Insta-Obsessed!

I’m pretty sure I’ve told you guys about how I was a really staunch holdout on getting a new cell phone, right? I got my first cell phone in April 2012 and I was twenty-five years old. People thought it was weird that I went that long without having any form of cell phone at all, but I kind of loved being out of touch with the world. I could go and live my life and nobody could ever get a hold of me. It was awesome. It irritated D to no end, but that was a minor detail. People always had these great stories about how difficult it was to “track me down” and I exalted in that chase, I really did.

Then, when I finally caved and got a phone people made fun of me for getting a Blackberry Curve. It was 2012 for chrissakes! Blackberry had fallen. What the hell was wrong with me? But I’ll tell you, I loved that little thing. What it lacked in style and current-ness it made up for with that amazing little QWERTY keypad. I could pump out text messages and emails like nobody’s business. My fingers lightning fast with LOLs and OMGs.

I cherished that phone. When the battery started trudging along, getting weak and needing to charge every few hours, I’d just order another one from Amazon for like six bucks. I had a sweet ass grandfathered plan that basically gave me unlimited data and I loved the Brickbreaker game that was pre-installed. Many a slow subway ride home I spent breaking bricks and avoiding eye contact with whatever creep du jour had gotten on my car. But like all good things eventually do, our time in the sun came to an end.

My boss called up our CIO and told him what a piece of crap phone I have and somehow that turned into me getting and iPhone 5S quicker than you could say “but BBM rules!”

It was a bit of a struggle, getting used to my iPhone, but I knew the change was inevitable. My service had been getting more and more unreliable, D missing texts that I’d be working late or there was a subway delay and wondering where the hell I was when we were supposed to be meeting up. So I grudgingly made the change for the greater good. And after a few months, I think I’m used to it now. There are pros and cons to everything you do in this life.

I got to buy an adorable flowery case that proudly proclaims to the world that my phone is a strong independent woman. Mmm hmm, that’s right girl. You ain’t need no man telling you what to do. And I’ll also freely admit that the camera on this phone fucking annihilates the grainy, found-footage seeming pics my Blackberry used to half-assedly capture with an obnoxiously loud CLICK.

I so despise the fucking dickcheese autocorrect jerk on this iPhone though. That’s one major drawback. One time I tried to say “husband” and it turned it to “Hubbard” for some unknown reason. Or when I’m excited about something and want to respond “Yayy!” that somehow becomes “tasty” instead. The people I’m texting must think I’m this mega-weirdo trying to create my own goofy adult slang that will never catch on. Trying to out-cool the kids these days.

But the best thing about it has been this really amazing app I installed called INSTAGRAM. Ooo, aaahhhh. A way to take pics and immediately post with some pithy-in-my-head caption? Sign me up!

I frigging love this shit. I could Insta all day every day. I’m learning all about memes and really seeing for the first time how many goddamn cute cats there are out there who really really need my approval by way of many “likes”. All that time I used to spend clogging D’s phone up with great shots of the city or food I was eating or weird shit I’d see around has become so much more efficient, me now doing these things from the comfort of my own phone.

It’s also been a really awesome outlet for me since I haven’t had as much time to dedicate to full-out blogging lately. It’s micro-blogging, the kids say! You’ll love it, they decree!

And I do. I frigging love the shit out of it. Have I mentioned that yet? I am full-blown Insta-obsessed!

Heres’ the link to my page: my fabulous instagram account! You like what you see, you follow me. It’s mostly what you’ve come to know and love about this blog: my zany meals, Harv, partying, Toronto, the weird shit I think is amusing. It’s great. @smashingthroughlife that’s my handle so you can find me super easy.

Let’s be Insta-obsessed together!

P.S. here’s a picture that shows how wonderfully feminine my phone case is. That’s the kind of phone case you take to a nice seafood dinner and then call again, promptly, to make another date. Mmm hmm.

flowery phone case

Advertisements

Another Fugly Cake

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

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

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

Simply put, they don’t.

another fugly cake

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

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

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

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

it's black innards

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

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

it's dying!

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

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

Happy birthday to me.

Luck of the Draw

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

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

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

But sadly, no dice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Boot

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

Cheers, universe! Here’s looking at you.

More Than I Could Chew

D and I decided to grab a bite out for dinner tonight. Nothing special, we just went to a little pub in our neighbourhood. We like going out for dinner. We get to sit down and talk, just the two of us. It’s nice.

When I was younger I wasn’t a very adventurous eater. I liked to stick with what was working, like a big juicy cheeseburger or a comforting piece of shepherd’s pie. But I’ve grown up a lot since then. I try things now, you know. We went out to a fancy dinner earlier this week to celebrate D’s birthday and I had this amazingly creamy lobster and crab soup followed by a coronary inducing strip loin and duck fat frites. It was the meal that launched a thousand puddles of drool. I wouldn’t have eaten any of that stuff when I was a kid. I would have turned up my nose immediately, and I would have stuck by my guns no matter how delicious the morsel in question turned out to be. “Duck fat frites? What the fuck are you even talking about? Oh, so they’re just fancy french fries? Yeah, I still hate that”, would have been my take on it back then. But I’ve since learned that trying new things won’t actually kill you dead on the spot. And it’s been great. I fucking love trying new shit all the time now.

An extension of that growth, that newly discovered joy of trying, is that I also try not to order the same old familiar stuff at places. If we’re going somewhere that we’ve been before I try to bounce around the menu, ordering something I haven’t had at that particular place before. I’ve seen people get stuck in that rut of ordering the same damn thing from the same damn place all the time. It’s tiresome. I don’t want to be tiresome, I want to live every moment like it’s a fantastic new adventure. Especially when it comes to my culinary exploits. I’ve already wasted so much of my precious time turning my nose up, and I don’t want to waste a minute more.

So D and I met up after work and made our way over to Scruffy Murphy’s Irish Pub for dinner. I scanned the menu, trying to avoid the delicious looking same old same old land-mines on every page. Chicken Pot Pie, yummy but been there done that girlfriend. Fish ‘n’ Chips, another favourite of mine but it’s always the same no matter where you are. Club Sandwich, pffft more like Club Boring Sandwich. Then something wonderful caught my eye under the Burgers ‘n’ Sandwiches heading: Fish Taco. I like fish tacos, I’ve had them at other places a time or two before. But they’re not something I order all the time. Maybe on a hot, sticky summer afternoon when I feel like an ice-cold beer and a nibble. Fish tacos can really hit the spot under the right circumstances. It was just another blah January night, dark and cold. But a couple of fish tacos might be just the ticket to fight the blahness of this January night.

There was just one thing, though. It was listed on the menu as Fish Taco, no lowercase “s” neatly tacked onto the end. I wondered aloud to D if maybe that meant it would be one enormous piece of fish in a tortilla. He assured me that it was probably just a typo, a huge piece of fish in a tortilla would be ridiculous. Nobody would ever order it, he said. It’s not logical, he added for good measure. I thought about double-checking with the server first, just to be sure, but then D’s reasoning won me over in the end. Surely he was right. One huge piece of fish all bundled into a tortilla would be madness. It’s definitely going to be a tidy little plate with two, maybe three, fish tacos all in a row.

And then this happened:

fish taco

One enormous fucking fish taco was placed in front of me.

D and I were floored. I sat there looking at him, mouth agape and momentarily stunned. How could this be? It was supposed to be illogical and ridiculous, and now it’s somehow become a terrifying reality. I really didn’t even know where to begin. When I turned it around to peek at the formidable fishy foe within it was like looking into a chasm.

fish taco again

That wasn’t a typo on the menu at all. It was a completely accurate description of the meal that I received. I got exactly what I’d ordered alright, Fish Taco.

So I did the best I could, I really did. But I hadn’t been planning on stuffing my face, I wasn’t overly hungry to begin with. I’d just wanted something easily manageable that I could nibble. And don’t get me wrong, it was a goddamned delicious fish taco. The crispy filet of haddock was packed into the tortilla with generous helpings of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheese, and tangy chipotle mayo sauce to join it on its journey down my gullet.

But I just couldn’t make it all disappear.

eating fish taco

I had to concede defeat to the mighty Fish Taco, for I had been bested.

It had the upper hand on my appetite and the element of surprise tucked into its roomy back pocket, but I’d like to think I gave it some hell on the way down. Maybe someday I’ll go back, order it again, and prove myself a worthy adversary. But for now, I’m going to shoot some Pepto to soothe my aching, overstuffed tummy and keep my distance while I lick my wounds.

We’ll meet again Fish Taco, I’m sure of it. And next time I’ll be ready for you.

A Fugly Cake

My mom is crazy. Just, like, totally nuts.

I don’t know if she’s always been crazy, or if I’m just noticing it more now. It’s possible that she was just as crazy as she is now when I was younger but I was too self-involved to notice. Either way, she’s fucking crazy, you can trust me when I say that. And she reads this blog, so please know that I mean that in the best possible way, Ma.

It’s always something. Every time we head back home for a family thing or a holiday there’s some new strain of craziness that’s making its way around. It’s usually harmless though. Just some run-of-the-mill everyday insanity that we can all have a good chuckle about. Like the time she thought her eyesight had drastically worsened overnight, but then realized that the dog had just chewed the lenses out of her glasses. Or the time she thought that “bobody” was a word. That time she punched the neighbour’s lights out, with an admittedly precise uppercut. And who could forget the slew of wildly inappropriate jokes she’s always got handy for the telling. Seriously, a couple of weeks ago she told me this joke about a woman who masturbated with a Chiquita banana and insisted that it was just a “cute little joke”.

It’s just part of the deal I guess. You go back home, you have some craziness, and then you have to leave so all the crazy can start regenerating again for your next visit.

We went home for a belated Thanksgiving dinner last weekend and the craziness was in full force, let me tell you. There was that mothering intensity over my fracture, mom wanting to dope me up with all kinds of old pills she had leftover from her accident a few years ago. Which is sweet, that she’s so concerned. But really, I’m not just going to start taking a bunch of dusty old pills because a) who the hell knows what will happen to me if I do and b) I’m not insane. Then she pulled out some weird plastic contraption, from who the hell knows where, that supposedly helps you make your own ribbons and bows. It’s a technological revolution, I tells ya! Inevitably, the insistence that she needed help figuring out how it works followed. But that turned out to be a reasonable enough request once I opened the instruction manual and immediately noticed no less than ten typos. Again, where did this ridiculous thing even come from? Doesn’t matter anyway does it? You know the end result will be the same. We did our best with it, but damn did that plastic piece of shit ever cause a world of unnecessary frustration. Then there was also the bartering of her crocheting skills in return for a 50 lb bag of potatoes from a relative. And there was family and neighbourhood gossip peppered in for good measure, because let’s be real here, everyone is crazy and it wouldn’t be the holidays if we didn’t make time to swap all of our respective stories on the continual craziness that colours our collective lives.

And then, of course, there was the Thanksgiving dessert.

Normal families would just have pumpkin or apple pie and call it a day. But not us, oh no. Mom decided to be creative this year and try something different…

fugly cake

It’s different alright.

I took one look at that lump of frosting and wondered if maybe my mom had started dropping acid on her days off. Probably not, but a cake like that does bring up a lot of questions.

It’s two pumpkin cakes that were made in bundt pans and then stacked and iced to look like a pumpkin. For decorative flair there’s also a black liquorice stump and some candied leaves on his head, and a delightfully retarded little face. But that’s not all! Inside the pumpkin cake awaited another strange surprise…

back of fugly cake's head

Might be a little tough to see, but the fugly pumpkin cake’s head was filled with little pumpkin candies. So when we sliced it open it felt like we were all working together to perform a risky and delicate brain surgery. Or, you know, committing a really fucked up murder.

The cake itself was actually really good. Moist, light, and sweet. Covered all the bases in terms of what you’d want from a cake. We always used to love helping my mom with her baking when we were little. It was fun. She made a lot of carrot cakes, which I always loved. But they’d usually just have a nice light dusting of icing sugar on top. And banana bread. Oh hells yes, my ma could make the best banana bread you ever had the pleasure of eating. But the homemade baked goods of my youth were much more modest in appearance than my mom’s current day creations.

I’m not sure which I prefer.

On the one hand, I see a cake like that fugly little pumpkin one and I worry that a couple more of mom’s screws have tumbled loose. On the other hand, I kind of enjoy the zany, if not slightly affected, manner her cakes have recently adopted. Not a lot of people can say that they got to eat a cake that had a lazy eye.

fugly cake too

And I suppose that’s kind of special. Like my Ma.

She’s crazy, most assuredly crazy, but in a very special way. It’s okay though. I dig it, Ma. After a bit of consideration I think you should keep the weird little cakes coming. They’re fun, and they’re offbeat. Just like you.

Chunky Monkey

Poor Harvey. We took him to the vet this weekend for a couple of shots, but that wasn’t the worst of his problems…

The doctor said that he’s too chubby and has to go on a diet. Being of the curvier variety myself, I feel for the poor little guy.

This was our first meeting with the new vet and we loved her. Her face lit up when she first saw Harvey, she remarked on how handsome he is numerous times, and she gave him lots of affectionate pets throughout his examination. So clearly she’s very caring and really does love animals, which is important to us. We liked his previous vet in Richmond Hill too, more specifically we liked one of the two doctors working at that practice. The doctor we actually did like was nice, but her bedside manner was much more reserved than the one we just visited. The other doctor at the old vet was a total dick. D hated him almost instantly upon meeting him. He was unfriendly and unkind, not giving a single fuck about anything. He handled Harvey too roughly and barely gave us the time of day when we had questions about Harv’s overall health. Not the kind of person that I want to rely on for my cat’s care. One visit to him was more than enough. Whenever we made appointments for Harv after that one horrendous visit with Doctor Doom, we’d make sure that he would be seeing the doctor we actually liked. It was quite the hassle given their varied work schedules. Needless to say, I was quite selective in picking out Harvey’s new doctor in Toronto. We didn’t want to find ourselves in the same situation.

We were very pleasantly surprised. Like I said, the new doctor was outgoing, friendly, and showed extraordinary care to an animal she was only just meeting for the first time. A total slam dunk.  However, there is that whole diet thing to consider… Poor Harvey. He was called “chunky monkey” no less than 15 times during his visit. I know he’s got a small frame that has filled out generously since we first brought him home. But I didn’t think we’d have to resort to a diet!

The kibble he likes to eat is labelled “weight control”, and he doesn’t eat a single scrap of people food. But he is a bit of a pig for wet food. And as the vet said, the fancy feast he hungers for is equivalent to feeding him pizza for dinner every night. Like a really cheesy, deep-dish, grease ball of a pizza. Oh man, that sounds so fucking awesome. I can’t take that away from him, can I? I love my little Harv as is and I don’t want to deprive him of anything he may want. I mean, it’s not like he’s obese. He just has some extra chub to love, right?

Maybe we need a second opinion. What do you think, reader?

Figure 1: lounging on the bed last Sunday

Getting some evening sun last week

Figure 2: getting some evening sun last week

Figure 3: watching some T.V.

Figure 3: watching some T.V.

Figure 4: hanging out with his friend

Figure 4: hanging out with his best friend

Figure 5: napping alongside me while I read

Figure 5: napping alongside me while I read

Figure 6: joining us for dinner

Figure 6: joining us for dinner (but just for company, not for eating any of our food)

Figure 7: snuggling with D

Figure 7: snuggling with D

Figure 8: greeting me when I get home

Figure 8: greeting me when I get home

Is my darling Harvey a chunky monkey or just a naturally curvy cutie? As long as he’s healthy, I don’t really care how big he is. D and I will love him no matter what. Either way, we can all agree that he’s got a very happy life. And he clearly doesn’t give a damn how he looks. He’d probably be just as happy at ten pounds as he would be at thirty. But that’s because he doesn’t understand the negative impacts a life of excess can have. Which is where I come in…

Perfectly happy as is

Perfectly happy as is

His health and well-being are totally on me. And I don’t want to fuck this up. I want him to keep having a happy life, so I guess that means doing whatever it takes to keep him healthy. If feeding him junky wet food for dinner puts my standard of care in a similar class as that of the douche-bag vet in Richmond Hill, then I need to change that. Because I am nothing like that jerk when it comes to caring for the pets I love. Our new vet is right. She has a great big caring heart, and she’s right. She fell in love with Harv as soon as she laid eyes on him, so I know she wouldn’t steer us wrong.

I’m going to go ahead with the diet because I trust and respect her opinion. And because I want this wacky little kitty to stick around for a very long time.

The Grilled Cheese

Laughing always helps. Over the years it’s proven itself to be the best way to diffuse my bouts of atomic anger. I wouldn’t characterize myself as an angry person in general. I think I just got gypped on patience the day that it was being handed out amongst the newborns. Got heaps of stubborn and disrespectful though. Oh yes, lots of those.

But back to patience. My temper has always been the result of my significant lack of patience. Not from some inherently angry demon troll that lives within. Nothing crazy like that. But I was that kid that would erupt in rage, seemingly out of nowhere, to the horror of my family and many bewildered onlookers alike. That is, if we happened to be in public when the very last imperceptible vestiges of my patience had waned. And by waned I mean instantaneously depleted the second something fucking stupid happened.

Yeah, I was that kid. I’m sure my mom got plenty of those glances anytime I went off in public. You know, the “wow, your kid’s got mental problems” glances. She probably got lots of disbelieving eye-rolls too. I’m sure she did, how could she not? Don’t you roll your eyes at the screeching red-faced little brat in the supermarket that just won’t take no for answer when mommy tells him he can’t have a candy bar? Yeah me too, what a freak that kid is!

If we were at home though, I had the luxury of relative privacy when going all berserk on whatever had incited my rage that day. If a toy wasn’t working it would be hurled furiously across the room before an attempt to investigate the root of its malfunction had crossed my mind. If my sisters were pissing me off, I would hurl myself furiously across the room in an attempt to bash and claw their jerkiness out of them. When a crayon dared to step out of line, threatening to ruin another would-be masterpiece of colouring excellence, the colouring book page was viciously torn to shreds.

But just as suddenly as my rage would ignite, it would extinguish too. I’d scamper over to that toy I’d hurled in haste, pick it back up and treat it more kindly. My sisters and I would decide that teaming up and using our combined jerkish wiles to terrorize the neighbourhood kids made more sense. Underneath the ripped out page an even better page would appear, with much more masterpiece potential than the previous one had. I’d erupt and cool down almost simultaneously.

During those intense throes of eruption, it was like I would momentarily leave my body. It was like sanity had stepped out for its regularly scheduled break. I would step outside of myself, silently observing as my physical being proceeded to freak the fuck out over something usually quite trivial. Then the realization of how ridiculously I was behaving would strike, and I’d laugh myself back to reality.

eggo

I vividly remember one time just going apeshit, and savagely beating the life out of an Eggo waffle because I’d gone to the tremendous effort of toasting it a beautiful golden shade of brown, only to find out after the fact that we were out of syrup. That’s an astonishingly shameful true story. It haunts my dreams, for reals. Then I laughed it off two minutes later when I noticed a new jar of strawberry jam in the cupboard. I could just dip the massacred bits of Eggo into that, and it would all be okay. As long as my mom didn’t see, of course.

As I got older, I learned to control myself. I had tantrums less and less. I learned the joys of shoving everything that ever bothered me deep down inside myself and internalizing it for all eternity. When stupid shit pisses you off, just breathe deeply and seethe. Sometimes I still have an outburst, but it’s usually only brought on by things that really warrant it. Like when bitchy cashiers close their checkout lane and tell me to move to the next one after I’ve already unloaded half of my shopping cart onto the conveyor belt. Yeah, I’m talking about you way-too-skinny-and-unnaturally-tanned clerk at Loblaws. Or annoying morons talking way too loudly on their cell phones in the morning on a crowded train. Guess what, I don’t give a shit what happened at the party on Friday or what you’re baking for the holidays, just shut the fuck up and have your conversation somewhere out of my earshot.

As a recovering Tantrum-aholic, I’m pretty good at spotting the warning signs in others. I’m perceptive. I can sense when someone is on the brink of a complete meltdown. Like D, on Sunday.

We didn’t have the energy for cooking anything too complex on Sunday, so we opted for soup and grilled-cheese sandwiches. A simple, satisfying staple. D does the bulk of the cooking, mostly because he’s good at it and I don’t want to. But for some reason, he has problems with grilled-cheese. He’s burnt quite a few of them in his time, burning as the result of negligence. For some reason he just gets negligent around grilled-cheese. Maybe he thinks it’s too easy and just switches his brain off, I don’t know.

He was in the kitchen making dinner and I was watching T.V. I got up to get a glass of water and I glanced at the frying pan. There was an unusual amount of smoke coming up from the sandwiches.

“I think they’re burning”, I mentioned casually.

I looked up at him and his jaw was tense. His brow had creased, and he was sporting a formidable frown. I reached for a flipper, and he grabbed the pan off the stove at the same time. He drew in a steady, menacing breath as I manoeuvred the flipper under the first sandwich. “They better not be fucking burnt” he growled. I looked up at him as I flipped the sandwich, and offered a pre-emptive “it’s okay” to soothe the fury that was brewing within him.

I could see the sandwich as it started to turn, and sure enough every inch of it was pitch black. I looked at D gently, beseeching him to accept it and let it go. But it was too late.

“GODDAMIT! I FUCKING KNEW IT! THIS IS SUCH BULLSHIT!!!!”

D is quiet and collected by nature, so a freakout of this magnitude from him is quite rare. Still clutching the frying pan he dashed towards the kitchen door, his intentions were clear. I knew that if I didn’t stop him those sandwiches were on a one-way trip down 24 stories to the visitor parking lot. I jumped in front of him, blocking the way.

“It’s alright, we’ll make new ones! It’s okay”, I pleaded. He glared back at me, still furious. I smiled. “Imagine that poor person who walks out to their car and finds two grilled-cheese sandwiches on the windshield” I said.

He hinted at a smile. “One side all burnt to shit and the other still raw. Think of how ridiculous that would be if it was your car”, I continued. He considered, rolling the image around in his mind. Then, when the realization of how extreme his reaction to a couple of burnt sandwiches had been D laughed and so did I. It would be ridiculous. To find two sandwiches in such a way on your car. You’d be able to deduce exactly what had happened too. You’d see the burnt disgusting side, and you’d just know.

My heightened tantrum-sensing abilities had kicked in just in time. I was annoyed that the sandwiches had burnt too, that was my dinner after all. But diffusing D’s tantrum just took precedence. Laughter saved the day, it always does.

Having given in to many a temper tantrum in my day, I always appreciated it when others who’d borne witness just shrugged it off and acted casual, like I hadn’t just beat the living shit out of a breakfast pastry. It was outrageous behaviour yes, but understanding helped. Catching that slight, affectionate twinkle in my mom’s eye after I’d settled down made me feel better. I knew she’d get on the horn and laugh about it with my nana later that day. But that was okay, laughing about it made it better.

And I’d sensed that D needed the same thing. He needed to freak the fuck out and have me not make a big deal about it. I stopped him from doing something completely absurd, like chucking the sandwiches off of our balcony. But I also let him shout it out and helped him laugh it off.

We ate the burnt sandwiches anyways, and laughed our way through every bite.