Day 62- March 3

Day Number 62 of ‘celebrating everyday literally’ & Day Number 2 of my father in law Melvin’s wake.

James had kept me in the loop with medical updates and everyone’s spirits over the past two months. I knew Melvin’s health was declining quickly, but on some level I still held the hope that something might turn around – our family couldn’t possibly be this unlucky. If you don’t have hope, you don’t have anything.

Nevertheless, part of me knew when I said goodbye to Melvin in January to head back to Vancouver for school, it would be the last time I saw him.

Seeing Melvin’s urn and the little shrine composed of his favourite sweater, tea cup and a smiling photo made his death ‘all too real’ as they say.

Even harder than processing my own grief surrounding Melvin’s death, was having to watch his daughters in such pain and not being able to do a god. damn. single. thing. about. it. How deeply I wish I could take it from them, it was overwhelming.

Apart from all the pain and tears and suffering it was

NATIONAL TARTAR SAUCE DAY ! ! !

(Is this Kermit gif being overused? I don’t even care because I have no idea how to segue from the heart ache over Melvin’s death to Tartar Sauce, as nothing is ‘right’ about any of it)

The wake ran from 2-5pm and then 7-9pm

In the two hour window, the entire family unit went to the ‘hotel’ for dinner.

This was my opportunity to squeeze in some celebrating and score some Tartar Sauce.

Which I clearly did.

It was nice to get the chance to have a conversation with Melvin’s brother, Keith during the meal about his relationship with his brother and his story of loss.
I found myself drawn to Melvin’s siblings throughout this entire process. I could relate to their grief on a more precise level, whereas
James and his sister Hannah were more aligned with Melvin’s daughters, having lost their father around their age, to cancer as well.

As for Tartar Sauce… sure. Mayo & relish mixed together is a – ok in my books.

 

 

 

Day 61 – March 2

March 2nd was National Banana Cream Pie and the first official day of my father in law, Melvin’s, wake.

I didn’t know how I was going to broach the subject of ‘celebrating everyday literally’ to a bunch of people who just lost their dad, husband, brother and neighbour.

Naturally I was apprehensive* about busting out my camera and photographing  a Banana Cream Pie while everyone was weeping and getting dressed to attend a wake.

*because I am not a narcissistic sociopath

It turned out I had some explaining to do about the pie in the first place, photographed or not.
It was an awful, store bought, fake ingredient, neon mess.


Melvin’s sister, Ellie, was the first to probe as to wtf I was doing with the pie.

I decided to go forth and I explain my blog concept.
She was tickled.
It turned out so was Jason, my step brother in law, Steve, my soon to be other step brother in law, and even Mila, Melvin’s eldest daughter.

There was no holds barred at this point, so I cut myself a slice, took a few photos and then a bite.

It tasted like the banana penicillin that plagued my childhood.

Ellie said she’d have some.

I went to plate a slice for her when she said “no no no, you’re not going to eat all that, I’ll help” and with that had a bite right out of mine.

Then Jason did as well.

 

He even went as far as to ‘hand model’ for me.

Then Steve.

Then Mila!

It was nice to not have to face the suffering alone*.

*tad dramatic given the nature of all participant’s current loss

Thank you everyone, for ‘taking one for the team’ 😉

When we were done eating the awful communal pie, we got ready and headed to the first night of waking Melvin.

 

Day 60 – March 1st

I must admit I am backlogged with blog posts having been in transit then in the midst of the wake and funeral. I was racking my brain trying to remember what I did March 1st, Day # 60 for Celebrating Everyday Literally and National Pig Day .

Then it dawned on me: March 1st was the day we were finally rid of our Prostitenant.

I have been putting off discussing her online until she was completely out of our lives which she now officially is! ! ! !

Here it goes: the story in full, uncensored.

I’d like to preface by saying I respect Sex Workers and our issues had little to do with her profession. I have also taken measures to protect her identity, though she deserves no such gesture from me.
I hope I can do the insanity of it all justice and don’t leave a morsel of  aggravation out- this is an account from memory .

This tenant, who I will call ‘K’ or ‘Prostitenant’ henceforth, found our house listing through a mutual friend. K said she wanted to move in and told us that she would be running a small make up artist business out of our property, which we were happy to oblige. All about a woman in business over here!
She signed a 12 month lease which would bring her to August 31, 2017.

The first warning signs of how high maintenance she would be began when she requested to move some of her stuff in before the 1st of the month. These few days early didn’t make a difference to us, and she was leaving her boyfriend so we were sympathetic to the awkward situation she was in, so we said ‘sure’.

We gave her THE CODE to our door so she could drop some stuff off with the offer to come and go as she pleased and the simple request to put all the stuff in the lounge room.

Of course whenever we came home there would be another plethora of boxes, suitcases and bags strewn about the living room and hallway (not in lounge room).

Another item of note, well before the 1st of the month, when her actual tenancy began, she asked if she could lay tile in my studio room. I didn’t see why not, again, thinking I was helping a woman in business, so agreed to it. Then of course she instructed me to pay half.

While she was in our house before official occupancy, I received a photo text from her of a dried up earwig that was on a moulding. This was followed by a barrage of texts about us having an earwig infestation and that we should get right on it. I replied by saying I have never seen an earwig in the house but if she sees any more to let me know, they are covered under our pest control that we are paying for already so it would be easy enough to deal with.

Then she tells me to leave my desk in the studio room, she will use it… and paint it white.
Umm that’s not how fully furnished rental property works.

After a bunch shit of like that over the next few days, I had to head to Vancouver for the next 2 years. I explained, under no uncertain terms, that James was her point of contact from here on out as I would be in Vancouver, a four and a half hour time zone away. She was given his number via text, via email and also his number was written on our lease agreement.

Days went by without hearing from her, I assumed she was settled and wouldn’t have any more problems.  What a fool was I.

I got a text a week later telling me that a light bulb in the kitchen was burnt out. It was followed by a few photos of the aforementioned lightbulb and “I likes (sic) a bright kitchen”. I chose not to respond and forwarded it to James telling him to get in touch to clarify I am not to be contacted because HOW THE FUCK AM I GOING TO REPLACE A LIGHTBULB (THAT ISN’T MY PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE) IN VANCOUVER?

I guess whatever James said to her stuck…temporarily (this will come to an end as the story unfolds).
In the meantime James received many a text… everything from a wobbly cupboard door in the bathroom, needing a lesson on how to turn on the thermostat (press ‘on’), help installing a speaker to her tv,  a new gate latch was in order because the current one wasn’t to her liking, and curtains need to be adjusted.

James said he didn’t mind going over for her every nonsensical whim as long as she paid the bills. This was around the point when we heard from at least three solid sources that, although she has been a make up artist for the past few years, she was once a high end escort. We also found out that she was very likely back in that business because she had only given it up for the boyfriend she had just left. James reiterated not minding renting to a sex worker, as long as she paid the bills and did her ‘work’ elsewhere.

One morning, October 23rd to be exact, I got up, checked my phone, saw 11 missed calls. Guess who from?

That’s right. Our prostitenant! She called me 11 times in the middle of the night and sent several texts, Facebook messages and Facebook phone calls because she forgot THE CODE to the door.

And I know what you are probably thinking, besides “didn’t she have the code because she was given it to move in early and was in and out of the house several times using it?”, you may be thinking  “well she was locked out in the middle of the night, what else was she supposed to do?”

Although it was the middle of the night in Vancouver,  it was not in St. John’s.  It was around 8 am there. And no she wasn’t locked out. She was at the airport en route to Hawaii for a month and realized going through security she left her keys inside the house. Instead of waiting until, I don’t know, a decent hour, or hell, closer to her return time, she called me repeatedly for over an hour using every ‘phone’ media she could find. FUN FACT: all she had to do was scroll up our conversation about two texts and the code was there! So was James’ number, the guy who was down the road and within the same time zone and the PERSON WHO SHE HAD BEEN TOLD TO CONTACT WITH A PROBLEM FIVE THOUSAND TIMES AT THIS POINT.

I digress. She went to Hawaii, probably a ‘working’ vacation, let’s face it, and left our house unattended with no one checking in on it for a month.

This is when it gets really fun.

Our beloved neighbour “J” was out for his morning cigarette and noticed a lot of broken glass in our back yard. He got in touch with James who went to check on the situation. Upon arrival, James noticed that several windows were broken and there was blood everywhere.

It appeared, an intruder broke in one of our basement windows, discovered he couldn’t get in through it because of the basic principles of geometry, so broke out our second basement window. He then propelled himself inside using our pipes as leverage, busting them open. Water proceeded to spray everywhere, so did his blood. Yes, our hero cut himself severely while breaking in and bled all over everything in the basement. I picture it going a lot like this.

Here, in the basement, the gentleman laid down his knife and set of keys with his name tag key chain on them, “Matt”. Matt quickly drew the wrong conclusion that there was no way into the main part of the house from the basement (there most certainly is… a very accessible stair case). So he bled all over our furnace, sink, deep freeze, bikes, snowboards and storage boxes a little more before exiting the way he came, through a smashed window.

He then went up on to our deck and cut the screens from our window frames with what I presume was a second knife, as the other was left in the basement. At this point our favourite neighbourhood drug dealer, Bob, saw him and let out a startling cough to deter him (Bob wasn’t going to contact the police given the nature of his business).

This had the effect Bob was looking for and Matt ran away.

Or so it seemed to Bob.

What actually happened was Matt ran around the back of the house where he made his last ditch effort to get into our house. He broke the back window that led to our whiskey lounge and entered from there. Once inside the house, Matt bled over all of our arm chairs, couches, and floors. He headed upstairs to the bathroom where he tried to stop the gushing from his self inflicted wound. He initially tried toilet paper, which he flushed down the toilet. When the toilet became clogged, he used our plunger with his bloody hands and unclogged it. Then realizing TP wasn’t going to cut it, Matt decided to use all our Ralph Lauren towels and bathmat.

Once the bleeding was somewhat ‘under control’, Matt had a little walk around the upstairs, leaving droplets of blood in each room. Sweet.

$13, 000 worth of damage.

Nothing was stolen. Not a drawer was rummaged through.

The driveway had to be drilled up to access to water mains to shut of the spraying water. All the windows involved had to be replaced. A team of professional cleaners in hazmat suits spent days cleaning. Our furniture had to be removed for special treatment. On top of replacing the towels and bathmat, we had to replace the plunger and toilet seat, as blood had seeped into both.

And we planned to install an alarm.

When K returned from her relaxing vacation banging old men for money, James tried to coordinate with her to meet with the alarm system guy. Now coordinating with K is no easy feat, because you see it is all about her and there is never a compromise.  A whole 11 days after her return,  the moment arrived when she could make the time for the alarm to be installed in her recently ransacked place of residence. James, at this time, inquired how everything was in the house (he had to miss about two weeks of work coordinating plumbers and electricians and cleaners and window installers and hazmat teams and police and insurance adjusters). She said everything was great.

A few nights later, James was bombarded with texts from her. She had discovered a speckle of blood in the bathroom and was going berserk. She said things along the lines of it being absolutely absurd that he would even let her back in the house based on the condition it was in and this was terrible and she is going to lose (make up) clients based on the state of the house etc etc. N.B: she had been home for nearly two weeks at this stage and James had checked in during the alarm installation to ask how things were.

So James contacted the cleaning team to get them back in there. K agreed to the time arranged. Of course, next thing you know, James gets a call from the cleaning company saying no one is answering the door. When James calls her to get her to let them in, she didn’t know what he was talking about. She had forgotten her tantrum from the night before completely.

A few days after this incident, James receives another onslaught of texts from her. She claimed that “some guy in a black hoody” (the description provided by Bob and surveillance footage of Intruder Matt), was trying all the windows and doors. She claimed to have locked all the doors, set the alarm and had barricaded  herself in her room with her dog and knife. She claimed to be absolutely terrified.

Who would text their landlord when their life was in danger? Wouldn’t you just CALL the police? No sense in trying to sort out her mental state, I suppose.

These texts had been sent later in the evening and James didn’t see them till the next day. He checked the alarm system, which tracks if anyone is home at all. Not only were the alarms not set, she hadn’t been home since the afternoon. She completely fabricated the story. She wasn’t even in the house.

James told her she should call the police if anything like that happens again. She seemed to not really understand what he was talking about, so I like to chalk this episode up to another coke binge freak out like the blood speckle incident. Again, I’m just trying to make sense of the idiocy.

Christmas time I came home for vacation. There were a few things in the basement I wanted to get like my snowboard and a winter jacket. We have a key to it and it can be entered from outdoors- no need to enter the property. I asked if there was a good time to come by, as in, when the alarm wouldn’t sound. I knew she was home at the time but instead she offered a few random pockets of time over the course of the week. Just let me in my own house ho bag.

I did manage to get in by being pretty forceful about it.

Next I asked for a cake stand that I wanted to put Melvin and Jane’s wedding cake on. She said there was no such cake stand in the house. I explained exactly where it had been left and sent a picture of what it looked like. She insisted it was not there. Upon getting back into our house March 1st, there it was, exactly where I said it was. But I now realize how selfish was I to want to borrow back my own cake stand to display a cake for my mother in law and her dying partner’s wedding.  Sorry for the inconvenience, K!

 

A few weeks after Christmas, the alarm was set off. It informed K and James that the front door was open. She freaked out and sent James a million texts to the effect of Intruder Matt being back to get her laptop and other nonsense.  James drove all the way across town to meet her at the property to assess what happened.

It turned out the alarm was tripped by her father. She had LEFT THE DOOR UNLOCKED (presumably the norm, considering she is a useless dimwit). Her father, assuming she must be home, opened it, and the alarm went off. He chose to just walk away and tell no one, rather than deal with it like an adult or something. He didn’t even shut the door behind him. Alarm wailing. Door wide open. Daughter’s house having been vandalized a month prior.

Ob. Tuse.

Alarm fright #2 was caused by her dog. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back for poor ol K. Despite it being a known fact it was her dog,  she proceeded to lose her mind, claiming she has been living in absolute terror since the break in (that she missed completely, being in Hawaii) and had lost so many things last time (nothing whatsoever) and the alarm is ALWAYS being triggered (by her father, on an unlocked door, and shitzu mix mutt). The neighbourhood is just too dangerous so she has no choice but to move out and break lease.

This was conveyed through a series of manic texts to James while he was in the hospital finding out that there was nothing doctor’s could do to treat his stepfather’s cancer and that he would be sent home to die.

 

I decide to take over communication with her from here on out because James’ was, naturally, on the brink of a breakdown from dealing with her on a regular basis.

I get in touch and tell her if she is serious about leaving she needs to put in her 60 days notice in in writing (like, not a serious of crazed, disjointed texts,  y’know?). This of course takes a couple days because she lives in an alternate universe void of responsibility.

I try to arrange a real estate photographer to come photograph the house over  the next several weeks, but of course nothing works with the Prostitenants complicated schedule.

I am left no choice but to put up an ad using old photos I happen to have on hand. We have a bit of interest and a few showings. I refresh the ad so it stays at the top of the pile on Kijiji. I get an aggressive, accusatory text from her when she notices one of the more recent posts time stamp (she wants out ASAP so the sooner we find a replacement tenant, the better for her). I politely explain that is just the newest one and that obviously it had been posted weeks ago, how else would we have had showings?

She calms and even goes as far as to send a “lol, silly me” text.

Rent had been late by a day or two most months she lived there… not that she lived there long. January and February were both late, to name a few. Instead of paying us February 1st, she decided to send me some very long, snarky texts about us having “let the propane run out”, that “James comes in and turns the heat off” on her, and that half the radiators are “broken”.

I told her we don’t have propane so I don’t know what she is talking about. The heat self regulates so it turns down to 18 degrees on it’s own every 48 hours if it hasn’t been touched and that the radiators have individual valves that need to be opened for them to heat.

“Oh, lol”

In her last month of tenancy several issues arose

The fridge breaks. James replaces it within 24 hours.

A pipe bursts in the back porch. It’s repaired within 2 hours.

The furnace fan breaks. Repairman is arranged for the next day. K makes him wait half an hour despite knowing he what time he was coming and she was the one without heat.

 

We also have no luck with finding a new tenant.

Melvin dies.

We decide even though she technically owes us until March 12 , (as that would be 60 days since she put in her 60 day notice) that we don’t care because we want her out of our lives and it worked out that we would be able to stay in our own home during all the funeral and wake events.

The night of February 28th,  K texts to say she will be out first thing in the morning. Again, we don’t acknowledge that she is staying an extra day because talking to her is the worst.

At 2 o’clock on March 1st, National Pig Day, we have a potential renter come to look at the house. K is still there and nowhere near ‘moved out’. The house was in absolute slings. Bags and garbage everywhere. There are holes in the walls. There are dust bunnies floating around. Her stuff is scattered about.

We show the house, stepping over debris.

Luckily, the guy takes it anyway. He is an old coworker friend of mine and I can’t imagine him being worse than her. We hand shake on the matter and leave the premises.

At 3:38 pm she calls us to say she is all done.

We are with Melvin’s family at this point. We had grand plans of doing the walk through in morning when she was supposed to have moved out. The state of the house at the showing (2 pm) was not damage-deposit-returnable condition. She, nevertheless calls at nearly 4 o’clock, a day after HER decided end of tenancy, to demand her deposit back… immediately (note she was pretty much consistently a day or two late with rent… $1850).

When I explain that we need to do a walk through before handing back deposit she becomes unhinged. I tell her I am at a wake and can’t do it right this second, to no effect. She tells me I’m ridiculous and am going to screw her over. I say we plan on being fair but I honestly could not assess the house based on how it was at 2 pm. She stayed an extra day and nearly cost us a prospective tenant. She reacts by being mad at me for not telling her there was a showing, as though she had been barged in on. I told her she no longer should have been there at that time and there should have been no need to tell her. I remind her that she had assured us she would be out in the morning and we could have done a formal walk through then, but again, we are now tied up because James’ step father has died and we are with family now. I point out that this problem was completely self created.

She continues to fly off the handle about how preposterous it is I can’t send her the money this moment because the house is in perfect condition and she is “E’s friend”.  I tell her about the damages I saw in the brief time I was in the house (holes in wall, holes in mantle, throw cushions left out in snow, mess etc) and again, I am at a fucking wake. She tells me I did all those things… as in, I put the holes in the walls and put all my throw cushions out on the deck for winter.

The call ends with her saying she is going to repair the holes in the walls now (which, again, apparently I did, while in Vancouver… or perhaps doing the showing earlier that day, it’s hard to tell, in her feeble, twisted, narcissistic mind,  when I would have had time to do this) so I can send her the money (without me doing a walk through… because I am at a wake…and she is a day and several hours passed even being allowed on the premises).

Newfoundland Tenancy Act says landlords can keep money for 15 days so they can assess the property and get quotes about cleaning and repairs, by the way.

James and his mother tell me to just give her the money back because she is too unstable to deal with- she won’t relent and will probably not leave the house until we do. I call her back to say just leave the property immediately and never come back, please,  the money will be sent. She proceeds to throw around the name of our mutual friend some more, as though that has anything to do with the state of our house and her getting a full refund- which I’ve just said she is getting anyway.

After the heated conversation, we head back to our freshly vacated house and run into our faithful neighbour, “J”. He had no idea the Prostitenant was moving out but nearly jumped with joy when we told him she was gone. According to him, the house was basically a brothel. He said he had witnessed many orgies with the “strangest cats” because she leaves all the lights on and curtains open all the time. He also said what bothered him and his partner most was the pimp and ho domestic disputes that occurred at all hours. He suggested we should get professional cleaners in hazmat suits in again.

So National Pig Day was celebrated by discovering our house was a pig sty for the past few months !!

Oh and with Herman, he is cute pig though. He got lots of kisses.

I will end this drama here. I will let you know all about the state our house was in at a later post. I’ll just say that the damage deposit should never have been returned in full and without a walk through. She is a psychotic bully and really took advantage of us at a vulnerable time (who calls someone to tell them off at a wake ??)

 

 

Day 59 – February 28th

So, as well all know, Air Canada is run by a bunch of useless dirt bags.
They never got back to me first nor last about allowing Duncan on the flight, so I assumed it was a no go having not received the necessary statement from them to prove he is allowed on board.

Luckily, once again, I have the greatest support system in the world and my friend Meg eagerly agreed to take care of Duncan while I was gone.

Of course when I got to the god damn airport, they had in their system that I was flying with my Emotional Support Animal and I totally could have brought him.

What fucking wankers.

My flight heading back to Newfoundland for Melvin’s funeral left at midnight making it officially February 28th and National Sleep in Public Day 

This year’s Sleeping in Public Day  was brought to you by Clonazepam

I faded in and out of conciousness the whole flight to Montreal, as well as the flight from Montreal to St John’s. I even managed to squeeze in a snooze on my layover. I certainly celebrated the shit out of this one.

Also super fun about February 28th is that it is National Rare Disease Day!

This is fantastic because rare diseases have claimed the lives of the people that mattered most to me in the world!!!
And it worked out great for my blog, because not only have I been in immense pain and darkness because of rare diseases such as Choriocarcinoma that took my sister, and one could easily say I’ve been celebrating two years and five months strong, but I now have a dear friend having intensive surgery on this day because of his rare disease!!

That’s right! My friend Ian had to have a Gastrectomy today!!! On his birthday!!!!!


He had a gastro intestinal stromal tumour in his duodenum!!!!
On top of that he was a carrier for the CDH-1 gene mutation that killed my husband’s father!
So hey hey ho ho Ian’s stomach just had to go… just did my sister in law’s and several cousin in laws! And Ian’s mother’s!

Here’s how that looks  afterwards:

Read more about how wonderful rare diseases and Ian are here !

Read more about my sister’s rare disease and untimely death herehere, here, hereherehere, and here!

Or if you’d rather not read about upsetting stuff, check out my sister’s Twitter feed in which  she was blissfully unaware she of her impending doom here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 58 – February 27th

When I received the news of Melvin’s death on Sunday, Pistachio Day,  I left the birthday party I had just arrived at to go home to weep and make the necessary arrangements.

I had to email everyone I deal with in Vancouver, which is no small feat, to tell them I was leaving the province.
The list included school (four different instructors), my liaison at the elementary school, my co-volunteers at the residence for people with disabilities, my contact at the male rehab clinic, the manager at my new job, my hair salon (I had an appointment Tuesday morning), Air Canada about bringing Duncan on board etc etc.

I booked the Monday night Red Eye flight from YVR to YYT.

I polished off a bottle of wine pretty much by myself  (Christina and Daniel helped near the end when they got home from the party).

When I got up Monday morning, I opted out of going to school and chose instead to have brunch with Christina and Daniel.

It was National Kahlua Day

Celebrating was not something I felt like doing and Kahlua is not something I felt like drinking. But at brunch at Slickity Jim’s on Main, Christina and Daniel intervened. The show must go on. They presented the fact that there wasn’t going to be an opportunity to have Kahlua at any point today otherwise.
“Just throw some in your coffee and get it over with.”

I complied. It wasn’t awful, which was a relief, because I really didn’t want my coffee ruined.

 

I’m lucky to have friends like these guys in the first place, but especially Kahlua Day, because this was the first day I was literally ready to give up on the whole project.

Thanks Chrissy and Dan

ALSO thank you Karl @ Axis Hair Salon , holy cow what a hero.

This guy is a top stylist at a very prestigious hair salon in Vancouver. They make you pay a deposit for appointments and require 48 hours notice for cancellations. I have been eagerly awaiting my appointment with him on Tuesday for months now because my hair was terrible.

I was pretty stressed thinking I was going to get lose my deposit because I was not giving the 48 hours notice required ( which I respect the shit out of – I think it’s horrid when people don’t show up for appointments of this nature and the stylist loses out on earning potential)

So I sent in an email to the salon because it’s closed on Sundays to try to give as much notice as possible. I was pleasantly surprised when Karl himself responded to send his condolences and that I could email him directly so he could ‘fit me in’  when I get back (he’s booked till May online). I was so touched because I really though they would think I was lying and keep my $100.

Then I responded to say thank you and that I would be back the end of March or also if he miraculously had availability today, I wouldn’t be flying out till midnight and can come in at a moments notice.

And would you believe he took me in on his day off to fix up my hair so I wouldn’t look like a bag of garbage at the funeral and wake ? Just in the nick of time for my flight.

 

Day 57 – February 26

Fucking Pistachio Day

 

Beautiful photos –  heartbreaking day

Today was the day I officially outlived my sister. Two weeks after my 32nd birthday.

Today was the day my sweet and kind father in law peacefully passed away after his 9  week cancer diagnosis.

Today was the day I bought a 9$ bag of pistachios, diced them up and sprinkled them on chocolate covered bananas and photographed them for a blog about celebrating life. Sarah and Melvin  had the same birthday… September 19th, and middle name, Francis. Life is funny.

Fucking Pistachio Day.

 

 

 

Day 56 – February 25

This day was supposedly National Chocolate Covered Nut Day and National Clam Chowder Day

Although I am partial to the formal and disgusted by the latter, I skipped right over both when one of my fellow dog obsessed and holiday practitioner Instagram friends showcased their celebration of Open That Bottle Night.
This pug based Instagram account is based out of Australia, so they are a day ahead of me. I get the scoop on alternative holiday ideas well in advance to change course when our ‘western’ options are lame or horrifying (*cough* clam chowder*)

I decided to Open that Bottle in the Day, rather,  and have a glass of wine before my bartending shift to take the edge off of running around like crazy person dealing with drunks all night long. It didn’t quite have the desired effect however, it made me want to put on pyjamas and hold Duncan with my eyes closed.

Drinking one glass of wine, by yourself, before you go to work was actually a pretty morose experience and one I shan’t be repeating. Chalk this up to another example of ‘celebrating’ being worse for the soul than doing nothing.

Just look at Duncan judging me! This from the guy that ate a whole bag of dog food and swelled up like a sphere when left unattended during my shift. Glass houses Duncan, Glass houses…

 

Day 55 – February 24

Day 55

I had a meeting with a rehabilitation facility for men with addictions this morning. It was interesting. I will likely be doing a therapy practicum there in the not so distant future.

After that meeting went relatively well, as in I effectively convinced the coordinator I was a smart and capable human being  😉  I spoke with James about how Melvin is doing. I’ve been avoiding discussing his condition in the blogosphere because the news has been up and down but never actually good and best left untyped.
It seems though, today, it will be a matter of days before he succumbs to his situation. My heart is absolutely broken.

I had so many things (i.e.: school assignments, blog posts, dog walks, gym, groceries etc) to do before heading to work this evening, but I was overcome with the crushing weight of depression. I sat holding Duncan for what was probably close to two hours.

It is World Bartender Day. Which I am. A Bartender and soon to be Art Therapist for Alcoholics.  A pretty stiff dichotomy there…

So the best I could do to celebrate was to  show up to work at my scheduled time and make drinks, even though I want to collapse in heap.

Here’s a throw back to bartending in Ecuador when I was young and everyone that mattered was alive and well  and everything was a good time

Day 54 – February 23

Well well well, if it isn’t National Dog Biscuit &  Banana Bread Day

This was another miraculous day in terms of accomplishment. I had to be at the elementary school till 3pm, then home for a quick dog walk, some celebrations and outfit change and then off to work till forever ever.

I knew this day was one Duncan was looking forward to and I didn’t want to let him down. He’s been a key player in making my Instagram cute and me not following through with driving off a bridge whenever the compulsion hits me.  I thought about making dog biscuits from scratch for the first time ever but, well, time.

So, instead,  when I got home from my practicum placement, I leashed up Duncan and went for a  stroll to Tisol – a pet store in our hood that would fit the bill for scoring treats. But, boy, was my wallet in for a treat.

It was FREE SAMPLE DAY! They had this huge table full of treats and paper baggies so you could stock up.

I made two passes like an absolute skeet.

Here I am loading Duncan up, in store, while I filled the baggie

I couldn’t believe no one was stopping me or at the very least harassing me to buy something.

Look at my haul! Duncan liked them all but puked up the vegan alligator dental bone. He’s an avid puker and I knew it was going to happen the moment I put it in his mouth. Oh well.

Then we went to VIVA Fine Foods just ‘down the hill’ from our house. I’d seen a sign boasting the best Banana Bread in Vancouver.

“Best” was in a jagged squiggle balloon so I knew it had to be legit.

There was no where to tie Duncan on because someone else had their dog tied up and I was scared that dog may have been aggressive so I scooped Duncan up and carried him for my super brief in-store transaction (“One banana bread to go please” *Tap* Done.)

But the owner was super pissed and told me I couldn’t bring him in. I assume she was the owner because I can’t imagine giving a shit first nor last as a minimum wage employee.

The guy that served me sneakily handed me THREE MORE DOG BISCUITS in  the way I imagine a good German person would have handed a Jewish person something to eat during the Holocaust. Yes, having a French Bulldog is exactly like being Anne Frank.

Anyway if I had a Yelp account I would have went on there to clarify that they have the OKAYEST Banana Bread in the city. .. put THAT in your jagged squiggle balloon and smoke it.

Nevertheless, it took a mean photo*

*More to do with my living room lighting and skill as a photographer than their baking or customer service skills

Day 53 – February 22

Day 53  was a loaded day indeed – World Yoga Day, National Cook A Sweet Potato Day & National Margarita Day!

These are some of my favourite things so I felt obliged to celebrate them all- despite having a full day of school (which involved a presentation on resistance in adolescents in therapy), and my Wednesday night volunteering session at a centre for people with disabilities in the evening.

Although I feel like I swear too much and hate too many people to be a true ‘yogi’, I do practice regularly and believe full heartedly in it’s extensive benefits.

I did a time lapse video for Instagram , which did not do the extent at which I held Crow Pose justice at. all.  But alas, it’s up there on the internet now forever.

Here is me rushing to get into dancers pose in the three seconds MacBook photo booth gives you before taking the photo.

All the while I was shaking my asana for the internet, I had a tiny sweet potato (or yam ? ) in the oven.

Duncan and I ate this up with some greek yogurt and cilantro.

It was great to have this ‘base’ in my stomach before I hit the neighbourhood taco bar, Luck Taco, for my favourite drink – MARGARITA!!

Myself and a couple friends had an assortment – the greenest one was called Pineapple Inferno and involved tequila, jalapeño and pineapple juice. The pink one was called the Electric Flamingo and contained white tequila, strawberry juice and basil. I had the pale one – a standard El Clasico margarita – no salted rim though, not fussy about those.

Knocked a few of these back as well as some of their cauliflower tacos and Modela Especials. I got quite a buzz on but had to restrain myself because tomorrow was going to be the longest day of my life – full day at the elementary school and then full night working at the bar.