order something from an actual bridal shop. If the online search went tits up, then I’d be royally fucked.

So I texted my maid of honour, Joce-force, in a bit of a panic. She encouraged me to book some appointments and said that we’d ditch our boyfriends for the day to go shopping until we found something awesome. And we did. We did it, you guys. We got up early on Saturday morning, did a little bit of light day drinking while en route to bridal shops across the city, and we found the perfect fucking dress. I’m so excited about it.

And I’m so happy that Joce was there to help, I needed her. She doesn’t pull her punches, especially not with the pushy sales people and designers. I’m decisive yes, but I’m shy about telling people who I don’t know that I think something is shit. I only had to look at Joce and she knew what I was thinking. She’d tell people when I thought a dress was crap with no qualms whatsoever. Joce kept a steady stream of secret purse drinks flowing, she made inappropriate and hilarious jokes all day to keep us laughing, and she even haggled with snooty salespeople for me.

We knew we had the perfect dress when a dreamy, disbelieving look stole across my face as I looked at myself in the mirror. A happy, heart’s desires fulfilled kind of look.

It only took one day to find my wedding dress. Because I know what I want, and I don’t fuck around. And because I have an awesome friend who can turn even the most daunting of tasks into hilarious adventures.

Sexy tigres forever!

Sexy t-rex hands never fail.

Another decision masterfully conquered, and many more still to come. I’ll just keep following my heart and it’ll make sure that I get everything I want. It always does.

Don’t Call Me, Unless You’re Going to Leave a Proper Voicemail

Smash:

Just some blogging I’m doing on the side. You know, to make ends meet. Even though it was unpaid. Now I just feel exploited…
Anyways, check it out! And check out some of the other hilarious posts from all of the great contributors who also contribute.

Originally posted on If There’s Only Ten People in the Theater, Don’t Sit Near Me, Asshole:

Smash here, reporting for duty. Friday was an irritating day at work, but at least it got me thinking about how I could finally make good on that “writer” credit I’ve got for this site. So please, grab yourself a snack and settle in. Permit me the pleasure of venting my frustrations for a few minutes, will ya chums? Great. Just so you know, swears abound. So, fucking deal with it.

I take a lot of calls every day at work. A lot. I’m pretty much on the phone all goddamned day. I don’t mind it so much. I like talking to people, mostly.

But sometimes I might miss a call or two throughout the day. I don’t mean to disappoint, but I’m not actually shackled to my desk. I will vacate it from time to time. I might be chatting it up with a co-worker while I make a…

View original 794 more words

Harvey’s Birthday

Harvey is my special little guy. Coming home to him is always the best part of my day. I get home and no matter what time it is, he races to the door to greet me. He weaves his chubby little body impatiently between my legs, oftentimes tripping me inadvertently as I try to get through the front door and kick off my shoes, because he just can’t wait one damn second for my loving attention. He demands that I crouch down and lower my face to his so he can “kiss” me hello by rubbing his nose up against mine. It’s our routine, it happens every night without fail.

D graciously lets Harv have the first round of kisses and affection every night when I get home. He knows how much I cherish those fleeting lovey dovey Harvey moments, because they don’t last long. Soon after he’s gotten his nightly greeting, he’s all rambunctious and hyper, practically bouncing off the walls. And once he switches to play mode you can’t get anywhere near him without being swatted in the face. Harv gives love on his own terms, and you take what you can get without any ifs or buts about it. So D steps aside, selflessly, and lets Harv get what he wants of my affection first. He’s amazing like that.

It’s been like this for three wonderful years now. Today is Harvey’s third birthday. I can’t even believe how fast the time goes. It feels like it was only yesterday that we brought him into our home and opened our hearts to him. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done, adopting him. Pets bring a special kind of happiness into our lives, a happiness that I can’t live without. The first year that D and I lived together we had no pet. It was sad, for me. I didn’t really realize what was missing at first, but I knew that something was wrong with our situation. Something was off, I felt sad often but nothing was really the matter with me.

Sometimes, we’d be sitting there at night, just watching T.V., and I’d suddenly feel an overwhelming ache. A gaping hole in my heart and the pain of it, so suddenly unbearable, I couldn’t make sense of. And then one day it dawned on me. I needed a pet. I needed something furry to love. There was always a cat or two roaming around in the house I grew up in. Fuzzy friends to play with and adore. I missed that. I missed the soft sound of kibbles being crunched in the next room over. I missed that pins and needles feeling felt in my legs while reading and cuddling a cat in my lap for hours on end. I even missed the constant assault of fur upon my clothing. I’d gladly spend a fortune on lint rollers for the love of a good pet.

So we made my universe right again when we adopted Harv. Because he means so much to me, and because I might be a touch mental, I spoiled Harv a bit for his birthday this year. He’s my special little guy and I dote on him so.

First up on the kitty birthday docket, a bath. We plunked him into the tub and scrubbed him up real good. He smells like a goddamned springtime bouquet now.

Next, an extravagance. A brand new kitty palace for my darling prince.

new kitty palace

harv's new digs

new toy fun

D thought I was being excessive. Harv already has a carpeted platform that he loves to play on and sleep in. But it’s not enough. Nothing will ever be enough for my precious Harvey. So more carpeted cat palaces it is! I’ll fill the whole frigging apartment with them if I have to, just to make Harv happy.

Then, we bought him a fancy can of wet food for dinner. The vet says that he’s a tad too fat so he’s been eating diet food for the past eight months, but we figured it being his birthday and all he was entitled to a diet cheat. We purposefully tried to buy the most expensive can we could find. $2.69 is as high-end as it gets for cats, I guess, because that was the priciest tin we could find. Harv lapped up every bite with the greedy enthusiasm you’d expect from someone who is cheating on their diet. Money well spent.

So maybe I spoiled him for his birthday this year. And maybe that seems crazy to you, but I don’t give a shit. Really, it’s the least I can do. Harvey totally changed our lives. He filled a hole in my heart, and he made us into a family.

our family

little harv and i

I owe him a hell of a lot more than $2.69.

Another Fugly Cake

It happened again you guys. Another fugly cake was baked, and this one possibly more fugly than the last one. And definitely more dangerous.

Surely you all remember last Thanksgiving when my mom baked that strange pumpkin cake? A laughable little cake, albeit tasty, that defied all of the norms and melted our hearts with its goofy black liquorice grin and lazy lime candy eye. This next cake won’t be melting any hearts. It’s just gunna melt a slow and painful death, unfinished in the fridge. And to be frank, it might even cause a few nightmares before it goes the way of the trash bin.

My sister texted me a couple of weeks ago with a potentially tasty cake recipe for my upcoming birthday. She called it “a raspberry jelly roll toblerone ice cream cake” and I was all for it. She’s a great baker, I’ve absolutely no reason to distrust her intentions. I like to eat, and I like all of those things. If I were more than an occasional Pillsbury baker, I might have spared a moment’s thought for execution. How exactly does one pull off “a raspberry jelly roll toblerone ice cream cake”?

Simply put, they don’t.

another fugly cake

The internet can be both weird and wonderful all at once. Apparently the recipe for this glob of cake above comes to us courtesy of the internet. I recommend that the recipe be sent immediately to the bowels of the internet to live out the rest of its days in unseen obscurity. For the greater good.

This cake was both ugly, and uncomfortable to eat. All of the individual components taste good on their own. I’m not going to argue that. But united, they are an ill-combined slight against the palate. It’s a Franken-cake, that’s what it is. All of these scavenged parts mashed together and brought to life at the hands of a madwoman. It’s a crime against baking. Actually, this was my sister’s “no bake” solution for a hectic weekend that lent no free time for actual baking, but even so, it’s a crime against something. We can all agree on that.

The ice cream had been seriously overpowered by all of the other ingredients. A couple of times I bit into the frozen berries and suffered immediate brain freeze. I chomped and slurped my way through the generous helping I’d been served, then begged off of seconds. Please sir, I don’t want some more!

Feast your eyes upon its heinous and hateful innards, if you dare.

it's black innards

Others were less critical than I. My uncle commented that it was “crunchy and cool”. I don’t know about you, but I don’t consider “crunchy” a desirable quality for a cake. I prefer something smooth, generally. And maybe with an even consistency. I don’t like it when I’m eating cake and every bite needs to be taken with caution. It felt like I was engaged in a risky battle to maintain the integrity of my teeth.

We suffered through our slices, some more than others, and eventually, this fugly cake was drained of all its fight. It began the slow, melting death that it deserved. And I rejoiced. Go back from whence you came, villain! Back to the pit of hell from which you’d managed a dastardly, if only temporary, escape. And henceforth, the good people of our household shall partake of smoother and more aesthetically pleasing desserts. Cue the applause.

it's dying!

Looking at the demon Franken-cake again, reliving all the not-so-fond memories, I know that my sister’s intentions were pure. It just didn’t work out. That happens sometimes, that’s life. But I would never want to discourage anyone from trying; I very much appreciated the effort. Trying is what makes us great. If we try and we fail, that’s okay. Hell, it’s preferable because it gives us a chance to learn. We’ll just try again. And eventually, we will soar.

I tangled with another fugly cake this weekend and I still have all of my original teeth. I’m counting that as one of my successes for this year.

Happy birthday to me.

Surprise Me, I say

I fucking love surprises. That’s not so surprising though, is it?

I attack any gift I’m ever given with feverish glee, clawing off tuffs of wrapping paper with brute efficiency. I can sport a genuine look of jaw-dropped surprise like nobody’s business. And I’m a goldmine of reactions, too. Some people shrink away from surprises, or rejoice inwardly instead. Which isn’t always the most satisfying experience for the person who planned the surprise. But not me, man. I don’t shy away, I embrace it with every fibre of my being. I steer straight into that skid, full speed ahead!

I wish I could gift unto my dear friend The IPC the excited reaction I had to the surprise he sent me just today. But sadly, this thankful post will have to suffice.

Last year, I won this cool thing called Shitfest that he hosted on his site and got a badass trophy to show for it. People ask about it when they see it sitting there on my shelf, and I positively brim with pride when I tell them all about the great Shitfest adventure I had. Well, another Shitfest term has recently come to an end, and a new winner has been crowned. Cara over at Silver Screen Serenade has taken up the mantle of Shitfest Champion, and she’s wearing it well. She posted an acceptance piece about her trophy too, and it was delightful. But I will admit to having felt a slight twinge of jealousy when she revealed that the package containing her trophy also included a handwritten note from The IPC himself and cool IPC swag.

So I did what comes so naturally to me, I berated him about it. Like the ungrateful heathen that I am.

And it worked! That damn squeaky wheel, it always gets the grease.

poster package

WAAAHOOOOOOOOO! SMASH LOVES SURPRISES!

I got my very own bundle of fucking sa-weeet IPC swag, and more importantly, the handwritten note I had coveted so fiercely.

handwritten note

And stickers, too. I fucking love stickers.

ipc stickers

I’m going to have to find four very precious places in my life for the sticking of these stickers. I’ve scoped out a couple of locations already, but nothing that feels special enough yet. I’ll find the perfect spot for each of them though, I know I will.

I also got some business cards with a custom IPC logo on them. And a ring! One ring to rule them all.

death metal ring

I’m going to go right ahead and assume that this ring bestows upon me the power and privilege of Official IPC Enforcer. I’ll enforce the shit out of life in the name of your blog, dude. I won’t dishonour this self-granted title, I swear it. The ring is a little bit way too big for my nimble enforcer’s fingers though, so I’m probably gunna pop it on a chain and wear it around my neck with my newly discovered sense of menace.

But wait, there’s more!

He also included this:

cool poster

A beauty of a poster created by none other than our blogger friend, Mojo. Who can be found showcasing his enormous talent over on his site Mojo’s Work. If you’re interested in purchasing some wonderfully original artwork, then you should check out his site. I’ve sent a bunch of wishes out into the universe for a mysterious windfall that will allow me to go on a wild spending binge one day, scooping up all sorts of treasures that he’s created. It’s going to happen, you mark my words. It’s going to happen and you’ll be reading all about it on my blog and saying to yourself, “that Smash, she sure is something else. And I wish I’d beaten her to the punch on that goddamn rad water-colour of an apple hanging dong out of his underpants.”

Truly, an incredible surprise from my weirdo internet friend, The IPC. And I say that with indescribable measures of affection. You’re my weird internet friend, and I’m so happy that you’re in my life. Someday, we’ll beer and nacho it up together real good. I’ve got a hunch about it.

And hey, if this post of thanks isn’t enough to tickle your fancy maybe you’d trust me to send a surprise your way? I sure would love to pay this kindness back to the friend I so admire.

Luck of the Draw

Sometimes in life there are things that are just meant to be. Coincidences and things of that nature. Unexpected little moments of delight that just feel right. The universe talks, and sometimes we can hear it.

D and I met up for dinner one night after work. It was cold and unkind outside, as it has been all winter long, so we didn’t want to wander too far from home. We treaded the well-worn and mostly indoor path to the Pickle Barrel in our hood. I’ve been really digging their breakfast foods lately. We sat down and started to scan the menu. D noticed a promotional ad on the table. D loves deals. He loves to find good “specials” and “deals” at our local restaurants. He files them away in his thrifty head for future usefulness and savings. It’s all about the savings. There are a bunch of pictures on his phone of weekly specials and deals from restaurants all over the city. So that if we happen to feel like dining out on Thursday night we know exactly where to go that particular night for the best deal in town. For D, dining out is partly about having a good meal, but mostly about making a killing when the check comes.

The ad that D happened to notice that night at the Pickle Barrel was for a 1 litre boot of Steamwhistle beer for $15.99. And you got to keep the boot afterwards. A tempting little promo what with St. Patrick’s Day a few weeks away. We hemmed and hawed about this for a while, before finally passing on the deal. That was a sweet fucking boot, no doubt. But beer makes D too full, he doesn’t like to drink a lot of it when he’s eating. He’d rather have some beers a few hours after dinner, if there’s a game on or something. So he can enjoy it without feeling uncomfortable and bloated. And I’ve been off beer for a couple of months now. I’m all about these delicious raspberry vodka and lemonade cocktails I’ve recently concocted. Plus, Steamwhistle sucks. We hate that beer. A lot of people here in Toronto love it, but not us. We even went so far as to ask the server if it had to be Steamwhistle in the boot, maybe we could get it filled with something else instead. A beer we actually wanted to drink.

But sadly, no dice.

So we passed on the boot. We really wanted it, but it just didn’t make sense. Oh well, that’s that.

A couple of days later I had to buy some booze for the weekend, so I cruised on over to the liquor store. In and out, a real smooth operation. I grabbed what I needed and got in line. Some dick was taking forever to pay and holding up the line, as usual. Standing there impatiently, I started to look around. I noticed out of the corner of my eye a bright green Steamwhistle box on the other side of the store. A box with a couple of tallboys and the boot we’d passed up a few days ago at dinner. What a coincidence! But then the line started to move, and a few more people were behind me now. I didn’t want to lose my spot to go and see how much it was. I hate when people do that, gum up the works with their indecisiveness at checkout counters. I didn’t want to be that asshole that puts her stuff down and says “I’ll be right back, I just have to grab something real quick.” They always say that it’s going to be “real quick” and it never is. I decided to just pay for what I had and come back tomorrow to scope out the situation.

When I got home I told D that I had seen the boot for sale at the liquor store. With his interest renewed, he agreed that we would go take a look and possibly buy one tomorrow. We could chuck the shitty beers we hated and then fill our boot with whatever the hell we wanted instead. The more we thought about it, the more excited we got. Das boot!

But tomorrow didn’t pan out for us. We’d gone back to the liquor store only to discover that all of the cases with the boot were gone. They’d sold out already, and we were shit out of luck. It was a desirable little novelty, that boot. People really wanted them. And we were just doomed to carry on wanting, it seemed. I kicked myself for my stupid need to be considerate of others. If only I’d been a teensy bit selfish the night before, I’d be living my dreams, drinking out of that frigging boot like a champion.

I thought about that boot often over the next few days that followed. I wanted it now more than ever, and I’d missed out on it not just once, but twice. Damn. The universe, with its infinite knowing, seemed to sense my frustration. It knew that something hinky was afoot. Some creative correction was needed.

We went to a comedy club last week. My sister won some free tickets and asked us to come along for the laughs. It was fun. She’s lucky and she wins free shit all the time. One time we went to a party and she won four Christmas trees in the raffle. Four! Needless to say, but if she’s ever caught bemoaning her poor luck, we’re all very quick to remember the story of the four Christmas trees. After the show was over, the MC announced that there was going to be a 50/50 raffle to benefit the diabetes foundation. D only had five bucks in his pocket, just enough for a ticket. He likes to gamble, and he’s always had a good bit of luck about himself. I mean, he managed to land this classy babe, amiright?

D bought his ticket and we stood at the bar, waiting for the raffle to start. The MC grabbed the mic, and as I turned to face him a brief sparkle caught my eye. A glimmer of light from above, dancing along the rounded lip of a Steamwhistle boot. Well I’ll be damned! They were about to raffle off one of those bloody boots as a secondary prize. My hopes skyrocketed instantly and I grabbed at D’s arm in excitement. “They have the boot! We’re going to win one, we have to!”

“Pffft, who gives a shit about that boot. I’ll win the big prize babe, and then I’ll buy all the fucking boots we want,” D responded. The big prize was 5 cool g’s, so that would be okay, too. But it wouldn’t be as exciting as winning the boot. Not to me, anyways.

The MC reached into the drum for a ticket, and I held my breath. I looked over D’s shoulder at the ticket, concentrating on his number while the MC read the winning number aloud.

Every single number he read matched the numbers on D’s ticket. And in that moment, I heard the universe talking. Talking to us.

The Boot

We were meant to have that boot, and the universe kindly intervened to make it so. It’s one of those things that I just know.

Cheers, universe! Here’s looking at you.