Monday, June 4, 2012

Staycation Travelogue #1

Sometimes when I tell people that I moved from the bustling metropolis of Halifax to the tiny thorpe I now inhabit, I get weird looks. "Why would you want to do that?" people will ask. I don't blame them. It seems backwards somehow to move to somewhere smaller at my age. That's something older people do when they've become tired and retired. And I'll grant that maybe this isn't THE most happening spot in the world but ya know some stuff does go on especially where I work (which is arguably the most happening spot in the village).

For example last week or the week before it was kind of a slow Saturday night and then this whole family of fantastic musicians came in and asked if they could play the piano. They stayed and entertained me with beautiful music well into the night.

Hanging out on the docks I met a man on a bicycle, he was originally from north of Hamburg and moved to Fredericton to work developing software. He biked all the way from Fredericton to Gagetown, a forty minute car ride, to see what was there.

One night I saw a young owl in the middle of the road eating something dead. It just stood in front of my headlights and stared at me, then made like it was going to attack my car.

Last night I met an English professor slash Zen Priest from Maine who told me I was a wonderful person and I was going to have a great life.

I caught a snake last month.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sorry for the setback

But I went on a bender. I'm okay now though. As compensation, here's a comic about eating drug dealers which I do not condone in any way.

On a related note, this comic and many more by myself and the Mondo Comix Group is published in the Mondo Mixtape #2 which, I shit you not, is loaded to the brim with deliciousness. For just thirteen dollars you can purchase sixty two whole pages of awesome. That's like twenty cents a page. You can't buy good art cheaper than that. Get your copy today here.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Thoughts on Facebook Timeline

I upgraded to the newest incarnation of Facebook (the "Timeline" for you historians reading this in the 22nd century) the other day. Normally I don't upgrade anything unless it's mandatory as I don't like change, but Facebook told me that it was gonna update next week anyway whether I liked it or not so I figured what the fuck, why not. Also I was bored and it seemed like it would give me something to fiddle with.

So I upgraded that shit and to be quite honest I'm not that keen on it. Now I know there's droves of people who complain every time there's the slightest little change to Facebook's layout, but I haven't had a problem with any of the changes. Even the ones I thought were a little bit extraneous (i.e., the most recent update to the chat system), I grew accustomed to them almost instantly and they never bothered me at all.

Now this Timeline thing has been around for a while - some of my more advanced Friends got it months ago I guess - so I've seen what it's all about before, however, some of its more irksome qualities really got in my face now that it's infected my Page. I'm not quite a Facebook junkie, I don't play Farmville or any of those other games they got on there (I'm more of a social junkie - I compulsively check not only Facebook but also my e-mail, comments on my webcomic and blogs, various forums I frequent, Twitter, on the offchance that someone wants to talk to me), but I'm on there enough that changes do affect me.

The most irritating thing I find about Timeline is the fact that there's two columns of stuff, which makes it hard to read other people's Pages. Not that I sit down and religiously read other folk's shit, but you know if there's a hot guy I wanna stalk it makes it sort of inconvenient. Also, you have to put up, like, two Profile Pictures which is weird. Why two? I had a helluva time trying to find a wide enough picture for my Cover Photo that wasn't copyrighted to somebody other than myself.

I ended up putting the above picture on there because it's an octopus and that.

Anywho, after I got that done, I started exploring Timeline's other features. There's a thing called Activity Log, which is I guess a log of all the acitivities that I did on Facebook since the dawn of my account... not really sure what the fuck the point of that is but whatever. There's also an option to post Life Events, which range from graduating high school to having a baby to buying a house to getting a tattoo. Everything you could possibly think of, except criminal records. All you have to do is punch in what happened, when, where, with who and slap a photo in and it adds it to the timeline of your life.

I sat there and dutifully added life events to my Timeline - moving to Gagetown, buying my first car, kissing a dude (seriously, one of the optional events is "First Kiss"). I quickly got bored and started making shit up, but there's a lot of real stuff on there so my Friends can learn all there is to know about ME!

Then I started wondering, what the fuck is this for exactly? Does anybody actually want to know any of this shit? I don't really want to know this kind of thing about other people, except for maybe the aforementioned hot guys I'm stalking, whose profiles are all maddeningly devoid of helpful information, like criminal records. So okay, if some dude wanted to know what I was all about without talking to me, he could sit down and read my profile, although most of what I've got on there is lies. Other than that... what's it for?

Advertising, that's my guess. Timeline asks you all kinds of questions about your life, pretending to be interested in the Real You or something, tricking you into sharing your information, but all it really wants to do is fine tune what kind of ads you're likely to click on. People who have more than one tattoo are statistically more likely to want to buy X, people who dropped out of high school are more likely to buy Y, it's all a formula. I figure posting half truth half bullshit is almost my liberatrian duty, skewing their numbers and potentially throwing off advertising everywhere by the slightest degree.

Now imagine if everybody in the world did that. They wouldn't be able to get inside their heads to sell us shit... or at least it would set them back while they tried to come up with a new statistic - people who lie about wearing hats are more likely to buy argyle socks or some shit. But at least we can fuck them up a little bit. Come on people, let's do this.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Country Radio

So I've got a bunch of pages in the upcoming Mondo Mixtape #2, an upcoming print collection of comics by various artists and... here's one of them, concerning the trials and tribulations of listening to the radio on a regular basis.

Anyway, there's waaaaaay more like this and better in there. The book will be available at Mondo Comix. Furthermore, you can buy the Mondo Mixtape #1, which also features one of my comics, here. It's really rad, y'all should check it out.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It might be time to lay off the booze

So I got asked out last week - I'm still kind of reeling from shock so bear with me here. There's this feller at work who's been figuratively beating around the bush, asking every coupla days what I'm doing on the weekend. I always tell him that I'm busy eating cake and crying but this past week he actually asked me out legit. I responded as I always do when I feel uncomfortable - by yelling "I have to wash my hair", then running and throwing myself in the nearest river.

Of course, the guilt started to set in not too long after. There's nothing wrong with this dude. He's nice enough and he ain't too bad looking, so I started wondering how come I turned him down. He isn't what I would call 'my type', but then what does that mean exactly? Why would I consider fucking one dude but not another?

I thought about that for quite a while and reached the conclusion that he and I didn't really have anything to talk about. We'd had maybe one or two conversations over the course of three weeks and then he starts asking me to spend the night in Fredericton with him. "Come spend the night with me" is a really shitty pickup line anyway, but you know it'd probably work for somebody whose company I enjoyed. The only things this particular individual ever wanted to talk about with me were tequila, gambling and cocaine, none of which are great recommendations. Even if I was inclined towards promiscuity I would probably stay away from that, if only because it's sort of boring to talk about.

Then my thoughts turned inwards and I found myself asking "wait a minute, what the hell do I do?" My only real claim to fame is being a really cheap and obnoxious drunk. Probably eighty percent of the conversations I have with people end up being about how fucking wasted I got that one time. In fact, there are several people I know who have never seen me sober. I'm one of Those People, I realized with horror.

Short story long, I figure it's time to at least lay off the heavy, regular drinking. Either that or start drinking gin every night instead of beer, play cards in an opium den at least once a week, and fuck hookers until I contract syphilis, thus becoming an awesome Lady Rake. Actually that sounds more fun and at least it's a commitment.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Can't Even Take a Picture

So this morning I was looking at my room and realizing just how far I've let myself go. I'm just coming out of a particularly long fit of depression and you would definitely know it to look at the place where I sleep.
The last time I saw my floor it was covered in little pieces of sticks, dried up mud, books and broken glass. I'm pretty sure the glass is still there because there's a tiny piece in my foot right now. Not really sure about the other stuff, I will find out after the excavation.

The visible layer is so much dirty laundry I don't even know what to do with it all. For the last five months I've been picking out underwear to wash when I've been wearing the same pair for a little too long (you don't want to know how long 'too long' is, trust me), and washing very little else unless I absolutely have to. Mixed in with the clothes which are being slowly ground into the floor is some spare change, receipts, miscellaneous garbage and empty cigarette packs. I haven't bought a pack of cigarettes since January. There is a small hole in this layer of filth for my alarm clock so I can at least sort of know what time in the afternoon I'm getting up.

The piece de resistance - and the proverbial last straw - is the single empty Alpine Lager can atop the whole thing, the result of taking a beer to bed with me because hey, why not, the cats don't mind.

I really wanted to take a picture of this whole thing before I started deconstructing it but one of the symptoms of living in what I like to call the Lair of Despair is that I can't find any of my god damn shit. I have two digital cameras at my disposal - a little Pentax video camera, and a Nikon on indefinite loan from my brother for stills. When looking for these cameras I found the following:
- Pentax battery charger
- Nikon battery
- Nikon camera bag

Things I did not find:
- Pentax camera
- Pentax battery
- Power cord for Pentax battery charger
- Nikon battery charger
- Nikon camera

The really startling thing is that I always tried to keep all of that stuff together. Also peculiar - last night I decided to find my CD player so I could at least listen to some Bowie while drinking beer in bed. I found my CD player but not the power cord. The question I have is not where shit disappears to, but why some shit disappears and not other shit.

All of this stuff will, of course, turn up in the fullness of time but whether it takes a day or a year is up in the air. Until then, I'll just have to describe all of these things to you.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Drunk Dancing (An Illustrated Review)

I was going to write today about living in hillbilly country but that post isn't finished so instead I figured I'd tell y'all the more comical aspects of my drinking problem. I'm not one of those people who can have a few drinks and just enjoy being drunk. Nope. I'm the type who has to prove how sober they are by trying to have intellectual conversations, start fights, have sex and drive a car, all with no success whatsoever. But more than anything, I like to dance. Who doesn't? I can even say that I really hated dancing until I started drinking regularly.

Now, there's one drinking establishment I frequent more than any other and one night, during a particularly raucous dance, some cruel individual decided to bring a video camera and record the entire party. That wouldn't have been so bad except that an acquaintance happened to get a copy of that recording and showed it to me.

Embarassing would be a bit of an understatement. The embarassing part was when I started screaming nigh incoherantly about (I think?) wanting to fight everybody in the bar. It went entirely downhill from there. As words cannot describe the dances performed by myself and one other person who shall remain nameless for protection, I have captured the whole thing in a series of sketches. Please forgive the roughness of the sketches, I may have been drunk when I did them.





And there you have it. Tune in next week for some other stupid and disturbing thing.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Going to Town: A Hillbilly's Guide to City Slicking

Though I am not an indigenous hillbilly, I've been living in rural New Brunswick for almost four years now, which is more than enough time to go native - or at least pick up a weird accent and start thinking cow tipping is funny. Another thing that changed is that I now find going into town almost ridiculously exciting, be it the teeming metropolis of Fredericton, or the endless traffic circle that is Oromocto. I also learned that it is traditional for New Brunswickers to go totally batshit in Halifax and you know, I've been from Edmonton to Berlin but nothing was as strange as running up and down Barrington street with two French guys looking for cocaine.

But more to the point of this article, there are a lot of things I took for granted when you live in the city that I notice now. Not the big stuff, but little things that everybody should take note of if they live in the city, and that visitors must experience when doing the city. So think of this as a catch-all travel guide to anywhere with tall buildings, sidewalks and readily available contraband substances.

Ride the Bus
What could be better than sitting on a moving vehicle in an uncomfortable chair between a screaming child and a man who smells like urine and tells you at length about his secret plan to overthrow the evil robot regime? How about paying money for that experience? I never thought twice about taking the bus when I lived in the city, I just did it, even when I could easily have walked where I was going (I was a fat and lazy child). Now that I need to take a car just to get to the city, riding the bus seems silly. But it's one of the charming things about living in an urban environment, a neccesary experience for tourists, and really handy when you're too drunk and high to walk far and too poor for a cab.
The Downside: In Halifax the very last bus runs at I believe 1.30AM, and in Fredericton they hardly ever run at all.

Take Advantage of the Public Water
City water tastes more consistant than well water, and it's got chlorine in it which is pretty neat.
The Downside: The Man is controlling the water. That's scary.

Give Money to a Beggar
I always forget about the beggars. We just don't get them in the country (we don't get hobos either for some reason). And there are so god damn many of them, particularly in Halifax in the summertime. You can't walk two blocks without being accosted, which is another good reason to ride the bus - the nutters on the bus generally don't ask for money.
The Downside: Well, it's kind of sad that there are that many beggars. I much prefer the buskers (or 'musical panhandlers' as I like to call them), which we don't get out here either. If there are any musical panhandlers reading this, why not come to Gagetown this summer? You can make an assload of money and there's fuckall for competition.

Do a Barcrawl (Obviously)
Every city I've been in has a bar district, where numerous bars are placed close together for convenience. In Gagetown it's pretty much just Legion>Pub>Buddy's House>Home(optional) so long as you don't mind driving. As fun as that is, visiting eight bars in one night just can't be beat.
The Downside: They're a lot stickier about carding in the city so if you're underage, a barcrawl may not be the thing to do. A cafe crawl is okay if you can't drink.

Feed the Pigeons and/or Rats
Though there are sometimes raccoons, and deer spotted in the biggest of cities, the most plentiful wildlife is always rats and pigeons. And though people are discouraged from feeding these animals, that's not really enforced, and it's much safer than feeding the coyotes and the bears.
The Downside: Pigeons and rats are both riddled with parasites and disease.

Get a Macchiato at 3AM
Ah, my personal favourite. This just goes to prove that you can take the girl out of the city, when you bring her back she's going to want a fucking macchiato.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The 10 Commandments of Roadtripping

My brother and I went on a roadtrip to visit our grandfather in Yarmouth last week, doing the whole eight hour drive in one haul. I spend a lot of time riding shotgun with my brother because a) I'm bored and b) he has a bitchin truck, but during this particularly long excursion I noticed some traditions, mostly when driving from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia or vice versa, compiled and presented here should you need instructions for driving from province to provice.

1. Thou Shalt Purchase Gasoline in New Brunswick, Where it is Cheaper, Filling the Fuel Tank of Thy Vehicle to Capacity and Filling as Many Jerrycans as Thou Canst Prior to Entering Nova Scotia. While Within Nova Scotia, Thou Shalt Avoid Purchasing Gasoline Unless Absolutely Necessary.

2. When Thou Fillest Thy Vehicle's Fuel Tank with Gasoline, Thou Shalt Get a Coffee at the Gas Station. Coffee Shall Be the Beverage of Thy Road Trip and Thou Shalt Not Obtain nor Consume Any Beverage Other Than Coffee for the Duration of the Road Trip.

3. In Accordance with The Prophecy, Thou Shalt Hear the Following Songs on the Radio During the Road Trip - "Hillbilly Deluxe" Performed by Brooks and Dunn; "Turn me On" Performed by David Guetta and Nicki Minaj; "Good Feeling" Performed by Flo Rida; and "Honkey Tonk Badonkadonk" Performed by Trace Adkins, for These Are the Songs of the Road Trip. The Prophecy Must Be Fulfilled and Thou Shalt Not Conclude Thy Road Trip Until All Four Songs Have Been Played.

4. Thou Shalt Sing T-Pain's "Hey Baby" When Thou Seest a Well Kept Vehicle of Antique Vintage During the Road Trip.

5. Thou Shalt Utter Jubilant Noise Upon Crossing the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia Border Regardless of Direction.

6. Thou Shalt Eat Only the Most Sacred of Foods During the Road Trip. These Foods are Beef Burgers, Potatoes and Potato Derived Substances, Corn Derived Substances, and Non-Alcoholic Carbonated Beverages Provided Said Beverage is Preceded by Coffee. Vegetables May Be Be Consumed During the Road Trip Provided They Be Offered Upon a Burger Made from Cow's Flesh, or Processed Into a Sauce to Be Served with Potato Derived Substances.

7. Thou Shalt Vehemently Curse Poor Drivers, Invoking Not Only the Names of Our Lord Jesus Christ and God Almighty, but also Various Bodily Organs and Their Functions.

8. Thou Shalt Not Suffer any Ford Produced Vehicle to Pass Thy Vehicle, and Upon Seeing a Ford Produced Vehicle Thou Shalt Accelerate to Attain the Speed Necessary to Pass the Ford Produced Vehicle.

9. When Passing the Ford Produced Vehicle, Thou Shalt Speak the Sacred Incantation Protecting Thyself from Henry Ford and His Legion.

10. Thou Shalt Wear Comfortable Footwear During the Road Trip in the Event that the Truck Breaks Down and Thou Hast to Walk to a Service Station.

Monday, March 19, 2012

No Posts this Week

That title is kind of a contradiction

Monday, March 12, 2012

Common Misconceptions About Homeschoolers

So, I was homeschooled. Might as well get that out there. But I'm not one of those weird people that you see in movies and on TV who can't hold a conversation without going "nurrrr evolution is a lie" or "bleeeeeee calculus!!!!" I'm pretty normal. Most homeschoolers are. And yet people still assume some pretty weird shit about you when they find out you didn't go to school like a regular person. Shit like...

We Have No Social Skills
Well this one is kind of true, but who does have social skills, really? Still, people think that we don't have social skills because we were homeschooled, which is clear not true. I've met lots of people who I know damn well went to school but still walk up to me and start talking about their wife's vagina completely out of the blue (okay, I only know four people who do that). And yet if there's a homeschooled character in a movie nine times out of ten they're going to be awkward and have a hard time interacting with other people, and if you tell people you're homeschooled they say stuff like "wow, that must've been hard not having any friends"

So first off, because it is kind of hard to make friends if you're homeschooled or the mother (or stay at home dad) of a homeschooled child, there are support networks in most large outcroppings of people. From the age of seven (when my parents decided to start homeschooling me) to seventeen (when I fucked off to New Brunswick and became a redneck), I went to some incarnation of the weekly get together for homeschooled kids at the local rec centre. So there weren't six hundred kids there. There were probably thirty at the very most but I knew and got along with almost all of them (except for that one kid because fuck him). How many people did you really know and get along with in school? Probably about thirty. And because there was such a small group of people, if you went around acting like a dick, you couldn't just go make new friends. You were fucked. So you had to learn how to interact with other people if you wanted to have any kind of social life at all.

That being said I have met some kids who really did not have any idea of how to behave at all but they were assholes and the rest of us ignored them. There were also one or two kids with mild forms of autism, but they sure as shit didn't get it from not going to public school.

I think the reason that we're pictured as being a bunch of dorky weirdos is that the people who talk the most about being homeschooled and are the most defensive about it are little kids. Little kids are notorious for being obnoxious and really vocal about shit. Add to that they get nigh unlimited attention from the adults in their life and think for some reason that they're special and you get one irritating person.

But guess what? We grow out of it. Yeah, I'm still a dork but if there's one thing I'm good at it's socializing and bending people to my will.

We're Not Prepared for Real Life
This was another one my brother, my friends, probably our parents and I got from people all through growing up. "But going to school prepares kids for real life." Let's face it, nothing is going to prepare you for real life except actually living. Want your kid to be prepared for real life by age eighteen? Send them to work at a factory at age ten. That'll do it, but for some reason that's not allowed in this part of the world.

What school does is give young people a safe environment to be out of everybody's way during the work day (geez, when put that way it makes public schoolers sound pretty sheltered. Huh), and hopefully give them the skills necessary to learn how to do things and get into university, whether or not this is successful depends on how good the school is.

What schools do not do is prepare you for things like going through an abusive relationship, coping with a death in the family, or surviving when you're so fucking broke you can't afford a bag of rice or a can of beans. Those are things that, no matter how many talks we've heard or advice we've been given, we're not going to know how to deal with until they actually happen and maybe not even then.

It also doesn't prepare you for the workforce either, contrary to what a lot of grown ups used to say to me. Okay, maybe a job that involves sitting at a desk doing paperwork with a calculator on your computer all day - which is going to make those twelve years of math and English seem like a total waste of time which they weren't - and according to TV, working in an office is one of the four jobs available (the other three are barista, wearing a suit, and emergency personnel). But that's not real life, which is what we're talking about. That's sitting in a cubicle for decades waiting for death or retirement, whichever comes first.

The real life jobs are the ones where you can work all day and then actually SEE the result of your work, no matter how menial or low paying that work is. It's not just numbers on a screen or even a stack of paper in a tray. It's working on a farm - you did a good job pruning that tree so it will produce more apples this year; in a warehouse - you got the shipment together and loaded on the truck in time so you don't get fired; or even at fucking Subway - people are hungry so you make them a sandwich. All of those jobs are way better for you than sitting at a desk staring at a computer all day and the only way to be prepared for them is to just go do them.

We're Either Hippies or Bible Thumpers
I will admit that my mother is kind of a hippy. My father wasn't particularly though. Yes, a lot of the kids I hung out with were on the hippy dippy side, and most of the kids I didn't hang out with were a little too keen on Jesus, but the majority of homeschooling families that I know are just regular people who weren't especially happy with the schools in the area, and one of the parents made enough money that the other could stay home with the kids.

My parents, being more on the hippy side of the spectrum, worked from home, and we were poor as shit but we were rich in love or something (this is what happens when you listen to too much fucking country music).

And there is a spectrum, going from Hippy to SuperChristian (both of which I will refer to as Long Haired Freaky People) are generally more attracted to homeschooling than any other group of people. Why is that? you may wonder. Because in order to homeschool your kids, you need to fill the following criteria:
a) You have to be pretty pissed off with The Man, which Long Haired Freaky People generally are, and
b) One parent has to be home most of the time. Since Hippies don't work and SuperChristians don't let their women leave the house, this fits Long Haired Freaky People to a tee.

It also fits Hillbillies (who don't work at all) and Newfoundlanders (the women work but the men don't), but they aren't really known for homeschooling their children. Go figure.

We're All Really Smart
I don't know how many people I've had to say this to - just because I was homeschooled doesn't mean I'm smart. Now, most homeschoolers that I grew up with are more than slightly intelligent, which I am not especially. And that's pretty hard. Being a dumb homeschooler is like being the kinda stupid kid with really smart siblings. It's not great. The people I grew up with are out there programming computersm solving advanced math problems, reading Nietzsche, writing symphonies and decoding the secret messages in whalesong (probably). Me? I draw comics on the internet and can make a pretty good ceaser.

And I'm not trying to jump into the 'being dumb is cool' trend, I'm really not. Being dumb is exactly that, dumb. Not being able to put a coherant sentence together, thinking math is for losers and not giving even the slightest shit about what the Universe is or why it's here, are some of the biggest turn offs for me, and the fact that it seems like a lot of people think it's cool to act that way is incredibly sad. But when I say I'm not very smart I'm saying it out of simple honesty.

Being smart has less to do with what you know and more to do with common sense and how you utilize the things you know. So you can recite two hundred digits of pi? That's great, how are you going to use that to your advantage. Smart people can do stuff like that.

Almost as good as being smart is being able to present yourself as smart. I like to think I'm pretty good as passing myself off as a reasonably bright person who knows more or less what she's talking about. People seem to think that about me because I know a lot of polysyllabic words and I know how to bullshit really fucking well. But you know what? I once ran myself over with my own car. Smart people don't do stuff like that. So just because homeschoolers know how to pass tests and say the right thing when asked a question doesn't mean that we're any smarter than anybody else. Or any dumber. Or any different really. We may have grown up a little differently, but deep down, we're the same as you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Bitchy Girl's Guide to Surviving the Break-Up

So I recently broke up with my first boyfriend. It sucks, and though there are lots of guides on the internet for dealing with this shit but most of them have ten or more steps and I've summed it up in five, so that's good.

The other problem with the articles I sort of skimmed is that they're all painfully sentimental. What about us girls who just go "meh, fuckit". How are we supposed to cope?! So, for the reading pleasure of the cynical and/or heartless bitch, is how I am getting through my break up.


Wallow in self pity. This was the least productive phase, and involved crying until I run out of fluids, listening to a lot of Taylor Swift (I recommend the song "You're Not Sorry" - it's sad but defiant) and posting song lyrics on facepage, wondering why this happened, and complaining to my female friends. Eventually this passed and I moved on to...

Getting really shit faced. This is hands down the best phase, and continues throughout the whole sequence. I recommend cheap white wine because it's awesome. If you can find a bottle of wine for under ten dollars, buy that shit. Buy, like, twelve. Have a stash. I also like to drunk dial my ex when I get drunk/stoned, which isn't something I really recommend but it sort of happens involuntarily. Much like the crying in phase one.

Go crazy. Relationships are stupid, men are stupid, everything is stupid except drinking booze and getting more cats. Because you can never have too many cats. I stopped shaving my legs, my armpits, my chest, my moustache, I stopped showering, I gained weight from eating nothing but triple chocolate ice cream with butter and bacon mixed in there, because fuckit. It was glorious. And then I started to miss the good things about the relationship...

The problem being that I didn't really want to spend the time getting to know another guy, and I'm not the type of girl to just hook up with some random dude at a bar (sometimes I wish I was, but no). So that's another shitshow.

Supposedly there comes a point where you get over it and get stronger or some shit, but so far I always just wind up sleeping with my ex in exchange for cigarettes, which inevitably leads to guilt and remorse and brings us back to

If you enjoyed this blog, why not check out my regular webcomic, Out Fer a Smoke, or buy the poster of this comic?

Monday, February 27, 2012

The madness

Sometimes I think I'm going crazy. The other day, I stayed up until some god awful hour making a map of all the different branches of life forms in my sketchbook. I don't know why. I just wanted to have it, to look at. It's pretty. Like a family tree of life forms.

The problem was that I couldn't fit it conveniently on the pages. I think maybe I'll make a better one on a huge piece of paper some time. Why? I dunno. Just because.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Had A Dream

The other night I had a dream that I was the child of two half human half aliens who lived on this planet and stopped other aliens from killing people on a regular basis. I keep thinking about it, it's really engrained in by brain for some reason. It just... it felt so real. I was thinking of doing it as a comic or something but it's a little too similar to the other idea I'm formulating right now, trying to think of some way to amalgamate the two.

The other thing is about a chick who can travel in between different dimensions and fights monsters and shit. Pretty much the same thing...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Holidays I Observe

In the interest of making lists, I compiled all of the holidays I observe and sorted them by how much I like them. I don't always observe all of these holidays every year, and some of them aren't really holidays but who cares.

#1 - My Birthday (Oct 9)
Okay, this is not an actual holiday, nobody gets this day off work, but it often involves chocolate (for me anyway). If you want to get this day off work, tell your employer that you follow the religion of John Lennon and this is Lennonmas

#2 - Halloween (Oct 31)
My favourite holiday that is actually a holiday. It's the kind of holiday most people probably don't get off work unless they have kids or something but for me it's still super fun. I stopped trick or treating when I was twelve or thirteen so these days I either go out and get mad drunk or stay at home with a bowl of candy and a couple old horror flicks.

#3 - Queens County Fair (Varies)
Hands down the best four days in September. They got chickens, they got cows, they got horse hauling matches, they got rides, they got wicked poutine and the Estabrooks have a booth with fucking amazing apple cheesecake. Woo.

#4 - Talk Like a Pirate Dat (Sept 19)
This "holiday" doesn't have a whole lot of deep significance but it's a great excuse to annoy the fuck out of co-workers, relative and friends alike. The problem is of course since it's not widely observed it's easy to forget about.

#5 - Fat Tuesday (Varies)
AKA: Mardi Gras; Pancake Day
If you are Catholic this is apparently the day before lent where you eat all the eggs and butter and stuff in your house. If you are me, this is the one day of the year you can justify eating pancakes for supper. It's also Mardi Gras which I would imagine would be fun if you live in a warm climate. Mardi Gras sucks in the maritimes because it's usually snowing around that time.

#6 - Summer Solstice (Around Jun 21)
This is the longest day of the year and the official beginning of the season we call 'road construction' in Canada. It's one of the few seasonal festivals that doesn't really have a corresponding religious holiday that I know of. There are actually very few summer festivals and most of them aren't observed in contemporary culture so I try to always take stock of this day.

#7 - Spring Equinox (Around Mar 21)
Almost as good as the summer solstice, this is the day when you start to feel like winter might not actually last forever. It's still cold as fuck but it's getting better. The day and night are of equal length, more or less, and it will only be a few more months until summer is here. Yay. It is also a good time to start planting your crops.

#8 - Fall Equinox (Around Sept 21)
Not only is this the first day of autumn, it's also kind of the last day of summer. It's the last warning to get your shit done while you can still go outside in a t-shirt, and a bittersweet event. I like fall a lot, the trees turn all kinds of sexy colours but it's also about impending death which somehow makes it more sexy. Go figure. Aaaaand it's a harvest festival so there's food.

#9 - Canada Day (Jul 1)
Go Canada! Also a statutory summer holiday.

#10 - May Day (May 1)
The holiday between the spring equinox and summer solstice, marking the weather really starting to warm up, and all the woodland are coming out hibernation and fucking one another. It's the only day of the year you can justify going outside and running around a giant penis naked.

#11 - Winter Solstice (Around Dec 21)
I always had a bit of a problem with Christmas because I am not a Christian and celebrating the birth of Christ seems kind of crass when y0u don't even believe in the dude. The winter solstice is an acceptable alternative.

#12 - New Years (Dec 31-Jan 1)
This holiday, like the autumn festivals, is both exciting, hopeful, and immensely depressing. It gives you time to think about all the shit you want to get done in the new year, and all the shit you didn't get done in the previous year. There are also fireworks. I like fireworks.

#13 - Guy Fawkes Day (Nov 5)
Fireworks. Fireworks. Fireworks. Also the most exciting day in November, my least favourite month.

#14 - Groundhog Day (Feb 2)
AKA: St. Bridget's Day; Bill Murray Appreciation Day
I love this day because it's total bullshit. Some motherfuckers yank a sad ass groundhog out of a hole in Shubie and make predictions about the weather to come. It's great. But on a less bullshitty note, it's the holiday between the winter solstice and spring equinox, and in pagan culture it had something to do with snakes. And Bill Murray.

#15 - Victoria Day (May 21)
I'm not sure what the point of this holiday is but I used to get two days off work. It's also traditionally the first day I go swimming each year. It's cold.

#16 - August Holiday Day (August 15)
I just made this one up. August needs a holiday. Let's make this happen, guys. We'll tell them that it's the ancient Mayan day of rest or something and deserves a four day weekend.

#17 - Thanksgiving (Varies)
Harvest festivals are the best because they involve feasts. I don't give a shit about the significance of this day I just want some fucking pie.

#18 - April Fool's Day (Apr 1)
The one day of the year you can get away with just fucking lying to people. I love it. Traditionally this holiday had nothing to do with pranks. Instead, one person would dress up as a 'fool' and run through the streets. The rest of the village would chase him with sticks and if they could catch up with him before he reached town hall, they would beat him viciously.

#19 - St. Patrick's Day (Mar 17)
On this day, even if you're not Irish, you can pretend to be Irish and get really drunk. I have a good deal of Irish blood and have no idea what the fuck this holiday is about other than getting totally wrecked.

#20 - Easter (Varies)
I used to kind of enjoy this holiday when I was little and it was just about painting eggs and eating chocolate. Then I got a little older and realized the theological significance of it and it sort of lost it's fun for me. There is still cheap chocolate and often a ham dinner but it feels wrong to enjoy these things when I don't believe in what it's all about.

#21 - New Brunswick Day (Varies)
This holiday is in August. There is usually a barbeque.

#22 - Newfie Joke Day (Mar 31)
Some of my best friends are newfies and I resent this holiday.

#23 - Remembrance Day (Nov 11)
I don't think anyone can say that they particularly like this holiday. It's important to have it but it's all about honouring those who gave their lives for freedom. Not a lot of fun.

#24 - Valentine's Day (Feb 14)
AKA: Single's Awareness Day
Believe it or not this day does not get any less depressing or pointless when you aren't single. I'm sure there are people out there who get all lovey dovey with their significant other on VD Day but it just feels so crass and consumerist.

#25 - Novembrance Day (Nov 1)
I sort of made this one up too. It's the first day of November and therefore the most depressing day of the year. Having a Novembrance Party may aleviate some of the depression.

#26 - Christmas (Dec 24-25)
I'm really not one of those people who hates Christmas just because everybody else loves it. And I don't hate Christmas, I just don't like it very much. I was never especially keen on it, it's just kind of embarrassing when you don't have any money. Throw on top of that my father died on Christmas Eve and it's really not a holiday I can see myself leaving the house for in the next few years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Obssessive lists

I am a list maker. I make lists for virtually everything. I always thought that I was a freak until I went through some of my late grandmother's stuff - she made (and kept) lists of things I wouldn't even think to list. So, you know, it's genetic. Don't blame me.

At the moment, I have six cross referenced lists of things I want to do in the next couple of years, organized both by priorty and cost. I have lists of foods I would like to eat more of and foods I know I should probably eat less of. I have a list of all the DVDs, videos and CDs I own just in case some go missing. I have a list of movies I want to see. I have a list of bands I have seen in concert. I have a list of upcoming stories on my webcomic. I have lists of fictional characters I may use at some point in one of my stories. I have a list of stories I haven't written yet.

Somehow, nothing on these lists ever seems to get done. I make a list of things I should do every day but it just gets lost in amongst all of the other lists. I don't know where the lists go once I'm done with them either. I just stop thinking about them and for me they effectively disappear. I'm sure when I die whoever is left to move my shit will think "holy fuck she made a lot of lists".

The one thing I have not made is a list of lists.... I'll be right back.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Must Finish NaNo

I'm not sure why I didn't finish my novel for NaNoWriMo during the allotted time period this year. I think that perhaps it's becoming a habit for me. I have not completely my annual novel since I believe 2007, the second year I participated.

In previous years, I have had things like work holding me back from novelling every day, but this year I was unemployed. I didn't have a single other thing to do apart from just write all god damn day. But I didn't. Around the fifteenth my interest in the novel dropped off almost entirely. I think I realized that I had skipped too many days to make them up and decided to quit while I was only a little bit behind.

This novel was unusual in that I didn't plan it, either. My last few attempted novels were meticulously planned before committing them to paper. But this one, like my first two, was just started with a vague idea on November 1st.

And ultimately it's that idea that compels me. After November, I thought my half baked novella would just sit in a dusty old file in my documents, mocking me with it's incompleteness. But it calls to me. And I've started working on it again.

Now I have no time frame, I'm just writing when I have something to write but I'm up to 33K words now so I'm getting close-ish to my goal. I'm not sure that the story will last that long but who cares. I want it to be semi-finished. I am driven to get the story out of me lest it fester in the depths of my brain.

I simply must finish NaNo

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Baconator - A Review

My brother and I were on the road today and starving because neither one of us had had breakfast. He suggested we stop somewhere and get the biggest, greasiest burger we could. We stopped at a Wendy's and he ordered a Baconator. I thought "Baconator" sounded pretty good - almost like it had bacon in it - so I ordered that too.

"The Baconator is all meat" my brother said. I did not understand the gravity of what he was telling me until we got our food and returned to the car. I sucked back my poutine as usual (because I apparently have a death wish) and unwrapped the burger.

For those unfamiliar with "The Baconator" as I was before two thirty this afternoon, it is comprised of a soft white bun, ketchup, mayonnaise, bacon, processed cheese and two burger patties. There is no lettuce, tomato, pickle, relish or mustard involved with the baconator. It's all meat. I began working on it, delighted as the grease ran freely down my chin, onto my hands and all over the wax paper I had set down to protect the interior of the car.

It was incredible. It was like being assaulted by the revenant souls of pigs and cows who had been killed in a grease fire and were not happy about it. It was disgusting. It was probably the most north american meal I have ever consumed and I felt guilty doing it.

On a positive note, I have a pretty heavy cold right now and can barely taste anything but the flavour of the apple smoked bacon shone like a beacon of apple in a sea of meat. Don't get me wrong, I love meat but sometimes too much is too much.

The true horror of the baconator came a little bit later, maybe fifteen minutes as I had shoved the final bite of burger down my gullet. We were back on the road and I was feeling a little dizzy from the sudden meat attack to my system when I started getting a sharp pain around the bottom of my rib cage. "Holy shit" I said, poking the spot gingerly lest it burst.

"Heartburn?" my brother asked.

"I sure as hell hope so. If it's not that than either my liver is giving up on my or I'm having a heart attack" Then it occurred to me - how long could a person go eating one baconator per day before their heart exploded? This is not an experiment I want to undertake as I enjoy my life too much, but, you know, theoretically I'd like to know that.

Anyway, I was somewhat relieved to take an enormous shit when I got home as that suggests the burger is already leaving my body. I have written this for posterity, so, in two years time when I find myself saying, "Hey, The Baconator... that sounds good" I can have a reminder of my past experience.


I've decided to merge all of my old blog ideas into one big old conglomerate. The problem I was having with blogging was too many blogs and this seems as good a place as any to send all of my blogs to. So... that's what's happening. Stay tuned.