Friday, April 28, 2017

April 2017 in Metaphors

Metaphors are my favourite. They have literally always been my favourite. They're better than similes because they're more succinct and thus, more poetic, more subtle. Stephen King would probably agree with me. I have nothing to base this on, I just think he would.

Anyway.

I remember being a teenager and thinking of metaphors for everything. Nothing was only what it was. This was true of everything, not just important things or amazing things. This day is a turtle. This science class is a yawning, endless abysm. This spaghetti is a lot of worms. I was a great teenager.

I've sat down to blog about April 2017 probably 200 times since the month began.

The problem is that every stinking time I sit down to write about one thing, something else happens. I cant keep up enough to actually document everything, so I'm going to channel my 17-year-old self and describe the month to you in metaphors instead. I suppose this could constitute vague-blogging, but that term is stupid. No one ever accuses musicians of 'vague-songwriting.' Like, Conor Oberst is over there singing, "Just lately I've been feeling like I don't belong/Like the ground's not mine to walk upon," and no one's mad. No one's like, "WHAT HAPPENED, CONOR? WHAT'S WRONG? SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING'S UP?"

Sometimes you just want to be melodramatic about a really long, boring science class, you know? I'm pretty sure that's what most of Oberst's songs are referring to. I get him.

Okay. April 2017:

1. April 2017 is a clown car: at first sight, it looks short and compact, but then more and more things keep coming out of it. And as it draws to a close, you think, okay, this is the last clown, and then it's not. It's not the second-last clown or even the third-last. It is, at this point, comical how many clowns fit in this calendar. I mean car.

2. April 2017 is a flavourful sandwich with ghost peppers and bird poop hidden throughout. Think the best sandwich ever (Schwartz's or Italian Star Deli), except every few bites unexpectedly burns your tongue to a stump in your mouth or is unexpectedly disgusting. But also there's jalapeƱos in there, and they're the great kind of spicy. As a whole: delicious, yet terrifying and at points very awful. But you have to eat the sandwich because the sandwich is time.

This metaphor sucks.

3. April 2017 is a rollercoaster. No. Wait. That's everybody's metaphor for everything. Forget I said that.

4. April 2017 is a...balding man. Because it was more hairy at the beginning than the end. But it's still a little hairy in places. And it's getting old.

That was a great metaphor.

I was going to try for ten metaphors, but let's end there, with that great metaphor. Aren't you glad you read my blog? Don't you wish you were my friend when I was a teenager?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Haunting Myself

I believe in ghosts now—because I saw some on the corner of College and Broad the other day, and they were all me. I was, like, haunting myself.

I was stopped at the red light there, facing west, and I walked right in front of me, pushing teeny-tiny Sullivan in a baby stroller. I was limping a little, because I had these new shoes on and I'd attempted to walk all the way to Vic Park without knowing what they were capable of (not much, apparently).

I looked worried—ghost me, not real me. Ghost me had this big line across her forehead and she was staring straight ahead of her like she was thinking very hard about something. I don't remember what it was, probably something to do with that miniature version of Sullivan, asleep in the stroller. I remember worrying a lot when he was little, because I'd been warned profusely, mostly by the internet, that death was lurking around every single corner for babies. And I really, really liked this baby; I didn't want him to die. So I worried my way through his entire babyhood. And it must have worked, because here he is, not dead.

As I watched myself pass, I saw another me approaching from the opposite side of the road. She was wearing cut-off jean shorts and pushing a more toddler-sized Sullivan in the same stroller, now without the carseat attachment. She looked a lot happier than the first ghost, and she was pointing at trees and birds and cars, chatting away happily with her ghost child. I saw that she had a tote bag under her shoulder and remembered that she was on her way to the Folk Festival. She was wearing the same pair of shoes as the first ghost, but they were broken in now and didn't make her limp.

And there was another, and she didn't have a baby with her but her belly stuck out like a beach ball and she waddled along, much slower than all the other ghosts.

And then I saw another, and another, and another. Some were walking hand-in-hand with Sullivan, some were pushing him in the stroller, one had him in a backpack carrier. Most of them, aside from the one with the very small baby, looked cheerful and content, because this is the intersection I have to cross to get downtown or to 13th Ave, which usually means I'm going to meet a friend for coffee or for music in the park or something like that. Besides, walking in and of itself makes me feel happy and content, and it's always seemed to do the same for Sullivan. We both like to be going somewhere.

How many times have Sullivan and I crossed this intersection in the past three years? That's how many ghosts there were. Maybe hundreds. It occurred to me that in another few years, a future me might stop at this same intersection on, say, the south side, and see the ghost of me today.

Maybe someday, when Sully's all grown up and I miss this stage of life, I'll just go back to that haunted intersection and watch ghosts.

Friday, March 31, 2017

#YQRDOUGHNUTSCENE

You know what we don't have in Regina? A solid doughnut scene. We have all the other scenes, as far as I know—roller derby, coffee, music, whatever whatever (there are lots of scenes), but if you want a doughnut in the Queen City, you have to eat one of those pretend ones from Tim Hortons aka Canadians Have Bad Taste in Coffee (I'm sure that had to have been one of the names previously considered for the franchise). 

But here's a happy truth, Regina: the doughnut scene is coming. In fact, it may already be upon us. Like Saskatchewan winter in September.

The first I heard of it was on the Instagram feed of a friend: they mentioned that 33 1/3 (a newish coffee shop in my neighbourhood) was getting doughnuts in from Northern Belle Bread every Saturday. I went to check it out for myself last week, along with seven of my enthusiastic doughnut-loving friends and all of our kids (sorry, 33 1/3), and we watched the fresh doughnuts sell out in 35 minutes. 

If that's not proof Regina's due for a doughnut scene, I doughnut know what is.

Yesterday, a stranger contacted me on IG. They said something like but not necessarily: "I'm making doughnuts tomorrow. You want some?" They'd seen my overt enthusiasm for doughnuts on there, I suppose. 

I was like, "Yep, what's your address?" 

The stranger gave me directions, and I went to her house, and she didn't murder me (a legit possibility I'd forgotten to consider). It was fantastic. I think we're even friends now. Plus, she gave me these:



Oh, sorry, the focus seems to be on the sleeping child (in mom language, that means I don't have to share these) in the backseat in that picture. I'll try again:



The (ex)stranger's name is Katie, and she makes sourdough doughnuts out of her house and sells them. I meant to take them all home and share them with Barclay, at least, but I have to tell you; they didn't all make it. I mean, Sullivan was asleep. I had music and doughnuts and a sleeping kid. So obviously, I pulled over on a quiet street and ate the peanut butter one. And it was deadly. I'm not just saying that.

And then Sullivan woke up and I had to share. Rats.




The ones I have left are maple glazed with pecans, and some kind of strawberry cream-filled situation. Guys. Let's have lots of parties. I'll bring the doughnuts. I know people now.

You should check out both women's IG feeds: theeverydaykitchen and northernbellebread
I'm pretty sure they both do orders, and I can personally vouch for the quality.
I have to say, also: neither person put me up to this post. I'm just trying to further the #YQRDOUGHNUTSCENE
Get on board, everybody. It's time.

OH AND: There's apparently a third: Do Si Donuts, who sells their wares at the Farmer's Market. Someone needs to check that out and let me know how it is. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be delicious I'm sure.

Monday, March 27, 2017

This Coming Weekend

Well, I've been counting down the seconds to this coming weekend for over a year—or, actually, my whole life—and now it's here: it's the weekend of my first ever book launch party. For a book I'm actually in. With book signings and live readings and live music. It's a dream I've been having since I was in grade 3, when I wrote that book about a girl whose best friend moves away (it took up an entire notebook and oozed with all the pre-pre-teen angst I could squeeze out).

Anyway. The book launch is in Sacramento, California on Sunday, April 2 and, it turns out, I'll be...here. In good old Regina, Saskatchewan. It would be silly for me to pretend I'm not sad about it, so there it is: I'm sad. There's nothing worse than counting down to something for your whole life and then having it evaporate just before you get to it. It's like a mean magic trick.

But!

Mercifully, I will not be spending the weekend crying on my couch. I have plans. SO MANY PLANS. And they're great plans, not just "well, I guess I should make the best of this" plans.

There's a birthday party for a great friend on Friday night.

Saturday morning, I'm going for doughnuts (you should come too, if you're reading this and we're friends. Text me, I'll give you details).

There's an art reception for another friend's grad show at the Mackenzie on Saturday (actually, while I've got you here, you should come to that too, if you're local. Ava Wild's doing the live music and there's going to be a taco pop-up restaurant hosted by Malinche; it's going to be amazing, and I'll introduce you to my artist friend, Beth. She's cool).

Becky (a bestie who moved away last fall) is coming into town for that, and I'm so excited to see her. She's my +1 for the reception. Or I'm hers. Or we're each others'. Or whatever.

On Sunday afternoon, Robyn and I are taking our kids to see the Regina Symphony Orchestra perform Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf(!!).

And then Sunday night, I'm going to see Vanilla Ice and Salt-n-Pepa with Kaeli, who is one of my most enthusiastic people, and who will not let me not dance. I'm so thankful for friends like that.

These things all just kind of came up, one by one, over the course of this past month, and typing it all out like this is really getting to me right now. Like, how awesome to be able to spend this weekend, which would've otherwise been a little hard, with a bunch of the best people I know, celebrating them and having fun with them and enjoying music with them, all that.

When I started writing this, I was feeling grouchy and sad, but now I'm feeling thankful and nothing else. It's going to be a great weekend. I'll just keep right on counting down to it.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Oh, Child

I'm alone in the kitchen right now. It's nice. Sully and Barclay are in the basement playing music—Barclay on electric, Sully on drums. I just went down there to see when they wanted supper, and as soon as Sully heard my feet on the stairs I heard him yell, "Oh no! Mom's coming!"

Ooh, the anticipation.

I poked my head around the corner and smiled at them. Sully did not smile back. He pointed behind me, back up the stairs and said patronizingly, "Mom, this is gonna be really loud. You need to go back to the kitchen."

Oh, child. 
Child of mine, child I birthed, 
Who do you think gave you your thirst for noise?
Your appetite for volume, 
Your hunger for bass in your spine 
And the high-pitched scream in your ears 
Long after the last note has died away?

IT WAS IIIIIIIII!

I, your mother,
Whom you have sent to the kitchen
To mash potatoes
And grate cheese
And also my knuckles
Accidentally.

(Also, yeah, we're working on the whole respect and manners thing. Three year olds are super condescending, has anyone else noticed this?)