Aug 31, 2007

Shine a Light

Dear Pat, Love Abigail

I wish I could be at the funeral. I wish that I had called in to work, told them it was an emergency and they had to cover my shifts, shoved mom in the car, and hit the highway. Maybe mom could have handled one big road trip instead of the two she wasn't up for. Maybe we could have done a blitzkrieg, and picked up the relatives that were feeling the same way as I was. My car is big enough, we could have fit. Why, all of a sudden, did I stifle my urge to do something spontaneous?

Maybe. Maybe. Coulda. Shoulda. Woulda.

My cousin Pat, was extremely special to me. I know that she knew how special she was in that respect, and I have no doubt, that she understands why I am not on the highway with the rest of the relatives.
We've had a busy week, our immediate family. She would tell us to stay home, and rest and not worry about missing out. Sometimes, things come up, and you can't accommodate everyone at a moments notice. We never did see each other as much as we would have wanted to.

Pat was much older than me. Shit, she was much older than my mom, in my terms of age and years. But she was always the cooler older kid, to all of us. When we got together for big family gatherings, she was the last of the adults to be sitting with us, drinking and talking until the wee hours of the morning. We would drink and laugh, and tell her EVERYTHING. She was the one, in our angst-ridden teenage years, and in our confusing-as-fuck early twenties that really listened to us....

We would tell her about our hopes and dreams, and she believed in them for us. We would tell her about our broken hearts and our relationships and our troubles with the family, and she would listen. We would tell stories, we would watch family embrace and argue, and she would listen to our opinions on everyone...and give us her own. She never once treated us like we were "kids", we were equal to her. She was the only one to stand up for us that night in the garage, when nobody believed in our dreams.

When we noticed that she wasn't quite herself, a couple years ago, she still made an effort to come out and play, each time her and her husband came to visit us in Small Town. She always rubbed our arms, and held our hands and hugged us...and believe me, that is a foreign act in a family that is as infamous for their drinking, as for their fighting. She told us how special we were, and how much she loved us, as much as she could, and you couldn't help but tell her the same thing back, because you just knew how much she meant it.

Her funeral, is going to be a good time. If they do it up right, like I am sure they will do, it will be one hell of a party. When our family comes together, even (or especially?) in times of sorrow, we shine. We laugh, we cry, we tell stories, we eat and drink like nobodies business. Silly arguments and issues are forgotten, for but a moment, and we come together to celebrate and love each other. Blood is thicker than water.

So yes, I should have shoved the family in the car and headed to Manitoba. But I didn't. So the next time we all get together, we will just have to have our own celebration of Pats' life. And we should do it her way. With drinks and belly laughs and honesty and tears and hugs.

Or maybe, that's just how everyday should be?

Aug 29, 2007

Pierre Berton

I've seen this a dozen times or so, but I found it while cleaning up my computer, and it gave me a laugh like nobodies business, and just had to post it, before I sent it to the big recycle bin in the sky.

Aug 28, 2007

Family Values.

I have a huge family. Unlike some people, I have been raised to be close to not just my immediate family, but the whole lot of them, from aunts and uncles, to third cousins, friends and neighbors of said family, and all the wonderful people that have married into (and gotten out of) our clan over the years. Both my mom and dad's families are quite large, and are friends with one another, and have been for many, many years. This has always made for huge family gatherings, and as well has taught me to welcome and love everyone I meet into my heart and my home. It has also taught me to always have booze and food and extra pillows on hand, because you never know when someone is going to need a place to stay, a shoulder to cry on, or a good laugh.

Over the past few years, when family was not so close at hand, I learned to lean on my friends. Instead of calling on mom and dad, or calling a cousin, I called on my homies. We partied, we laughed, we cried, we learned to look out for each other. In the past year or so, the number of people I consider close friends has sky-rocketed. Our little group of regulars at The Pub has blossomed to the size of a Ukrainian wedding. When in need of a night out, or a shoulder to lean on, each one of us has 45 people we can count on to be there in a flash. Some of us are closer to each other than others, some only come out to play once in awhile, but we're all there for each other, no matter what. These people are now my extended family, and it just keeps on growing. New sisters, mothers, brothers, drunken uncles, ex-husbands, what have you, they all have their role in my life.

When you have so many people in your life that you love, it can get tiring. Lately, I have been tired from all the fun, and have not really had the energy to entertain, or be out and about. I needed a break from the social scene. It's been one crazy summer.

But then, on the same day, I heard the news that one of the extended family of friends is expecting another, and shortly after heard the sad news from my mother, who is also not doing so well at the moment, that I had lost a very dear cousin, and after a one day pity party for myself, I crawled out of bed this morning and I snapped myself out of it. I need to be on my game, in case anyone needs me. I want to be that person that people know they can count on to be there for them. I have family that needs me right now, and I'm going to do whatever I can to be there for them, make them comfortable, and give them a laugh.

There is no reason for solo pity parties, when I can lean on everyone around me, and count on them to give me the strength to get through a really tough week.

Aug 27, 2007


You know you've had one too many Hot Toddy's mixed with cold medication, when your coughs taste like whiskey, and upon seeing a fly in the kitchen, you actually think to yourself, "Neat, a flying squirrel."

Aug 24, 2007

For Agent 13

I love this. I just saw it, but a moment ago, when I was reflecting on my current situation, feeling introspective, and whatnot. It caught my eye, my attention, and I forgot what I was being introspective about.

Aug 23, 2007

Not to Alarm Y'all But......

It smells like Autumn. I haven't seen the sun in a few days, and that makes it look like Winter. The cold winds that shoot right through you in the evening, sure as hell make it feel like Fall.

I took a hot shower for the first time in months, so I could warm up. I don't feel bad about laying in bed all day, and I don't believe that I am missing out on much down on The Pub patio. I actually feel like doing things around the house. I am starting to think about how cute my scarf and knit hat will look with my green army jacket. I worry about the fact that I don't own any socks, or long sleeve shirts. I want to curl up and watch a movie, under a big poofy blanket. I am craving red wine, instead of beer.

Dammit, it can't be happening already.

Aug 22, 2007

Aug 21, 2007

Just Thinking....

It is a strange and beautiful feeling to go back and read your own blog archives of the past few months, and realize what a complete mental overhaul you have done to yourself.

After reading Madame Diva's "Introduction to Abigail Road", I became interested in checking myself out a bit. I rarely go back and read what I have posted in the Blogosphere, or in my own hand-written journals, but I just couldn't help myself. Needless to say, in the end, I was none too impressed with myself, and had to wonder about who this girl was that was writing these depressing diatribes about weight gain, loneliness, and heartbreak. Most of my entries from this past winter and spring were so frickin' depressing, as were a good chunk of entries from 2005 and 2006. The feeling that the world was shitting on my head, was a common topic of conversation. I just wanted to go back in time and slap myself, and then give myself a hug, and tell me that everything would be alright.

Somewhere between here and here, things started to brighten up a bit, when it came to writing about life in general, and it's been gettin' better ever since. Life ain't so shitty. Maybe it's the seasons, maybe it's just a change of attitude, maybe I just shit on myself for minor things because it's easier than dealing with the actual depressing things that have happened to me in life. Or maybe, my little blog is just a healthy forum for my venting about life's little troubles.

However, when I went back and read some of these depressing entries, I really did have to give myself a mental high-five for getting through the shit-storm(s) of mental instability, with the help of my friends and my readers. If winter depression or heartbreak slap me upside the head again this year, I am going to have to try remember that everything works out in the end, and that I'm one tough cookie, and I can handle everything that's thrown my way, good and bad.

Aug 20, 2007

How To Kick A Cold's Ass In Seven Easy Steps.

I could feel it coming yesterday. Stuffy/runny nose, phlemy cough, sore throat. I knew that I would wake up today with a full on head cold. Maybe it was sitting in the hot tub on Saturday, and then hopping out into the cold air, or maybe it was running around in lingerie all of Friday night that brought the germs out to play. Who knows. All I know is, that I am sick, and it can't last more than today, because I have better things to do in life than blow my nose every thirty seconds. Like be productive at work, and get the house ready for my mom's visit this week.

So, I've gotten down to the business of kicking this colds ass.

First, I slept in. I hear that sleep is good for healing.

Secondly, I chugged back a cup of super hot java, to burn the phlegm right out of my throat.

Next, I took some Daytime Cold Relief tablets, and all the vitamins I could find. I don't think I've taken any vitamins since the beginning of July.

The fourth thing I did, was go outside. Fresh air seems to open up those nasal cavities.

Step #5 - Green Tea with lemon and honey, baby. And lots of it.

And then, I made some homemade chicken and rice soup. Scrumptious.

On the seventh step, I chose to rest, before taking a hot shower and getting ready to drag my butt to work.

I feel better already. When I arrive home tonight, I will take more drugs, and drink a Hot Toddy, and hope that all will be well tomorrow. No germ is gonna keep me down, no way, no how, not now.

Beware! Blabbering Ahead!

Yet another fantastic weekend was had by yours truly.

It was a tad bittersweet, as my dear Hobbsley had to head back to K-Town in the wee hours of Saturday morning. However, The House of Pain hosted one fabulous going away party in his honor, if I might toot my own horn here for a moment. The last time I hosted a costume party was in the good old days of The Embassy, and I must say we lived up to the parties of the old days. We danced, we laughed, we dressed up as dead celebrities. That's me as Courtney Love*, at left. This photo kind of reminds me of the "Live Through This" cover, and I think that's a nice co-incidence, considering I was most likely rockin' out to Stevie Wonder at the time this photo was taken. Yup, it was a time.

For some unknown reason, I awoke after the Dead Celebrity Party bright eyed and bushy tailed, hangover free. Not that I'm complaining, but boy oh boy, there's no logical explanation for it. I spent Saturday afternoon cleaning the house and yard, and preparing myself mentally for the evening ahead.

The evening did not disappoint. Smyrish and I attended a sex toy party hosted by my friend Ms. R and her hubby. Once the sales pitch was over, and everyone was fed yummy appetizers, we headed to the hot tub they rented for the guests, for drinks, laughs, and more drinks. (FYI - jello shooters+hot tub=good times). We had to leave Ms. R's early, to head back to the House of Pain for TypicalQuirk's going away party (damn, everyone is leaving us!), and it was a nice relaxing few hours of smoking and drinking the leftovers from Friday, and eating in the basement, as we guffawed at Robot Chicken, and were mesmerized by the blokes from Trainspotting. There were many laughs, and much flirtation and I received a couple of good back rubs, which, I have recently learned, are just heavenly after a night in a hot tub.

Because I am apparently invincible, I awoke Sunday morning hangover free once again. Maybe I've been drinking too much this summer, and have permanently pickled myself. Who knows.

Anyways. Sunday was glorious, as all Sunday's are for me. The Cookster and her boyfriend came over for coffee and a visit in the morning, and it was wonderful to have them. We have been very estranged this summer, and I wasn't sure that I was even going to see her at all, or ever again, and this weekend, I had the privilege of visiting with her twice. It was as comfortable as an old shoe, hangin' with The Cookster, and it gives me hope that I might just see her again soon, sometime.

After that visit, Das Piper came over for coffee, Smyrish cut the lawn, and we had a nice afternoon of visiting in the backyard. I made a nice Sunday dinner for those two boys, and even though I fell asleep on the couch and accidentally over-cooked everything, they seemed to be grateful for the nourishment, as was I. I haven't cooked a proper meal at home in months. The evening ended with a movie and Scrabble and wine and visiting with Smyrish, and it was a wonderful ending to a wonderful weekend.

So here I am. The roommates are at the beach, and the house is empty. It's two-thirty in the morning, I am still wide awake, having a glass of wine, singing to Serena Ryder at the top of my lungs,when I should be exhausted and passed out in bed from the weekends festivities. Maybe staying up all night, every night, for months now, has inhibited my sense of when to quit, and just sleep.

Ah, fuck it, I have all winter to sleep. For now, I'll just bask in the glow of a glorious weekend, and wait for my body to tell me it's time to sleep, and not my brain.

Goddamn, I love my life.

* I am aware that Courtney Love is not dead, but my arguement was, that she was dead inside, so it counted.

Aug 15, 2007

I am so Nice...N-I-C-E!

I'm starting to get a big ego over here. First, I was awarded with the Power of Schmooze, and now, I have been honored for my niceness.

Madame Diva may not know it, but throughout life, I have been told numerous times how frickin' bitchy I am. I can be a bitch, and I know it. But I like to think of myself as a stand-up good person, and it is a very warm and fuzzy feeling to hear that someone thinks the same. This is what The Diva had to say about me:

"....because she makes me feel loved and wanted and i like to feel loved and wanted. Also, she is very talented sewer lady... uhm.. no, not SEWER lady... SEW-er in sewing machines."

It's true. I'll toot my own horn here and confirm the fact that I want everyone I know, to know how special they are, and how much I love and adore them. I try and tell them that every single day.

What else makes me nice? Well, I don't know really. I don't push old ladies, or put kittens in the dryer, or steal candy from babies. Even though I threaten to sometimes, I don't run over pedestrians with my car, or rear-end the elderly for driving too slow. I love hugs and kisses and high-fives. Yup, I'm good people.

You know who else is good people? These guys. Well, these girls. I nominate them for the "Nice Matters" Award of '07.

Knuckle Toes - She puts up with me. She makes me feel like I am talented, and tells me so. Because she's my sista, and my friend and my business partner in crime. She's just a doll.

PocketBuddha- You don't really know her yet in the blogosphere, but believe me, she's a nice lady. She brought me fruit and trail mix and good conversation throughout Folk Fest last weekend, and that alone proves how darn nice she is.

That Girl Who Blogs Stuff- I just want to hug her to death every time I see her. She's got a beautiful smile, and knows how to use her ears. She hardly even knows me yet, but I get the feeling that she actually cares about me. And I care about her.

Congratulations to the winners! Go ahead and brag about your award all around town, but don't lord it over everyone, because that's not so nice.

Blue Rodeo @ Folk Fest

Not the greatest video/sound quality, but believe me when I say it was a fantastic show. You can't really tell, but the crowd sings a good chunk of this song. Good job, hippies!

Aug 13, 2007

Gettin' Our Folk On...

Well, when all was said and done, Folk Fest was a success.

It was a long weekend of getting up early after late nights, lugging wares, dodging bad weather, and praying for customers to give us money , so we could participate in the capitalism of Folk Fest purchasing cigarettes, over-priced vendor food, and over-priced pub pints.

In looking back at my photos from the weekend, the majority of them are of myself and my helper monkey friends lazing and dozing on the grass in and around our tent. We were a tired bunch of hippies this weekend, but we persevered, and ended up having a fantabulous time. Naps in the grass are a wonderful thing.

Sales were slow, but we did make a profit. I wish we would have done better, but we were up against inclement moody weather, the rising cost of ticket prices and the fact that everybody in town seemed to have spent their money on August long weekend.

It was nice to see customers from previous festivals come back for more, and to see my wares in the arms of happy new customers around the park, showing off their new bag or skirt. It really gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside when someone is ecstatic about something that you created.

The best part of the festival, were the roaming friends who were always popping in for a visit, be it just a few minutes, or a few hours. We had friends bringing us meals and snacks, and drinks and good conversation. We were a popular tent for visiting and laughing, and it made me feel even more warm and fuzzy to have those wonderful people around me as I sat in the tent for 3 days. I hope they took me seriously when I told them how grateful I was for their help, and told them how much I loved them. The weekend just wouldn't have been the same without their presence.

I love our local Folk Festival, and have attended every single year, since I moved to The City. But I was disturbed by the fact that we didn't get free tickets to the shows, didn't have a place to park, and that we weren't even invited to the after parties this year. All day Sunday, I was talking about how much I wished that I could see Blue Rodeo, and complained about the less than stellar treatment of the vendors.

Moments before Blue Rodeo was to hit the stage, our friend Jules, who had a weekend pass, looked at me, asked me if I wanted to go in to the main stage, and wriggled her hand out of the green bracelet that held all the power to get me through the waist high orange gates. I lubed up my hand with lotion, and slipped it on.

"I'm going in!" I yelled, as I dodged hugs and high fives from friends who were stuck watching from over the fence and atop the cenotaph. I ran into the gates, holding up my wristband for all to see.

It took mere seconds to find a group of friends with leftover drink tickets. I grabbed myself a beer, and we headed up to the stage. We sang and danced and cried and I took some horrible pictures that didn't turn out at all. Thankfully, I was with B-Rock the Rock-tographer, and I am sure that he got some great shots. It was a fantastic finale to an exhausting but fun weekend.

Today, it's back to reality. Work commitments of all kinds are beckoning me. My Oldsmobile needs to get taken to the big salvage yard in the sky. TypicalQuirk and Hobbsley are leaving this coming weekend, and there is intense housecleaning and party planning to be completed. I haven't showered or combed my hair since Thursday night.

Summer is, rather unfortunately, coming to a close and every moment is planned out for me. Luckily, it'll only be fun and games for a few more weeks, and with the festivals out of the way for this year, I have one less responsibility to worry about, and can just concentrate on having a darn good time.

Aug 9, 2007

Countdown to Folk Fest!!!

Well, one more sleep, and it'll be time to get my hippie on. Folk Fest is starting in less than a day, and damned if I'm not ready for it. I did however throw a few creations together today, and thought I'd show 'em off.
Align Right

All I'm hoping for is to make a bit of money for beers on Sunday night when the hippie fest is over, when I'll have time to party with my friends, who I'm missing something fierce this week.

Wish me luck!

This Ones for the Boys : Random Thought Guessing Game

Sometimes, if you have nothing good to say, you should just say nothing at all. Other times, you have many things to say, good or bad, and are just never given the opportunity to voice them, for any number of reasons. And then, there are times, when you would give anything to sit down face to face and say what you want to say, but you either don't have the balls to do it, or you aren't drunk enough, or you're too drunk, or you're too mad, or you're too shy, or are feeling too infatuated and intimidated. And then there are times like right now, when you realize that you have been thinking all damn day about "what-I-should-have-saids" and "what-I-can't-wait-to-says", and you just have to get them off your chest, even in the vaguest possible way, otherwise you aren't going to sleep tonight.

Or maybe that's just me.

1. If it wasn't for you, this summer wouldn't be as much fun as it has been up to this point.

2. It's too bad that you moved so far away, because I think that when you came to visit, there was still something there. Fuck, I can't even remember why we broke up in the first place. Oh wait, it's because I moved so far away.

3. I am doing really, really good. I wasn't going to be unhappy forever.

4. Stop worrying about me, and move on. I did.

5. I don't get it, and probably never will. Why aren't you into cuddling??

6. Thank you for not contacting me anymore. I don't know what you expected....a friendship after that bullshit? I think not. Go fuck yourself.

7. I am over you, and I am so fucking proud of myself, I just can't stop giving myself mental high-fives every time I think about it.

8. I should have given you, and us, a second chance.

9. I love your new girlfriend so much, I wish I could marry her!

10. Sorry I can't make it to your wedding, I'm sure it'll be a rockin' good time. But just remember, I was your first, and taught you all that you know. ;)

11. I may not be the girl of your dreams, and I may not be everything you're looking for, but I was, and am, pretty sure that I could be all that you need.

12. I can't believe I let my guard down like that and trusted you.

13. Our relationship, and our break-up, has made me the semi-well-adjusted woman that I am today.

14. Well, we both fucked up, and it didn't go anywhere, but thanks for the memories, the wonderful stories I can tell my grandkids and the big-time confidence boost.

15. I don't know what I was thinking.....absence does not make the heart grow fonder.

16. Man, we were hot together, weren't we?

Ahhhh....that's better. Nighty night.

Aug 7, 2007

Good Times and Procrastination

I'm not kidding, this summer really has been kicking royal ass. It is only half-over and I have already added it to my list of "Greatest Summer's Ever" in the ol' memory bank. However, it has apparently kicked my ass a bit as well, or possibly, it was just the past weekend of fun and games and drinking and laughing and not sleeping out at The Lake that did me in.

I actually stayed home tonight, for the second time in a month. I planned for it all day Monday. I fought the urge to head to The Pub after work today, all day. It almost killed me, not to go and laugh and drink with friends that I haven't seen since last week when I headed out camping. I had good intentions. I was going to go home after work, finish unloading and putting away my camping gear, and sit down and work my ass off all night at the sewing machine, and get ready for the Folk Festival this coming weekend.

I did come home after work. I cracked a leftover camping beer and headed to my bedroom. I surfed the InterWeb, and planned my evening. Then I fell asleep.

Five hours later, I awoke to the sounds of my stomach growling, and Nancy Grace and her posse debating whether Britney Spears should lose custody of her children or not, given her tendencies to feed her sons Doritos and soda pop. I rolled over, and fought the urge to just keep on sleeping until morning, forcing myself to wake up and do something productive.

Productivity in the wee hours of the morning has so far consisted of eating a tuna sandwich, loading the dishwasher with dirty camping dishes and driving 2 blocks to the Petro-Can to buy cigarettes, because I was too lazy to walk. None of these activities are helping me get prepared for the Folk Fest. Sheesh.

The downside to having the best summer ever, is the fact that my work, sewing and otherwise, is really cutting into my party time. I have become lazy and somewhat irresponsible, and only care about having fun.

And my goodness, I have no problem with that. I haven't been this happy with myself, and with my life, in years, if ever. All this fun, and all my good times with my wonderful gaggle of friends, has boosted my confidence, and has basically obliterated all the stress of the months prior, and I couldn't be happier at this point in time.

I'll get my butt in gear, and I will be ready for the weekend, because I'm me, and I work better under intense pressure. And as soon as this festival is over, I'm going back to being the big bad party animal, because summer is only so long, and I'm not going to waste a single moment of it.

Not only is summer too short, but so is life, so you might as well enjoy the fuck out of it.

Aug 1, 2007

Old Advert

My dear mama sent this my way, and I just had to share it.