We got a new tire for my car. Or rather, we got 5 new tires for my car and one of them turned out to work. The first time Mr Katje went to the scrap yard he got a deal on 4 tires for 200 bucks off a 2000 Dodge Caravan — ie, my exact car.
They didn’t fit.
I don’t fucking know WHY, they just didn’t fit. They should have. SAME CAR. That night included Mr Katje lying on the ground looking at this tire he couldn’t get onto my car and saying “Happy birthday, Dear, I got you the wrong tires.”
(Yes, tires were my bday gift. I turned 31 and I got a working car. #blessed)
So he went back and was able to return them (a VERY WELCOME SURPRISE) and got a different one which definitely DID fit. So my car got all fixed up in time for me to drive up to Sechelt.
So mom and I went to the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts, or FOTWA, or #SecheltWritersFest, or SCFWA, from August 17-20. We were in the tent selling books with other local indie authors.
We had a great time; I sold 2 books. Pretty good considering the overlap between SFF readers and people who go to festivals like that one is pretty slim.
Then we got back to our respective homes and Mr Katje and I went and watched the eclipse the next day, which was fucking underwhelming. I thought 86% totality was going to be pretty good but it was just disappointing. Didn’t help we couldn’t get any eclipse glasses so we had to look through pinhole boxes we’d made that morning.
When we’re 80 we’ll just look right at it because either medical technology will have progressed to the point where it doesn’t matter and we can just get new eyes, or we’ll be so close to the grave we won’t give a fuck.
While driving up to the mountain: please don’t jump out the window at those rabbits please don’t jump out the window at those rabbits please don’t jump out the window GOOD BOY
While walking up the mountain: it’s DECEMBER WHY IS IT SO WARM
Where’d he go? Oh there he is.
Mountain for first dog walk since before broken leg = bad choice.
Why did I decide to veil? There are zero other humans here and it feels like I wrapped my head in a basting bag.
Benches. Benches would be amazing. Why don’t trails have benches? It would be a great for those of us who are disabled enough to need them but still want to go for hikes in the woods on occasion. Or who are forced into it by circumstance, such as the circumstance of dogsitting for your mom.
Holy shit this hill is steep.
Where the fuck is the dog?
I did not have enough coffee today.
Ok seriously if there are not going to be any benches WHY ARE THERE NO BIG ROCKS? Like a mile up this hill and not a single fucking rock; come on, this is BC, we’ve got rocks coming out of our ears. WHERE ARE THE ROCKS. And I don’t meant the tiny ones under my feet that pose a tripping and slipping hazard.
Upon reaching the almost-summit: I am not going up those goddamn stairs, you cannot make me, I choose life.
Hey, a rock. Finally a place to sit.
Ok this rock is not that comfortable. In fact it is super uncomfortable.
I’ll take it. It is closer to my butt than the ground.
~watching the dog wander up the stairs to the actual summit~ yeah you can go up there bud but don’t expect me to follow. I am good with this rock. This pointy rock. This pointy rock…that is also soaking wet. And I in my yoga pants.
Still better than standing. Or stairs. Anything is better than those stairs. They are made of eroded death and will surely send me plummeting to the rocky embrace of Mother Earth (FINALLY, ROCKS).
~dog stops halfway up the stairs, looks at me expectantly. I tell him nothing doing, but he can go on if he wants. he sighs, turns around and trundles back down.~
While walking back down: jesus this hill is steep. HOW DID I WALK UP THIS THING?
Hey, my ass is so numb from the cold rock that I can no longer feel the wetness from said rock. Bonus!
Where the fuck did the dog go? I hope he doesn’t get eaten by a cougar.
I hope that spider I just flicked off my arm lived.
Man, I’ve made it all the way up to the almost-summit and almost all the way to the bottom without slipping on a rock and twisting my ankle—ACK.
Spoke too soon.
Oh hey, there’s the dog. And the car. Thank gods, the car. Can I nap now?
On the drive home: you know I bet my thoughts would make a pretty funny blog post. I should write them up when I get home and post them.
please don’t jump out the window at those rabbits please don’t jump out the window at those rabbits please don’t jump out the window GOOD BOY
And then it took me until tonight to finish writing them up because taking care of Tyee is a big job and I am so tired.
In other news, yes, I am currently dogsitting for Mom. This means I am up in Powell River and trying to view the seclusion as a retreat for writing and knitting. More of the latter than the former at this point, but I’ve only been here 2 days.
And I had more to say, I think, but Tyee just came up and pawed at me insistently, so I am off to take him for another walk, despite being exhausted.
ETA: I could not post this before the walk and am in fact posting it after the walk. Now it is hopefully sleep times?
Recently my boyfriend got new bathmats for his bathroom. This is good, because the old one was getting kind of manky. It was white. I disagree vehemently with white things for the house. They get dirty easily. Rather, they show dirt easily, and, when it comes to cleaning, I’m a lazy bitch.
His new mats are black, round, soft, and decidedly not-manky. There are two of them, overlapping like a Venn diagram. (“This mat is wet, this is dry, and where they meet they are both wet and dry.” —Venn, the most boring kid ever.)
Me: You have new thingies in front of the shower. They’re nice.
Mr. Katje: New showermats, yeah.
Me: …new what?
Mr. Katje: Showermats. Mats for the shower.
Me: You mean bathmats.
Mr. Katje: No, because there’s no bath. There’s a shower. Showermats.
Me: …the word bath doesn’t…that’s not…argh. There’s no tub, but there is a bathing space in the bathroom, and the mats go in front of the bathing space. Hence, bathmats.
Mr. Katje: No. Showermats. We shower. We don’t take baths.
Me: We bathe in the shower, which is in the bathroom. Bathmats.
Mr. Katje: You’re wrong. We don’t bathe in the shower; we shower in the shower.
Me: (sighing and giving up) Yes, dear.
I may outwardly capitulate for his sake, but I know I’m right. So does Firefox’s spell-check — it recognizes bathmats as a word, but not showermats. Obviously I’m correct.
(Whenever we spawn little amoeba-kittens, I’m going to have to be proactive so they don’t pick up his weird language. “Remember, kids, daddy is silly.”)
The apartment in Coquitlam needed to be ready for me to move into. This meant there needed to be space for my stuff, first of all, and that my grandparents’ stuff needed to be moved out. That is, we needed to move out what we could of my grandparents’ stuff — part of the reason I had to get rid of my bed is that we couldn’t get rid of the two singles in their old bedroom (it’s like an episode of I Love Lucy every night, except instead of my husband in the second bed, it’s my mom — nothing says awkward more than being 26 and having to share a bedroom with your mom; luckily, she’s travelling a lot and spending a lot of time in her other house in Powell River. Also my boyfriend’s house is close to my new apartment and he has his own bedroom).
Something my mom had noticed a week and a half or so before the end of the month was that the washer was leaking. It was a stacking unit and it had been in the apartment since Oma had bought the place — 20 years ago. It was also a pretty good washing machine and dryer combo — it had never let us down before. So mom called a repair guy.
It was unfixable. The bottom had completely rusted through and we needed to get a completely new washer. And dryer, because a stacking unit is useless if one part is broken.
So mom went to the Brick, and ordered some new fancy HE (High Efficiency) machines for the place. They were separate, but you can stack them if you have a kit, and she also got a drawer to put underneath the washer into which I can put laundry detergent. This has the added benefit of making the washer and dryer tall, meaning I don’t have to bend as much. It’s not going to be as easy on short stuff mom, but then what kind of daughter would I be if I didn’t help my mom with household chores? (A shitty one, if you need the answer spelled out for you. If you’re an adult and living with your parents, you better fucking pull your own weight around the house.)
The Brick dudes arrived shortly thereafter with the washer and dryer, and of course mom had to be there for that. Except…oh, they didn’t have the stacking kit. So they put the washer on the drawer and left the dryer in the dining room until they could come back with the stacking kit and get it all set up. The next possible date they could arrive? Friday, September 7th.
Mom may have blacked out with rage, waking up with dried blood under her nails. I can neither confirm nor deny that.
We now had more problems than we’d started out the day with: not only did we no longer have the use of TG’s truck to get rid of some of the big stuff, including the mattress and box spring, but now we had to work on getting the truck to Courtenay Car Centre and getting it fixed.
We worked on the second problem first. Mom arranged for her and TG to wait by the truck for BCAA to tow it to the car place (this is two days later). She would then come down to Nanaimo to help me, as well as somehow cramming my massive mattress into the Pegasus (her Volvo station-wagon; mine is the Galactica — yes we’re giant nerds).
I was expecting mom to arrive at my place mid-afternoon, but she was several hours late. Apparently she and TG had waited in the blistering hot sun for BCAA for over two hours. They couldn’t call, because his phone was out of minutes, and she’d forgotten her phone at home. So finally she drove around in search of a phone she could use, and called BCAA again, asking where the hell they were, and it turns out the original request for a tow had gotten lost in the system. She arranged for them to tow without her presence, which for some reason hadn’t been possible before (yay silly company policies), and then came down to my place.
She’d instructed me to fold my mattress in half and tie it with rope. It’s all foam, so this was feasible…just not easy. She walked in to find me lying on top of it in an awkward position, shouting more bile and vitriol at the thing than I thought I had in me. She came and helped, and with our combined fattitude and lexicon of swear words we got it done.
Being fat can be incredibly useful when one is moving or packing a very full suitcase. I’m just saying.
I just got back from driving my mom to the airport. She’s headed for Nicaragua for a month on a business trip. Okay, so there’s some personal time in there too. It’s a month-long trip to Nicaragua; she’d be crazy not to.
I should say, mom drove to the airport, and I took her car back home. This is because time was of the essence while going there and she’s more used to Vancouver streets and so knew her way to the airport, whereas I’d be flailing and shouting “AH WHERE ARE WE” every five minutes.
I just moved to Coquitlam, and while I’ve been visiting my boyfriend in Delta for two years and driving while over here, it’s never been much more than “ferry to boyfriend’s, boyfriend’s to apartment in Coquitlam, Coquitlam to boyfriend’s, boyfriend’s to ferry, sometimes Coquitlam to ferry…”. The bulk of my driving experience remains in the past places I’ve lived since I was 15: Hawaii, Powell River, and Nanaimo. Oh, and the route from San Diego to Vancouver, BC, but let’s face it — so long as you avoid cities driving on the I-5 is pretty damn straightforward. (Mind you, I did drive in L.A. itself — that trip was when I was still learning to drive. But I digress.)
There are a lot of places in Vancouver and the GVRD that I know. Vaguely. If I end up there, I’ll say “OH, I know where we are!” and then a minute or two later be completely lost again. Or if you asked me about the Front St. and Begbie St. intersection in New West, I can picture it perfectly in my head. Or the Wise Hall on Adanac St. Or Granville Island and Fountain Way. Scott Road and Nordel Way. My friends’ house and driveway in Serial Killer-ville Cloverdale. But ask me how to get from point A to point B? Hahahahahahah I don’t have a fucking clue.
When I turned 14, we tried to organize a party for me. My birthday is August 14th, and even though school started the last week of August in Hawaii, most people were still on vacation for my actual birthday.
Regardless, we kept trying, but every date fell apart. Every time mom put off the ordering of the cake, until finally in September, on the 25th, she came home with this gorgeous chocolate number with a marzipan lion on the top and said “Happy birthday.”
Best. dessert and breakfast. ever.
When I turned 15, my mom planned a surprise party for me.
I had no idea. She’d kept it a complete secret.
She’d invited my Aunty Marsha and my friend Noelle and, because she didn’t know people in the drama program at my high school very well, she’d asked a friend of mine there if he would invite the people there that he thought would want to come. She reserved a lunch-time table at Koho’s, which was the fancy restaurant for the middle class in Maui, and then kept completely silent until my birthday.
My birthday arrives, and after a really awesome wake-up that probably involved opening presents from her and having chocolate-chip pancakes I got dressed and we headed out to Koho’s.
We walked in to find a table with 16 empty spaces and Aunty Marsha and Noelle taking up the other two.
I was really surprised.
Apparently the above-unnamed friend in the drama program had totally bailed on inviting anyone to the party or even showing up himself, and hadn’t bothered to tell my mom. (That, or no one in the drama program wanted to come to my birthday — while either is likely, I’m betting on the first one. I did have some friends in high school.) Hence: a party with four people.
In the end it wasn’t bad. I honestly was just happy that two people had showed. We had a great lunch and afterwards Noelle and I got to be mall rats for a few hours — I bought the game Legend of Dragoon for the PlayStation One and maybe some other things, but Legend of Dragoon is what stands out in my memory. Then we decided to go to the top of Haleakala to watch the sunset. We got up there, saw the sunset, and then in the freezing cold that is 10,000 feet above sea level with the sun below the horizon, our car broke down.
We managed to catch a ride down the mountain with some nice dudes in a truck, and when we got back down we dropped Noelle off at her house, where her dog bit me.
At this point I had to start laughing, because the whole day had been such a comedy of errors.
When I turned 18 I had to work on my birthday. It was tech week for the show I was assistant-stage-managing, and we were doing a cue to cue and light refocusing.
I was determined to be optimistic about having to work on my birthday because I was turning 18 and could visit the porn shops and get a tattoo, both of which were really important things to me. I did actually end up getting that tattoo during my break — an Eye of Horus on my right inner wrist.
However, when I got back the director and the stage manager decided to have a screaming fight over half the theatre, the stage manager using the PA system (or “Voice of God”) to make his point. Shakily, upset by all the yelling, I went outside to stand with the actors having a smoke. Dale, that fabulous man, put his arm around me and said in his wonderfully scratchy voice, “Welcome to birthday hell, darlin.”
I’m sitting at home eating dinner at a quarter to 11pm (which actually seems a reasonable time to eat dinner during summer; the sun just set) and wanting to go to the bar. Instead I’m eating salad. Salad of mixed baby greens and spinach with some bell peppers, and some of my Four Thieves’ Vinegar drizzled on top. (So, you know, not an “American Salad” that’s so covered in meat and thick dressing and croutons and cheese that it’s not really salad anymore, it’s a sandwich that tried to run away and was beaten for its transgression.) My drink is water (and some tea later). This whole meal is about 100 calories.
Meanwhile I’ve got friends in Vegas drinking a bottle of $800 Cristal, and a friend in the UK who would gladly go to the bar with me if it weren’t for that damn geography. I’m 25; I’m supposed to be a hip jet-setter, going out with friends and traveling and hitting the bars and dancing my arse to pieces.
Instead I’m a shut-in. You know, being a shut-in means never having to wear pants, but killing means never having to say you’re sorry.Wait, no. That analogy got away from me.
My point is, I’m okay with being a shut-in, largely, because I prefer to be alone most of the time. But it’s becoming too much. I’m no longer the party animal I once was; hells I’m not even going out for coffee with friends as often as I used to.
This is what an injury can do to you. It can completely overturn your life to the point where you don’t recognize yourself when you look in the mirror anymore.
And yeah, I suppose a healthier lifestyle is, well, healthier, but it’s not that I’ve gone healthy but I still occasionally hit the bars or whatever. It’s that I’ve jumped from age 25 to age 95 in the past few months. Basic tasks exhaust me; I’m literally afraid of going out-of-doors; I shake my cane at kids and scream Damn youngsters, get off my lawn! when I’m at the mall.
I just got this new phone — the Samsung Galaxy Note. And it makes me feel so alive! This is the phone for my age, this is what I should be using while I’m out hitting the bars and dancing oh wait….
I just want to go to a bar so I have an embarrassing photo to take and upload drunkenly to Twitter. Let me be 25, oh gods of bodily health. Let this pain end.
PS: On the ‘being proactive’ front, I’m wrestling myself a physiotherapy appointment tomorrow. I’m not just bitching and whining to WordPress. I am trying.
PPS: I sort of can’t see because I spent all afternoon looking at a small screen. I may have an addiction.