My Very Dear Friend

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Winnie the Pooh quote

One of the things that I love about Winnie the Pooh is how he references his friends. He almost always calls Piglet “My very best friend” and he almost always references everyone else as “My very dear friend…” I think it’s adorable and a great way to speak of your friends instead of just calling them a “friend”.

In thinking about this, I thought that it would be great if I were to start calling my friends, my very dear friends because they are very dear to me. I love them all. Then I got to thinking how I could make this an acronym! I could tell people all about my VDF…Wait. No, that probably won’t work. VDF sounds like some sort of STI and the last thing I want is for people who don’t really know me or who haven’t caught onto my new acronym to think that I’m running around naming my STI’s.

So maybe I will hold off on referencing people as “my VDF”, but I do think that I will start referencing my friends as “my very dear friend” because it’s cute and I like it. I’ll just hold off on calling them “my VDF”…

P.S I don’t have any STI’s, nor have I ever had an STI. I just think if I went around saying “My VDF, Christy”, people would think I was talking about an STI that I named and then they would get insulted that my STI’s got a name and theirs didn’t. Except I don’t have STI’s and I’m sure the people I talk to don’t have STI’s either and if they do, that’s totally ok, but I’m sure they don’t want to talk about it so…this is getting awkward. I don’t have STI’s and I’ve never had one.

Writer’s Blocked!

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hair-dry-line

 

I can’t think of anything to write. My brain is horribly clogged with snot. So I’m going to leave you a lovely hair diagram that I made. Right now my hair is unwashed and horrible so I’ve put it in a messy bun on the top of my head and shoved on a headband to keep my bangs off my face. I’m in that stage where I can tolerate it because I don’t need it to look particularly good right now.

What do you do when you’ve got writers block?

Day 1.6 – My Top 5 Places in The Greater Vancouver Area

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For those of you who know me, you know that I spend the summer living at home with parents and the rest of the year living in the Greater Vancouver Area while I go to school. I originally moved to Burnaby when I was 18 and a brand spanking new first year student at Simon Fraser University. I lived in dorms then, but my living spaces would shift all over the place. For a time I lived in a basement suite on South Granville, a suite new BCIT, with my then boyfriend just off of Kingsway near Metrotown, just off of Hasting’s and Holdom and a few other places. Since moving away from home I’ve moved 15 different times over the space of just under 6 years. As a result, I’ve fallen in love again and again with the cities that make up the Greater Vancouver Area. Here are my top 5 favorite places in no particular order:

1. 135 and N35 bus routes to and from Simon Fraser University to Downtown Vancouver – Why? Because it’s the most interesting route to take of them all! Not only do you get to see one of my favorite areas of Burnaby along Hastings, but the 135 SFU stops right outside of my favorite used book store which is a walk away from my favorite butcher which is very close to my favorite food market. I love this route simply because it has so much character. From Boundary road on you notice an almost immediate change in the environment as you stop and go along East Hastings and see a place that sells $7 hunting knives, a bar called “Funky Winker Beans” and another used book store that usually has all sorts of treasures in it. However, my favorite reason why I love this bus line is the fact that it often gets the most interesting people on it. I can’t count the number of times I’ve made a new and fun acquaintance or friend while taking a late night 135 or N35 back to SFU. Also the 135 stops near the PNE and a 24 hour sex shop…need I say more?

2. The SFU rooftop above the Maggie Benson Centre – Having lived in 3 separate dorms while going to SFU (Shell House, McTaggart-Cowan Hall and C Tower) I know that SFU can be a sick, sad and very depressing pike of concrete salad. Seriously! Try living on a campus that sometimes looks like it’s trapped in a black and white scary movie where all you ever see is drab buildings with fog always floating around. It’s not fun. There is a big “BUT” to this dreariness,thankfully. You see, in my first year I was awake at 6am every morning to go for a run before my classes started for the day. I would run from residences over to Convocation Mall and up the stairs that led to the koi pond where I would do a Rocky dance at the top of the stairs before turning and running back to residences. It wasn’t a long run, nor was it an interesting one because of all the c-c-c-cold concrete everywhere. So one morning I decided to run back to dorms across the rooftops and wow. I saw a city blanketed with fog so that only the tallest buildings were peaking out of the sea of fog while a vibrant pink sunset shone over top of it all. I fell in love then and there. Whenever I would feel down, needed a place to be alone or was just downright bored, I would head to those rooftops and look out over Vancouver and I would dance. Moments like those demand dancing.

3. The Lonsdale Quay – This was another gem that I discovered in my first year at SFU. I was hung over and visiting a friend and after a stomach rolling Sea Bus ride (I loved the Sea Bus despite that) I stumbled into the Quay. After quickly exploring the market and nearly barfing from the smell of all the fresh seafood, I went off to meet my friend with a self promise that I would be back. And hours later, I was back and fully exploring this new world within a world. I got fresh, but expensive fruit, chocolate peanut butter cups and a cute necklace for a dormmates up and coming birthday. It’s actually where I go to buy fresh pasta whenever I’m in the mood to actually cook a great bowl of pasta. Mostly I just like the market atmosphere and will usually make my way out to the Lonsdale Quay once or twice a month just to hang out with myself and sometimes others. That and I’m always interested in seeing all the different fish on display and am convinced that someday I will make myself eat something seafoody from there…someday.

4. Waves Coffee House on Hastings and Richards – I didn’t find this place until well into my third year at SFU. At the time I was living at SFU and working at Vera’s Burger Shack down in South Granville. It was a freaking one and a half hour commute! On two buses! My long commute led to me pushing to work longer shifts which led to me working closing shifts. Thankfully I had friends in low places who were more than happy to meet up with me after my closing shifts and drink the rest of the night away…or at least until I had to leave to catch the last N35 bus home. One of these particular nights I needed to detour from my usual route because I had to pee and I had to pee “RIGHT NOW!” as I yelled at a friend over my phone while I frantically tried to remember where I last put the 7/11 that was close to my bus stop. I searched high and low while steadfastly refusing to pee in an alleyway as my friend was urging me to do. Finally, as my bladder was about to burst from the 7 or 8 double vodka/Red Bull’s that I’d downed, I found salvation. It’s name was Waves Coffee House and it was open 24/7 and had a washroom. And brownies. How can you beat fresh baked brownies, a clean toilet and free wireless internet? At that moment I didn’t think that you could and I swear the angels sang as I sat there peeing to my hearts content with a fresh and chocolatey brownie safely stowed in my shoulder bag. Waves also turned out to be a great place to hide from the world and pull an all nighter writing a paper though it still mostly remains a drunken pit stop so that I can pee and get my brownie.

Image from platypuscreative.com/clientsites/cityviewterraces/neighbourhood.htm

5. Commercial Drive – Seriously, grab yourself, grab a friend, grab a pet or grab a stranger and walk along Commercial Drive. I started visiting here after I’d failed out of SFU and had started taking courses at Douglas College. For whatever reason I was making my way to work at Vera’s one day when I realized that I’d taken the day off the week before for whatever reasons I scheduled days off from work. I was bored and figured that since I was out of the house I might as well go and get Booster Juice. I flipped a coin and wound up at the Booster Juice location that’s right inside the Commercial Drive skytrain station. From there I noticed a clothing store that looked interesting and from there I noticed…lots of places that looked interesting. I’m actually still exploring C-Drive, but every time I go back I find something new and fun whether it’s great donairs, a fun cafe or just really fun people who I make silly faces at for the Hell of it. There isn’t enough I can say for this stretch of street except that you should just go there.

There you have it! 5 favored places of a 20-something Burnaby girl! They may not be the most awesomerest thing you can do while visiting Vancouver and area, but to me, they’re among the best way to spend your time, smiles and bladder.

 

 

Note: I’ve been sick and sleeping through my usual writing time and anything that I’ve written has been sub-par and therefore not posted. Trying to develop this habit of writing every day is tough to say the least. However, I am determined that by the end of this ear, my something everyday will be as natural to me as shooting free throws and farting.

 

Day 1.5 – Laugh Out Loud

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Note: I got sick this week and it sucked. I literally slept all day Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday I almost felt human, but that was because I had to go and write the first part of my midterm for my Intro To Earth Sciences course. Thursday I slept some more and today I feel almost back to normal minus having a sore rib cage from coughing and being super tired. So here I go again…another 7 day challenge!

One of the most important thing that I’ve learned is to let it all out. My mom always yells at people to just “LET IT ALL OUT!” when someone sneezes and she definitely lets it all out when she laughs. If my mom finds something funny, you’re going to know it. When she laughs, she really laughs and most times everyone around her will end up laughing either because whatever she’s laughing at is truly funny or just because her laughter is infectious. It’s one of the things that I try to imitate so that when I laugh, I really really laugh out loud.

As in everyone around me thinks that I’m going to pee my pants laughing because I’m laughing so hard.

One of these times I was living in a basement suite where I had to truck to a nearby shopping centre to do my laundry. There was a Safeway, a seafood restaurant, a Dairy Queen, an ABC restaurant, a clinic, fruit market, cafe and my laundromat. Now this was one of the best laundromats that I’ve ever been in. It was clean and the owners had set up a little area in the back with a couple of couches, a coffee table, a TV with basic cable and tons of magazines. It was a great spot to chill out for a few hours while you did laundry so I would toss in a load of laundry, pick up some groceries and come back to chill on a couch while I finished my laundry. Normally I would bring whatever book I happened to be reading at the time because I refuse to do homework while I’m doing laundry.

This time I was reading “Lamb” by Christopher Moore. It’s a story told from the point of view of Jesus’ best friend, Biff. It’s about Jesus’, or Joshua as was his real name according to Biff, and his life between being born and being killed.

I’m not going to go into too many details because I don’t want to give the book away, but this book is just downright freaking funny. Just think about what would have happened if Jesus was curious about sex, learned Kung Fu, traveled the world as it existed back then and had a best friend who loved women and bacon.

Well, I was reading all of that while doing laundry one day and I was rolling from the laughter. I sitting on the sofa in the back of this laundromat and I was howling with laughter. I mean, not just little giggles here and there, but I was laughing, snorting and I may have even peed and drooled a little bit.

That wouldn’t have been so bad if I had been alone or not in public. But I was. There were at least 8 other people doing their laundry and they were all milling about literally watching their clothes get clean while I was snorting and gasping in laughter. I was laughing so hard at one point I gave myself an asthma attack and the owner came to the back to check on me to make sure that I was ok.

I actually forgot about my laundry and just finished the book and when I had read the last words there was a lady sitting on the other couch staring at me and my book. She just had this look of utter amazement on her face. There was a little worry and confusion there too. I sat up off the couch and blinked at her and waited for her to get past the shock and awe my hyena antics and left splattered across her face.

Finally she spoke, “That sounds like a great book. Do you recommend it?”

I got up and tossed my book into my shoulder bag and replied, “Yeah, Jesus dying always makes me giggle.”

Day 2.4 – Another excerpt

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I’ve started editing and finding little bits of genius that I’ve collected throughout the very first novel that I ever wrote. It’s called “Endless Nights” and is full of little nuggets of win mixed with chunks of me trying to hit the 50,000 word count that National Novel Writing Month requires. This particular gem is based off of real-life experience with my younger sister. Parts of it actually happened while the other parts are completely fictional to fit the purpose of this novel. See if you can guess which are fictional and which aren’t.

One night on a random team trip to a 7/11 I discovered an awesome package of pills advertising mental alertness and 5 hours of nonstop energy. It was love at first sight.

That night was an adventure like I’d never had before. My blood was pumping through my veins and my heart was racing a mile a minuet and I swore that I could run, jump and fly just like Super Mario could. I just needed the right cape.

Ever since then I’ve kept a good stock of trucker pills in my purse and in my cupboards at home. You never know when you’ll need a boost, after all. It just sucks the effects have worn off a bit since that awesome 16 year old night.

That was the same year we had discovered energy drinks.

I also think that was the same year we had discovered our love for hotel Bible’s and started a collection of them. One night Tinka drank three Red Bulls, and ate 40 pixie sticks which are basically straws full of flavoured sugar. I returned to our hotel room to find her sitting cross legged on her bed, rocking back and forth while reading the Bible.

“This is some good shit!” She yelled as I walked in the room. “They got something for everyone in here!”

“Yeah, and they make great weapons too.” Stupid thing to say to my sister who was slightly paranoid about the end of the world and was forever stock piling stuff just incase the end of the world came.

“Yes, weapons! We should collect them and save them and then use them as cannon fuel should someone try to attack the house!” At this point the Bible in her hands disappeared into her sports bag and she took off out of our room yelling we needed more Bibles.

Today, 5 years later, we have about 300 Bibles stored up in my room. We hide them from our parents in shoeboxes and old sports bags we don’t use. I think our mom knows about approximately 50 of our stolen Bibles.

Day 1.4 – An excerpt

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An excerpt from a novel I wrote a few years ago. This writing something every day is hard stuff. Here I go again…another 7-Day writing challenge.

So my sister and I were born. That was the start of a forever long adventure for my parents. Tinka and Randi. That’s us. We grew up slowly and for us life was one thing after another.

There was the time that my sister attacked a girl in our ballet class for saying that she looked like a boy. We were 8 at the time and all I remember was seeing my stick figurine sister flying across the stage in leopard leotard (it was leopard print or nothing with Tinka) and neon green tights and tackling another stick like creature to the ground. I remember my sister grabbing handfuls of this girls hair and slamming the poor childs head off the ground over and over until the ballet teacher pulled my sister off the girl who was just on the bad end of my sisters ass kicking.

I also remember the teacher saying “You little hellion, your parents must be savages to raise such a child!”

And I was absolutely irate at this.

“First of all you fat cow, no one calls my sister names but me! My momma says so! Second of all we are manners-challenged! Not Hell neons! Are you stupid or somethin’?”

“Excuse me?” It came out as a shiek of outrage more than anything. “What did you just say?”

“Did I stutter? Clean your ears out!” I shrieked back.

“What did you call me?” The fat cow was advancing on me and in that moment I figured out what that mad cow disease thing was everyone was talking about.

“Holy shit it’s what happens when ballet teachers go wrong! Everyone run for your lives!”

That was Tinka after having watched too much TV. Naturally mayhem ensued as my sister expertly whipped all the other girls in our class into a frenzy thinking that this was just another game like the others we often played. We were just imitating TV was all.

And as all the other girls ran for their lives out into the hallway where our waiting mothers were, I stood my ground and replied to the ballet teacher, “I called you a fat cow, you fat cow!”

“It’s the running of the bulls in here! Run for your lives!” My sister was screeching around in the studio now, feeding off the girls who were running and screaming everywhere.

“Children calm down!” The teacher looked up and bellowed at her screaming and screeching class that was now mostly in the hallway and probably telling on me and my sister. She looked at me again and I swore that I saw the devil incarnate there in her eyes. “Call me that again. One more time, say it.”

Me being the obliging child that I was, I unsurprisingly replied, “You fat cow! You are! You are! You’re a ugly fat cow everyone thinks so! Ask Mrs. Thompson! She’s always wondering why a manatee like you teaches this class! You. Are. A. Fat. Cow.”

“Randi! Run for you life! Mad cows salivate poison and if she gets you, you’ll have it too!” Then a little stick of leopard pring leotard flew headfirst into our teacher as my sister tried to save me. In my mind I saw the woman’s fat suck my sister head up and I thought she had beheaded my sister.

What can I say? I was eight!

At seeing my sister attack the teacher I ran at the plus sized woman and did the only think I knew how to do in a fight. I headbutted her and then bit her. Then proceeded to dig my nails into every inch of skin and fat that I could grab.

Eventually our mom showed up to find Tinka attacking her imaginary mad cow that she had conjured up for the purpose of her game. She also found me fighting to protect my sister from harm. My mother having dealt with situations like this before calmly scooped my sister up in her arms and grabbed me by my pony tail and gently dragged us out of the dance studio while muttering “at least they didn’t have anyone’s balls to kick this week.”

Day 1.3 – Kittens and a Black Guy

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Note: I took a few days off to gather my thoughts and because my weekend was weirdly exhausting and writing was the last thing on my mind. I’ll get this writing something every day thingy done properly someday, but it wasn’t last week. Maybe it will be this week…Maybe I won’t ever really do it properly, but at least I’m writing a whole lot more than I was before right?

Today was an interesting day. Like every other person in the entire world, most of my days are fairly mundane sprinkled with my own sparkles of shenanigans that people like to call “the spice of life”. Though really on those mundane days I’m just bored and amusing myself until something truly diverting comes along. Today…today wasn’t a mundane day in the least. Sure I had to go to an intensely boring Geography class to learn about rocks and I had to drink a Red Bull to stay awake for the whole class, but besides that, today was just a really interesting day.

Like every other mundane day, I woke up got dressed, ate breakfast and went to school. I took the long way to school so I could sit on the bus and read this novel called “The Good Soldier” for my English course. It’s really the only way that I was ever going to finish this novel because there is nothing better to do on buses than sit and read boring novels for school. Unfortunately for me, a cute black guy decided that he wanted to talk to me on the bus and my book was forced to wait until later because the cute black guy who sat next to me on the bus had this really urgent question to ask me.

So urgent that he tapped me on my shoulder and spoke to me until I pulled my ear buds out of my ear and made him repeat himself thinking he was going to ask me something mundane like “what time is it?” or “can you pull the cord?” Naturally I’m a total angel and pulled my ear buds out to hear his really urgent question that was so urgent that he had to interrupt my loud musical mental groovings to Lil Jon and the reading of my extremely boring novel.

“So tell me, sweetheart, what’s your favorite position?”

I was stunned for a second as I willed my brain to come up with a suitable response to give to a perfect stranger.

“Oh, I definitely prefer to play a post. I gots mad skillz in the paint yo.”

Then it was his turn to be stunned for a second as I quietly giggled and high fived myself while putting my ear buds back in to go back to Lil Jon and “The Good Soldier”.

“Na, come on girl, you gotta holla back when a man tries to holla atchu like that!” He was being sincere and all I could think was that this man was lucky he was pretty.

And I’m lucky that sometimes the stuff that pops up in my head is so freaking funny that I start to giggle even before I can begin to act on it. I figured that since he wanted me to “holla” at him that I would scream really loudly in his general direction and call that a “holla”, but before I could take the deep breath needed to “holla” at this poor man who decided that I’d make a good person to sit next to on the bus, I started to giggle. Soon my giggles were snorts and soon after that I was nearly peeing my pants in laughter thinking about the expression on this poor guys face should I ever decide to “holla” at him. Then the laughing got worse when I saw the look of pure horror on his face as I nearly urinated all over our bus seat.

Shaking his head he asked over my peels of hysterical giggles, “Is this what you do whenever men try to talk to you?”

I gulped down several deep breaths so that I could reply, “More or less. It’s fun this way, yeah?”

“No, I’m trying to talk you and get to know you as a man.”

I giggled again, “But I’m not a man.”

He rolled his eyes and in a very exasperated tone of voice said “You’re difficult.”

“No, I’m Rachael.”

At that point my bus stop came up and I climbed over top of the cute stranger to get off the bus and go to class.

-Picture me being bored and taking notes in a boring Geography class on sedentary rocks.-

After class I went to a friends house near my college to pick up the notes I’d lent her last week. We visited for a few minuets before I realized that she was extremely sick and got the frick out of there as quickly as I could. As I was walking down her street I heart a noise. A small squeaky and very woeful noise. A mewing, pathetic and cold noise that only one animal could make. So I jogged up the street, following the noise and looking for this strange creature that is almost magical in my world.

A box full of kitties!

I found them in a small box on top of a garbage bin. When I peaked into the box I was greeted by the hisses of one and decided his name would be Lucky since he was lucky that I didn’t give him flying lessons into traffic. Cuddled up to a hissing Lucky were his three siblings, Ducky, Sucky and Ted. Ducky had orangey/yellow feeties that I though were perfectly adorable. Sucky got his name to match the rhyme scheme because he just lay curled up in a little ball shivering that got him a one way ticket into my jacket to warm up. Finally there was Ted. He just looked like a Ted instead of the original name that I had for him, Bucky.

I figured the owners didn’t want their box of kitties so I took them and took off for the Sky Train. I was going to bring them home, feed them and warm them up while I looked up a nearby  SPCA. Unfortunately someone reported a girl on the Sky Train with a box full of kitties (they were probably jealous) and I was pulled off the Sky Train and told that pets weren’t allowed on the trains.

After I told the two security guards my story, they still insisted that I wasn’t allowed to have pets on the train and that I’d have to get rid of the kitties before I got back on the train. It was at this point Transit police came up to see if I was causing a problem (because a sweet girl like myself can cause problems with a box of kitties?) and saw the cute little furballs that I was carrying around, heard my story from the security guys and then promptly told me that I wasn’t allowed to have pets on the trains unless they were in a carrier.

Well, shit. That left me kind of stranded because I wasn’t about to give up Lucky, Duck, Sucky and Ted. However, with the kitties I couldn’t get back on the train and I certainly didn’t have the cash to take a taxi home and a taxi to an SPCA. Obviously I don’t have a car so that was really my only choice because none of my friends drive either. Immediately I started to make a plan to get home and to get to an SPCA with the kitties hidden in one of my large shoulders bags when…

The nice Transit police officer offered to bring the kittens to the SPCA for me. He said he was finished his shift in 15 minuets and would bring the kittens to a shelter as soon as he was done work. That worked for me, it meant that I didn’t have to transit all over the city while trying to hide kittens in a purse or in my pockets and meant I didn’t have time to plan how I was going to try and keep one even though I’m not allowed pets in my suite.

True to his word, the police officer brought Lucky, Ducky, Sucky and Ted to an SPCA and just over an hour later I got a call from him and a lady at an SPCA to say that they kittens were warm and being fed. She gave me a number that I could track the kittens with to make sure that they made it to good homes and agreed with me that Ted definitely looked like a Ted.

And there you have it. My normal school day turned fun because I don’t know how to flirt and found a box of kitties.