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Beatles

I don't know how we came upon the discussion, but I decided I wanted to confirm to Charles that I have a Top Three of favourite Beatles songs. As he helped me come up with a number 2 and 3 for my list (I only knew my top favourite one), I decided, maybe I could do a Top Five, and then it came down to a Top Ten.

It took two days to figure out a tenth song I loved. Charles sang bits of every song from every album, only he skipped a couple here and there, which I discovered when I eventually gave up and went on Spotify. Then I threw them in order. I think I got it.

1) Here Comes The Sun
2) Across the Universe
3) Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
4) Penny Lane
5) I Wanna Hold Your Hand
6) All My Loving
7) And I Love Her
8) Help
9) Hey Jude
10) Strawberry Fields Forever

Best Friends

Two random bits:

I saw the old man who wiped out hard on the bus - he's doing well and healing up fine. I now carry an arsenal of bandaids in my purse for just in case.

I finally got to hear the new Dionysos album, Vampire en Pyjama, and it's fucking gorgeous. Really feels like a throwback to older times. I also have the book of the same name - a diary of the singer's year in the hospital, living off others' blood (transfusions) as he battles aplastic aphasia. Yikes!


The main:

Emily and I have been chilling out a lot again, like old times - She was my best friend back in the beginning of LiveJournal's heyday. And it's like being back there again. We are taking aerial yoga together, cleaning her hoarder Gran's house, watching TV (Broad City and Daria, with an occasional movie in the mix), eating junk food, chilling out in the kiddie blow-up pool, and running around town like mad. It's great fun.

Despite my shitty eating habits while at Emily's house, we run around and do so much stuff that my calorie count still puts me at a huge deficiency for the day (wildly under my target calorie mark). I've also discovered that, while I do still love sweets, my tastebuds have finally changed to disgust for things with too much sugar (like Apple Jacks cereal, which I once loved).

Cleaning Emily's house has enticed me to clean up my own apartment, so I've been trying to not be so lazy about the upkeep - putting dishes, empty bottles, and laundry in their right place as soon as I should, instead of whenever I get to it. I got a new dining table with chairs, and I had to clear out the living room. That + Emily helped kickstart me into gear.

And she's totally helped me upgrade my wardrobe! Expect pictures of some new outfits in the near future, maybe. She gave me a bunch of undergarments that no longer fit her (literally the first time I've EVER had a bra that fits me perfectly) and a bunch of awesome dresses.



And we're not done yet! Today, we're going shopping. Tomorrow, we're taking an intro to pole class. Thursday is yoga. Next weekend, the world.

Today, she told me I make her stay motivated and not depressed. I'm glad I've got that affect on someone in the world, and I'm glad it's Emily <3

No Good Terrible Something Something Day

Brian stood me up for our lunch date, so I caught the bus home (I would have walked, but I was ill-prepared for the black clouds looming closer).

Two stops before my own, an elderly man tried to get on the bus. I noticed the driver didn't lower the doorstep like he should, and I found out why this is such a big deal when the old man face-planted trying to get on. He coiled his face into his bag to hide his tears as people, except the bus driver who couldn't care less, rushed to his aid. When he finally got on, we noticed both his legs bleeding. He had a gusher on one leg, and some deep scrapes on the other. He sat right in front of me and I searched my bag for a tissue to no avail (thankfully, someone from the back brought tissues and a bandaid). I talked to him for a minute. He seemed in good spirits, joking here and there, but my heart ached for this guy who had no one to sit with him and help him. The gusher wouldn't stop bleeding by the time we got to my stop. I told him he should put the bandaid on it fast. The second I stepped off the bus, it dawned on me that I could have ridden out further and bussed back later, if only to make sure he got proper medical support (or at least to a first aid kit) wherever he ended up. But I didn't, and I worried so much about him, and I was so angry at the bus driver who didn't lower the step, didn't get off his ass to help, and didn't have a fucking first aid kit on the bus (or know where it is, because it's baffling to think a public transit bus wouldn't have a first aid kit).

Charles came home to find me laying on the couch being sad about the whole thing. I explained, and I just burst into tears. We went for a drive to run an errand, and immediately upon pulling up to a main street, I noticed, "hey, they changed the Florida license plates," and pointed at the car ahead of us at the stop light. When the light turned green, I watched that car almost run over an old man crossing the street. He had the right-of-way, with the Go light on the crosswalk, and that asshole from Florida nearly plowed into him! Shouting and beeps were heard from all who witnessed it, and I freaked out and shouted out the window to the old man, "Are you okay??" "Yeah," he replied, as we moved on our way so as not to block traffic. I didn't call the cops, even though we tailed the car for a mile and I had their plate number. Because we all know how useful the police system is for such incidents. I started crying again.

I was so upset from these incidents that I was sure my time at the Cup tonight would be awful - bawling my eyes out for ten minutes. I'm very thankful to say it wasn't bad. I had a really amazing time with my friends, and it really helped me finish the day.

West Virginia

Don't ask me why, but I just opted to be a passenger in a 9-hour drive to West Virginia at the end of next month.

WITH MY MOTHER.

We're going to visit a family friend. I haven't seen Laurie in many years, but she's become a prolific watercolor artist, and I'd like to get some tips about certain techniques. Plus visit. Plus just have some time away.

I need to make a list of things I have to do regarding those 9 hours in the car. Plus general prep.

1) Find out if I have to take the Monday following the weekend off.

2) Email my bosses about getting the necessary time off from work.

3) Buy some cloves (sadly, I think it's too late to order real cloves, unless I can find a friend with a stash I can buy from). If that's a bust, I'll have to, ugh, buy regular cigarettes.

4) MAKE A FEW MUSIC MIXES. Possibly, include some podcasts.

5) Buy some shorts - my ONE pair is starting to thin out in the thighs (I used to have another pair, but can't find them anywhere). *also, gotta do this one sooner than later.

In the Air

Emily took me to her Aerial yoga class on Thursday. I expected to just sit in the lobby area to read, but then she showed me around the studio, and I got to talk to the instructor, which convinced me to pay a drop-in fee to attend the class alongside her. It was nuts, uncomfortable, and awesome. And I signed up for the rest of the session (three more classes), and got a ten dollar credit for myself and Emily via a Friend Referral.

I've got a couple friends who attend aerial arts classes (one who hoops, one who does acrobatic silks, and one of Emily's friends takes pole (dancing, but it's not dancing so much as exercise) ). I thought the studio was located in the next borough over, but it's on the other side of my own! And classes are cheap (though you do have to pay the total of sessions in the courses at once). After this session of classes, I'll definitely look into more classes. Emily's friend Liz already invited us to the aerial arts workshop (covering silks, hoops, tumbling, and pole).

Pretty excited. 236 x 193

Here's an example of stuff we did this class (I did not do the last move, but this is a procession of poses. I did do an inversion with a different pose, and it was a bit beyond me for a first day)

Glitch

I do this thing where I catch up on livejournal comments by clicking the entries/comments out of my email inbox, then delete them, so I can just get to them in a batch of tabs.

Alas, about three or four back-comments from others' entries that I intended to answer were lost in this process (because I didn't login, and of course it doesn't refresh the tabs to where I wanted to go after the first login). And LJ message center only shows me the comments on my own journal. Fuck.

So, in case you were wondering why I didn't continue the conversation...

It's also doing this annoying thing where it's not keeping my journal format when I go to the friends page! What gives??

Long Weekend

TL:DR;

The Plan:
Complete a new wood project. Clean the apartment head to toe. Work on an old commission piece.

The Reality:
Almost complete a new wood project. Clean kitchen and put a dent in cleaning the living room. No time for the old commission piece.

The Events:
Power tools needed charging. Many friend adventures. Spent the night away from home.

The Summary:
Making a wood project for my BPAL things with faulty equipment. Abandoned subway, closure, and bonding. Obituaries, cleaning someone else's house, kitties, music, and hair-dying. Three breakfasts.


The Details:

My drill has power issues. It's a cheap Black+Decker cordless that only holds a charge for a day's use before it starts slowing down. And plugging it in while using it does nothing. It only charges, it doesn't draw juice from the outlet itself. So drilling 96 little holes into crappy plywood took almost three evenings.

I'm making a little wooden compartment for my shitload of BPAL imps and vials. I just wanted something to display them. I might end up making something better down the road, but for now, I have this box I'm not using, and I made little shelves with holes in them for all the vials. I'm one step away (well, two steps) from finishing it, and that is, find my constantly disappearing wood glue, and glue the shelves in. And eventually paint the thing.



Before declaring it a Facebook-Free weekend, I noticed my friend Niki had requested for a downtown photo adventure, and I decided heck yeah, I can squeeze in a little morning trot through the city! Our friend Julie joined us, too. We decided, since Niki had never been, to trek the 7 miles through the abandoned subway. I found out Julie hadn't even been further than the aquaduct (beyond that point, it gets dark). We climbed the ladder and stood before the watery mess when Niki asked, as she pointed at the little footbridge with the missing wooden planks, "are we not gonna go across the rickety bridge?" "Uh, no. I don't think that's a good idea," replied Julie. I jumped in, "You've never been further? It's totally safe!" And I walked across like it's nothing, and they quickly joined. It's totally stable so long as you don't lose your footing and dunk a leg into the water between the planks. Then we had to climb over a fence and a wall, and journeyed into the dark.

It was at this point I decided to ask. "So... are you guys still friends with Joanna?" (I knew they're not, but wanted details - me not being friends with her anymore is kinda what drove a spike between the three of us at one point.

Then we all bonded over all the ways Joanna fucked us over in big ways. None so big as trying to ruin a wedding, like she did with Julie. But damn, I'm glad I asked. I won't get into the details of her discretions, but they were plenty, and I'm glad these ladies had my back when we came upon the topic of all the things she said behind my back, as we neared the end of the tunnel. On the way back, we talked about other things. We discovered an amazing art store (all the copics I can imagine). And we had coffee at Java's before parting. It was really fuckin' nice.




Before leaving for the city adventure, Emily, who I'd been really worried about, finally got in contact with me via text and opened up a little. She was having an anxiety attack over her grandma's obituary - how there's a deadline sometime Saturday, but she can't get a hold of anyone. I am pretty good at getting a hold of the right people, so I took the reins on this one and got the info she needed and gave her the correct phone number to call. She was really grateful because that set other things into motion and got rid of a few other problems she was having at that moment. I felt really good, both for her, and because I could do something and I did. I like being useful. Then she invited me over to help her paint a bird-bath. Our first hangout in a long-ass time. She also said we'd dye my hair, too. "Don't wash it," she said. I'd washed it the day before, so I told her I'll filth it up good for her during my city adventure (sawdust and spiderwebs - and maybe bird poop- should do the trick).

When I got there, we had chats, and she was still pretty wound up, but calmed down a little bit after we finished the adult stuff. I took the initiative to help out more - she said her clutter was causing her to lose focus, so while she finished writing her g-ma's obit, I cleaned up her desk and did her dishes. I like being useful, and I like that she appreciated the help (and didn't stammer around any "nooo, you don't have to, you shouldn't," etc. that so many others might). She was very accepting.

After grown-up stuff, we ran a few fun errands (shopping for lunch & dinner, and for hair stuff), blew up a kiddie pool, and chilled out with Bob's Burgers. Special guest appearance by Troy, who came over for an hour on Sunday. We didn't get in the pool because the water was so cold that my toes went painfully numb after two minutes. And we didn't even get to the birdbath until halfway through the next day, and had to cut it short before we finished due to tiredness. When I came home, I made myself a nice big salad and watched The Falling (beautiful independent film, Tracey Thorn soundtrack, crazy Maisy Williams, Wordsworth).

Overall, it was a Saturday/Sunday I would do again and again.




Surely Monday will give me time to do the things I planned on doing, right? I ate breakfast. I finished drilling holes. And then Charles offered me a bowl of Farina and fruit. I cut the pieces of wood out and sanded them. Then Brian came over. I made us lunch (stir-fry veggies with mochi brown rice and soba noodles), gave him five bucks and put more music on his phone, and gave him a ride to the store and home. We had a really fun chat and we made each other laugh like the old days. But guys, I ate so much food before 5. Ugh!

Sat on the couch the rest of the day spot-dremeling the little shelves and watching movies. And then to bed.

Holy balls. I had a good weekend.

Buy and Sell

Charles stress-shops, but I tend to shop when I feel good. Or when I feel like I have more money than usual. Combination of both, this month.

I decided I wanted to get a few new BPAL Imps (sample vials from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab), so I scoured ebay for deals. This led to seven separate purchases of both imps and full bottles. I now have almost 60 imps and 3 bottles. Hoping to make a holding case for them this weekend.

(for anyone who cares about the categories: Yule, Pretty Deadly, Lilith (Fatherhood), Mad Tea Party, Wanderlust, Halloween, Bewitching Brews, Metamorphosis, 1-each of 13 other categories, and the bottles: Haunted Palace, Bruised Violet Compound, and Snake Oil)


Tim took me to a hidden-gem bookstore on a little side-street downtown early last week. I'd have never known anything was there if he hadn't shown me. The bookstore's closing, either permanently, or due to a location change, so everything's marked way down. We scoured the history section for a book for Brian (for his birthday the next day), and then we went scouring for books for ourselves, too. At about $2 a book, Tim generously paid for my heap, too.


Margaret Ogilvy, by JM Barrie. Chevalier de maison rouge, etc, by Alexander Dumas. Seven Nights, by Jorge Luis Borges. The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov (67 short stories!!). If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, by Italo Calvino. La Voie du Silence (a random French book I got because it's in French, and it turns out to be a yoga book).


And I had a table at the gothic garage sale. It was like pulling teeth to get in proper communication with the show-runner - Meagan and I just needed confirmation for our spots, which we requested be next to each other downstairs. He got in contact with Meagan fine, it seemed, but thought I was talking about a different Meagan (I used her full name in the emails, so there should be no confusion). We got situated fine, got a good spot together, and then he treats us like assholes, thinking we were supposed to booth together when we made it completely clear in all the emails that we are buying two spots, one for each of us). I get that it's hard to organize events like this, but even I could have managed better than he did.

I did like the downstairs much better than the upstairs. I'm usually posted upstairs in the dark. We got a spot by the window, right in front of the bar. Meagan sold her jewelry and some garage sale items. I sold my jewelry, some new items (heart mirrors, no pics yet), and my sushi book. It was great. I made about $80, most of which got spent on the surrounding booths.


Score: new purse, fawn blood painting (not menstrual), Hello There Hideous Ickis shirt, Rochester Flower City patch, Fry pin, Nosferatu pin, Oblina toy, BPAL imp and perfume vial, and a leather Ouija hair clip.

Weekend in Toronto

I forgot to report on my annual weekend in Toronto. Charles and I go up more than once a year, but this is the only time we schedule every year, to attend TCAF - Toronto Comic Arts Festival.

On the way there, we finally, after many years of passing by, decided to stop at IKEA - our first experience with the Swedish Super Store. Charles was blown away by the prices, because he thought they were all posh, upscale, and expensive, while I was blown away by the sheer volume of awesome shit. We picked up a few totally random items, and spent two hours perusing the showrooms before finishing the journey to Toronto.

We checked into the hotel and then drove over to our usual first-night haunt Sneaky Dee's for dinner. Charles threw a childish fit because we didn't get a booth seat, and I yelled at him for a good 10 minutes about that. The plates of food there are gigantic, and I felt stuffed when we left.

I didn't get a photo of my haul at TCAF, but I have a few pictures and links. My first order of business was to get upstairs to where the more popular artists booth (not totally true, one of the most popular artists was downstairs among the small-press last year). I came for Nicholas Gurewich (of The PBF), Jeph Jacques (of Questionable Content), and just to see who else might be housed up around the Topatoco tables.

Neither Jeph or Nick were around, for HOURS.

Isn't it silly? Nick lives around the corner from me, and the only time I get to see him is on a chance encounter at Java's or the Dryden, and at TCAF. I did get to see him the next day, and got a print from him for free (the Rochester Friends discount - and my friend Robin got the Friend of Fawn discount).

At least Jeph had scheduled time to be around, and tweeted where he was (his last tweet before getting upstairs was that he was caught in the line to the stairs - I can't believe the line for the stairs was so ferocious, when usually, there's a line for the room upstairs. I got stuck on the stairs at the beginning of the day.

When I got my chance to see him, I asked if he was doing sketches - Indeed he was! I said I couldn't decide; Last year, I got Clinton, and this year I was going to ask for his sister Claire, but then we met Barry, and I felt torn. He drew me both.


After TCAF, I went over to The Only Cafe on Danforth to meet with Robin, Torontoist beer writer and Thirsty Wench. We chatted for a bit while she set up a beer-festival table to sell her new book The Ontario Craft Beer Guide, which I bought and had them sign, and then I went around to the other brewers' tables to sample their wares (my favourite being the Bourbon stout from the Great Lakes Brewery). I also finally got to give her a FreakAngels bag that I wanted her to have. Loved that bag, but it just wasn't working for me anymore, and I wanted to keep it in the Whitechapel family. She loved it!

Robin and her co-author Jordan


After 9 drinks, I quickly realized I should probably eat some food, and stumbled my way a few blocks to Robin's suggestion: Messini's - an authentic Greek restaurant, to try their Greek fries. In the states, feta cheese is almost pure salt, so I was so so pleasantly surprised by the food here. The fries were amazing, the feta was creamy and sweet, and they had octopus tentacles.


Robin and I met up at TCAF the next day and we got to talk more. She gave me a Sawdust City stout (Skinny Dippin' Oatmeal Stout), which sadly didn't live up to my taste, but still wasn't bad. We each picked up a copy of Beyond, a scifi/fantasy queer anthology, and I got a couple of autographs in my Food Porn anthology I'd picked up the day before (the selling point: there are recipes).

When we parted with Robin for the last time, we went around to some usual spots around town: Black Bull for food, and the Kensington Market, briefly. I even got to put up some bunny fliers.

Then home, which almost didn't happen, because the Gardiner expressway was closed for maintenance til the next day, and we had a really hard time finding an alternate route to the QEW.

Here's a few of the #rattycompanion pictures I took during the trip