Your Son is Wonderful, Mrs. Hoben

Don’t any of you bother with housewarming gifts because my buddy Hoben has already won. He can’t be beat. I don’t even think I’ll be able to speak to it properly, it just so totally blows me away. But I’ll try anyways and hopefully won’t wind up sounding all syrupy and hyperbolic.

I’ve been friends with Hoben for a long time now, over a decade. And those of you who’ve been reading this site for a while might even remember I’ve spoken about our friendship before and how awesome it is. I’ve told you about how he started the grand tradition of deckers and how through him I met D. I’ve mentioned how fantastic his parents are, Glenn and Gloria, for always letting us kids pal around and party on their deck. Hell, I name-dropped the Hobens and their deck in my wedding vows and the speech I gave that night because it’s such a wonderful detail of my love story with D. Detail seems too small. It’s the cornerstone of our story, really.

My buddy Hoben is a party animal. He’s fun and funny. But he’s also accurately described as prickly, curmudgeonly, and belligerent. Especially belligerent. It’s a point of pride for him, so don’t misconstrue what I’m saying as insult. He’s got a big heart, too. It goes with his big wise-cracking mouth. And I’m realizing now that he’s also sentimental and tremendously thoughtful.

You can only imagine how I felt when he handed me this last weekend:

the step

The first step off of his parents deck. Re-painted, beautifully, with our names and possibly the most apt description I’ve ever seen.

It is the literal first step in our relationship. I can’t even begin to thank Hoben for how fucking awesome and amazing this gift is and how much it means to us. All I can say is that I’m so goddamn lucky to have such a thoughtful and caring friend.

You’re the best Hobs, we love you.

piece of the deck

And who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get lucky. Maybe he’ll drunkenly conceive the first Hoben grandchild with Shannie on my floor or something and I can pry up the floorboard and gift it back to him. You know, even things out a little.

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The Summer of Us

It’s the last day of August, so summer is basically over. All of the usual “demise of summer” indications are afoot: dip in the temperature, sun setting earlier, back to school shopping commercials on T.V., sweaters on the store mannequins, and the most ominous of all, there’s Halloween candy at the grocery store. Frightening indeed.

Come this September it will have been ten years since I met my friendship soul mates and fell in love. I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately, how the time passes.

drinking in 1st year

There are people that we meet in life that change us forever. Joce and Sara are my people. Karan too, of course. But he came round a year later.

Ten years isn’t such a long time in the scheme of it all, but looking back it feels like a lifetime. And even though we’ve long since left behind the cozy bubble of school and had to join the real world, we’re still closer than ever. We’re not the types to let our friendship fade into the background while life rages on. Our friendship is very much at the forefront of everything.

When Joce and Harry moved to Australia and then Thailand for a year we all stayed in touch, constantly using Skype and FaceTime to be together from opposite ends of the world. And when Sara left for Vietnam last summer we did the same thing. Though we miss each other desperately when one of us is off on an adventure, it’s like no time at all has passed when we’re together again. And when the gang is all back together again after months apart you can be damn sure we’re making the most of that time.

Case in point, this summer. The summer of us.

the girls

Sara left for Vietnam last July and got home at the end of this June. Almost a whole year had gone by since we’d last seen her beautiful glowing face in person. She signed on for two years teaching abroad in Vietnam, and year one was finally done. We were so excited for her return, but we knew it would be short-lived because she’d be going back again soon; she only had eight weeks of summer vacation in Canada. Joce and I made a pact that for the duration of Sara’s time back home we’d drop anything and everything for the three of us to be together if Sara was free. She had a busy schedule, with so many things to do and so many other people who wanted to see her too. But if she was free, we booked her.

And it was amazing. It was the best summer ever.

We started with a wonderfully drunken reunion weekend at Joce’s cottage. Best hug ever.

best hug ever

Then there was an amazing evening of comedy at the Second City followed by hilariously rad karaoke. Where we unfortunately didn’t get the perfect photos to capture the memories, but that doesn’t matter so much. What we got suits us just fine.

karaoke

moar karoke!

Sara and her parents hosted a super awesome pool party! And the water temperature was spot on. Big Lar did a damn fine job with the pool, if I do say so myself.

po

Joce and Harry had a belated housewarming party.

the gang

housewarming

And it was so much fun that even D danced. For reals. The merriment was too contagious, even for Old Grandpa D to resist.

D danced!

There were shots aplenty…

shots

moar shots

Laughs galore…

laughs

boxhead

And we rediscovered our intense love of charades!

charades

It was an absolute blast. Having Sara back home, seeing each other almost every weekend for the eight weeks she was with us, it was a dream come true. All I ever want is to be with my best friends. They’re the most wonderful people and I love them so dearly. Everything with them is fun and easy. Everything is just fucking awesome when you’ve got your best pals by your side.

One night while we were hanging out, Sara told me that it’s hard to meet good people and make lasting friendships overseas. Good people who just get you and who you want to be with always. Those people you can confide in and who will support you unconditionally through anything. Those kind of people are a rare and precious commodity. She told me that this experience living abroad made her realize how profoundly grateful she is to have found Joce and I. And Karan too, of course. I’ve never been in the same situation as her, striking out on her own in another country on the other side of the world. But I believe her. There are special people in the world, very special people who you make connections with that you know are everlasting. And that’s not something you can just find anywhere.

Ten years ago when I moved into the dorm on labour day weekend, I didn’t know what the future would hold. I was nervous about living alone, and I wasn’t sure that I’d fit in. I was excited about starting a new life, sure. I just figured it was going to be a four-year pit-stop on my way to the real world. I didn’t know that I was going to find my tribe. But I did. I found my people, I found where I belong.

And I can’t imagine my life without them. I don’t care what a shitty cliché that is either, because it’s true.

the summer of us

We had the best summer ever, we did everything together. The summer of us. We were completely inseparable, just like the old days. Just like it still is. Nothing’s really changed after all this time.

And when Sara gets home again next summer, we’re going to do it all over again. I can’t wait. I’m already checking off the days on the calendar. Days until my heart feels whole with friendship and laughter again. Joce is still here, that’s awesome. There’s Skype, too. That helps. And I’ve got a good stash of memories from this summer past to hold me over until then. But still, I just want to have my people close all the time. I’m selfish like that.

Cheers, Sara! I hope year two is every bit the adventure that the first one was. I miss you. But I’ll see you soon, it’s not so long until we’re together again. Enjoy your journey.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

I’d Like to Thank the Academy… The Liebster Award

What a wonderful surprise!

The Liebster Award

Littlejenmo of ThinkJunk has nominated me for my very first blog award, the Liebster. What a darling thing to do. Thank you so much. To think, all this drinking and cursing is starting to pay off! The first thing I’m going to do with my winnings is… oh, wait a minute, just reading this thing fully. So, there’s no big cash prize? Just the prestige then? Alright, well, glad we got that sorted out. On with the show!

The Liebster award is a recognition given to small bloggers by other small bloggers (max 200 followers), and the rule for the awards are:

1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog.
That’s easy enough. Thank you again to my friend at ThinkJunk

2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answering the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

4. Display the Liebster Award logo.

5.  No tag back thingy’s. (Which I assume means that the people I nominate can’t just re-nominate me?)

Part of the process is to share with you even more zany facts about myself by answering the questions that Littlejenmo so thoughtfully posed. Here goes nothing:

  1. What was your first ever blog post about?
    It was an introduction of myself to the inter webs and a mission statement. Some boring bit about why I started blogging.
  2. Where did you get your name?
    My friends call me Smash, not because I’m graceful. I’ve been smashing through my life since day one. Seemed like it might be Kismet?
  3. Who does your hair?
    The rats in my apartment. They gnaw a real nice ‘do.
  4. What is the worst thing you’ve ever smelled?
    Someone put their B.O. riddled armpit in my face during rush hour on the subway once. Doesn’t get much worse than that.
  5. What do your dreams look like?
    If they were ever made public, they’d look a lot like I’m about to get fired for sexual harassment…
  6. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever purchased online?
    A poster of Dave Grohl giving the finger. Which was displayed proudly on my bedroom wall for several formative years.
  7. Who gets to see you cry?
    “There’s no crying in baseball!” And now you know about a movie I saw once.
  8. What is your guilty pleasure?
    Currently, belting out Huey Lewis & The News songs at the top of my lungs when nobody is home and dancing as if I were a Frankenstein. Although it changes everyday. My life is rife with guilty pleasures.
  9. Who gave you your first kiss?
    For the sake of protecting the identities of everyone who is involved in this sorry tale, let’s just call him “Teddy Ruxpin” and leave it at that.
  10. What is in your pockets right now?
    This seems like a question better suited to someone actually wearing pants, or perhaps with pockets in their underwear.
  11. What’s one thing you can’t live without?
    My own witty quips at the expense of others, ha ha ha! So droll. But seriously, it’s laughter. I can’t live in a world without laughter. Or Super Big Gulps from the 7-11.

The blogs that I have chosen to nominate are:

  1. Travels for Two
  2. GingerPolitics
  3. The Dark Geek Rises
  4. The Merry Bride
  5. Auston Habershaw
  6. The Very Single Girl
  7. Sparkyleegeek’s Blog
  8. Hottywood Helps
  9. Batman To Be
  10. Finding the Funi
  11. 139 Hobbies

And now for the grilling of your lifetime. Here are the questions I have carefully crafted for my nominees:

  1. How do you take your eggs?
  2. What is the best concert you ever went to?
  3. What’s hiding under your bed right now?
  4. Worst book you ever read, maybe you couldn’t even finish it. What was it?
  5. How do you like your pizza topped?
  6. What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve ever eaten?
  7. What is the most played song on your iPod?
  8. Would you or do you go to the movies alone?
  9. When was the last time you got so drunk you couldn’t remember anything the next morning?
  10. Something that makes you smile, every single time you think of it. What is it?
  11. What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Well, there you have it folks. My magnanimous acceptance of the Liebster Award. Thank you ever so kindly Littlejenmo. It’s been a slice!

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…

A Colourful Wedding (In More Ways Than One!)

I still feel a little tingly from Saturday night. Some residual happiness just kicking around my heart. I wish it would last forever. That feeling you have after a really amazing wedding. It’s a feeling of clarity, because everything makes sense in the world. Like a perfectly matched pair of mismatched socks.

One of my most beloved and wonderful friends, The Magpie, got married to the man of her dreams. And they threw one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to.

It wasn’t about a perfect white dress, sweeping landscapes as backdrops for the perfect pictures, or lavish spending. There’s such an emphasis on weddings these days. Such high expectations. People get consumed in the details, trying to control every aspect of it, forcing perfection. The Magpie’s wedding was a departure from all of that over-stylized bullshit we’ve come to expect from weddings.

It was real. All of the emphasis was exactly where it should have been, on the marriage itself. You could hear it in the way they said their vows. You could see it in the way they looked at each other as they danced. You could feel it the very second you walked into the room. They meant it. They meant it with every fibre of their beings. And they’re going to keep on meaning it, every day, from this day on.

It started with a simple, heartfelt ceremony at city hall. With music and friends.

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The vows were honest and sweet.

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They kissed and signed the paperwork to make it stick. Time to get back to their place. Time to celebrate!

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We’re gunna need a bigger tub…

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There were brilliant toasts. Curse toasts even. I’ve never heard a bride drop an f-bomb in a thank you toast before, but it was a delightful addition!

Cue the music, time to dance.

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Twirling and swirling in a twelve dollar dress. Something only the Magpie could make so magical.

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Stealing a laugh with her new father-in-law.

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We drank til our faces hurt, partied like there was no tomorrow.

wedding

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I’ve never been in a room with so much happiness. Which is probably why I was practically bouncing off the walls! The steady supply of drinks may have had something to do with that as well…

I was very happy that night. So happy that I thought my little heart was going to burst in my chest at any minute because it couldn’t possibly manage to hold anymore joy. I love my friend, and I love how it’s all turned out for her. Wildest dreams all coming true.

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Cheers buddy, you’re a wife now and it’s gunna be awesome!