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Oh, the joys of extended four-day vacations at home for the holidays. My wonderful, wonderful boss gave me an extra day off. I have been on hiatus from the Internet world since then, which was surely deserved. Now if I could ask you all a small favour: STOP UPDATING YOUR BLOGS. I can’t keep up. It’s stressing me out.
I’m headed back to St. John’s tomorrow, but I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Happy New Year. Feliz Navidad? Bonne fete!
It’s been a great few days off, although not nearly as exciting as I expected. I miss my best friend. Last night I went to see Greener perform at the Warehouse, and I felt incredibly out of place. Fortunately, that feeling tends to disappear (as does all others) after drinking a dozen of beers and multiple shooters. I totally fooled my mother into thinking I was sober when I stumbled home at 3:00 a.m. though. Oh yeah, still got it.
Example of small town life: I was standing around talking to some friends, when we realized we were all first cousins. Cameras immediately appeared.
I received some sweet swag this year, although I’ve been really trying to take the less materialistic route lately. Everything just seems so wasteful, or maybe it’s because I’m broke. I bought such crappy presents for my family, and then left my brother’s package in St. John’s. FOR THE SECOND TIME IN TWO YEARS. I am not joking. Boy, did my mother ever complain.
So I asked for all practical stuff, like window curtains and a sleeping bag. But I was really, really looking forward to a bottle of Dior Midnight Poison perfume. It was like…my one big gift, y’know? I thought for SURE I had it. I unwrapped present after present and each time expected it to be THE motherload, and it never was. I remember my genuine shock when I reached the end of my pile. I felt like a kid receiving a jigsaw puzzle instead of a bouncy castle. It was awful, I became emotional, and I have been punching myself in the face since then for being such an irrational bitch. My parents work hard to do nice things for me.
That being said, fuck materialism. I need some retail therapy.
Last night, while my relatives were visiting, my Dad offered my Aunt several free t-shirts that came inside the cases of beer he bought over the past few weeks.
(Just a history note, my Mother’s Father was a severe alcoholic when she was a kid. She was raised with twelve brothers and sisters, and they were completely dirt poor. I’m not joking, they had nothing.)
Auntie Jack looked at my Father with a raised eyebrow and mused: “Why couldn’t they have this sort of deal going on when we were children? We’d all be well clothed.”
Shit, I can’t believe I don’t have any drunk stories to tell you. Internet, I’ve let you down.
You may be wondering when the quality and content of this blog will improve.
The truth, my friends, is never.
Why? Because after sitting at a desk for eight hours a day writing technical information about deep sea technology, one tends to teeter slightly on the edge of insanity. I find it difficult to crack open this laptop anymore past 5 p.m. Please excuse the spelling and grammatical errors, because I don’t give a shit.
I’m slowly (and with great difficulty) trying to learn how to make myself and my blog better. Prettier. Unique. Bold! Handsome! Unfortunately, I’m clueless. I have no idea even how to get my own domain, or how to spice up this blog itself.
I’m also trying to juggle all this writing with my dedicated gym schedule and an overly active social life. I’m currently trying to track down a tent for this Friday’s camping excursion while panicking about finding a date for Saturday’s party, just so I don’t have to go the foreign kid’s house and possibly get lured into making out with him again.
And I’d try to put my friends on hold temporarily, but hell, wouldn’t I pass up fantastic story opportunities in the process? Plus this house is a zoo. We party all the time. Party all the time. Party all the time.
And then there’s the travel writing articles I wish I could get done, and omigawd if only I could get a little extra income, I could afford that Lasik eye surgery and the Alaskan Malamute…
But anyway, I’ve condensed the last few days of my Ottawa trip. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about my awesome family.
Ottawa, days 5-6 – The end
The last two days of my trip were surprisingly quiet. Oh, except for that UFC party I went to with Avril’s friends. We ran out of booze within two hours and after panicking like idiots for an hour, her friends finally gave us beer to make us shut up. Then we challenged them all to some drinking games, and they could only be coerced into participating when we boasted about how Newfies are such better drinkers than dirty mainlanders.
Anyway, as I sat down to watch the fight, I thought this is going to fucking blow. But just ten minutes into the fighting, I was hooked. My mouth was hanging open. Sweet little lamb that I am, I was absolutely mesmerized. And when goofy George St. Pierre took to the ring and charmed the pants off me with his flawless techniques, I nearly slid off the couch and entered a coma. Too bad he has a silly French accent.
Unfortunately, none of Avril’s friends were make-out worthy and I’m pretty sure one of them was white power.
The next day, I phoned up Aunt J to take me shopping. GOOD LORD that woman is a SAVAGE! We went into every store and she hauled pants and skirts and shirts and tank-tops of racks and piled them so high into my arms that I couldn’t breathe, then forced me to try on every single item. And even when I whined about paying full price for something, she punched me in the face and said BUY IT BITCH. So I wept silently and bought all these gorgeous, new, beautiful clothes, and I’ve had a new outfit to wear to work every day since I returned home! Oh thank-you Aunt J! I can no longer afford to renew my driver’s license or get my wisdom teeth yanked out, but I do not regret shopping with that woman at all.
The rest of my trip was spent poolside at Uncle Den’s with the entire Kendell clan. I was overfed and people kept thrusting money and Birthday cards upon me, which was much appreciated after my ridiculous shopping experience.
Immediately after leaving my family gathering, I was seized with anxiety and I remained in a depressed state until…well, until now. I have also been unbearably homesick for my parents and brother, so I’ve planned a trip home in two weeks.
There is a fine thread holding my family together. My Uncle (Avril’s father) has recently been diagnosed with a very aggressive stomach cancer. I don’t think I realized how much I loved that man until I stepped foot in his house, and he immediately treated me like his daughter, hugging and kissing me whenever I was around. I held it together for the duration of my trip, but as soon as I sat on the plane I cried my heart out. Sobbed and snorted. And then I called mom, and sobbed and snorted some more.
I cannot, absolutely cannot accept the fact that such an amazing, gentle man has to deal with this sickness. I picture his perfectly loving eyes and I miss him. I cannot bear to see Avril’s perfect family struggling through this. I see my grandmother reflected in all her children: pure kindred souls, without an ounce of evil. I feel so heartsick.
Then my parents went missing for two days. I hadn’t heard from them, nobody was answering the phone, I couldn’t get in contact with my relatives at home, etc…I was beside myself at work, until FINALLY mom messaged me online to say that Bro had been taking seizures again, and was kept in the hospital overnight for observation. Which is a good thing, other more terrible things were crossing my mind and it made me reach a desperation for seeing my family again. I need home.
3 p.m. and I was still hovered over the toilet bowl, barely able to stand, with a pounding headache and absolutely no desire to go to a wedding. I called my Aunt and told her I probably couldn’t make it to the ceremony, whereupon she immediately got mad at me and I cried a little.
Well I did what any self-respecting alcoholic would do: I popped some Advil and pulled myself together. I made it to the ceremony with just five minutes to spare, and my relatives beamed at me happily. Whew.
Unfortunately, I’m terribly emotional when I’m hungover, and I wept like a baby through the entire ceremony, especially with any mention of my Aunt Jen. The vows took place outside under a giant tent, which made me sigh and become dreamy. Then I caught sight of the groomsmen, which made me slightly excited. I was just one big jumble of pent up sexual energy on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
When dinner rolled around, ShortSexMachine and I popped open a bottle of wine. Would anyone else like any? No? We drank two bottles. Two bottles of wine, when hours before I wanted to drown myself in toilet water.
I loved the wedding; there was a great combination of guests. The rowdy, brawlin’ Newfies on one side, and the Groom’s wacky family on the other side. Unfortunately, mainland Canada does not know how to party like East Coast Canada, and the bar closed at 1:30 a.m., just when I had drank away the last of my hangover. The speeches didn’t even get over until 10:30 for fucksakes.
Anyway, I still had a blast with my relatives…I feel tremendously guilty that I didn’t spend much time with them, especially after one of my Aunts shoved $40 down my shirt. Just when we were leaving, I met two incredible guys. One was tall, thick and broad…just how I like ‘em. And charming. We chatted for a bit and then a friend of the bride introduced me to another guy, with slightly crazy hair but with a self-confident attitude that I immediately liked. So there I was sipping wine and juggling a conversation between two incredibly worthy men, and I had to leave in five minutes. Such is my life. I’m not Catholic anyway, which was what the crazy-haired guy was seeking.
So a bunch of us crammed ourselves into a mini-van and headed back to Aunt Martini’s room for an after-party, which didn’t last long because I was passing out and everyone else was just lame. But my final conclusion about the whole evening was this: I need to move to Ottawa, I need to be around my family, and I need to get married.
I spent the better part of my evening applying wall decals to the wall over my bed. Now my room is all earthy and erotic. I dig it (get it, dig?). TOR and I downed a bottle of wine while we laboured and sweated through the decal process, and now I am one step closer to having a fabulous bedroom.
Ottawa, Day 2 (Wednesday) – The meeting of the ginger family
Avril took me out to shopping on Wednesday. I had successfully squirreled away about $400 for the sole purpose of shopping my little heart out, and so we headed to the Rideau Centre. Unfortunately, my issues with spending took over and all I managed to purchase was a pretty dress and a slutty shirt. Avril even took me to TWO OTHER malls and I was too frugal to purchase anything. I cursed and Avril cursed and we decided that only one person could save me: Aunt J. We’ll get to that story later.
We wandered through the market, stopping for sushi at a little restaurant by the street. Then Avril led me to Parliament Hill, where I observed Ottawa in all its glory. Ottawa has such a historical feel that it’s nearly pretentious. Scratch that – it’s completely pretentious – and I love it. The Parliament building is dominating, Chateau Laurier is breathtaking, and damn those guards in the silly hats are amusing. Not to mention the Unknown Soldier, oh boy!
I was thoroughly exhausted by the time we sampled some sharwarma, which is apparently a famous Ottawa “thing”. When we headed back to the house, I received an email from my marrying cousin informing me of a social gathering at her place.
So Avril and I drove out to Greely, which was an epic adventure in itself, considering we got lost about five times. But finally, finally, I found my redheaded relations, all gathered around the back deck, taking shots and telling offensive jokes. Home sweet home.
When everyone started dispersing, Avril and I drove my Aunt Martini and Aunt Sandy to their hotel (this was just after they loaded up their luggage with alcohol). They invited us into their incredibly swanky hotel room, where we tore open bags of chips, popped open bottles of wine, and downed beers (except Avril, poor girl, who played DD). My God, my Aunts are raunchy. We talked and talked for hours, and then Aunt Sandy changed into her white pyjamas with cartoon images of elephants having sex all over them. There is nothing more fulfilling than reviewing a list of sexual positions with one’s Aunts.
When we went outside for a smoke, we found ourselves locked outside…me positively loaded, Avril positively sober, and Aunt Sandy in her tight, see-through, offensive pyjamas. When the clock struck midnight, everyone sang Happy Birthday to me. By the time we drove back to Orleans, my belly was full and my heart happy. Incredible what a change of scenery will do for ya. And wine, of course.
Chef: Can we get drunk tomorrow night?
Me: Hmmm I’m kinda broke, but perrrrrhaps
Chef: That’s all I needed to hear. I know you’ll convince yourself the rest of the way by tomorrow.
Here’s a mortifying moment you’re sure to love.
Today I dressed up in one of my new outfits that I bought in Ottawa. I decided to run some errands. I was feeling pretty good about myself, and so I threw in a little extra wiggle in my hips, a little more bounce in my step. Damn, I was thinking. I’m on fire today!
As I crossed Water Street (which was incredibly busy and more crowded than usual), a lady came up behind me and said, “I’m not sure if you know, but there’s a hole in the back zipper of your skirt.”
I jumped. “What? Can you see anything?”
“Yes,” she said, and bolted like a bat out of hell.
I reached back, and found with my fingers a large gaping hole where my ASS is. HUGE. GAPING OPEN FOR THE WORLD TO SEE. And I was wearing a thong. FUCK. MY. LIFE.
I had to pull up my skirt and tug down my tank-top to cover the hole, thus ensuring I looked like a slut at work for the rest of the day.
Anyway, I’m going to write out my vacation in a series of entries. But I absolutely loved the city, and was pleased with my first trip inside Canada. In the past, I kinda figured travel within Canada would be a little dull…because hey, don’t I already live here? But now I realize just how unique Newfoundland is and how vast and interesting Canada is/can be.
Day 1, Tuesday
I touched down in Ottawa after sleeping my entire flight away. I awoke multiple times with the roof of my mouth drier than a desert and drool dangling down my chin. I’m sure I put off the greatest snore symphony known to mankind…or at least the guy sitting next to me.
Avril greeted me at the airport…at first we kinda gazed at each other warily, not sure if the other was a visage. Then we embraced and danced and laughed and jumped up and down! And so the celebrations began.
After greeting my relatives at Avril’s place, my Uncle B (who coincidentally lives next door) and Aunt J invited us all over for supper…which turned out to be PEA SOUP AND DUMPLINGS. GOD! I should have known right then that the trip would be perfect.
Then it was off to the famous beer store in Quebec, where we were greeted with rows upon rows of endless BEER and different BRANDS and labels and THE MADNESS!!!!! The funniest part happened when Uncle B and Aunt J walked in a few minutes later. Seriously. We drove to QUEBEC to pick up cheap booze ($20 for a 24 pack, who knew?!) at a random store, and my relatives just happened to go there too. THEN, about an hour later, we pull into a liquor store to pick up some red wine, and the same relatives were pulling out!!!
(If you’re wondering why I’m an alcoholic, the next several entries will explain a lot.)
The rest of the evening Avril and I spent hanging out at ShortSexMachine’s apartment, eating ice-cream cake and catching up on many years of family gossip. Some was good, some was sad. We were so enraptured in our conversation that I forgot all about my two hours of sleep the previous night, and we ended up staying until 1:30 a.m.
Ok that’s enough for now. For some reason my brain is falling asleep.
Ok, I’m back. I haven’t slept in over a week. Why? Because I’ve been drunk. Super-smashed-face-loaded drunk.
I can honestly say Ottawa kicked my other vacations’ asses. Hard. Unfortunately, I don’t have the heart to update just yet…yes, I’m suffering from that dreaded Travel Hangover. Roll your eyes, it’s real, bitches. And it hurts, a lot. When you spend a week surrounded by some of the most incredible people on the planet, you realize what you’re missing when you’re not there. I am overcome with guilt (for not seeing enough of anybody) and anxiety and regret. And a terrible loneliness I’ve never felt before.
The trouble with having a big extended family is that you realize how much you have to lose. My family has recently been hit with an explosion of sequential bad news. Like fire from a machine gun. I’m afraid my family might start tumbling down around me, and I feel so helpless.
I need to sleep and clear my head, so I can get to the exciting, upbeat stuff tomorrow. My GOD did we party! Here’s my recipe for Ottawa:
1 pound of BIRTHDAY AWESOMENESS and free tequila shots all night long
1 cup of family love (add alcohol for flavour)
½ cup of hangover induced vomiting
A tsp of martial bliss
A tbsp of HAPPINESS
A dash of insanity
Here I am, short and sweet, because I am soon departing for my second vacation of the year…in Ottawa, Ontario. One week of good food and good booze, surrounded by some of the most incredible people on the planet…my extended family.
Not just ONE extended family, but TWO families.
My cousin from my father’s side of the family is getting married, so my entire drunken, redheaded family circle is headed to the nation’s capital to trash the place and leave the town flattened. Oh yes. Have you met these people?! I once got stoned in a shed with them. And ate beef jerky. We blessed my grandfather’s grave with a douse of Scotch.
But mostly I’ll be staying with my mother’s family, whom all somehow ended up in Ottawa. I’m not sure, because I rarely get to party with them, but I think they might all be a little nutty too. Plus they have pools. My cousin (who is also one of my best friends) is so happy to take me out, it’s like I’m her trophy. It’s just adorable. I literally can’t wait to meet her friends and roughly shake their hands while flaunting my thickest Newfie accent: “HOW YA GETTIN ON B’Y? HOW’D YOU LIKE A SCATTERED BEER NOW DA ONCE?”
Oh yeah, and both my mom and dad each have 12 brothers and sisters. Plus their kids. And their kids’ kids. Chaos ensues.
And I’m doing my best to put aside the work panic ebbing at my brain. At least for six days…because after this, I have no more vacation until 2011. It’s already been cleared with my financial advisor.
So the real reason I wrote this entry was to say I doubt I will have much time to update while I’m there, and this also makes me panic because I’ve established some sorta readership and I DON’T WANT TO LOSE YOU GUYS. You’re precious gems in a sea of crapiness. It’s nice to know someone is kinda interested in my life.
And I will have many pictures, I promise you that. And many stories. Adios!
I love how I’m the fat kid in the family. ‘Lil bro weighs about 104 lbs, Mom weighs 114 lbs, and Dad is thin even though his diet consists strictly of fried bologna and beer.
Seriously, when I got to their hostel room last night, they sprung food upon me immediately. Mom had bought me a huge club sandwich from the cafeteria, followed by trifle dessert and a muffin from Tim Horton’s. Then she whipped out a giant bag of Hershey miniature chocolate bars for Valentine’s Day, and Dad cracked open a can of Pringles. Mom opened up the fridge door and started loading up a bag of food for me. Dad baked me muffins. Then they gave me Pepsi… non-diet.
And the whole time they’re saying, “Gee, I wish I had an appetite like you! Boy, if only your brother could eat like that.” Or Mom says, “I used to be like you when I was your age, nice and plump.”
Yah, seven weeks of gym time and I’m “nice and plump.” I’ve increased my work-outs to four times a week.
Anyway, I miss them severely, even if they do cause my brain to haemorrhage. I think part of the reason I dislike Girl Guides so much is because it’s a reminder of how amazing my childhood was while living in the bay, and I’m jealous of them. Really, I’m jealous of preteen girls. I don’t think I could ever go home for good, but I still can’t quite shake it.
My parents and ‘lil bro are in town, crashing at the Janeway because ‘lil bro has some kinda thyroid problem which explains his lankiness and knobby knees. Anyway, I’m really glad to see them considering I’ve sufficently used up all my vacation time until July 2010 and apparently family time is not a priority with me.
I am always left with an aching sense of guilt when they leave, because I am terribly impatient and I do not see eye-to-eye with them at all. I love them to death a billion times over, but sometimes my gawd I just want to claw my eyes out and throw a tantrum and smash beer bottles.
For example, the last time they visited, my father cooked pea soup for me. I was not aware that pea soup is an all-day endeavour, so he slaved over the stove for 3498934893 hours until I arrived after work. Mom was foaming at the mouth, absolutely furious that dad had wasted the entire day cooking for me. The dishes were dirty the room smelled and the entire day was just ruined.
So the other day I’m talking to dad on the phone and he says, “What would you like for supper? Pea soup?” And holy hell mom overhears this and starts screaming in the background, “DON’T YOU DARE COOK HER PEA SOUP! NO MORE PEA SOUP! YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO COOK PEA SOUP!”
There’s a muffled exchange of curse words and when dad gets back on the phone, I can hear mom still shouting (and likely waving her arms frantically): “NO PEA SOUP! YOU TELL HER! WE WILL NOT SPEND ALL DAY MAKING PEA SOUP!”
This is the same woman who created this:
And that is just one reason why I love my family.