Well that was a wacky Friday us Canadians had, no internet and for some of us bundled with Rogers *points at self, no phone either. People were all up in arms about it and I do think it was very disturbing that no one could even call 911 on their Rogers phones but otherwise, honestly, I had a pretty chill day. I still had cable, watched some pretty great movies – Land (Robin Wright) very slow but very intense and yes, I cried. Highly recommend. And I watched the remake of Total Recall with Jessica Biel, Colin Farrell and (blech to her and her acting) Kate Beckinsale. It was a pretty good remake, I didn’t hate it.
In other news, my contract is finishing this Thursday and then, once again, I’m unemployed which is a bit scary but also, I want some time off so I’m passively job hunting at the moment. Plus I can still get some cash on the side from finishing up LJ’s books and honestly, I could probably do that for a year and get enough money to get by. So we’ll see how she goes. The thing is I hate being in her shop but oh well. Guess I’ll have to suck it up buttercup.
Sadly I’m still wretchedly single, although I have been making some lovely new friends. I have a couple of prospects on the horizon but I’m not saying anything more than that because just when I think some guy is interested in me he disappears into the ether these days. I can’t believe what the internet has done to dating, like pretty much ruined it tbh. But right now I have three dudes that I’m talking to that are of interest and a new friend Gerrit who is lovely and kind of looks after me in a way. He’s like a big brother. Hubert and I are still friends as it goes but with his schedule and mine we have not hung out really at all since we got back from Mexico and honestly, unless he looks at what he also did wrong there, there’s no point in us hanging out. He thinks it’s all my fault and he did nothing wrong. So I still harbour a lot of resentment about the whole situation and so does he, only part of his resentment is misguided. Some is totally warranted but not all.
The dogs are wonderful and I don’t think I’d still be alive if I didn’t have them. I hate living alone BUT I’m not just going to move someone in to not be lonely. One of the dudes I’m chatting with goes away a lot for work, he’d be an ideal candidate in that regard. That’s what I need, a roommate that travels extensively – that would be the golden ticket (well, you know, providing there’s not another wretched lockdown).
My place is lovely right now, the patio looks stunning and the weather has been just gorgeous lately although, except for my weekly bike group I’ve been rather sloth like. Depression is a killer for motivation but I am going to light a spark under my butt and get out more. Just made plans with a friend to go to Sunnyside Beach next week. Funny, I’ve never been to that beach, I always go east. So technically this will be a new adventure. Right that’s my blather for today. If anyone actually read this, hope you’re well and have a wonderful day!
Welp, it’s Pride is quickly looming. May go and visit the boys, may not. Would definitely go if they invited me but I haven’t really heard from them much post-Travis. Not even sure how Kyle’s doing after the operation, but he did an interview on CP24 so I assume okay.
I actually got my ass out of the house this weekend and went to Wiggle Room, had a great time dancing and an even better time after with one hella cute boy. Would like to see him again, truth be told, I have a bit of a crush but we’ll see. He’s not a relationship dude at all so I’m trying to be cool about it. OMG it’s been so long since I crushed on someone feels kind of nice even if it ends up only being fleeting, it’s still nice to actually feel something again. Especially after the last three absolute duds – damn that was a long run of losers! I am NEVER using dating apps again.
And this is someone I could hang out with and not want to punch in the face I think, so there’s that. I just messaged him a “great meeting you” message after the fact and he replied back but I’m not sure what the etiquette is after that, so I’m just going to wait a few days and if I don’t hear from him, I guess I’ll suck it up and message him. Plus I know he was working last night and he’ll probably spend today recuperating …
I’m still hoping to go to Summer Camp in August but we’ll see.
Oh last time I wrote I never even wrote about my two new dogs Rai-Rai (the Beagle/Dalmatian cross) and Miss Cici the chihuahua. Two girls now.
I thought it would be way more chill with two females but a lot of times they are jealous of each other and I kind of miss that male rambunctious energy tbh. Rai is sweet as pie but I almost had to rehome her because of bladder issues, but at the 11th hour a friend made a suggestion and I said yes, I’d try anything. It’s this stuff called Soy Isoflavones and it has naturally occurring estrogen so both me and the girls take it and they don’t pee and my night sweats are barely there.
Rai also sheds more than any dog I’ve ever had, like I’m talking loses her whole coat pretty much every day … but she is a sweetie and I’m happy with my girls. And it’s really cool their birthday’s are only a month apart and they are the same age, both going to be nine this year. I think I got Rai in her sixth year and Cici pretty much a year later.
I still miss all my other dogs and sometimes I cry about it, but not a lot. Just sometimes it’ll just hit me and bam, tears.
Patio’s spectacular this year. Again, wishing I had someone to hang out with on it but … ah well, guess it could be worse. I could still be stuck in some crappy, not making me happy relationship.
I’m just basically using this for journalling now, no one reads it anyway (no offence if you’re actually reading this, then bless you!) But I’m bored of just writing into the ether and no one reading it anyway, so I closed my online journal and I’m just using this as a journal instead. It’s funny, so many people all “oh my privacy” when in actual fact this world is now so egocentric as a whole you could pretty much put your whole life on a billboard and if it was more than three sentences most people wouldn’t even bother reading it.
I haven’t really written at all anywhere during COVID. I just didn’t feel like it, or, when I did I was too exhausted from working or looking for work and mostly because what the fuck was there to write about really? The thing is, I’m comfortable. I like my life, I like my place. My dogs are lovely. I have terrific friends and I’ve got everything I need. That teenage angst is long gone and I’m just settling into my golden years here and just humming along.
I got fired from McMillan which wasn’t too much of a surprise, however I really think they sucked at training me and I could have done better if I was in with the in crowd on the other floor where all the talent was. Oh well. So then I didn’t work for about six months and the fuckers at the government under taxed me so I’m broke AND I owe money for taxes – what a bunch of shit. Right now I’m coming to the tail end of a 6-month contract with PwC and honestly I’ve been loving it but I’ll be quite content to take the summer off and collect EI and see if I can’t find another contract position or whatever in the fall. If it were up to me I’d just fucking retire now and just live a very humble and frugal life. This is one of those times I honestly wished I knew when I was going to die, ’cause if it was like at 65 or 70 I could totally just wing it but if it’s 80 or 90, nope I have to plan for my future … sigh.
Mom’s going through cancer treatment but she seems to be doing well, except for all the side effects and she’s very thin and frail now. She’s been riding her bike but honestly that terrifies me because she’s so fragile, one fall and she’ll likely break something major. Oh well, can’t tell her what to do obviously. She finally fucking sold her standard car (she had it for 23 years – wow) because her knee has been locking up and she was finally scared enough of that that she got rid of the car. So at least that’s something. She says she’s not in a rush to buy another one and I suspect she’ll be fine during the nice weather but that will change as soon as it gets colder. I might talk to Jason and see if he won’t see to getting her another one but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already on it.
I was kind of pissed that she has Jason listed as the sole overseer of her estate. I thought it was kind of shitty that she just excluded the girls altogether but not at all surprising coming from someone who still refers to Chinese people as “the Chinese” I can’t even at how prejudiced she is in that regard. But then I thought about it and that means he can sort all the shit out with her funeral and her house and whatever and I won’t have to do shit, so that’s kind of cool.
It’s really nice that she comes to see me almost every Saturday and we just sit around, in the winter I put on a program for her that she likes and we sit on the couch with the dogs and in the summer we’re on the patio. I got some great lounge furniture, tossed the table and a bunch of other crap (will probably get rid of more stuff later on) and now it’s like being in a cabana on vacation and it’s so much nicer to sit around outside. I got the furniture and a bunch of cushions used and only paid $300 but I’d really like to get LJ to make some better cushions for me, with some Danielle colour in them. The ones I have right now are beige – blech! And I went to try and take one of the covers off to wash it and couldn’t unzip it so I think their days are numbered.
It’s been so beautiful and warm the last week or so, it was an amazing reprieve after the long, cold and grey winter. Today is grey and rainy but it’s perfect for a Monday, suits me just fine and we needed some rain. We still didn’t get enough, and, as usual, my weather app is so off. Saying it’s raining right now when there’s not a drop in the sky – I’m sure it’s raining somewhere in Toronto, just not where I am. I wish they’d come up with an app that was a little more localized by area but I doubt that’ll happen anytime soon.
So I joined a group called The Neon Riders last year. I was feeling REALLY isolated and alone so I joined this bike group and honestly, it’s one of the best things I ever did. Sadly, I had to miss the first two rides because I got the Omni and OMG it is so not like the good old-fashioned flu. It was brutal! I was wiped out for two weeks pretty much. I’d start to feel better and then bam, I’d be wiped out again. I still don’t have my sense of smell or taste back, although it seems to be coming back a little bit now. Anyway, this Thursday I get to on my inaugural ride and it’s awesome because I don’t have to work on Friday so if I burn myself out it’ll be fine.
I’m kind of sad my new wonderful friend Gerrit won’t be here but I’m happy for him because right now he’s back home in The Netherlands hanging with his bestie. But tomorrow he’s off to Scotland and then the UK so not much of a holiday, more like a just passing through type thing lol. Ten days and three or four different countries … mind you it’s a lot different in Europe than here what with everything being so close together.
I’ve connected with a lot of old friends over the last little while. I try and make best efforts to get in touch and hang out but it seems like a lot of them just aren’t interested. Like Susan M is always near my neighbourhood posting pictures of her and her dog and I’ve mentioned so many times we should get together for a doggie date but she never reaches out so fuck her. I’ve also tried with Binky many times. She came over once but then nothing so off to the bin she goes until I run into her somewhere random and hang out. But funnily enough Paula reached out after all this time and is in town and is coming by tonight to have a glass of wine and a chat. That will be surreal after some 30 years. She might even stay here for a couple of days before she heads back to Vancouver. Lucky sod is living on Vancouver Island now. Now there’s somewhere I wouldn’t mind living. But let’s be real, I’m probably not going anywhere.
All the festival type things are starting to ramp up again but the only one I’m interested in is Summer Camp. Hubert will be working it, I told him I really want to go but he didn’t really respond so I’m not sure about that. Hopefully I’ll get to go to LJ’s cottage a couple of times this summer. Next winter I’m hoping to go and stay with Greg at his villa in Costa Rica. He’s really done a wonderful job with it and I hope he starts getting some income from it so he can keep working on it.
Since I last wrote I’m down a dog. Sherman passed away abruptly – he was only nine. It was terrible and to this day I think it’s my fault for giving him drugs that fucked up his stomach. But he was always slightly sickly and who knows, maybe there was some underlying thing I don’t know about. I had a $1,500 operation for Anise in 2020 and it was totally worth it – well actually the operation was $700 and all the tests beforehand were $800 – crazy. But anyway, she had this lump and it was fine for several years and then in a couple of months it just grew huge. It was benign. Markus removed it, fixed her spay and she got an inadvertent tummy tuck so she looks pretty amazing for a 16-year-old cat. She’s still going out and jumping up on the fence but she is slowing down a bit. I think she might make it to like 20 or something ’cause she’s pretty healthy.
She still has food issues and I still have to feed her little bits at a time but she hardly ever barfs anymore compared to before so that’s good. It was up a bit in the spring but that’s because she was eating all my fucking plants. Now that they’re not accessible much less barf.
I hitchhiked 3,726 km (according to Google) or 2,315 miles for you oldies … by myself when I was 14 years old. I lived at the height of the Greco-Roman empire (without the male dominance mind) in these modern times and now Rome is falling and I can’t imagine what it must be like for kids now. My youth, while (obviously) not idyllic, was, in retrospect friggin’ amazeballs! I grew up in the late 70s, 80s and 90s so I got THE BEST music and because I love so many different kinds of music I went to every venue there was. I danced to disco, live punk, love rock, djs playing rock, house, techno, soul … OMG you name it, I danced to it. In the early 80s I was the only white, female security at the Concert Hall for all the hip-hop shows, that was an experience!
The pandemic has put the kibosh on this and it is tragic that people are not able to go out and let loose – not that they really can these days with everyone with their camera phones out, everything getting filmed and people so disjointed there is no capability to actually lose yourself the way we did. Very sad. I was thinking that we should start creating immersive events where part of the deal is you are not allowed to bring your phone in so people could actually relax and experience it without feeling judged and put upon – so you could well and truly dance like no one’s watching. Even once the pandemic isolation is over, the days of dilapidated warehouse parties and punks living in falling down, abandoned buildings are over in Toronto. As with most things, ruined by money – our skyline rivals NY with all it’s condo skyscrapers, etc., but I digress.
Yeah, so I ran away a lot when I was young – starting at 11 years old! I used to hitchhike with a friend from Mississauga to Hamilton and back when I was 12 for something to do on the weekends. We’d get guys to pick us up, we’d smoke weed with them and hang out and then get out, simply cross the road and hitchhike back. Mississauga is a huge city now but when I was growing up there, there was literally a horse farm at the bottom of the hill where I lived and exactly two malls – Woodchester Mall and Sheridan Mall to hang out at. I also spent a lot of time hanging out and getting high with the gas station attendant at (I think) Sheridan Mall. Suffice to say my memory’s not the greatest (don’t look at me like that, it’s genetic not the weed (which ironically, now that it’s legal, I cannot smoke at all anymore) – my Mom has never smoked, drank (very occasionally and I think I’ve seen her drunk once in my life) or done drugs and my memory is stellar compared to her). Because of always having a shite memory and being aware of this I’ve actually developed some techniques over the years so I don’t spend time looking for stuff that I’ve misplaced as much – that has saved me a lot of sanity. I must have wasted weeks if not months in my twenties looking for my house keys … ah well, better late than never!
My childhood was hella lame, will not get into details or the blame game, almost everyone has their “stuff”, no need to go into it – let’s face it, our traumas are only relevant and interesting to us and maybe shrinks or psychologists – anyone else listening is liable to zone out and fall off their chair while I (or anyone) was on with the ‘woe is me’ story. So I started running away when I was 11 and by the time I was 13 was in a group home for truancy; don’t worry kids, I’ll wait while you look it up. Back in my day, this, in fact, was a huge issue and yes, punishable by incarceration in a juvenile facility. While I was happy to no longer be the whipping boy at home, this was a whole ‘nother level of abusive. When I first got there I was put on “hand hold” – like you had to hold the staff’s hand ALL THE TIME, then it was room check, floor check and then you got outside privileges. They were called Viking Houses (here’s a cite for you Attorney General (Ontario) and Viking Houses v. Peel – SCC Cases (scc-csc.ca) 😉). Although my address was 35 Tyndall Avenue, although it’s been fixed up and remodeled, the façade is much the same as it was back then which is kind of interesting. I’ve gone by a few times and just walking by the house gives me butterflies.
They were eventually shut down because their methods were considered too controversial, i.e. if a kid acted out and had a tantrum they would do a “holding” where they would literally physically restrain the person until they calmed down. And being on handhold in public was excruciatingly embarrassing to a young teenager, but then again, isn’t everything lol. Honestly, I don’t know what I think in terms of how this impacted me psychologically. I do know that it was leaps and bounds above being in a juvenile detention centre. I’ve never tried to remember or reach out to any of the other kids that were there with me. I still remember my lawyer’s name though – Barry Edington.
I was there for a year and a half, got all my privileges and promptly ran away again – (that was the 3,700 km trek by myself from Toronto to Alberta – would not recommend). Although I was pretty well-versed in the safety aspects of travelling by thumb I got picked up by a trucker who wanted something I wasn’t willing to give and he dumped me off, amidst a huge snowstorm, on this bend where you couldn’t really see me. I stood there for nearly three hours thinking “oh great so I die by freezing to death on the side of a highway”. My hands and feet were numb as hell and I was going into hypothermic shock I’m sure when a Datsun truck finally came into view (the first vehicle in the three hours I’d been standing there), I stuck out my thumb hopefully and watched as it zipped by. As I was just about to give up hope I heard the screech of tires and the truck backing up. A lovely hippie guy (long brown hair, glasses and a wonderfully warm smile) came to a stop and flung the door open for me and greeted with “I almost missed you there, that’s a horrible spot to be in, you can barely see you!”
I clambered in and put my hands up against the blasting heat, so thankful. That man saved my life. But the best part of all was he had one of those 1970s tartan thermos with the red lid and he opened it up and asked if I wanted some coffee. Best coffee I have ever had in my whole life! I have no idea where he picked me up or dropped me off for that matter. I don’t remember his name or anything of pertinent value but I do know that was one of my many lives that got saved that day and I am forever thankful for karma being on my side that day. I wonder if I had died out there if I would have even made the news … luckily I will always have to wonder.
Alberta was another experience all unto itself but that is a story for another time.
Okay, as I sit here half corked at my computer waiting to be able to log off from my “new” job (only a 6-month contract – got let go during COVID – so fucking lucky to live in a country that helps during economic crisis so had EI – I am truly blessed in so many ways … but I digress – as I am wont to do, please bare with me.) Where was I? Oh yeah, we’re fucked.
I was supposed to be compiling something about my plight during COVID but dude, I grew up at the height of the Roman Empire (70s, 80s, 90s), if you’re new, Google it and see how we lived pre-cell phone, internet era – dudes it was off the hook and no recordings, so no regrets, no splashed all over the internet – we got to actually LIVE – anyone reading this at this point who is not borne in the sixties or before (and that’s not going to be a lot, if any – gawd damned plebs when it comes to social media and the internet – but damn boi, can you blame them?!) despite their intellect will only have an abstract concept of what I am about to bestow upon you. Love, light and NO RECORD OF WHAT YOU DID – hell to the L, ya!
I LOVE music, all kinds of music and the BEST thing in the whole wide world for me is to let lose and cut a rug (https://owlcation.com/humanities/Origins-of-Romantic-Idioms-and-Phrases). Granted, when I grew up it was a phrase that was well past its due date but still it was valid. In this immediate gratification society of today it is heartbreaking to me how you have no sense of history, tradition and the things that used to be carried forward from generation to generation are now lost – [put in still of people staring at screens].
So back to music. Because I was so diversified compared to most – “I’m rock and roll”, “I’m a punk”, “I’m a goth”, “I’m into disco” … I was Danielle and I went everywhere and danced to everything.
The first bar I remember (please bare with me if stuff is out of sequence, hazy or misrepresented, I’m just going on vague recollections here and my my memory is haphazard and/or missing pieces, or some non-memory I’ve embellished to seem real … and that is why this shall be called fiction. Although, truth be told A LOT of it really is me and stuff I did) – so the bar … It was called the Upstairs Sidedoor and it was either just below Yonge … I think off of Gerrard or Dundas [will get lost down worm hole trying to find ANY information on this place later) … I’m figuring Dundas (hothead of wheeling and dealing, drugs and hookers). I was underage when I first went there I think – anywhere from 14 to 18 and it was stellar! – Yeah, let’s cut the difference and say I was 16.
I still have this memory of walking up this incredibly rickety and narrow staircase that was ill lit and squishy on impact – I’m sure it was riddled with mold under the (what I imagine was at one time) red, now mud-like carpeting put the stairs and of course, turning to the side and going in. Upstairs, Side Door – like literally!
Anywhoo – the door opened and the music and the outfits and the atmosphere – I was aghast, I almost fainted from happiness! I was one of maybe a handful of white people in the place and the rest were all literally pimps and hos and MAN were they decked out. I mean like fedoras with feathers, matching three-piece suits, canes with gold encrusted handles – women in heels that defied gravity and so much shiny material and sparkly stuff I just grinned from ear to ear – and then the music!!! OMG I was in heaven and I just was drawn to the dance floor and following the rhythm and soon I was amidst this throng of people and it was a small place just jam-packed with people and not well ventilated so on the dance floor everyone was hot, sweaty and writhing against each other.
I think I was one of the few people there too who wasn’t “working” (pimp, ho, dealer). In retrospect I was SO FUCKING PRIVILEGED to even be let into that place – not sure how I did the things I did back then but …
It didn’t occur to me until many, many years later that I had managed to permeate so many culture barriers by being there at that time. I never saw colour so much as I saw people who could and could not dance. And I will NEVER change my mind about this and I don’t care how wrong it is to say it – white people CANNOT fucking dance. So I followed the rhythm and it is anything be it white, black, Hispanic, pick an African country … anything with heat IMHO. I think white people can’t dance because they were born cold. And then there was me (granted there are a few of us, but sadly we are few and far between) – most of us are doing the two-step shuffle or that – oh my fuck, so amusing and I shouldn’t laugh but, almost beat dancers … you’re looking and you’re like … yeeesh, so close to the beat but OOOOFFFF nope, not quite there yet – and my all time favourites, the ones who are completely off the beat entirely and do this weird hand, foot random punch, kick thing while they’re dancing, or, you know, on the verge of a seizure – I’ma go out on a limb here and hope that y’all know I am in no way cowtowing to “norms” or “politically correct” in this tale. So – that said – I used it work at a place called Club Z and we would have Asian nights – this was where this display was most prolific. [Insert video later of my interpretation of such dancing.] And, I have to say – this took MANY, MANY years of emulating in order to even get this close, and some say I still have too much rhythm.
Not that anyone will read this but … I am publishing as I go and this will probably not be finished for months or years but I’ve finally started!