Twenty-eight years old

I’m turning twenty-eight tomorrow. That’s not really remarkable or anything, lots of people have before and lots more people will continue to turn twenty-eight for the foreseeable future. But there’s something about twenty-eight, I’m not sure what. It’s just been itching at the forefront of my mind these past few weeks. I feel… disquieted about it, I guess?

I’m not the kind of person that frets about age or tries to deny how old I really am; it’s silly to be afraid of something that’s inevitable, something you have no control over. People get older, that’s just how it is. Aging is easy, you don’t even have to do anything and it just happens. But aging fearlessly takes a lot of effort. I want to take the road less travelled, I want to age fearlessly. I don’t want to piss and moan about getting older the way it seems everybody else does. So it’s annoying to me that twenty-eight is giving me some degree of difficulty.

But maybe it’s not the actual aging itself that’s bothering me. I think it might be because I haven’t yet determined my purpose for this year. I usually have a plan of attack for each new year, some goals I want to accomplish, some dreams I want to chase. And I guess I just haven’t really nailed down what it is I want to do with twenty-eight yet. That must be what’s making me feel… disorderly?

I do love my birthday, though. I love it so much. Specifically, I love celebrating the shit out of it. And I’ve collected some very memorable birthday celebrations over the years.

My 20th birthday for instance, when I did that legendary 21-second box-o-wine stand that people still talk about today.

box o wine stand

And my best friends built me the bejewelled funnel of my dreams that year, which they very aptly named “Smash’s Life Support”.

dream funnel

Or my 22nd birthday, when we had the fanciest most “biz-cas” house party ever. We may have looked the part, but we certainly didn’t act it.

biz ca-jed birthday

biz cas again

At twenty-three I fell madly in love with a little cougar bar called Crocodile Rock…

croc rocking birthday

When I turned 25, my mom made me a jumbo banana bread cake and fucked up the frosting, spelling birthday without its very necessary ‘r’. Happy Bithday Ashley, indeed.

Happy Bithday

But more important, when I got all fucked up in the backyard later that night and started singing “For Whom the Bell Tolls” at the top of my lungs. Aging fearlessly at its finest.

I’ve had some good birthdays, that’s for damn sure. I’ve made more than my fair share of zany and crazy birthday memories.

And we carried on the tradition this weekend. It was awesomely fun. Krazzzy Karan showed up with a Heineken mini keg for me and from there we decided rounds upon rounds of good old-fashioned keg-stands were in order!

heiny birthday keg

kegstands!

I got to do some birthday shots with my darling Sara via Skype, because she currently resides all the way on the other half of the planet, in Vietnam.

Skype shots

We got real effed up last night…

party crew

laughing with my chums

partying with harry

The hangover today is pretty much exactly what you’d expect, and probably deserved. But it’s kept my mind off of these feelings of… uncertainty? And now that I’m circling back to that problem, I still don’t think I have an answer.

Everything in my life was in disarray last year, and now that the dust has finally settled, I guess I just don’t know what comes next. Marriage is great. Work is still kind of intense, but engaging and engrossing as always. I’ve got lots of hobbies and my social calendar for this summer is already booming with plans. And yet I’m still not satisfied with all of that. I want more, I just can’t put my finger on what it is I need.

I suppose I could finally get around to getting this crazy frigging wisdom tooth in the back of my mouth pulled. But that’s not really something I can feel accomplished about. That’s just something I’ve been putting off.

Twenty-eight, you sure are tricky. What do I want to be? What do I want to do? How am I going to make this year of life the best one yet? Seems like the answer to that requires a little more consideration than I was expecting. But as soon as I’ve figured it out, you can bet I’m going to throw myself into it with all of my heart. That’s the only thing I ever really know for sure… that I’m going to keep charging ahead, fearlessly, and living life with all the gusto I can muster. It’s the least I can do.

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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…

Monster Jam!

Do you ever find yourself in a funk? Just a generally shitty funk, for no significant reason at all? I did. I was all kinds of shitty funky at the end of last week. Work just felt kind of sucky. Things weren’t going according to plan. I felt disorganized and disheveled. It was just a crappy feeling, and I had a crappy attitude that was bogging my awesomeness down. Everything I did and said was blah. It was the worst. I went home Friday after work and resigned myself to a crappy night of laundry and eating dill pickle chips.

This was a funk that even dill pickle couldn’t cure. We’d have to call in the big guns on this one. The very enormous and loud big guns…

I woke up on Saturday morning and I felt different. Something had changed. That cloud of bullshit that had been following me around since Thursday, it was gone. Hey, and it looks like the weight of the world decided to take the day off too. I felt lighter. Better. Happiness was creeping into my heart again. A little smile tickled my lips. A memory scratched at the back of my brain. Something important. Something fun even, I think. Realization dawning, a spark of excitement…

Yes! Fucking yeah! This is the best day ever!

I’M GOING TO FREAKING MONSTER JAM TONIGHT!!!!!!!!

That’s the ticket. Nothing like some high-octane, tire on dirt-ramp action to make you feel alive! And dammit I felt alive again, for the first time all week. I cart-wheeled my jive turkey ass out of bed and greeted the day with a self-assured flourish. I’m going to fucking Monster Jam tonight, so all you troubles of yesterday can suck it.

Ooo, I just got a tingle. Telling your problems to suck it feels great! I’d been letting them get the better of me, but not today. Not on Monster Jam Saturday.

Joce scored the tickets to Monster Jam from her work. They were amazing seats and they were free. She’s got some sweet hookups for swag at her job. But she only had one extra ticket. So it was either me or D. I practically frothed at the mouth for the opportunity to see the monster trucks in action. It was an easy sacrifice for D. Besides the first hockey game of the season was on Saturday night. He could just grab some beers and buddies and have a great time watching the game at our place.

I met up with Joce and Harry for dinner and pre-drinks. Then we grabbed some roadies (drinks for the trek to the stadium) and hopped on the subway. I’m just going to put this out there, I love how easy it is to drink on the transit in a big city. Nobody gives a shit. I mean if you see a TTC worker, hide your drink. But other than that, ain’t no thang.

As soon as we set foot in the stadium we could hear the trucks. They were insanely loud! Good thing we’d packed earplugs. I was shaking with anticipation, I just knew this was going to totally rock!

The air was so thick with fumes and fuel, it was like breathing in testosterone. It was everything I’d ever imagined a monster truck jam to be and more.

monster jam stadi

My inner geek was also very pleased to see a Batman Monster Truck. That’s like the best possible combination of words ever. Batman Monster Truck. Yeah, you’re gonna want to soak that awesomeness in slowly. You don’t want to bite off more than you can chew and get hysterical. Ah, fuck it. Life is for the living, right?

BATMAN! MONSTER! TRUCK! FULL BLOWN GEEKY HYSTERIA!

batman monster truck

Batman ripped the shit in the qualifier. He had the fastest time to beat. But he wound up coming in second place to Bounty Hunter. He put on a good show though. And we cheered him on every bit of the way. Then he totally shit the bed on the freestyle and fucked up his truck. He barely even freestyled for 20 seconds before he was sent off to the truck graveyard:

batman going to the graveyard

Some of our other favourite trucks of the night were Grave Digger, Northern Nightmare, Metal Mulisha, Rap Attack, and Krazy Train. Watching the races was fun, but the freestyle was crazy! We saw so many awesome jumps and wrecks. It was truly gory, without any actual gore.

This is Grave Digger getting some sick air off the school bus:

grave digger truck

And here he is about to totally mash the CP24 truck and some shitty yellow car:

grave digger jump

He was so totally awesome! He put on a really great show and got the crowd excited.

My favourite wreck of the night had to be Rap Attack. He tried to go over a jump, but just didn’t have the juice to make it all the way. He was standing straight up on his back tires. There was a moment of horror and uncertainty when we didn’t know if he was going to fall forward or come crashing backwards on top of himself. He wasn’t impressing us too much with the freestyle, he didn’t have as good of a run with it as some of the other trucks did. But I got a good video of the wreck:

It was an action-packed night, and it was just what I needed. Thanks for the invite Joce. I owe you guys a round still, don’t let me forget.

drinking at monster jam

Call me if you’re thirsty!

We’re back, baby!

I apologize in advance for the length of this post. I’ve got a lot to say this week folks!

There are too many awesome things to celebrate about this past weekend. So many awesome things that all fall under the wonderful umbrella that I call being ‘back in action’.

It takes a while to settle in to your new digs and I consider myself officially settled! As of this weekend there was not a single significant thing that needed to be done with the apartment. This made me completely free to focus all of my energy on my sorely neglected partying habits.

There’s only one thing that sucked the fucking big one this weekend, the fact that the elevator in our building was NOT working from Friday afternoon right up until Monday during the day. When you’re planning a big weekend bender and you live on the 24th floor, nothing could be more ill-timed than the elevator losing it’s crucial ability to propel your drunk ass up to your bed.

Two major events that we celebrated: Joss and Harry are back in town after their trip to Thailand and Sara’s birthday extravaganza. Let’s breakdown the madness, shall we?

Friday night: Joss and Harry’s Homecoming Partaaay!

I was living for Friday night all week long. There’s nothing that anticipation does better than draw the motherfucking shit out of the work week. I ever so impatiently counted down the days while the happy travellers were away, and although I loved following Joss’s sweet travel blog every week, you just can’t beat the real thing! 5 o’clock on Friday finally rolls around and I basically sprinted out the door to the subway. I get on the train and I can feel my whole body thrumming with excitement. There’s a short delay at the station and I get a text from D telling me about the elevator situation. He advises me to “take your time, it’s a real workout!”

That’s just fucking great. It’s sweltering hot out, I’m wearing tight jeans, and now I’ve gotta climb 24 flights of stairs? Fuck that shit!

And of course I’m cocky about it. Telling myself, “oh whatever, I walk all the time, I’ll be fine.” Famous last words, right? Somewhere between the 7th and 8th floors in a spell of light-headed surrender I  shoot off a desperate text to the Magpie telling her that I might die in a stairwell this weekend. (Oh P.S. I have a cell phone now. I wasn’t really going to mention, but I thought maybe the fact-checking types aka my two, if that, readers might wonder since I boastfully went on about not having one in an earlier post).

I managed to huff and puff my way to my floor eventually, and I was miserable at the thought of having to climb them again later in a drunken stupor. That was really going to blow! But, as shitty as it was I was not going to miss this party for the world!

We get to the party and it is just the best! Amazing people and booze, it’s a winning combination. Catching up, hearing the stories, seeing the pictures and being reunited with all my BFFs… Life doesn’t get any better than that.

The best part about it is that we were all together again. I can’t remember the last time since graduation that the four of us: Joss, Sar, Karan, and myself were all committed to the same event. And not just that, but everyone was committed for tomorrow night too!!!! YAAYY!

I’m a total energy sponge. Whatever the mood and tone of the party, I soak it right up and reflect it back. If the vibes are bad, I can’t possibly have a good time. And the vibes at this party were off the charts! My face and stomach hurt from smiling and laughing the night away. Fuck chicken soup for the soul, it’s good times with your friends for the soul, people. Does it every time.

The above used to happen ALL the time. And I thought it would last forever. But times change and so does your life. I may not see these guys as much as I want to, so on those rare occasions when the stars align and we all RSVP “yes” to the same event you know it’s going to be a friggen blast. You make me so happy!

Downed a bunch of drinks and shots, laughed my ass off, and stumbled home with a nice black spot in my brain where the final events of the night are resigned to obscurity. Friday night was a major success! Welcome home Joss and Harry, you were very much missed. And that’s only half of it…

Saturday night: Sara’s Birthday Extravaganza!

Saturday morning was the fucking pits! Oh my good god, I was hung over. I stayed horizontal on the couch until about 3:00pm. That’s when the hurt in my brain started to subside enough that I could make it to the shower. No matter what, it was round 2 and I had to find a way to put myself together again.

Everyone was pre-drinking in Bolton and then getting in a party limo headed to Club Muzik in T.Dot. D and I planned to pre-drink with Joss and Harry and meet everyone else there.

Long before Saturday night when my weekend plans were revealed to my co-workers, I was met with some slight derision when I mentioned where we were going. I guess it wasn’t the “coolest” or “trendiest” or whatever the fuck criteria are considered desirable by the “locals”. Whatever. That’s what the birthday girl wants and that’s what she gets, and damned if we’re going to go about it with a bad attitude.

So we head to the club, and the cab ride was ridiculously fun because of a crazy cabbie from Bangladesh who regaled us with tales of hit and runs back home. Apparently it’s really common for a cab driver to just mow someone down and keep on trucking without a backwards glance. I didn’t really get the joke, but I guess you had to be there?

We waited in a bullshit line for what felt like eternity, and by the time it got moving D had run off to piss in an alley because he couldn’t hold it any longer. But luckily he caught up in time and got in. There was some more initial bullshit what with the bartenders serving us bottles of beer with no mention that bottles couldn’t be taken out to the garden. Seriously? Then pour the fucking beer in a plastic cup when you serve it bitch, damn!

The one server was a real biz-nitch. When we first got there I stood at the bar for what seemed like ages waiting to order a drink. The server blew right past me and beelined it for our friend John. She leaned her pathetically under-developed chest on the counter and shamelessly asked what he’d like. And John, true champ that he is told her “I’d like you to serve my friend, she was here first”.

If he hadn’t of done that I don’t know when I’d have been noticed. Muchos gracias, John! If there’s any chance that you’re reading this Lisa, you’ve got a great husband and you guys were so cute together at the club. And also, it was Lisa’s birthday too… so happy birthday lady!

D quickly remedied the beer bottles problem by pilfering some plastic cups. And after a few jagerbombs, tubies, and various other shots it didn’t seem to matter much anymore.

The club itself was fucking sweet! Maybe the crowd are a bunch of losers from Mississauga, but the space was really nice. I didn’t feel crowded or overheated at all. The music wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t talk to your friends, and the garden outside was so refreshing! I’d say they’ve got a pretty killer venue.

And again, I’ve got to say that the best part was being together with Joss, Sara, and Karan in a club. We used to club it up ALL the time in our Waterloo days. And I’m not a big club person by any means, but a small part of me did miss it.

One of our friends got a little too drunk and went down for the count. But it wasn’t just a toss her in the cab and send her home situation. The majority of the group was headed back home together in the party limo. So we needed a plan to keep things going for everyone else.

I might also mention at this point that I wore high heels… ALL night! I am murdering my high heels resolution, so yayy me! The last time I wore high heels to a club was because I needed to heighten for my fake I.D., so a helluva long time ago!

My feet were killing and needed a break. I wanted the party to keep going for the birthday girl, so I volunteered to babysit for a bit. I got to sit down, and just let our girl Felish rest. Bouncers were obviously on the lookout for those kinds of scenarios though, so I got a little crafty. When Felish’s head tumbled onto my chest, I let it stay there and just told the peeps that I was getting free motorboats!! Boo-yaaaah!

Worked out pretty well too!

When everyone was finally ready to call it a night, we made sure the party peeps was safely piled into the limo and then hopped our own cab home.

It was an exhausting, but exhilarating weekend! I have some really wicked friends, and my only hope is that we get together and pull these kinds of weekends off a lot more this summer.

Monday morning came on like a ton of bricks, but you know what they say. Time flies when you’re wiping someone else’s puke off your lap!