Smashing Through Sick Days

I called in sick to work today. Tossed and turned all night. My nose unrelentingly stuffed up and my throat an inferno of suffering, I knew a good night’s sleep was just outside of my weakening grasp. When I looked over at the clock on my nightstand and saw that I was only 45 minutes away from having to get up and start another Monday morning, I heaved a sigh of infinite misery.

Fuck that shit, man. I couldn’t really afford a day off, having too many critical projects on the go right now. But I also couldn’t face the day feeling like I was. Worried that I might’ve been stricken with the dreaded strep throat, I’ve always been prone to it, I decided that it would be best to stay home. Sometimes you just have to lay low for a while, so I phoned it in on the day and called in sick. I blew my nose until it was raw, a futile effort, but I had to try. Then I took some cold pills and actually managed to sleep for a few hours.

Luckily for me though, no strep after all. Just a bastard of a cold. I’ll kick it in a few days I’m sure, I’m already starting to feel better after a day of rest. But while we’re on the subject, I do have some tried and true methods for minimizing my discomfort when I’m sick.

1. Chicken Noodle Soup is a Necessity

chicken noodle

That’s an easy one, we all know it. When your tummy starts to rumble, you have to get yourself a big delicious bowl of soup. It is the number one sick day food. Don’t skimp on the crackers, either. They’re an integral part of the magic.

2. Waste Good Brain Cells on as Much Daytime T.V. as You Want

Peruse that tube, man. For as long as you want. You’re not going anywhere today, not feeling like you are. And nobody else is home to judge you for the poor viewing choices you might make. Talk shows, game shows, soaps. Take your pick! You could kick it classic with some Price Is Right for an hour. Then watch some turd do a jaunty “I’m not the daddy!” dance on Maury to lift your spirits. Maybe you’re dying to find out if blah blah is still in a coma on Days of Our Lives. Doesn’t matter, just make sure you watch a bunch of crap while laying on the couch. It helps.

3. Snuggle Up

Speaking of lying on the couch watching crappy shows, there is someone you can share that time with who understands. Someone who appreciates a day spent lying around the house.

Harvey nap

I pulled that blanket out of the dryer and Harvey jumped right into without a second thought. He laid there on the couch with me for three hours straight. Didn’t move an inch. It was an absolute dream. Pets are loaded with incredible healing powers. Everyone knows that. Looking over at his happy little blanket hogging face every now and again did me a world of good.

4. Splish Splash

When you’ve seen all that the tube has to offer and your eyes need a rest, hop in the tub. It’s the relaxation of the couch combined with the pride to be had in bathing yourself, you can’t lose! You’re not totally useless, you’re just sick. If you can find within yourself the energy to turn on a tap and take off your clothes, then you should definitely get into the tub. And put some bubbles in it while you’re at it. When was the last time you got to enjoy a long soak in the tub? You may as well go it whole hog. The hot water and steam will loosen up that giant wad of phlegm locked in your chest. No pictures for this one though, sorry perves.

5. Drink Everything in Sight

You need fluids. Everyone says so. I can’t remember why you’re supposed to have so much fluid up in you when you’re sick, but it feels good. If you get an inexplicable craving for root beer, just go with it. Maybe you favour a soothing cup of tea. Brew it. Or maybe chocolate milk is the angle you’re working. Chug it straight from the carton. That’s also the best way to stake your claim on the remainder of the chocolate milk. Sip it right out of the carton with your disgusting, germ-riddled mouth. Good, you own it all now. And if you’re not sure what it is you need, just get one of everything. It works for me.

lots o drinks

Hoodwink the common cold by using these tricks. And when in doubt, pop some more cold pills.

My throat is still feeling rough, and my nose is only slightly less cloggy. But I do feel better. I don’t consider it a day well spent, but I did try to make the most of it. Tomorrow is a new day, and I’m confident that I’ll be able to attack it with at least 70% of my usual vigour.

Couple more cold pills ought to do it.

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Bound for the Sound

Finally.

We’ve been saying this for so long. For years, even. We’ve exclaimed it with unfettered excitement, we’ve shouted it with glee. We’ve clinked our glasses and chugged our tallboys after many a heartfelt expression of it. That wonderful little rhyming phrase that carries so much promise, Bound for the Sound!

It feels like we’ve been saying it every time that we’ve gotten together with our chums Shan-Wow and Hoben since they moved to Owen Sound a couple of years ago. Every time. We talk about how drunk we’ll get. We talk about the laughs we’ll have. We delight at the thought of the memories we’ll make, the shenanigans that will ensue. Bound for the Sound is all about going nuts, enjoying a classically debauched night much like those of our misspent youth. It’s all about recapturing that young and dumb magic. But we’ve never made good on it. Not once, not ever. Until now.

Hoben is one of my best drinking buddies from long ago. He coined my colourful nickname. He started the proud tradition of deckers. He introduced me to D and forever changed my life. He’s good people. And Shan-Wow is his equally awesome lady-love. She’s hilarious and amazing and you can’t not love her to bits. Hell, she’s a founding member of the Top-Secret-Euchre-Club and a Dumb & Dumber Enthusiast. So you can trust me when I tell you that these two know how to party.

shanny and hobs

Owen Sound is a good long boot northwest of Toronto, a two and a half hour drive on a “making great time” kinda run. So D and I had to rent a car to drive our asses up there. We splurged and signed up for the “Intermediate” level car, which is usually something nice and hefty, with lots of trunk space in case we need to transport a body on sudden notice. Which happens to us more than you’d think… What we wound up with was a mint 2014 Dodge Charger with only 60km on it. It was black and shiny, it looked like the fucking Batmobile for Christsakes. D was excited about it until he realized it was front-wheel drive. That made for some interesting moments tearing through the snowstorm that was pounding down on the city just as we got going.

It was a long drive, getting there. Our nice spacious 4-lane highways quickly petered out into 1-lane rural roads. We saw a spectacular amount of farms, barns, crumbled barns, horses, cows, and snow-covered hay bales whizz by our windows. And wind turbines too. There’s a shit-ton of those all over the place. It was pretty cool, actually. It felt like we were driving through some secret alien place. An abduction zone, or something like that.

wind turbines

We also drove through a town called Flesherton. I shit you not, reader. If I ever find out that there isn’t a spooky group of ritualistic killing machines who feast on human flesh living in that town then I am going to be majorly disappointed. It would be such a waste of that town name not to have a few resident cannibals at least. We drove through Flesherton super fast and with intensity so it felt like we were escaping it. It was great fun!

Also great fun was stopping at the Six ‘n’ Ten Minimart for our booze. Look at that fucking place. It’s incredible!

six n ten

Booze sales in Ontario are government regulated, so you can’t just buy it anywhere. It typically has to be from an L.C.B.O. store (which stands for Liquor Control Board of Ontario) or at a store that is aptly named The Beer Store. But there are exceptions. There are Agency stores in small towns like Owen Sound that are able to sell liquor. Which, to us, seemed kind of like an urban legend because we’ve never actually seen any before. It was an exciting novelty.

We got stuck behind some over-cautious and tediously slow geezers, and then a snow-plow for a while too. I thought D was going to road rage us right into a ditch with all of his impatience. But we made it eventually, taking about an hour longer than expected. And when we finally did get there, it was time to fuckin’ draaaaannk.

Hobs and Shan had tickets to the OHL game that night, and not to keep sounding so ridiculously Canadian here, but that stands for Ontario Hockey League and is a Junior hockey league for kids ages 15-20. Lots of the kids in the league aspire to NHL greatness, so they always play their asses off. Small-town hockey and cheap drinks on a Saturday night. Man alive, my inner hoser was busting at the seams.

me n cubby

We mixed up a bunch of rye ‘n’ gingers in some ginger-ale bottles for stealthy drinking out in the parking lot during intermissions, and pounded beers during the game when we were inside the stadium. We got right fuckin’ tuned.

IMG_2457

me n shanny

the group

Pretty much everyone in town comes to the Saturday night games. It’s a small ass town and there ain’t that much to do, so it makes for some good times. We hung back a bit after the game was over to let the overcrowded parking lot clear out. We’d gotten there about 10 minutes after the puck drop, so we parked at the end of a very long row of cars. By the time we left the game and came out into the parking lot, our park job wound up being incredibly inconvenient for everybody else trying to leave the rink. It was hilarious.

our car

Yep, that’s our ride. It’s doing a damn fine job making all those other cars go around it to get out. This is not the Charger by the way. Shannon drove her car because the Charger would have been absolutely worthless in an unplowed lot like this with its fucking crazy front-wheel drive. We polished off a few more drinks in the car, then left it there for the night. It could be picked up in the cold, sober light of dawn. We walked to a bar to continue the fun. D had a little bit too much fun at the game though, and wound up spending most of his time at the bar puking it up in the bathroom. But I guess that’s bound to happen when you skip over dinner in favour of rye.

I fared much better because I enjoyed a bunch of delicious arena snacks with my drinks. It was the smart play.

my snacks

I was going to share my pretzel with D, so it could help soak up some of the booze rolling around in his belly, but he fucked off and I couldn’t find him. I waited so long that the pretzel got cold, and as a result, really goddamned hard. A would-be-delicious treat turned inedible by the passage of time. But the popcorn was still quite tasty, as arena popcorn tends to be. Turns out D was standing around chirping some local dudes in their mid-40’s because they were drinking Bacardi Breezers. Time well spent, indeed.

We had to leave pretty early the next morning to make sure we’d get the rental car returned on time. Hungover and exhausted from a night of raucous drinking, we were daunted by another long trip in the car. But with mile-wide Canadian grins spread across our glowing hearts we did alright. We saw thee rise. We made good time and we enjoyed the quiet ride home.

It was a great fucking weekend. Once in a while I need to go all hoser berserker on life. It just feels good. Based on the smashing success of our inaugural journey, I can safely say that we will return. We will be Bound for the Sound yet again.

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!