February 26, 2014

The 17 Year Old Girl.

Our middle child is seventeen today. She's finishing high school this year and has her college applications in.

The girl asked for Doc Martens as a birthday present.

*     *     *     *     *

The perfect boots for walking into the future...

Happy Birthday, our talented, funny, smart and powerful ginger. And remember that even as the snowmen bow down before you, you will always be my baby.

Love, Mum.

February 22, 2014

Miley Cyrus' tongue is a person too.

It was about time Miley Cyrus' tongue got some of the kudos it deserved. I mean, it's always going that extra miley and stuff, right? I figure it's time that little flapper gets the attention it craves, by being anthropomorphized. By me. I am nice.

Miley's tongue has a life of it's own; that little mouth muscle has attempted escape from her face-cave so often lately, it's like an attention-seeking little celeb-wannabee-taste-tester monstro-kraken! With excellent taste.

Release it!

Or even a long-ignored (and long suffering) conjoined twin. Who will interview her (him?) first - Lindsey Carstens?


February 13, 2014

JC's Top 12 Winter Safety Tips!

Hi guys!

I noticed that some of you are getting snow and ice and freezing your butts off. Now that the novelty has worn off, you're probably really hating it. I bet you're wondering how we manage up here in Canada!

Welp. I want you to be safe and warm, so I put together a handy list of Winter Tips for you. I am nice.
  1. If your kids are playing in the snow, check them often. Sometimes kids get stuck while burrowing in a snow fort. Danger!

  2. Snow can be heavy, particularly if it has been ploughed into a pile. It's dangerous to burrow, because it might collapse on top of you, especially if children are playing on top.

  3. If your car has been snowed in, clear the exhaust before you turn it on. Or the exhaust may back up into your car interior. The results can be deadly.

  4. If you have to shovel snow, take it easy. The weight of snow can hurt your back and I've heard of people who have done a lot of digging sometimes have a heart episode the next day because of over straining. Shoveling snow can be strenuous exercise. Check this video out.

  5. If you're walking down the street you should pay attention to icicles forming along the edges of roofs. Icicles have been known to fall onto the sidewalk below - a friend of mine was struck by one. It gave her some new ideas but she was not happy.

  6. Ice storms can produce beautiful formations on trees and it's tempting to photograph them. But they can be heavy! Trees do shed heavy boughs covered in ice so please take care.

  7. Driving: DO NOT use your car as a "coat". If you get stuck in the snow and have to walk to safety without a real coat, you'll be intensely cold. Also, keep a few blankets in your car....and a bucket. You never know.

  8. Roads might not seem slippery, but ice can be invisible and patchy. This is known as "black ice" and it's a killer. Black ice and speed do not mix well. Brakes do not work on a slippery road. If you have to drive, you should reduce your speed. See Transport Canada for valuable winter driving safety tips.

  9. Regular or "all season" tires can be pretty useless in snowy conditions. Especially true if the roads are neither cleared nor salted/sanded/graveled. Snow tires are essential for getting up and down hills. It's no fun at all to be that person spinning your wheels on a hill and going nowhere. The people behind you will honk at you.

  10. We have these great things that I call "Crocodile Teeth", (which is a way better name than "folding steel traction aid", duh). If your car gets stuck, you put them under your wheel and the sharp teeth grip down into the surface so that your wheel can roll across the top. Totally great! But read the directions carefully: using these the wrong way can cause them to fling up into the air when the wheel spins. It can hit someone and really hurt them. And believe me, the last thing you want is to have to go to the ER when you're stuck in the snow.

  11. Temperatures below -10°C can be dangerous if you're not dressed properly. In Montreal in can go down well below -24. This is seriously cold. Thermal underlayers are great for keeping warm and snow pants will keep you warmer too. You definitely need good mittens and warm, dry boots. Everything waterproof! Hats that cover your ears are best and a scarf to cover your face. I always tell my kids, "your nose doesn't grow back". Frostbite, frostnip and chilblains can happen! Read this.

  12. Don't eat yellow snow.

BE CAREFUL. Have fun. Build a snowman. And repeat after me:

"Fuck is it cold!"

You're practically Canadian now.

February 7, 2014

Letters from my SELF.

New Years Eve was rushing up at me again. But I could feel a creeping despondency all week threatening to derail me. To defy it, I decided to go ahead and host my usual Impromptu Black-Tie Potluck New Years Eve Party. Make-up, high-heels, dress and perfume on, I pushed that vulnerable darkness down and threw open my arms to greet my guests.

I have an old friend named Pascale Girardin; Pascale and I grew up together, meaning we went from wild young women in university to responsible mid-lifers. The foundation of our friendship was laid in our twenties, most of which time we spent being insane rollerskating punklets, dating guys, partying and doing art.

I hadn't seen Pascale in a few months - she's pretty busy running her high-end ceramics company, traveling around the world and creating fantastically beautiful installations in hotels, restaurants and fashion houses. As I type this, she's designing what will be the world's tallest *something top secret*. Is that not the cool? She is a true and original talent.

So anyways, when she showed up at my party I was super happy to see her. We settled on the chaise longue to catch up; this turned into reminiscing....

Pascale was reminding me about that time in 1983 when I talked her into going to some tacky downtown bar to ply free drinks from unsuspecting tourist dudes; being poor artistes we had to be inventive about partying.

To escape their eventual expectations we climbed out the bar's toilet window and went to Les Foufounes Électriques to hang out with our friends. That's back when Les Foufounes was new, decrepit and sooooo coooool.

We used to be so crazy.

I suddenly felt my happy-mask dissolve. The tears welled up...

I frayed and fell apart at my own party.

I had been feeling lost lately. As I mentioned before, the creeping darkness can be tamed but it always comes back. When you grow up, get married, have a family and spend years and years perfecting your craft, dedicating yourself to earning money and raising the kids...even if you find happiness in that, you do somehow forget who you were when you were newly formed. You look around and you can't remember how you got where you are now.

All of this came out in the safety of Pascale's embrace, on New Year's Eve.

She let me cry and made some comforting noises. The party went on.

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Later that week, Pascale came by to visit. She opened her bag and pulled out a bunch of old letters.

"I was leaving my place and I just thought I'd grab these. They're the letters you wrote to me when I was travelling..."

"Look at these things! This is who you are, JC."

I blinked.

Pascale went on, "I don't know how, but the mail courier always managed to get these crazy letters to me in Georgia, San Francisco and even Australia! Look, this one's written completely diagonally..."

I opened one. And in my handmade pencil and ink marks on paper, partly written and partly drawn, I saw "me".

In a case of seemingly random serendipity, Pascale had reached deep into our past and brought me back my self. 

The self I thought I had lost.

She has always been a great friend.

The HUZ went up into the loft and brought down all my old shoe boxes full of handwritten letters from Pascale and many other friends from before I was married; before the days of faxes and emails! Pascale and I spent the rest of the evening poring through them, making new memories from the old.

Here's some exerpts from my letters to her.

I was obviously obsessed with sex. No change there.
I was confident.
Vapidity reigned! This is a rather terrible drawing.
Too funny not to share.

It's been brilliant for me to reread my old letters from my self. I think I will return some of my shoebox letters to their senders so they can have a peek at their own pasts.

Have any of you ever done this? Those of you who have never written or received a hand-written letter, should try it. Email, texting, and Facebooking doesn't even come close.

Thank-you Pascale.

February 6, 2014

Today I will B-52.

The last time I drank B-52's I was 19. I was young, wild and partying like a fool with some friends in a blues band. When I went to the ladies room, I barfed all over my new cowboy boots.

Luckily, I had just waxed them the day before - woohoo!

Cartoon recipe of a flaming B-52 cocktail.

I like to think I'm older and wiser, now.

February 1, 2014

Just married...22 years ago.

We became engaged after one month of dating; we just knew. 

It's our 22nd wedding anniversary today and I'm feeling nostalgic. I went through the wooden box of treasures from our wedding back in 1992 and found a couple of cute things to share with you.

Ois and I did have some "official" fancy wedding invitations that my parents insisted on. But we wanted to do our own version too, so I drew this.

He doesn't look so enthusiastic about being glomped in this drawing; but I sure do!

Look, I did all the lettering by hand...

And these were our thank-you cards for the guests.

It's pretty cool to be able to spend the rest of my life together with this person. I'm pretty happy I found him - I mean, what if our paths had never crossed?

The HUZ figures we'll have 25 more years together; he reckons he'll be the first to pop his clogs. I don't know, but I can't bear to think about life without him.

That's Oisín in the video. He's pretty special. When you know, you just know, you know? 
Someday I'll draw the story of how we met in London.

Happy Anniversary, husband of my days, father of my children!