Day 79 – March 20th

Well what a  National Ravioli Day indeed

I had a prolonged panic attack that lasted most of the afternoon.

I did all the things:

Nothing really relieved anything.
My chest ached and I had waves of nausea, as well as the overwhelming sense of dread and alarm. I felt exhausted but amped up at the same time. I’ve had them a few times and it’s really fun stuff.

After lying down and trying to listen to a pod cast about hookworms, hoping to be distracted enough to over come it, and failing, I just decided I had better suck it up and  just go make the ravioli for National Ravioli Day before I died of heart failure.
I really had the thought, “Well if my heart just gives out now, I should die making ravioli and at least have the chance to get posthumously famous for being so committed to this blog and my niece and nephews will get to be rich and travel” (for the record, I did also have more rational thoughts of going to the hospital).

I had some fresh-frozen portobello mushroom stuffed ravioli in the freezer so all I needed was some sauce and parmesan. I made it to Whole Foods where I bought a fancy locally made vodka tomato rose sauce. I have never had that before and I thought I might as well try it.

When released from the jar, it looked a lot of like barf. When I was done photographing and had to actually eat it, I was super hesitant.

 

 

It actually tasted good. Great, even.
I ate the whole plate and went back for seconds.

As the food digested, my anxiety level started a decline.

Now I’m not saying portobello mushroom ravioli with tomato vodka rose sauce cures panic attacks, but I’m not not saying it either.

 

Day 78 – March 19th

Today was pretty hilarious.
Which worked out great, as it was National Let’s Laugh Day!

I spotted this gem of a sweat shirt in a shop window on 4th Avenue and, naturally, had to try it on.

   

It was 179$, which was no laughing matter, so change rooms selfies were all that were procured.

If you have all kinds of money to blow on basic graphic print sweaters that are probably 14$ at cost, knock yourself out  here

Next up, celebration wise, was National Chocolate Caramel Day.
Luckily for me, my little sister Claire sent me a care package that included a Cadbury Caramilk Bar.

It was sickly sweet.

Meg helped me eat some, but I ate most. I don’t think I’ve eaten a full chocolate bar in a long time – makes my teeth hurt.

Now, circling back to Let’s Laugh Day.

My friend Kathleen’s coworkers had conspired to have a surprise birthday party at Catfe, a Cat Cafe for her on this day.
But then she made some pretty important unbreakable plans with a friend from out of town that they couldn’t manoeuvre around so the staff had to reconfigure the plan.
The result was bringing someone’s cat to the regular cafe that she manages to surprise her.

This is pretty hilarious when you think that she would never know, at the time of the ‘surprise’, that the original plan was to go to Catfe.

I felt one cat wasn’t enough, so Meg and I painted cat noses and whiskers on everyone so we could also be considered cats and then we hid under tables while one of Kathleen’s employees called her in feigned panic that she forgot her key to lock up the shop.

Kathleen showed up to lock up the shop and we all did the whole turn-on-the-lights-yell-surprise thing. She was, as one would imagine, quite surprised. Both because of the loud yelling and lights, but also that there were a bunch of people dressed like cats and one real cat in the coffee shop after hours.

I hope everyone keeps their jobs! Happy (early) Birthday, Kathleen!

 

 

 

 

Day 77 – March 18th

The day after St. Patrick’s Day is National Sloppy Joe Day

My understanding of a Sloppy Joe is a bunch of hamburger (?) meat (?) in tomato sauce, stuffed into a bun.

That is something I will never ever ever eat because ground beef is the most disgusting thing I can think of  ( I barfed up spaghetti bolognese when I was about 8 and then slipped in it – my dad had to put me in the shower with my clothes on… never again, beef, never again)

Traumatic memories from It Takes Two starring Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen also was a key player in my distain

Anywho I decided to do my usual internet search of vegetarian/ vegan versions, survey a few to get the gist, and made my own version which involves quinoa and sweet potato

Here it goes, to the best of my memory:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 sweet potato
  • olive oil (enough to sauté the aforementioned vegetables)
  • 2 tablespoons of cumin
  • 4 tablespoons chilli powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 jar tomato sauce
  • long, flowing, unrestrained squirt of ketchup
  • long, flowing, unrestrained squirt of Sriracha sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Kim Kardashian Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1  cup of TruRoots Sprouted Lentil Trio (sprouted green, brown & black lentils)
  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 3 1/2 cups of water
  • Kaiser buns
  • avocado
  • fresh jalapeños

Finely dice the first 6 ingredients and add them to a large heated pot with olive oil.
When softened,  add the spices. When fully coated, add the next 8  ingredients.


Stir occasionally and potentially add more water as the lentils and quinoa take form.
When lentils are no longer crunchy and all water is evaporated / absorbed, scoop generous amounts onto kaiser buns. Garnish with avocado & fresh jalapeños.

They were great. I now see why Ashley Olsen’s character was so taken with them.

 

 

 

Day 76 – March 17th St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

 

On St. Patrick’s Day eve, I had a pint of beer and glass of wine in St. John’s with James  before departure (5:30 pm, NL time)

I then had a glass of wine during my St. John’s to Toronto flight.
Then, I randomly bumped into my little sister’s partner, Tony, at the airport during my layover in Toronto – he was in transit back from SXSW in Austin- and of course, had to knock back a few glasses of wine while he had a pint. Drinks were on him (Thanks Tony!)

This led me to pass out before take off of my next flight, but also to wake up alarmed, hungover and parched mid flight. This poorly taxidermied fox of meme-fame-past captures more or less how I looked & felt:

I arrived in Vancouver at around 2 am (6:30 am NL time) St. Patrick’s Day with a dystopian jet lag charged hangover the size of Galway; the earliest of celebrators, indeed.
Meg, who has been lovingly overseeing Duncan’s daily needs while I was away, picked me up (Thanks Meg!).

I went to bed and awoke with a new start to the same day.

 

It involved unpacking and a little leprechaun themed photo shoot with my beloved Duncan. Although he is pure bred French, he is insistent he has the Kiss of the Irish somewhere along his blood line.

Then there was the real celebration which involved beer, whisky, bars, chickpea fritters (isn’t that just a falafel, people?), dancing, Corey Hart, pizza, Saskatchewan Scott & rain coats with my East Coast friends.
I stayed out till the wee hours of the morning and have no regrets…. especially not putting that filthy 60 year old photo booth curtain on my face.

 

Day 75 – March 16th

Artichoke Heart Day

I was able to pick up a real live (actually quite dead) artichoke, now that I’m back in Vancouver, at the nearby Whole Foods

She was a beauty.

I sliced it in half and drizzled it generously with olive oil & lemon. I placed it on a baking sheet and into a preheated 375 degree oven.

It really started to smoke up the apartment after about 20 minutes so I took it out.

I drizzled it with some Balsamic Reduction, sprinkled some salt and pepper and had a few bites.

It looked great…

…but was way under cooked.

I would estimate it needed about double the time.  Lesson learned…sorta.

I really didn’t feel compelled to wipe the reduction off and re roast so I just took some nice photos and called it quits on Artichoke Heart Day. They aren’t my favourite & I’m jet lagged af.

 

Day 74 – March 15

March 15 = Pears Helene Day

Who knew?

Pears Helene is a French dessert composed of pears, peeled and poached in simple syrup, then doused in chocolate and served with ice cream.
Seems like a lot of effort to have some pear with some ice cream but I shan’t questions the National Holiday Calendar Gods, lest I upset them.

I peeled some pears, boiled them in sugar water for about 25 minutes, then transferred them to a bowl to expedite the ‘cooling’ process.

When I became restless with waiting, I scooped some vanilla bean gelato into a bowl, and then threw the pears on top of that, and poured the melted chocolate over top.

It tasted as one would imagine – warm pear-y, vanilla ice creamy and chocolatey.

My friend Meg, the lifesaver-Duncan-watcher, had some too. I think we both thought it was ok, but felt it was an unnecessary dessert and wouldn’t bother to make it again.

Another first though, which is always fun!

Sadly, Duncan was asleep so he didn’t get to try any. Bummer, dude!

 

Day 73- March 14th

 

Although I am home in Newfoundland due to ‘unfortunate circumstances’ (that just feels an all too light way to phrase it but I’ll go with it), it was pretty awesome to be able to truly celebrate this particular day – National Children’s Craft Day with my 5 year old my niece Rowan!

Clay Cafe is mine and Rowan’s special place!
We love going there!
I was able to surprise her by picking her up from school. She had no idea I was even in town and jumped up and down when she saw me.

When we got there, Rowan used my camera to take a lot of photos

But then it was time to get down to brass tacks

Rowan had selected a mermaid sitting on a rock to paint today.

She did exceptionally well – she is now old enough now to grasp the multiple coats required to get the full effect when it goes in the kiln.
I also was able to have a ‘teachable moment’ when she asked me to get ‘skin colour’ paint for her. I ask what colour skin – black, brown, white …?
She deliberated but did go with white… so just another blonde, purple eyed mermaid in the world

She took this photo herself:

It’s good practice, as an artist, to document your work!

Then we went for hot chocolate !

It was really hard to say goodbye – she said she wanted to visit me in Vancouver – that she has a passport and everything! I would love nothing more than to have her with me all the time.

She is doing really well.
She is very bright and happy go lucky.
She is quite talented and inquisitive.
Sarah would be so proud.

Day 72 – March 13th

Today was a great day to have Herman around!

He loves Napping and, well, doesn’t care one way or the other about  Ear Muffs …but regardless he helped me ring in National Ear Muff Day and National Napping Day

This shot came out great considering he was relentlessly trying to get them off.

Nice work model Herman!

Well, “ok” work, model Herman.

I’m still in Newfoundland and it was Monday so James had to go to work. He was able to deek out and lunch with me.

When I got back home afterwards, I great wave of overwhelming sadness crashed over me. The weight of Melvin’s death, my sisters death, the fact that I live so far away and am now so behind in school… everything.

As all consuming and depressing as this influx of emotion was, I decided to cope with it by lying still and closing my eyes (i.e.: not dealign with it at all). Herm followed suit and can be seen doing so here.

Together we had a little mini couch nap to celebrate National Napping Day. 

 

Day 71 – March 12th

Happy  Day Light Savings Day!!!

I can be seen changing my watch back to Wiz Khalifa’s Time  here

This was the most effort I had to put in to resetting clocks thanks to the 180+ kph winds that knocked the power out- all other clocks in my life needed to be reset anyway because they were blinking 12:00.

Being a Sunday after a spectrum natural disaster, it was a low key Day Light Savings Day and losing an hour (or gaining it… I don’t get it ) had no impact on my day whatsoever.

We celebrated by eating Indian food and watching The Brier Cup. Curling is just as mystifying to me as setting clocks back… or ahead… Anyway, way to go Team Gushue or NL or whatever! You all have a bit of a meninist look to you, no offence! And  I could hope you would be offended by that! Yay!

 

 

Day 70 – March 11

National Submarine Day

This day started great! I had a meeting with my friends/counterparts in the Sarah’s Cards initiative, which you can read more about  here and here

There were some strong ideas and we made great plans for the future of the project.

The day ‘turned south’ as they say, when I got home from my meeting.
James had something he wanted to show me on his phone.

It was text from our Prostitenents BOYFRIEND.
She’s literally a zombie hooker from a B Listed Horror movie that just won’t die and keeps coming back for cheap frights

Just die, already K, please just die.

We had put the giant bag full of things she had left behind all throughout our house, out for her to pick up a couple days ago,  and she hadn’t come to get it. So James had sent a second text saying if it wasn’t gone by the end of the day (Day #2 of being outdoors), it was going to the dump.

She had scurried over at some point during the second day and fished through the bag, cherry picking a few items, and, like a classy, respectable 35 year old adult woman, left the rest on our property for us to deal with.

Then, as any other landlord would have done the very first day she left, we  threw the bag in the trash.
As insulted as we were by her behaviour, yet again, we honestly thought that was the end of that.

Of course naive fools were we, once more.

Her boyfriend was getting in touch because, even though we made it explicitly clear all her things were in that bag and we were going to toss it if it was was not taken within 24 hours, K was missing  a brand new Aldo purse that was left in a drawer.

Brazen. As. Fuck.

He even acknowledged that he knows we have blocked her phone number, that’s why he had to text us, and ended it with a ‘talk soon’.

L. O. L.

James responded that the purse in question was in the bag that she chose to rummage through and neglected to take in it’s entirety. We had warned it would be considered garbage and treated it as such.

“K, thanks.”
At least he’s polite.

The woman had 2 months to pack. This was 11 days after she moved out. She got her full damage deposit back despite our house being absolutely filthy and bearing several damages. She knew she was blocked and continued to harass us.  Why would she think, after everything, that she would be entitled to that purse anymore if we did still have it?

It is too bad because I didn’t realize she had been too damn stupid to take the brand new-still-with-tags purse when she came to rummage like a rat through the bag. I would have picked it out before heaving the bag out and sold it on Kijiji! Hopefully the garbage man spotted it and his wife  got a nice surprise (heteronormative, I know, I know… I just can’t see a gay garbage man’s husband liking that purse at all… although it was rather trashy 😉 )

I  can’t believe I’m as shocked as I am about this. It’s like I didn’t think she could creep lower as a person, but alas.

After responding to the crazy people as succinctly as possible via text, James and I headed out to Subway to celebrate National Submarine Day.
While we were there the winds pick up and up and up.

 

People couldn’t get the door open to Subway or even out of their cars. The power flickered and you could hear the howl.

On our drive home it looked like the traffic lights were going to fall any second and other motorists had windows blown out.
At home, the power was out and stayed out until early morning.

It was record breaking winds in the province, out-blowing our worst hurricane (Hurricane Igor). Winds were at 130kph and gusts were upwards of 180 kph. Roofs blew off houses and transport trucks fell over. Pedestrians were blown into traffic and the radio hosts passed on the warning to not leave the house unless absolutely necessary and to drive with both hands firmly on the wheel .

 

We spent the night listening to our hand crank radio by candlelight and laughing at the people who call in to complain.

My one regret was not just eating half of the sub and saving the other half for later – we don’t have any groceries and everything was closed !! Went to bed hungry but awoke to power, so small victories!

Happy National Submarine Day !! What a shit show!!