Thursday, June 2, 2016

Accident prone or just unlucky

I've always been a little accident prone, clumsy, dangerous, a walking disaster. I was the type of kid to fall and scrape my knee on a semi-regular basis growing up. Then, at six years old a took scraping my knee a little further; I fell and scraped my face and a good chunk of my one eyebrow off. That was a fun experience.

I was never allowed to use my brother's pogo or his scooter, and whenever I went bike riding or ice skating I always had to wear a helmet and other safety gear. Hayden was allowed to play the rough sports, have the dangerous toys, and allowed to be at risk for injuries.

My brother was a rough and tough kind of kid. He had fallen off the deck my dad was building and landed on the rocks beneath it, unscathed. He's leaned against an outdoor heater and didn't notice until he had a nasty and disgusting third degree burn on his one arm. He spilled an entire frying pan full of hot oil down his other arm several months ago and was fine after a few weeks. He's taken a hard hit while playing football.

I grew up relatively fine, no broken bones or major sprains. When I was in grade five I fell playing man hunt and hit my head a little too hard and was sent home from school early. I also jammed my finger pretty bad playing volleyball in school, and that was bad enough to get an x-ray and my fingers taped up. When I played extracurricular sports I always managed to get hit in the face with a ball, be it a soccer ball or basketball. No cooking accidents except for maybe brushing my arm against a hot pan. No outdoor injuries except for falling down the Wentworth Stairs.

Hayden was a rough and tough kid, I was always told I was clumsy and accident prone. And apparently I am.

A week or so ago I cut my hand opening a can. It wasn't too bad of a cut, it didn't need stitches regardless of bleeding everywhere. I also burned myself a bit on hot grease splashing up from putting frozen onion rings in a fryer. Nothing major either, only a small scar. A few days after that I twisted my ankle walking to the grocery store; no big deal either. It was a twist you can walk off. A normal amount of injuries in a week's time.

Then of course I step on a freaking carpet staple. These guys aren't the small little things that hold an essay together. These guys punch through carpet, the foam underneath, and go straight into the flooring under that foam. They're about a centimeter long, making them almost the size of my thumbnail. Now I should state that I have extremely calloused feet. Feet so calloused I could walk on a gravel driveway without being uncomfortable. So when I must have first stepped on the staple I must not have felt it, not feeling the little prick that most people notice. The next step is what drove it home, pushing both prongs fully into my heel. I swore briefly and pulled out the staple, muttering a lot of curse words under my breath. Of course I had just moved in, and I still haven't bought a first aid kit, but I had cinnamon bun scented hand sanitizer and a single band aid kicking around in my purse from my can accident back home in Hamilton.

So I spread the baked good scented sanitizer on my foot and threw a band aid over top. After ten minutes or so I had bled through the band aid, but it was one of those cheap little guys, the kind that fall off with sweat. I put more sanitizer on and threw a thick sock over it. I counted back the years to my last tetanus shot to make sure I was okay. It was less than five years ago, as I am a huge wimp when it comes to needles and spent a year avoiding getting the booster shot.

I was fine, other than the annoying pain in my heel. That night it was best to avoid putting pressure and weight on my foot, it hurt to do so. Today it was still a little sore, more throbbing than actual pain.

So yes, in just over a week I burned myself, cut myself, twisted my ankle, and stepped on a carpet staple. Accident prone or just unlucky? I really don't know, I just know I should invest in some band aids and maybe rubbing alcohol or peroxide. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Do you remember your first concert? I do. It was an Anne Murray concert when I was four years old. My dad took me, although I wasn't too happy about it. He bribed me with an entire box of seashell chocolates, the good ones with hazelnut and praline, my favourite chocolate ever. I ate an entire box, naturally, as any four year old would, and proceeded to get sick afterwards. You live and learn, and I developed the biggest sweet tooth possible.

The next convert I went to was one of the free concerts that Festival of Friends offered; Finger Eleven. I loved them, and I was fourteen. Nothing would have stopped me from going to that concert, not even the fact that I had gotten home from a three week long cadet camp eight hours away and I was exhausted. I don't remember much about the concert, or the festival that year. But I remember the energy and excitement the concert gave off.

About a year and a half later I went to my next concert, Three Days Grace. It was a floor venue, a single priced ticket and I wanted to move as close to the stage as possible. This was unfeasible as I am 5'1" and look as threatening as a butterfly. I bought my very first concert shirt, one I still have. It was fun, and introduced me to the taste of floor seats, something I crave and long for with each concert I attend. My bank account however, told me that floor seats were out of the question.

The next concert I went to was Ozzy Osborne for the Scream tour. My dad had gotten us floor seats for that, fueling my concert addiction. It was amazing, with foam shooting out onto the lucky floor seaters a few rows ahead of us. It was amazing to see and would soon start a trend of going to concerts with my dad.

The next concert in my repertoire was Roger Water's The Wall tour, another show with my dad. Floor seats were out of the question, but the theatrics of this concert make it forever stand out in my mind. I was fifteen, and loved Pink Floyd, as I still do. The concert was beyond amazing. They built a wall during the beginning of the show, there was a robotics air plane, balloons, the wall was smashed down, a children's concert choir... the whole nine yards. It was a brilliant concert and I spent the next several years hoping each show I saw would be just as great, but those expectations were hard to live up to.

Afterwards I had taken a break from concerts, my budget was a little stretched. The next show I saw was a present from a "friend". A concert ticket to the Black Keys and the Shins. I did not listen to those bands, I was more into metal and rock, something she knew quite well. But hey, buying your friend a ticket to a concert you wanted to go to and one for yourself was a great preset, right? And of course her parents would drive and pay for that since it was a gift. The show was okay, but I didn't know the music well, didn't really like the vibe from the concert, and it rained during the majority of the show. I don't want to sound spoiled or anything, but it would be like going to a movie you didn't want to see or getting an ugly sweater for Christmas. You act grateful, eat popcorn and attempt to laugh at the romcom jokes, wear the sweater a couple times; but after all that you forget the details of the movie, put the sweater away, and try to stop feeling so ungrateful and spoiled.

The next concert I would see was Airborne at the Festival of Friends, but at a different venue than before. I dragged a couple friends (who didn't like the music but they wanted to come because they thought the metalheads were cute) and the metalheads. It was an amazing concert, but Ryan was afraid the jumping and excited fans would knock little ol' me over and hurt me. It was still a great show, and going on the centrifugal force spinning ride was just as fun.

After that I saw Black Sabbath for the 13 tour, I was seventeen and excited. I went with my dad again. It was a good show, although it lacked the theatrics that Ozzy's solo tour gave. Still, it was pretty good. My dad was a little unhappy they played more recent music (hello, the 13 tour for that CD) and less classic Sabbath.

The next concert I saw was Judas Priest at Casino Rama, I was nineteen and had college classes the next day. It was a long drive, and only complicated by the fact Will's car nearly broke down completely on the way there. We missed part of the opening band, but made it in time to see the main show. We played the casino a bit, not winning everything. After that we were starving, I remember stopping at McDonald's after and being sad there weren't any milkshakes available. I remember sitting beside Ryan at the concert, excited he was finally seeing a show with me.

The next concert was again in the tradition of going with my dad. We went to see Motley Crue and Alice Cooper, an amazing and theatrical performance. I knew the expect this though. Alice Cooper performs, not just sings. It's amazing to watch him at a concert, to watch all the theatrics going on at the time. It was amazing, and then followed by Motley Crue's amazing drummer perform while moving on a mini roller-coaster-like set up and playing upside-down. I loved that concert, I loved every minute of it. I loved going out to dinner with my dad and his friends and being treated like an adult. Although being nineteen might have helped. The most hilarious part of the concert was a guy we dubbed Pokey-Guy, who spent the entire concert poking my dad and I on the back to drunkenly tell us the same story over and over. Pokey-Guy was on the same train home, went to Mohawk where I hid and ran from him as he didn't clue in I wasn't interested in him romantically. He poked my boyfriend on the back and would shout out hello to him based on a band shirt, the usual metalhead greeting. However he took it too seriously.

My next concert was Black Sabbath again, with Ryan and a classmate who never quite finished paying for her ticket, and would then ask me to pay for her food that night. Then spent the rest of the show complaining because the seats weren't the best quality. Oh well, people who don't pay for tickets shouldn't get a say about the quality. The show itself was amazing. We may not have been able to see the band well, but the music was loud, powerful, and I could feel it shake my chest. At that concert we ran into two friends of ours, Sean and Julie. Julie will be going to my next concert with me, but I'll get into that later.

The next concert I went to was one I had waited seven years to see. It was Iron Maiden, a band I wanted to see for my thirteenth birthday, at Darien Lake. My dad had to inform me that our passports expired and we couldn't get new ones in time to see them. My heart broke, but when the opportunity appeared next I jumped at it. My dad bought him and I tickets and I bought tickets for Ryan, Will, and Dave. Coincidentally the tickets I bought for the guys were only a few rows behind us. This concert did not go on long enough. I wished it could have lasted longer, hoping the next song that played wasn't the last. My favourite song was Hallowed Be Thy Name, and damn they played it. Bruce was jumping all over the stage, full of energy. There were theatrics, a powerful voice, and amazing music from one of my favourite bands. This concert was one I had waited years for, hoping Bruce would be okay from cancer when he got sick, hoping that I would be able to afford a ticket when they came up. It was a concert that did not disappoint. This was a concert to remember, held in my heart with Roger Waters. This was a show that concert junkies crave.

And my next concert? That has yet to happen. I'm going to see Slipknot and Marilyn Manson with Julie for my twenty-first birthday. This concert is one I've been looking forward to for a long time as well, and one I bought tickets for as a spur of the moment plan.

Monday, May 30, 2016

My Ryan

So after mentioning him several times, I figured I should write about my darling boyfriend. And since he reads these he'd love to read a blog about himself. It's a win-win situation; I get to write about someone who plays a large role in my life, and he gets a blog about him.

I was seventeen when I first met my boyfriend, officially met him. It was the first day of my senior year at high school and my friend Marion asked me to sit with her at lunch along with her boyfriend and his friends; the metalheads. I was single and full of hormones, and she had a secret plan up her sleeve.

See I had always described my dream guy as a smart, long haired, metalhead guy. Someone who wasn't the stereotypical jock build. My Hollywood crush was Seth Rogen, you know, that build. And Ryan matched that description perfectly.

So I sat with my friend and her new friends and saw him, the dream guy. The perfect guy. One look and I was smitten. Damn teenage hormones. I was a shy and quiet person, so I didn't really hold much of a conversation. In fact, I barely spoke.

The next day while waiting for the bus Marion asked if I had a crush on anyone, and I told her I thought Ryan was cute. She proceeded to tell me he was single and describe how he was a nice guy and why he was awesome.

The next week or so at lunch I'd try to hold conversation, but it was hard. I could barely hold a conversation with him, but I had finally gotten my footing. I was comfortable talking to him.

During that first week I sat alone in an elective class, too shy to sit near Alex (Marion's boyfriend) and another girl we both knew. Then Ryan joined the class, needing to pick up an elective. Alex had asked him to join his class and invited me to sit with them, next to Ryan. Man oh man, this was teenage hormone heaven, or hell depending on how it turned out.

However, the shy and slow approach I was taking wasn't fast enough for Marion, Out of the blue to Ryan she asked him what he thought of me and if he thought I was cute. He answered "I guess so yeah", which didn't exactly help my self esteem. But it didn't hurt it.

Over the next week I began to talk to Ryan more. We'd bus home together sometimes as I lived on the bus route. Before I had moved, I used to bus farther along the bus route and I'd sometimes see him on the bus, not knowing the football player who got off at my old stop was a cool guy who would actually date a nerd. On a bus ride home I thought I was being sneaky by taking his phone and putting my number in it without telling him. Not sneaky at all, and definitely not cute.

Of course, Ryan probably knew I had a crush on him. Hell, a doorknob would have clued in by then Of course I didn't know he thought of me as dating material until later that week. There was a party at Will's house, a really cool dude who loves dogs, country music, science, and his girlfriend. Marion had already invited me, saying not to tell Ryan because he was supposed to ask me. I knew where Will lived and the day of the party, I was just waiting for Ryan to ask. I guess that's how guys ask girls out in the modern age without malts (what is that) and drive-ins.

So one day while walking towards the bus stop Ryan began talking to me. I hated missing the early bus coming home from school, but Westmount had a ton of students and the other high school let off early enough to fill up the earlier buses. So we began walking up the road, the exact opposite direction of his friend Will's house. I asked Ryan what he was doing after school and why he was walking so far with me. He said he was going to Will's house, which made me smile because I knew he was heading the wrong way and had walked 20 minutes completely out of the way. Stupid, but it made me think he was the type of football player who liked geeky girls. While walking to me to the next bus stop, Ryan invited me to Will's party and I was pretty excited about that.

We continued on our awkward friendship, me being somewhat shy one minute and extremely chatty the next. The day of the party came, and we met at Will's house. I was shy at first, and spent the majority of the party hoping Ryan would come and sit beside me and chat. I'm 90% sure everyone at the party knew I had a crush on Ryan. I was still shy around his friends, and really nervous about meeting them.

After the party Ryan walked me home as I only lived about 15 minutes away from Will's house. He walked me to my door and said goodnight, and I actually went in the house and closed the door before I worked up the courage to hug him. From Ryan's point of view, a girl opened the door, ran out of the house, and demanded a hug randomly. I probably gave him a heart attack.

The next day I asked him if he wanted to come over for a fire, but Ryan said he couldn't. He was at Will's trailer with his family, quite a few hours away. Even though it was a logical excuse I felt a bit sad. Ryan then suggested hanging out the next weekend. That made my day.

The next week at school went by in a blur. I was really excited to see Ryan on the weekend. I planned a nice fire, maybe watching a movie after. When Saturday rolled around I was really nervous. I wore a nice pair of jeans, a cool band shirt, and made sure my hair looked okay. So Ryan came over and I tried setting up a fire, but I lacked proper kindling and managed to make plenty of smoke. It was getting cold out and the fire part was a bust. But we went inside and watched movies. I can't quite recall the movies we watched, as I spent the majority of the time excited I was sitting extremely close to a cute guy.

I began dropping hints that I was cold, hoping Ryan could put his arm around me. Nope, nice guy Ryan grabbed me a blanket and put it on me. I still kept hinting I was cold, which resulted in him asking if I needed another blanket. Man, this guy was not taking the hint, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and snuggle up against him, putting my arm around him. We spent most of the night like that, while I stupidly tickled him, nice tickles though. I guess they were more like caresses. I like them, and call them nice tickles. It's a comforting feeling for me, something my mom used to do to make me fall asleep or feel better when I was sick. Ryan is more sensitive to tickles and hates what I've dubbed nice tickles.

That night was the best night of my life up to that point. And when it ended I walked Ryan to the door and gave him a long hug, one that wouldn't end. I felt him kiss the top of my head a couple times, then as I looked up, kissed me for real. It was fireworks, magic, explosions, and just beyond amazing.

That night started an amazing relationship. Ryan and I have been together almost four years, surviving high school and going to prom together. We both had a year off before college, spending time working and going out. We survived college together, seeing each other plenty of times in between classes, although it wasn't quite the same as having classes together.

Our first Christmas together I worked at a friend's dad's shop to make money to buy him Yuh-Gi-Oh cards, He bought me the cutest teddy bear. The rest of the Christmas's resulted in cologne, band shirts, swords, a beautiful ruby ring, and amazing memories. For our birthday's I got him band shirts,and Magic cards, he got me gorgeous engraved boxes, jewelry, the seashell chocolates, and beautiful crystal turtles. Valentine's Day was Magic cards, a nice bracelet, a ring for him, and plenty of chocolate. Anniversary's resulted in a beautiful Pandora bracelet for me, along with multiple charms. For him it was more Magic cards and a War Machine figurine bag that took months to deliver. Date nights consisted of delivery pizza for a night in, superhero movies and popcorn with the gross butter, fancy restaurants, sushi and burgers. Date night consisted of just laying beside each other and talking for hours on end, just enjoying the company. Every memory with him is amazing, and they stand out clearly in my head. The problem is there are too many memories running together I can hardly keep them in order in my head.

Ryan's been with me through many moves, being diagnosed with colitis and the gross testing that went along with it. He's been there for me in the good times, the bad times, and the in between' times. He's the guy you can call at two in the morning when you miss him and want to talk, then spend hours on the phone together feeling like it was only minutes. He's the guy who makes me laugh a crazy weird laugh no one else should hear. He's the guy who I would fall asleep beside while watching a movie, and he wouldn't care if I drooled or snored. He's the guy who hates cats but puts up with my kitty and even pets her for me. He's the kind of guy you fall in love with more and more, and the guy who let's you be goofy with. He's strong enough to pick me up and swing me around to make me giggle, and will hold me and tickle me to sleep in the same day. He's a great guy, someone even though my dream school took me three hours away, stuck by my decision and encouraged me to continue my education. He's stuck with me despite my cheesy nickname for him, one I know he wouldn't want me to tell the world. He's the guy who loves with all of his heart, and takes all of your heart away from you.

Ryan's the kind of guy you want your friends to date but get secretly jealous of. He's the guy you don't let go of, and would do anything to keep. He's the guy you feel lucky just being friends with, let alone how lucky you feel to date him. He's the kind of guy your parents like and you feel comfortable introducing to your extended family. He's the kind of guy you know you'll marry one day, the kind of guy you never let go of. Ryan is a smart, adorably geeky, handsome, funny, and an amazing friend. He 's my best friend, my boyfriend, and my soulmate. He's my Ryan. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016


When you hear the word meatloaf you associate that word with the delicious albeit boring meal, or if your music taste is up to par, the band. However, when I hear the word meatloaf I think about my cat. Yes this is a cat blog.

I've always been crazy for cats. I love them, they're fluffy and sweet and they make cute little noises. When I was younger I'd see tortoise cats and think to myself I'd name that cat Meatloaf. Well lo and behold, I decided to get a kitten and name her Meatloaf. It was a total spur of the moment decision, looking online for free Kijiji kittens. I know people always say "get shelter cats" and "if you won't pay for a cat how do you expect to afford to feed one". Well I've paid for her vet bills and all her food by myself, I got a kitten that would have otherwise been put on the street, I picked a kitten that I fell in love with at first sight.

The owner wanted me to take Meatloaf's sister, which my mom decided she'd take and name Piper. When we moved she later decided not to take Piper with her and my dad wouldn't let me take both. My friend Julie took Piper in, and it broke my heart to give away a kitten but I knew that I couldn't get rid of my kitty. Piper has a great home, by the way, with a puppy and other cats. She's well fed and loved.

Anyways, I splurged at the nearest store for cat toys, kitten food, treats, and all kinds of pet supplies. I spoiled the kittens before I got them.

I didn't have a carrier so I grabbed a fabric ottoman and a fleece blanket to carry them home in. Right away I knew they weren't eight weeks old, they were smaller than any kittens I had seen, barely five weeks. They fit in the same ottoman with plenty of room to spare, they would have both fit comfortably in a shoe box, that's how small they were.

When they got home it was clear they were scared. They ran and hid under the futon in the living room, refusing to come out for hours. They made tiny little meows and looked adorable. After a few days they were comfortable being out and on furniture, although it was clear they were both not litter trained or able to eat solid food and drink out of a bowl. The previous owner had lied about their age to get them out of the house faster.

This is them within the first week, Meatloaf is the cat on the left while Piper is the cat on the right. The little button on the futon is about an inch or so wide.

Meatloaf was able to drink a water/tuna juice mixture by suckling off my fingers and then was able to drink straight from the bowl. Piper took longer to train. They both were able to eat tuna and soft foods, but Piper was able to eat solid food faster.

Litter training Piper was far more easy, she took to the litter box within a month and still occasionally used the newspaper we kept out for Meatloaf. Meatloaf had trouble with the box, with a variety of boxes and litters. She would pee on the paper and then poo under the coffee table. Or under the couch.

She also relied on Piper to bathe her and followed Piper around. They both would sleep in my bed and play together, almost appearing to fight. However they were both happy. Meatloaf would only growl when eating, and it became clear that she was undersized in comparison to Piper and did not want to share food.

It became clear they needed each other, or at least Meatloaf needed Piper. She would meow until Piper came to find her, meaning if Piper went off to explore the house and Meatloaf was laying beside me, I would then be awake at 3am trying to find the other kitty. They would always sleep beside each other, usually on my stomach or on the couch.

Eventually they were both able to eat solid food and function normally, except Meatloaf would still refuse to poo in the litter box. She was different, and my mom was annoyed with finding surprises before I could clean them up.

After a few months they had grown plenty. This is them on the box they originally came home in, now too small for the both of them. They had grown so much, getting into trouble knocking ornaments off the Christmas tree and even climbing in it, as cats will do. Meatloaf had an obsession with hiding under the tree skirt while Piper liked chewing on the fake branches. Cats, am I right? We had gotten them early in October and they lived together until February. Then I had moved in with my dad, taking Meatloaf with me. She still was not litter trained.

Meatloaf was also old enough to get fixed, and I had warned the vet about her litter issues. While she was at the vet she had used the box normally. So I went and bought the very expensive kitty litter they used, to which she would not use it at home. Strange kitty.

I was at a pet supply store buying cat attract, which worked for her to pee. The cashier asked if I had a second litter box, which I did. She then asked if I had a covered litter box, which I didn't. After buying a covered litter box Meatloaf magically began using it normally. She had some accidents still, but it was okay. She had finally learned.

The vet also suggested she eat less, as I was feeding her more than enough to ensure Piper would get food. On her own she'd meow for more than twice the amount of food she was supposed to eat. She would not eat the diet food and would get angry and knock things over unless she had more food. It took a long time to get her food trained, and even longer for her to accept she had to drink water out of a bowl, not a cup like she used to have. I had bought her a bowl for water but she wouldn't drink from it, only a glass that I would sip from. She was a weird cat.

She was a good kitty, and still is. Overall her litter issues are fixed, she eats food regularly. She had a thing for cat treats and decided to rip open a bag so now they have to be hidden. However she did have one problem.

She had a leash and harness meant for cats, that's what it said on the label. I had no problems with it before, but then a problem happened. My brother had taken her outside and attached the harness to a railing on the porch. She then jumped or fell, and he didn't notice right away. I was inside the house and he came in screaming with Meatloaf in his arms. She wasn't moving and I started screaming too. He put her down and she started having spasms. I was so scared, but she ran under my bed. It took hours and a whole bag of treats to coax her out into her carrier and we rushed her to the vets. They examined her and said nothing was wrong, but she walked with a limp in front of me for a day. I'd give her treats when I saw her limping, and it wasn't until my dad pointed out she was running and jumping that I clued in she only limped and meowed for treats. Another vet visit ensured she was fine.

We threw out the old harness and bought one specifically with cat safety in mind, asking plenty of questions. Her current harness is safe and she's never had an accident. We've taken her for walks outside and hiking, and the only problems there were a bout of fleas, a visit from a loud but friendly dog, and her climbing halfway up a tree to chase a squirrel before we pulled her down.

She loves car rides but if it's bumpy she hides under seats. She loves eating grass, especially cat grass. She steals food when you aren't looking, even a whole slice of shwarma pizza. She survived the move to Peterborough with her only complaint being she has to share her toys with Gemma the new cat. She's a very vocal cat, meowing when she's alone and wants attention. She loves belly rubs and snuggles. She likes to climb and knock things over. She hides in drawers and bags when you leave them open. She loves windows and won't leave you alone when you try to go outside. She needs to be in the bathroom with you at all times, and heaven forbid you don't let her jump onto the shower window ledge while you try to shower. She's afraid of the dirt devil but not the vacuum. She loves licking shopping bags and attacking the broom.

And despite getting a kitten free from Kijiji I have paid all of her vet bills, paid for preventative flea and worm treatments since she goes outside. I've paid for her to get fixed, for costly examinations. I've spent hundreds of extra dollars for special kitty litter and litter boxes. She gets a toy every time she goes to the vet. She gets the good catnip. She gets plenty of love and attention. She even has her own pillow she basically took over and saturated with cat fur despite multiple washes. She is my cat, she my Meatloaf.

Officially moved out!

Everyone knows what it's like to live at home, either from past experience or because they currently do live at home. And I'm sure the majority of people who live at home say things like "I can't wait until I move out" and "I want to leave right now!" They might mean these things when they say them, and I know I did when I would complain to my friends about living about home, envying my friends who had already moved out. And my friends would say how great it would be to move out, make plans about dream apartments and future parties. 

Moving out on your own isn't like that, not unless you're incredibly lucky or smart with money. Which I'm not. 

In my last year of college I had applied to university, Trent University and McMaster University. I was excited for both. Trent accepted me almost immediately, I was excited about that. McMaster had wait-listed me, but I had set my heart fully on Trent. 

Shortly after accepting my acceptance I began to panic. Trent was in Peterborough, about three hours away from my hometown and the only city I had ever lived in. I knew I had to move out, and I was terrified about that. Moving out isn't easy, especially with a pet cat, who was coming with me no matter what. 

I began to scour online ads for apartments for rent, having no luck for August leases and struggling to find pet friendly places. I only had a few appointments for showings, scheduled for my reading break at college. Yes, while my classmates were relaxing and studying for midterms, I struggled to find places to live for the next year.

I arrived in Peterborough, planning to stay with friends. These friends are amazing and helped me find amazing place I am currently living in. In fact, with sneaky planning Marion had helped set me up with my boyfriend Ryan, which was one of the best things that could have happened. I've known Marion since I was six, both awkward and shy kids at the same elementary school pushed into friendship by my over-talkative mother and her father who I remember wearing rain slickers. Alex, Marion's boyfriend, was friends with Ryan and the metal-heads, a crew of scary looking but amazing friends, all smart and interested in a variety of topics. They're the kinds of friends who you like hearing talk, because it's always interesting and you'll learn something new from them everyday, and they don't make you feel stupid for not knowing or understanding something.

Anyways, back to the original topic of moving out, Alex had shown me around Peterborough and walked me to a couple showing in parts of the city he knew I'd get lost in. We looked at the most beautiful one bedroom apartment, slightly out of my budget even if my boyfriend put his career aside and moved out with me, which thankfully he did not. The cute and smart boyfriend got accepted to Brock University after graduating college with a 90 average.

The next unit I looked at was a bachelor's and paled in comparison to the apartment I looked at. I seriously hope someone amazing rented that apartment out, the landlord was friendly and she even knew the tenant's dog's names. I do wish I could have lived there, but unless I managed to work a full time job and go to uni, I would barely afford to put bread on the table. 

However, the next day I looked at a student unit, and my eyes immediately went to the Supernatural poster in the entrance-way (Jenson Ackles and Jeffery Dean Morgan were my secret show crushes), and the many Marvel posters. I suddenly wanted to live there very badly. Upstairs lead me to a vibrant purple living room with funky red couches (awesome colours) and a shy fluffy grey cat. My current roommate, who is really cool and the owner of all the cool belongings) was at class that day, but her cat liked me and the places was larger than I expected. And instead of sharing a bathroom and kitchen with a bunch of students, typical of student houses I had seen from classmates in Hamilton, it was just two of us. The landlord said I could bring my cat with me, and I was really excited about that. Here was a pet friendly unit, in my budget, not overcrowded, and had a seemingly cool roommate (she was cool, and I found that out shortly after moving in, I scored roommate gold with her). This was the unit I needed. I grabbed a lease, and when I went home I got my dad to co-sign and sent my deposit away. The place was mine.

I had the option of living at home and paying rent until I moved out, or going at it and moving in right away. In hindsight it may have been a bad choice to move in right away. Peterborough has a high unemployment rate and I left a sweet job in Hamilton, but I wanted to grow up right away. I bought some furniture for my room, bought a fridge full of groceries and a freezer full of chicken and fish. I brought my stock of Lush products (best store ever), and my cat along.

My best friend Alex (girl Alex as the guys initially dubbed her since they were friends with Alex the metalhead before becoming friends with my Alex). She helped me get settled in, coax my angry and shy cat from her cage, and get used to the idea of living on my own. 

Naturally the cats hated each other at first, and sometimes they get hissy at each other. But they're better now, sitting on the same couch occasionally and my cat stealing Gemma's (the other cat) toys. 

Some of the struggles I had were grocery shopping. I'm used to buying some groceries at home and buying my own food, but now I had to start from scratch. I forgot to buy salt and pepper when I first moved in, but had purchased the shakers and a spice rack. I forgot to buy cooking oil and still don't own steak knives. I've lived here for almost a month and have yet to do laundry because the nearest laundromat is expensive and I barely have enough change. 

I forgot hand towels so I basically have a normal towel in the bathroom for hand drying, it works out. I have dish clothes and over mitts, but I don't have a spoon to scoop things, I own a ladle but it's hard to spoon pasta with a soup ladle. 

I own a cheese grater but my cheese went bad before I could eat it all. I have plates and bowls but they aren't microwave safe (plastic since I drop things a lot). I have real glasses and tea mugs, but forgot an electric kettle. Thankfully my roommate has one. I keep meaning to make mashed potatoes, but I don't have milk since it'll go bad before I can even drink a 1L carton. 

The worst is now that I pay for my groceries and don't have the comfort of food being in the house like at home, I have to make sure I eat it before it goes bad, and buy the food I'm sure I'll eat.

I have CD's here but no CD player. 

I have my laptop but it's overheating a lot and becoming more of a craptop. My cell's battery is dying faster and taking forever to charge, meaning that needs to be replaced.

But without a job those things will be put on hold.

And I still have to travel home for tooth cleaning, my college graduation, and possibly wisdom teeth removal if I can get the Cone CT scans (stupid teeth and stupid nerve).

But I have my cat, enough money to survive the summer without a job, a fridge full of food, and enough clothes to go a month without laundry. I have friends in the city, and family who will visit. I know if things get tough I have a backup plan, even if it means moving back home for a job and not having to buy groceries. 

And I do have to go back home to see a concert I've been dying to see; Marilyn Manson and Slipknot on my actual birthday! Best birthday present to myself ever. 

So yes moving out is hard, and I struggle sometimes. The main cause of my struggle is not knowing what I need exactly, and forgetting to bring certain things. I know I'm bringing my college textbooks up with me since they are amazing quality books. I'm bringing my old notes from my college lectures as well, since the teachers I had were amazing with notes and lectures. I want to take a lot of pictures this summer and hang posters on my walls. I plan on living here for the next four years, and I want to make this place me home. I'm homesick, although the majority of the homesickness is because I miss my best friend, my boyfriend, and my family; even my little brother.

The Gutsy Walk 2015

Another blog about the Gutsy Walk, this time for the 2015 Gutsy Walk. And this time I didn't walk alone.

Let's first give a bit of background story. I had a job at this point in time, at Pier 8 that I had mistakenly walked to the previous year. I was a fry cook and ice cream scoop at The Hamilton Waterfront Trust. It's a great place to work, honestly. The coworkers are friendly and cool. The ice cream is amazing, as stated before. I've eaten enough grill food and ice cream to say that the food there is good. Who doesn't love hamburgers on a hot summer day? Especially with banana peppers and mustard. I definitely recommend swinging by there and getting fries with mayonnaise (really good I swear), a burger, and a coconut/orange pineapple milkshake. Calorific but heavenly.

I worked that day after the Gutsy Walk, and I worked with two of the people walking with me; my boyfriend who worked as a skate boy, and his sister who worked as a grill girl with me. However, from the previous year I was confident in my ability to work after the 5km walk, I had put in 8km the previous year and I would routinely walk from my house near Inch Park to Pier 8, about a 6km walk, before my shift. My dad was also joining us on the walk because a) his daughter was sick with a gross disease, b) the walk was through a beautiful part of Hamilton, and c) he wanted the free pizza at the end.

It was a nice walk, and I had won the Mother's Day draw so I had received two necklaces and a ring from a sponsoring company. It was a perfect day. The walk itself was uneventful, no funny stories to tell and no new friends made. The weather network had promised gorgeous weather and delivered. The four of us walked at a nice pace, quickly finishing the walk. Afterwards, after my dad had eaten pizza and some other snacks, he gave me my lunch for work and went home. That left my boyfriend, Ryan, and his sister Alyssa, to bum around for an hour or so before work. We walked around Bayfront Park and then headed off to work early. They wanted to roller skate before work, but I was an awkward and clumsy person in general. I can ice skate, but roller skating is very different. I fall a lot, and I fall badly. So roller skating before work? Not a good idea. Oh well.

So I hung around at work for a bit. I felt a little funny but didn't think much of it. I was a rough and tough kid, maybe I got a little too much sun. When it was time for work I started my shift.

Now the grill is hot in general to work in. We have air conditioning and the fan, it works well. But I love cooking and the grill is extremely hot. In the winter that just passed, people looked at me like I was crazy for wearing a t-shirt in the grill, except the heat from cooking kicked the air conditioning on and I would sweat like crazy in a t-shirt.

Throw that heat from work on top of about 4 hours in the sun and black jeans and a band shirt. Throw all that together with a wickedly hot summer, hotter than the year before. I got a little heat sickness, which would have been fine if I had gone home like I did the year before and relaxed on the couch. Except this year I worked and decided to be my usual hardworking and stubborn self and worked for the next few hours on my feet, feeling worse and worse. Up until I suddenly felt like I had to puke.

Needless to say I called a friend for a ride home, you can't work around food if you're sick. When my friend picked me up, she noticed how incredibly sunburned I was. Despite liberally applying sunscreen before getting a ride down to Bayfront Park, my time in the sun turned pasty pale me into lobster girl. Boiled lobster girl.

However, I went back into work for my next shift, after taking that night and the next day to rest and taking cold cold showers and apply aloe Vera cream. I would still routinely walk to work before my shift, but only on days were it was cloudy or my shift started early in the day. If I walked to work on a later shift I would drink plenty of water and stop by Starbucks to get a cold frappe and enjoy a little break of AC and icy cold, sugary drinks while en route to work.

The trouble with bronchitis

As stated multiple times I was a sickly child, from digestive issues to strep throat, and since my teenage years; bronchitis. I mean I had always had a nasty hacking cough, a cough that resembled an 80-year old chain smoker, a cough that rattled my body and annoyed the crap out of my friends and family. I remember when I was little, probably around seven or eight, a friend had dubbed my cough the "Beethoven cough" because it sounded like the saint Bernard barking from the movie.

Regardless, I had a decent set of lungs. I could yell rather loudly, a skill useful for my short stint in sea cadets and for my previous job yelling food orders out as a fry cook. I could play tenor sax and love to sing, although my vocal skill set is limited to Rockband at an easy level. But my lungs are great, powerful, and my doctor had never even suggested asthma as a kid. My pipes were beautiful and healthy.

At fifteen I had a cold and cough, and although the cold went away my cough lingered on. It became so bad friends and teachers would make comments, I had to get notes to go to classes because it sounded like I was hacking up a lung. I developed a weird metallic taste with my coughs that I now associate as the taste of "shit, I need to go to a clinic" and the taste of antibiotics to come. After a couple months of the cough, which got worse and worse and became more painful, I finally sucked up the courage to go to the doctor's, one of my least favourite places despite spending a lot of time there. I went to a walk in clinic near the local mall, the walk in clinic I would then go to multiple times in the next 5 years for bronchitis and the flu. I was told I had bronchitis and that I was fighting the infection well enough on my own that antibiotics wouldn't help. They shoved a puffer at me to take when the coughing fits struck. The puffer tasted funny and I hated using it, but it did help. Oh well, I managed.

I got bronchitis a few times here and there, usually catching it early enough to get the puffer to treat it before antibiotics. I think I went on antibiotics once before the last time and had no trouble. Usually I would catch a cold and the cough would linger and turn to bronchitis. Whatever, it was manageable.

Then I caught the flu. Which sucked. Ask any college student how stressful midterms are. Especially midterms in the last semester of college. It sucks and is stressful enough. Now through the flu in there along with an extremely difficult class known as Biochemistry. I felt like crap and could barely function. I went to my favourite walk in clinic hoping for a doctor's note. Instead I got a giant-ass cotton swab shoved up my nose, which hurts a lot. I pulled it out against the doctor's orders because I am a bullheaded individual who hates having things shoved into my orifices. Needless to say my nose bled a little bit, nothing major. The doctor told me because I had pulled the q-tip out of my nose I wouldn't get positive results for the flu even if I actually had it. He wouldn't give me a damn doctor's note either, meaning I had to go to school with the flu.
*As a side note I used a bunch of those little bottles of hand sanitizer and forewarned all my teachers I was sick in hopes to not spread the germs around I didn't get any of my classmates sick either.

Regardless I wrote my midterms and did well on them. The flu symptoms went away a week later, but the cough still lingered. I was a little annoyed and lived off of cough drops. I got a phone call a couple weeks later from the Department of Infectious Health, which is a scary sounding department. I had donated blood a couple months before and thought something had turned up in my blood. Nope, it was Public Health calling because I had tested positive for the flu and they wanted to ask some follow up questions. The clinic had never called my back about having the flu, but Public Health had. The nurse on the phone was nice, suggested I stop boycotting flu shots and get one for next year (I support vaccines, I just hate needles and avoid them at all costs). She said my cough would linger for up to three weeks after the flu symptoms stopped. I didn't worry about the cough anymore.

The cough got progressively worse, and out of the blue the metallic taste had come back. Hello bronchitis. I went to the walk in clinic and spent four hours coughing my lungs out only to be told what I already knew; bronchitis. The nurses and doctor asked again and again if I smoked, not believing my answer of not ever touching a cigarette. Which was the truth. Oh well. They gave me a prescription for Azithromycin and told me to take it with food, and if my stomach gets upset to have yogurt.

Well as you know colitis sucks and I have tummy issues in general. Added a strong antibiotic at a high dose only exacerbated the problems. To put it bluntly, I could not hold any food in my stomach for long periods of time, needed to use the bathroom every ten minutes, and went through multiple rolls of toilet paper a day. Thus began the five days of hell. I had to go to class, it was the two weeks before exams and crunch time. We were still learning new material and I still had labs. Despite feeling like a Taco Bell victim I still had to attend class and make attempts to eat, although within the hour the food I ate would be completely gone from my system. Oh well.

After those five days ended I still had the cough. It lingered for another week or so but finally left my system. However I am a little worried now. Last week I caught a summer cold, no biggie. But the cough still hasn't gone away. No metallic taste yet, just going through a pack of cough drops a day.

So as a warning to anyone who thinks of smoking, or smoking in the house/car with their children, please don't. My mom and her roommates/boyfriends smoked in the house from the time I was 13 until I moved out at 17. I got bronchitis for the first time at 15 and now get it at least once a year. Who knows if the secondhand smoke caused it or the shitty mold in the townhouses I lived in for a stint caused it. Who knows if I had a predisposition to bronchitis, or if my immune system sucks. Who really knows? But please, don't smoke in the house with children, don't even risk having your kids more susceptible to bronchitis. The coughing fits hurt, they make your throat sore. The taste of your coughs is nasty. The sound is loud and scary. The antibiotics make you sick. And most of all, chronic bronchitis is a form of COPD, and that's a future you want to avoid.