Balancing Act

I have got an absolute fuck-load of stuff going on in my life right now, and unfortunately it’s been getting in the way of my beloved blogging time. I only managed to write one post during February. One paltry post! That is unacceptable. If it weren’t for a couple of timely re-blogs, my blog might have slipped into a coma altogether and I’d be having a very difficult discussion with its doctor on the pros/cons of pulling the plug. But I’m still here, and I’m still trying to have it all.

It’s hard though, you know? I’m consumed by work, clocking around 50 hours on a good week, that is, when my workload isn’t paralyzing. I’m trying to plan my dream wedding, but keep getting thwarted by craziness and heartbreak. I just got some devastating news yesterday that derailed my whole weekend, and I spent all of Saturday night sobbing instead of relaxing, which I clearly need more of. I’m trying to maintain a semblance of a social life. I just renewed my dusty old gym membership so I can get all svelte and stunning in the hope that I don’t look like a sack of oranges for sale on the side of the freeway while wearing my wedding dress. And I’m trying to save some of my time for D, too. So he doesn’t feel like he’s getting hitched to the invisible woman. I gotta save some of my time for blogging, but at this point it’s cutting into the few hours I have left, hours that should be saved for sleep. But that doesn’t seem to matter anyways, because I just wind up spending a third of the allotted sleeping hours laying awake and thinking about all of this shit.

Deep breaths, girl. You’re starting to get carried away. That’s better.

To be fair though, I did waste an exorbitant amount of free time watching all of Parks and Recreation on Netflix because another part of the problem is that work is so draining right now that it’s difficult for me to do more than stare at the TV and drool when I get home. My brain is so overloaded, it might implode.

Even though I wasn’t able to post much last month, there were some bright spots to be had. I may seem a tad ranty and distraught now, but I did manage to find some fun and count a few blessings.

I got to catch up with my homies for a good, old-fashioned bust up at the local bar. We tried to go to two other bars first though, before we were finally let into The Rose and Crown. The first place we tried to go, we were rejected by the bouncer because “there’s too many jeans”. That is exactly how he put it.  Apparently, we’re all out of the sartorial loop. Screw that guy though, you’re supposed to wear jeans to the bar. He’s clearly an idiot on a power trip.

My drinking buddies

My drinking buddies

That’s not a very good picture of us, but this one of my buddy Clark bumping into the disco ball because he is ridiculously tall is pretty great.

disco ball

Disco Party Clark

I slipped and fell drunkenly in the street on the walk home, though. I ripped my new dress and messed up my foot something awful. Pulled some bullshit little ligament that I didn’t even know existed. But sometimes, you’ve just gotta get drunk and fall down. As long as you don’t go to sleep in the street, it’s all good.

Valentine’s Day was pretty great, too. I usually don’t care for it, but I think D recognized an opportunity for us to just forget everything for a couple of hours and spend some time together. He surprised me with roses when I got home from work, which never fails to impress me. Harvey was also impressed.

My other Valentine

My other Valentine

We had an incredible dinner at this Thai place in our neighbourhood. I felt special and loved. D is a marvel and I’m a lucky girl. Even though he just came in and interrupted my writing to tell me that we only have two packets of instant gravy and they are both mis-matched, one brown and one chicken, which for some reason sparked a bout of snippy bickering. But I digress.

I also ate the gooiest, most outrageously cheesy sandwich of all time. Another resounding pizza grilled-cheese success!

Another one for the history books.

Another one for the history books.

We’ve switched breads in our household. We’re now eating a kind called “Ancient Grains” instead of that bleached atrocity that I used to love, white as the driven snow Wonderbread. It wasn’t as cataclysmic a change as I had anticipated. The ancient grains bread is actually quite delicious.

My friend The Magpie had a baby. She’s away from work on her maternity leave, which sucks. But she’s living her dreams, so that totally outweighs any of the sucking. I can’t wait to meet her new little friend, although in a weird way, I feel like I already know her. I spent the bulk of The Magpie’s pregnancy calling her bump Scooter and encouraging her to stay in there a while longer.

So even though I haven’t had much time for blogging, I’m still out there trying to wedge awesome things into my hectic life wherever they will fit. No matter how insane it all feels at times, I haven’t been completely stripped of my positivity.

Everything does feel like such a disaster right now, yes. But these are all things that I wanted, I asked for this. Well, with the exception of the unstoppable flood of sobs that started yesterday and seem to have no end, obviously. But anyways… I guess I’m just going to have to find some balance. Is that why people do yoga? Seems like a lot of useless rolling around on the floor in spandex to me, but maybe I’m not looking at from the right angle.

All I know is that right now I have a whole bunch of feelings that I need to go and eat. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter, I’ll eat them. All feelings are ripe for the gobbling right now. So it’s a good thing I was able to spare 15 minutes of my time today for my good friend, Pillsbury.

Red velvet white chocolate chip cookies, I need you now more than ever.

Red velvet white chocolate chip cookies, I need you now more than ever.

We Be Ballin’

Spring is here now in the city. It’s here for reals this time. No more glorious sunny day fake outs followed by five days of shit. It’s not testing its toes anymore, its long since cannonballed off the deep end. And it brought with it long weekends, baseball games, birthday parties, barbecues, weddings; all kinds of social engagements to occupy my time. Because Spring knows how to party. It’s fantastic!

The only downside is that it keeps me so busy that I barely have time to blog. And I’ve had many a drunken adventure since my last post…

We road-tripped it north to my dad’s on the Saturday of the long weekend. We spent the whole day outside. And it was an immaculate day! Sunny, blue skies, nary a cloud in sight. We basked in the sun, played bocce ball and threw some horseshoes. We caught up, we laughed. We even ate dinner out on the dining hall sized picnic table my dad built a few summers ago. It easily fits 10-12 people comfortably. We feasted like kings too! On perfectly grilled T-bone steaks, creamy mashed potatoes, and asparagus picked fresh from the garden that day, just to name a few of the highlights.

My favourite part of the day though, was playing with this little cutie:

Bogie the dog

Bogie the dog

Sunday morning we got up early. It was a special day. We had an internet date with Joce and Harry! I’d been looking forward to it all week. It’s been a couple of months since they left, and we’ve missed them terribly. It was so great to see their smiling faces and chat again, like we used to. It was early for us, but they were rocking some beers, ready to have a good time. They’re having an absolute blast and I couldn’t be more excited for them. No matter how far away they are or how zany their adventures are, I’m grateful we have the ability to stay connected. Because let’s face it, I’m greedy; I need as much of their huge smiles and good vibes as I can get.

We also reunited with some old friends. From my wilder days. And yes, I assure you, there were much wilder days. These days, I’m a lazy, old, domesticated house cat by comparison.

A large group of us got together for the Toronto Blue Jays game on the long weekend Monday. It was fucking awesome!

We love our Jays!

I love going to the ball games. It’s just the place for me. You’re encouraged to get drunk and scream until you’ve lost all vocal capability. Baseball games were made for me. Much like that girl with Tourette’s that Deuce Bigalow took out to the ball game, I fit right in. I’m loud and I curse like an old-timey dock worker. Baby, I’m home.

A gorgeous day. The sun rocked us through the open dome. The fans were rowdy and excited. And the best part? We kicked the Rays asses!

Gotta support the team

Gotta support the team

I’d missed my friends. It felt so great to catch up with them. All this time had passed, it had literally been years since we’d seen each other, and frankly its shameful that we allowed it to go on that long! After the game, we hit the bar to keep the good times rolling. Truly excellent.

It was our first game of the season and it was invigorating. I gushed to my boss about it the next day at work. How much fun we had and how great our city’s team is. How it was the perfect way to cap off the long weekend. Which I guess stuck with him a little. Because when he was given plum seats for the game that night and couldn’t find anyone else to go with he offered them to me and D. What a rad freaking boss I have! I couldn’t believe our luck, so I jumped on the tickets. D raced home to get our jerseys because you’ve gotta be prepared. You’ve gotta show the team all the love that you’ve got.

We were so close, I could have whispered my hatred for Escobar and he would have heard it. More importantly, I got to tell our boy Bautista how much we love him!

I'd know that stance anywhere...

I’d know that stance anywhere…

What a rush! We were right in the middle of all the action. You could smell their sweat, sticky and stinky underneath us in the dugout. Stinking like champions. Foul balls were flying over our heads all night. Encarnacion’s bat even went sailing through the air right over us, landing a few rows behind our seats. It felt like we were in the game. I’ve never experienced anything like it, and I can’t say enough how thankful I am to my boss.

here come our Jays

here comes Lawrie!

Bautista, Rasmus, Cabrera

Bautista, Rasmus, Cabrera

Normally, I’m a cheap seats kind of girl. I dig the atmosphere up in the nosebleeds, and buying cheaper tickets saves me more cash money for beers. But I get why people would shell out for the good seats. It’s a completely different way to watch the game. I strongly encourage any fans out there to do it at least once if possible. Fly yourself close to the sun, just shy of getting burnt. There’s no way you will ever regret it. Even though we lost this game, I left feeling like a winner.

We were invited to the game the following night as well, but we were bloody exhausted. It hurt us to take a pass on it, we were heavily invested in that series already. But for the sake of our health, we had to turn it down.

Another work week comes and goes. And what do you know? Friday night it’s time to party! And we’re ready, we’ve sufficiently recovered from the weekend before.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ODONES!!!!

birthday girl

birthday girl

I friggen’ love you man!

What a terrifically drunken night of celebrations. We went to Berber Social down on Front Street. It was to die for! The food was incredible. All these great sharable dishes. We had beef keftas, inverted fish tacos, arancini, fingerling potato chips, and so much more! If you love to eat as much as I do, this place is worth your time.

the party crew

the party crew

my lovey

my lovey

looking good buddy

looking good buddy

We drank, we laughed, we talked for hours. Then we wound up down the street at the Firkin to catch up with some more people. Where the partying continued!

Jagerbombs!

Jagerbombs!

peas in a pod

peas in a pod

bromance is in the air

bromance is in the air

The following morning was a little rough, I’m not gonna lie. It took an unfathomable amount of effort to keep those Jagerbombs down. But eventually I was feeling good enough to scrub the shit out of my apartment. I really needed to clean it, and I wasn’t going to let some little hangover get in the way of that. I went nuts on the bathroom, scrubbing every exposed surface within my sight. Then I tackled the kitchen. Ran the dishwasher, hand washed some delicate shit, sorted out the fridge, and detailed the microwave. I also vacuumed and dusted. Brushed all of the little Harvey furs off the couches.

It was exhausting, but it felt amazing when I was done. It’s some sort of high. One that I’ll always enjoy. That of an utterly tidy home. I warned D that if he fucked any of this shit up, I would have his head for it.

We reunited with more friends that night, having them over. We stayed in, keeping it casual. Although, that didn’t stop one of my Tequila and Pom juice shots from making my buddy Clark puke! The wild days live on indeed.

It’s been totally awesome these last few weeks. There’s always something to do, someone to see, something to celebrate. I live for these hectic and heady Spring days. And as great as it is to stop momentarily and remember it all, I’ve gotta get back out there. There are a bunch more party times to come. They’re all desperately counting on their dose of Smash to spice up the night.

Hmmm. Maybe I’m still a rambunctious tomcat after all…

De-Slutifying Halloween!

I can feel the grin spread across my face as I sit here mentally categorizing all of the things I love about Halloween. I know it’s become a heavily commercialized holiday, and all of the ways in which we celebrate are perversions of its true meaning. But blah blah blah I don’t care. I like it this way! I like that it’s an excuse for kids to run around the neighbourhood hyped up on sugar and begging for candy from strangers like starving mongrels. I like that my need to binge on cheesy old horror movies is enabled by almost all of the channels on t.v. for two weeks of the year. I love that I can get belligerently drunk while wearing a hilarious costume. I love the decorations, the ghouls, the pranks, the candy, and all the mischief that’s afoot.

Most importantly though, I love that this holiday has absolutely nothing to do with love, peace on earth, romance, gift exchanges, or gratitude of any kind. This isn’t some bitch ass little holiday where we’re supposed to tell each other how we feel and play nice with one another for the sake of the holidays. This isn’t the kind of holiday that forces you to take a long hard look at yourself and overanalyze the nature of your relationships and personal goals, or think too hard about what you’re doing with your life. You’re too busy handing out candy and trying to scare people to be bothered with all that garbage.

Halloween is hedonism in its most pure form, and that is something I can really get down with. It’s a time to let your imagination soar! To come up with the most creative costume, to have the most intense and riveting display of decorations, to eat gluttonous amounts of candy unabashedly! What other holiday simultaneously encourages you to stay out all night terrorizing the neighbourhood, or pass out early with candy wrappers littering your chest in front of the television? You can have your fun-size Mars bar and eat it too!

The only aspect of Halloween that I have disdainful feelings towards is the part where girls dress like sluts. Costumes are about being creative, funny, charming, spooky, and/or clever. They’re not about putting on a thong and a pair of wings and calling yourself a frickin’ butterfly or something equally stupid. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I have a problem with people showing off their bodies. More power to you if you’ve been lucky enough to get a hot one. But why does it have to be on Halloween? Why can’t you be brave enough to dress like a slut on any other normal day of the year?

I realize a lot of people are out to get some on Halloween, which is probably a huge factor when deciding to put on that slut-bag costume. But do you think you’re not as likely to score in a slightly more modest costume? Maybe if you aim to look glamorous, beautiful, or cute as opposed to cheap you’ll wind up in a costume that is still flattering to your figure, but doesn’t garner negative attention from your peers. Added bonus: you get to go home with your dignity intact!

Less is not always more with costumes. Physical attractiveness fades in time, and an awesome personality is for life. The earlier you start cultivating that winning personality, the better off you’ll be.

On the flip side of that, all the unintelligible sluts flooding the parties and bars make the rest of us who possess remarkable craftsmanship, personality, wit, and imagination really stand out. Which is why every year I use Halloween as an opportunity to be myself while bucking the norms. I come up with costumes that are fun, that people get a laugh out of, and that tell the world I’m a one-of-a-kind chick. Who, with only a kick-ass personality and flair for drag can captivate her peers on Halloween without a slutty gimmick.

I get out there every year, to the parties and bars, clad in my hilarious non-sexualized costume to combat the bullshit. When you’re trying to endure some tedious conversation with a slutty twerp at a party, or you feel like you might have a stroke because of all the body glitter and overexposure, you can take comfort in the thought that Smash is out there. I’m out there looking a fool for you. I’m out there to inspire others, because you can have a great costume without sacrificing your self-respect.

See for yourself!

Snoochies boochies! Halloween 2009

Hocus Pocus! Halloween 2008

That rug really tied the room together, man! Halloween 2011

And this year’s costume was no exception!

Welcome to Riverdale! Halloween 2012

Archie’s working that charm…

The people we talked to at the party and ran into while cruising through the city really dug our costumes. We got a lot of compliments and laughs because people love to see something they don’t expect. It’s refreshing to see a girl go silly instead of skanky.

It also didn’t hurt that we were hanging out with these jokers all night:

beep beep, coming through bitches!

By the end of the night the scoreboard read:

Awesome Costumes—1

Sluts—0

We put forth another solid effort of thumbing our noses to the slutty costume trend this year. There will always be sluts lurking around on Halloween, we’ll never be able to quash vanity entirely. But hopefully we gained a few more Awesome Costume allies!

Ice Cubes Working Together!

This past week I really let myself off the leash to party it up. One of my best friends has gone away to Thailand for the next 2 months, so we had to have an awesome going away bash to send her off with fond memories to come back to. To Joce-Force and Harry, I hope you have a truly amazing time! I’ll be reading your blog and keeping up with your adventures. I’ll be living through you vicariously for the next two months, dreaming of the day that I’m liberated from my working stiff regime.

My usual humdrum week dragged a little longer because of the anticipation of Friday night. When quitting time rolled around, I hopped a bus and headed downtown.

We were going to pre-drink and then go to the bar for some dancing and antics as usual. The party was just getting started when I rolled in. I cracked a brew and started to mingle. I got to see some awesome people that I haven’t seen a couple of months and catch up on what’s new in their lives.

I love catching up with friends because it takes me out of my everyday struggle with ambitious reality and shifts my focus to the world around me. I’ve cultivated some real friendship gems over the past seven years. One of my friends is a 2nd grade teacher, and she’s got some great stories. Another of my bests is in India right now, so he wasn’t there but he was missed. Also, the girl from whom I got my first fake ID was there! How awesome is that?

I took charge of the camera, since it is my main duty at all social gatherings, and made sure that Joce had some really excellent photos from her party to remember us by. As well as one really choice video of us just being us. We shot celebratory pink champagne, chugged back our drinks, and eventually got everyone squashed into the cabs so we could take this party on the road.

There was one major snag in the night that we didn’t account for: I didn’t get into the bar.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been denied entrance to the bar. Kicked out plenty of times yes, but outright denied? The last time that happened I think I was still underage and using a fake ID. I probably shouldn’t have been so forthright with the bouncer. When he asked if I’d been drinking I said “of course”. And when he asked how many drinks I had, I carefully calculated what I considered to be an acceptably low number for myself. “Five beers,” I answered him with a veteran boozehound’s confidence.

Apparently, that didn’t go over too well. He told me to “step aside” and when asked why said he “had his reasons”. Pffft! Maybe he didn’t believe that I’d only had five beers, but I didn’t believe him to be capable of formulating a skeptical thought what with the Tarzan-like set of his brow. An opinion that I kindly informed him of…

That sealed the deal, I definitely wasn’t getting into that bar tonight. The cougar bar across the street though, they pretty much rolled out the red carpet to get me in their door! I made sure to shout this across the street to the asshole who deigned to play God with my drunken fate just for good measure. My friend had already gone inside the bar that denied me, but didn’t get the texts that I’d shuffled into the first bar that would have me. So I downed a couple more drinks, made the best of it, and then hopped a bus home.

When I got home this is what happened:

I kicked off my socks because I hate socks, and passed out on the floor fully clothed. This is pretty much normal for me. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to make it to the bedroom. Other times, just having something solid beneath me will do. That is my kitten, Harvey. He’s circling my head, stymied by this behaviour. And of course that is his best friend, Cody, the stuffed cat he carts around the house in a companionable manner.

Needless to say, I woke up the next morning nursing an incredibly bad hangover. My brain felt like it was trying to ooze out my ears in an attempt to escape the pressure cooker that was my skull. The inside of my mouth had turned to sandpaper. My throat pure raw pain. I crawled into the kitchen and poured myself an enormous glass of water.

I added three ice cubes to the glass and poured the heavenly elixir of life over top of them. I chugged back a good portion of the water, and then set the glass down on the counter. I regarded the glass gratefully, and noticed something awesome:

The ice cubes had frozen together in a circular formation at the top of the glass. And they remained above the water level for a while before melting down. Usually the ice cubes are stacked because of how narrow this glass is and because I put them in individually. But on this day, I am certain that they banded together to ensure that I would overcome this behemoth hangover. These cubes defied their “norm” to unite as one magnificent mega-cube!

This gargantuan effort on their part was inspiring. The ice cubes were not going to fall into their usual pattern of stacking themselves neatly in the glass. And I wasn’t going to fall into my usual pattern of riding out my hangover moaning on the couch in my sweatpants.

Instead I was decidedly productive! I cleaned my apartment, organized my closet, and put on real pants! My hangover lingered, but I powered through it. The ice cubes working together were weirdly motivating for me. I can’t even imagine what I might have accomplished had Darth Vader been burned into my grilled cheese instead…