From This Day On….

I wish I’d taken more time to painstakenly savour each moment.  Instead it felt as though the entire night was racing past us.  All day and night I couldn’t wait to get to the party. The biggest party we’ve ever thrown with cheese, and booze, and music, and donuts and special lights and everyone we know and love. At the very core of my being is a hostess, and it brings me so much joy.  It makes me so happy to have people in my home. This hostessness allows me to share and aid in the merry-making of my dearest friends and it is a pleasure unmatched for me on this earth.  At the most base level, I really fucking love to party.  And you know who else loves to party?  My husband.

I’ve always thought having a surprise house party wedding would be really cool, but pulling off a surprise wedding is a lot harder than it sounds.  We decided in February that we were to be married in May.  May 11th to be exact.  Less than 3 months is surprise enough, no?

Years ago, before I’d even met Martin, I was driving along in the good old battle Saturn with my cronies, Gord and AJ, talking about boys, of course (I really was quite boy crazy, remember?).  I turned to them and said, I’m going to get married on May 11, 2013.  I passed AJ my Samsung flip phone and had her look up the date.  Sure enough it was a Saturday.  I didn’t have a boyfriend, or really have my sights set on a particular fella, but I knew my wedding date.  And somehow, I managed to meet, fall in love and marry my dearest, all in the nick of time.  I’d like to say it was clarvoyance, but it’s probably better categorized as a self fulfilling prophecy.

Bottom line?  The date was special.

I had spent weeks and months preparing for the celebration, only for the night itself to quickly fade away as I tossed my bouquet to a small clan of ladies on my porch.  I stole off into the night with my lover, my husband. I spent every spare second I had in the weeks leading up to the wedding cutting and pasting and planning and scheming and downloading and curating and thinking it all through over and over and over again.  And in all that time I never anticipated that the party would go by so quickly.  I got to spend 5 short hours buzzing from room to room basking in the glow of the best people on the planet, save a few, doing what we all love best: Partying.  And I wish I could do it all over again.  Despite how fast the night passed me by, I enjoyed every minute–I had a really really great time.

red wedding
Me and my new husband, flashing his gold ring.

For me, it all came down to crafts, a 4+ disc mixed CD set, an 8 1/2 pound cheese order, and 5 dozen donuts.   Not necessarily traditional, but a Peattie-McWaters wedding it was.

Courtesy of the Thin Blue Line
8 1/2 pounds of pure dairy gold
DIY Decorations
Pennant made from antique sheet music
Glory Hole Donuts as Wedding Cake
A small fraction of the 60 glory hole donuts
DIY Craft Bags
Hand crafted Sacs Aux Surprise!

Smoky smoky
Porch Party

All of those really awesome things aside, there was love.  So much love, our apartment was bursting at the seams.  My love for Martin, his love for me, and our love for little Marigold was multiplied exponentially by the love of those surrounding us that night.  I felt like was floating.  On a sweet cloud of love all night logn.  And I’m totally serious.

Eddie Bo-From this Day On

I was welcomed as a McWaters with a resounding “Yay” and narry a “Nay”, and the feelings are more than reciprocal.

So we danced and we drank, and we smoked, and I untraditionally swore through my speech. We floated through our home around the people that have come to mean so much to us.  An outstanding amount of love surrounds our lives and it will shine through us, from this day on.

Special thanks to all our friends that took photos!!!
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Anniversary Traditions

I just looked it up.  It was actually March 5th.  Turns out that’s actually my pal’s Parks’ birthday…funny coincidence.  I didn’t even know there was a Park’s when I moved to Toronto.

In 2006, I made a pretty significant life decision.  I quit my job, packed up my shit and moved here.  I had exactly 4 friends on the north shore of Lake Ontario.  And now, this is my life.  Lake Ontario at the bottom  of my street, and Queen Street is just steps to the north.  I listen to Parkdale sounds as I fall asleep at night, and I wake to Parkdale sounds in the morning.  Deep in the throbbing heart of Parkdale, I am at home in my Parkdale House Of Dreams.  Until 2006, I didn’t even know what a Parkdale was.

West Queen West upon entering Parkdale  “You’ve Changed”

Coming to the decision to move away from my friends, my family, my love, was actually easier than I thought it was at the time.  I had been to visit my dear Kindred on several occasions, and cried whenever I left.  So I moved, and my life changed. Of course I miss my friends, and it was challenging to make new ones, so that part wasn’t easy. But the rest really was pretty simple.  It didn’t matter that I was surrounded by tons of really rad people who I really really really  love a whole lot, I always felt lonely in the Cath.  I knew that if I stayed in Niagara I would live a sad lonely life.  I needed things to change.  I needed to be alone to end the loneliness.

I had some ideas about what I was walking into by leaving, but I can assure you that those ideas are so vastly different than what I found once I arrived. There was this thing that was happening when I moved here, and I’ve realized that time was standing still for me then.  It was standing still for all of us. I really wish that I could actually paint more than just paint by numbers, because I would paint it all as a giant mural.  And it’s a big fucking party mural.  A really fun party.  The one night only affair that lasted for years, that still finds itself revived in a pub or on a deck, or in a kitchen–over a hot stove here and there.

The Cloak
The cove children

I don’t actually believe that things happen for a reason, and I don’t really believe in fate or pre-destination.  It doesn’t actually matter, fate or no fate,  when you’re too busy living.  Sometimes the universe owes you a favour–you simply accept its kind offer of amazing and be thankful.  So, thank you, universe, for this, and all the other things that have followed.
There hasn’t been much else in my life more right than that move I made in ’06.  A few things, but not many. Anyways, I’m big on anniversaries, and starting annual traditions and reflecting on special times in my life.  It’s all very special and amazing.  I do love it when there are things to celebrate.  Birthdays, New Years Day, Thanksgiving, Mondays.  Celebrations truly are some of the best times of our lives, wouldn’t you say?

There I was yesterday.  Here I am now and where I’ll be tomorrow–ever so much to celebrate!  I know March 5th, 2013 has come and gone, but each year I try, at the very least, to remember the time with celebratory thoughts.  I try to remember how I felt then, and how it feels more right every day.  

From Rancho Relaxo, to the Starbank, The Market, Neutral, Maggie’s, the Cloak and Dagger, the backdoor of 106, Croft, Sneaky Dees, The Magpie, The Press Club, Euclid, Roxton,  to the corner of Grace and Harbord.  

The Dakota, Lakeview, The Gypsy, The Park, 909 and my dress, the dog bowl, Squirrelys, The Paper Place, Preloved, Queen and Dovercourt, The Cock and Tail, The Gladstone.  The Dufferin jog, the now bricked up stairway under the GO overpass. Streetcars, Lamport, the amphitheatre, the Caddy, Salvador, the Rhino, Meher’s deck, Capital, Not my dog, The Village of Parkdale mural, Thrift Town.  Mezzrows and Tibetan protests.  The CN Tower. Going Steady.  The Golden Dogs, White Cowbell Oklahoma, and the Wednesday night residency at the Cameron. Bikes. The people.  The people on bikes. The transit.  The vibe.  The sounds.  The weather.  The fresh flowers on the street corners.  I look around me at the city and I am in love.  In love with the people and the places.  I have never in my life felt more at home.

On the sunny Sunday afternoon that Cindy and Juliee drove me into town, this song by Bjork came on.  Just as it was supposed to–this song played and I laid eyes on the city that had become my new home just at the moment where Bjork says “this is where I’m staying.  this is my home.”  In March 2006 I came home for the first time. Happy anniversary, Toronto.

Roommates Ruling Supreme

Every spring I used to plan a party with Gord to celebrate another year of us ruling supreme as roommates.   This spring, I’m planning a different kindof party.  A party that I’ll surely celebrate for the rest of my life.  I look forward to the traditions that will follow.

Fires, Love and Dishes Done

I met Christine Delay in 2005 at a housewarming party for her and some other people I didn’t know at the time (Gord).  In time, I came to know her and her “delayservision” well at 106 and beyond.  And though she’d likely deny it, she has grown to become one of the most influential people in my life.  There isn’t enough space on the entirety of internet to describe it all, but I can tell you, she was by my side as I explored the new world around me.  She was there as I began to discover who I really and truly was during a pretty siginficant era.  Christine Delay has helped me to reflect on where I’ve come from, enabled me to live and enjoy life freely, supported me in my dreams, and has created ridiculous amounts of laughter in my life.  We are musically and cosmically connected, and when I’m with her, I feel like I’m on fucking steroids.  She was, and is, the Lungsy, to my Ballsy. 

A few nights ago I asked Delay this:

I write this blog, not sure if you’ve read it. Thought you might be interested in doing a guest post about something I would want to remember. It would be subject to me as an editor and likely writing a preface…. 

The purpose of my blog is so that I don’t forget any of it, and I would love one day to remember a piece of my life through your eyes.”

And this is what she wrote:

Endings — by Christine Delay

I seem to be swimming in them lately. Years ago, our beginning was born from an epic one at that. You ask me what I remember of that time, those places, these people we still know who have grown their limbs in subtle ways. I can tell you that I am still sitting by that window in that grungy apartment on Robert Street, having dinner for the first time speaking in excited spurts, like comic book bubbles bursting with idealistic hope. I can tell you that my hope was spotty at best but my idealism big and true, strong like a submarine. I remember my surprise when weeks later we were neighbours and together we muddled through, in the prime of our lives, and anxious to see what was up ahead just beyond the scope of our reach. I remember mistakes, but they are not so important unless we see them for the bricks they really were. I remember loud, reckless weekends followed by sullen Sundays spent aimlessly roaming the streets in packs, just happy to have each other. And then Mondays.

Chain smoking. We did a lot of that. Fires, and love, dishes done together, children and then adults, near misses, long shots… and now babies and jobs. I don’t remember crossing that bridge. 

Mostly I don’t know what I remember from those days. As I sit and rummage through the snippets of fractured memory made blurry by time’s passage, I hear the buzz of many conversations, and feel the anticipation of the night’s beginning. Yet it is done and I am done with it, for there is not enough room in the past for me. But let me say this. I remember you, and I miss you. I remember you, and I do… I miss you. 

That time, just like a river. It is a beast, this creature that breathes and pulses full of currents of blood. Like the hair in the mane, mostly unaware that it is a part of something larger. 

I remember that it happened and I hope that it mattered. Mostly I remember that we were children then adults, near misses, long shots…. fires, love, and dishes done – together.

The Night We Met , totally money.

We didn’t have a clue what was in store for us.

It sounds thin.

So Sunday was like a super bonus day.  It was so beautiful–warm and sunny and breezy.  It. was. great.

We got up and did the usual morning stuff, then we went to Sneaky Dee’s for brunch!  Marigold has never been to Sneaky Dee’s before, and I don’t care what anyone says.  I fucking love the brunch there.

I’ll have a grilled cheese.

We sat in one of the back booths on the right hand side, which is like my favourite place to sit.  Then I started thinking about the first time I had brunch there, And then I started thinking about what Toronto was like when I first moved here and all the things I felt.  I really do love Toronto.  In fact, just this morning I was sitting on the street car riding along Queen looking up at all the 3 floors of all the old buildings  The faded signs, the graffiti.  The shops and the restaurants and even the grimy Queen and Bathurst.  And I absolutely love the feelings I have about Toronto.

Recently a friend asked me if I would ever move back to Niagara… St. Catharines to be specific.  And actually I think she may have even slightly implied that I would be moving back there someday.  The thought has never even crossed my mind.  Not even when I retire.  I can’t imagine living anywhere other than right here.

I am terrified, though, that this house will get sold and I will have to move again.  It’s such a terrible thing.  I do love this apartment.

Ugh–today I just felt so wretched.  Slowly though, as I think about the things that I love, I’m beginning to cheer up.  My little rascal-face is sleeping upstairs, and so is her dad.  I can hear the cat snoring from here, just slightly louder than The Breeders.

The more time that I spending loving things (people, places, times, things), the happier I am.  I have not spent a considerable amount of time loving in the last couple of days, and I feel like that MUST have played a significant role in my foul mood earlier.

I love Martin
I love Marigold
I love my apartment
I love my cat
I love my blog
I love my commute to work
I love my friends
I love the city
I love my street
I love my boss
I love my coworkers
I love streetcars
I love the Paper Place
I love that poster of Trinity Bellwoods that you can see/get at the Type bookstore
I love Andrew McCarthy, circa 1986
I love the Smiths
I love my perfume
I love friendships
I love walking
I love makeup
I love my hair
I love my skin
I love pyrex
I love food, oh god HOW COULD I FORGET THAT I LOVE FOOD.
I LOVE MUSIC. I almost forgot that too!

Anyways, how can anyone feel bad after so much love?

Literally this song just came on at random.  Have a listen while you check out the pictures.

 

You Wanted a Hit.

If you want a hit, you’ve got to make it happen.
I fuck things up all the time. Like seriously, all. the. time.
Somehow I keep doing the exact opposite of what I want to do. There are things I want to be better at. 
Things that I want to improve. And for eff sakes, it takes a lot of fucking focus and determination.  Mostly it’s just shit that only I notice. The impact on others is minimal, I’m sure. Maybe it’s not. Who knows.
The bottom line is that I have a lot to do and I’m having a hard time staying on top of life. I don’t mean menial daily tasks–I washed the bathroom floor with baby wipes while Marigold was in the bath the other night. Wait, does that make me a bad mother?? Whatever, it was efficient.
I’m talking about personal improvements, quality of life goals. Making things better for other people. Having an impact. Living an extraordnary life. And doing it all in a way that makes sense for my little family.

I want a hit. And maybe just wanting it is enough? Because I still feel pretty good.

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I always wanted a window seat…

So I made my own.  For every second that I find myself falling in love with my home, I have ten seconds of anxiety–worrying that my landlord is going to sell the house and I am going to have to move again. It’s not incredibly likely, but you never know.

I am becoming increasingly benign to the colour on the walls. We moved the bed and I moved curtains. Still some odds and ends to do…especially in our bedroom. But, tonight, this made me very happy:




 
Before
 
After

 

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Duel in the Dale

Somehow, I managed to get evicted. Again. I have never been behind in rent, never damaged an apartment, and never, well mostly never, have I ever been loud to the point of disrupting the neighbours. And that one time the neighbours were really pissed doesn’t actually count since they were a bunch dicks anyways.

At the end of the day, none of the good tenant qualities matter in a situation where your domicile is the preferred unit of residence by the owner of the property, or one of their immediate family members. You may recall, the same thing happened when I lived with Gord on Spencer, but the landlord, who turned out to be this incredible artist, wasn’t such a jerk about it. He gave us a discount on our rent, and he was, in fact moving in to our place. He fixed it up real nice and is still happily living at 104.

This last experience we were not as fortunate, but it just wasn’t a good fit for us all around in the first place. The apartment was too small, it had bad energy, zero privacy, and I really wasn’t all that crazy about the neighbourhood. We had moved there to save money, as the place was a real steal, but it just really wasn’t going to work out for us in the long term.  And thus, getting kicked out was a blessing in disguise.  A huge blessing.

I’m back in Parkdale  We’re all in Parkdale.  Living in my Parkdale House of Dreams.  And while, frankly my life isn’t even remotely as romantic as that sounds, it really doesn’t matter because I am home.  I knew one day I’d find my way back here.  And it is a beautiful apartment.  I could live here for the rest of my life.

I haven’t been writing mostly because I don’t have time, but I really don’t even feel inspired to write anything. And such is the course of my life, there are big gaps in my diaries for years that I went without writing, and then something would just eat at me until I had to write about it.

I used to write about boys.  I used to write about how disappointed I was in my appearance, and how I wanted to be cooler.  I used to write about what I was watching on television and what my friends were doing.  I used to write about my relationships, and their challenges.  The regretful choices and decisions I had made.

I later turned to writing in celebration of the choices I had made, the relationships I maintained, and the joy that permiated through every waking and semi waking, moment of my life. Those times were a very happy time for everyone, to be sure.

A few weeks ago, someone said to me “you really have a hard time accepting where you’re at in life”.  It may have been more of a question than a statement, I guess, but not exactly the comforting words you were expecting to hear from your friend and confidant, who obviously didn’t quite grasp the weight those words could carry.

There’s always this constant struggle where my lazy, complacent side manages somehow to win the war of sitting on the couch versus doing something to make things better.  The just-get-by-at-work-because-I-don’t-have-the-energy attitude is fighting a battle against my once overwhelming desire to be the employee of the minute every gd minute of the gd day.

Yes, I am sad from time to time because I’ve gained 70+ pounds that cannot be construed as “baby weight” (the poundage came along long before Marigold did).  I am sad because it’s hard to kick ass at my new-ish job, because I am not a subject matter expert, and of course the job is still new-ish.  I am frustrated about relationships that used to be easy and fluid, which now, are basically non existent or strained because circumstances have changed and/or the common ground has dissipated.

Trust me, I’m not about to wake up tomorrow, start a fucking smoothie diet, quit smoking and have that first day of the rest of my life moment or anything, but I still want to keep trying to choose the better, the good, the more. I want to feel the sadness and the pain too, of the things that I struggle with and know that even though I may not have the time to accomplish the good the better the more, that it’s ok to miss it.

The distractions, and I use that term most affectionately, are temporary, but the rewards are invaluable.  The external demands on my life have a profound impact on who I am and how I spend my time.  And it will change me and strengthen me in ways I can’t even imagine.  So, those words were heavy.  Heavy enough to stop me in my tracks.  Heavy enough to keep me replaying the conversation in my head over and over. But, only in such a way that brings me to the conclusion that, no, it’s not that I have a hard time accepting where I’m at in life, I just want more.

I greatly admire those women who have incredibly successful careers running interesting businesses, doing what they’re passionate about, having all their shit together, children on top of it all, and seemingly still time to spare.  And I hope that one day, driven by my desire to live an extraordinary life, I’ll be able to accomplish a fraction of what I want to do in my heart of hearts and modestly fulfill the better portion of my purpose here on earth.