Thanks for Making Me A Better Smartass, Apple.

I should not be allowed to have any kind of ability to message memes or GIFs to other people on my contact list.  It can easily get out of hand and I will substitute actual words for a video clip.  It’s like Apple decided I shouldn’t speak, but allow others to do the talking for me, so they give me all of these options of random celebrities doing awesome facial expressions like rolling their eyes or sticking out their tongues or giving people the finger…you know, stuff I do all of the time, only now I can get Beyonce to do it for me!  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!  I can be Beyonce without actually being Beyonce.

Conversation has taken a back seat to Justin Timberlake dancing or a random actor rolling their eyes or even Prince looking bored and uninterested.  If my kids ask me a question, they brace themselves waiting to see if I respond with actual words, or a short vid of Honey Boo Boo dancing like a maniac.

Apple has made it so easy for me to basically dumb down any communication to a glib video response instead of a long drawn out ‘okay’  or ‘Thanks for letting me know’ or the ever popular ‘WTF?!’ Now all I need is a search term and a little patience to scroll through all the video clips, then pick the best one and voila!  My answer to the question of ‘what’s for dinner?’  ‘Did you remember to pick up Son?’  or ‘I got an A on my paper!’ is as easy as typing ‘dinner’ and I get clips of food and people eating food and sarcastic memes about food, all at my fingertips waiting for me to push send.  The possibilities are as endless as the videos and when I run out of them, I simply type in another search term and BAM, more choices to be sarcastic without even typing a single word!  APPLE FINALLY GETS ME.

There is a downside to my laziness…the written/spoken word is diminishing before my eyes and I’m unwittingly supporting it.  I’m a major contributor to the degradation of society by allowing myself to fall victim to the temptation of random video responses!  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME?!

I know what’s wrong with me.

It’s easy.  It’s fun.  It’s engaging.  It’s smartassiness at its finest and I FUCKING LOVE IT.

I enjoy the search for the videos and the reactions I get when I send them.  I like seeing the funny face or the OMG STOP IT, from my kids or my friends who I bother at work…or in the middle of the night.  You can even do it while you’re drunk, and people will just think you’re being a smartass.  Not that I’ve ever done that, before.   I think I should actually text words a little more often.  Everyone may be expecting a video response every time they message me, so they’ll stop messaging me and then they’ll stop speaking to me.  Pretty soon, they won’t even want to text or talk or anything!  I WILL LOSE ALL COMMUNICTATION WITH MY CHILDREN AND MY FRIENDS ALL BECAUSE TAYLOR SWIFT HAS A BETTER EYE ROLL THAN ME!    SOCIETY WILL COME TO SCREECHING HALT AND CONVERSATION WILL BE OBLITERATED IN THE FAVOUR OF A BEYONCE HAIR FLIP!  EVERYBODY WILL THINK I’M A WICKED SMARTASS BECAUSE OF THE FLIPPANT VIDEOS DRIPPING WITH SARCASM AND SASSINESS!

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Now, I’m not only the worst conversationalist ever, I’m the BEST smartass ever.

Way to go Apple.  YOU JUST MADE MY LIFE.

A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Tattoo Studio…

Apparently, when you turn fifty something inexplicable happens to your brain.  Decisions are made based on what would be fun, or what could transform a little life into something exciting.  Looking down the tunnel towards old age, it gets necessary to move in a more forward thinking direction.  What have I not done in my life that I really should do?  Like, now.  Do now.   Take a plunge.  Leap. Dance.  Get a tattoo.

A tattoo?  Yes.   With Daughter.  She asked me and in an instant I said ‘yes’.  I didn’t even hesitate or flinch.  I just jumped in. No debating, no weighing the options, just jumped.  It’s only a little ink, right?

Let’s do it.  She was so excited.  I was too…until we walked into the tattoo studio for our consultation and then I realized it was actually happening. A permanent drawing on my body.  Ready?  Hmm….

Oh, sure there was a lot of checking with me to see if I was on board.  Was I sure?  Daughter and I looked over literally hundreds of designs.  What size?  Did we want colour?  How about the image itself?  There were many I nixed based on size.  There were more she declined based on simplicity. I was going for simple.  At my age, simple was imperative.  A few weeks later and we had our first appointment.

We made our way down to the studio.  A little red door on a downtown street.  Colourful art and sketches cover the wall of an old walk-up; aged wooden floorboards creaked beneath our feet; plaster ceilings and vintage crown moldings.  There was a park bench and an old tattoo chair adorning a tiny living room complete with sofa and coffee table. Directly across from the green micro-fibre sofa hung precariously from an old nail, a shrunken pirate head with ginger beard and eye patch.  Perfect.

We sat down with the artist in that room to go over our ideas for our tattoos.  She was a young woman, grey haired and sweet.  I saw no visible tattoos, however, just peeking out from under the hiked-up sleeve of her sweater I could see a black swirl like the wispy end of a tail.  Ah, there it is.

She asked questions.  Allayed our fears.  Calmed me down a bit.  We went through our ideas and she took the time to get to know exactly what we had in mind.

We chose daisies and asked the artist to do a sketch and send it to us just so we could imagine what it would look like permanently inked on our skin.

The day of the appointment arrived and Daughter picked me up.  She was so excited, how could I not be?  She went first.  Watching the tattoo artist was like watching somebody paint a picture while doing a bit of surgery at the same time.  There’s the whir of the instrument, the chatter of voices and the wincing of Daughter’s face.  She was so determined not to move, she made herself shake.  I asked Daughter what it felt like and she said it was like somebody scratching at your skin.  Nothing painful.  Huh.  That wincing face, though.

She was done in thirty minutes.  A quick change up for the room to be disinfected and cleaned up and it was my turn.  Ugh.  My brain started going into overdrive.  Was it too big, really?  Maybe she can scale it down to one daisy…then mine would be different than Daughter’s and that would defeat the purpose.  I was back in the room with the shrunken pirate head.  I think I heard him sneer at me, “Oh, whaddya ascared of a little tattoo?!  Pfft…sure if I had arms, I’d show ya all mine!  Dey were good’uns, they were.  All done by a sailor with a hook for a hand and a needle dipped in black ink.  Hehehe…good ol’ days, dey were.  A’course I may ‘ave been a wee bit over da limit wit da rum, if ya catch me drift….”  ‘Oh, my Gawd will ya shut it, pirate!  Can’t ya see I’m panicking here?!’    “Jasus, girl it’s only a bit o’ink.  Nuttin’ to git yer panties in a knot o’er.  An daisies at dat!  Pffft…wuss.  Well, if ye were on ma boat-“      ‘YOU DON’T HAVE A BODY LET ALONE A BOAT!   TOO BAD YOU STILL HAVE A MOUTH! KEEP TALKIN’ CAPTAIN JACK AND I’LL PITCH YOU OUT INTO THE HARBOUR! ’    “Take it easy, Missy!  Where’s me rum…”  ‘ NOW, you’re talkin’…..’

She came out to get me and we were off.

She attached the design to my lower leg first to make sure the placement was accurate and straight.  Then I hopped up on the table and she set to work.  I was on my side, so I was able to have a lovely view of the harbour while she worked.  I think she did that intentionally.  Smart girl.  Captain Jack was laughing it up out in the living room, I’m sure of it.   I asked her intelligent questions like “Has anyone passed out from this before?  Ever been accidently kicked or swatted while tattooing?  What’s the biggest tattoo you’ve ever done and how long did it take you?  Anybody ever vomit on your table?”

She answered my questions with a degree of concern making sure I wasn’t going to do any of those things to her.  Nope.  All good.  Except for that annoying scratching.  “That’s the tattoo.”  Oh.  Then I’m good.

It went well.  The tattoos look great.

I wonder what my next adventure will be…hmmm.

As for Captain Jack, I don’t think we’ll be seeing each other any time soon, although I thought I could hear a verse of  ‘Yo Ho Ho and A Bottle of Rum’ as we were walking out the door….

 

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The Print Behind The Basement Door

I have a print that I bought when I lived in Toronto during my college days. It’s black and white with guys in a band playing their instruments on water.  When I bought it, my friend was with me and said “it’s you”.  So it became mine.  It adorned my walls from then (late 1980’s) until I got married.  It took up wall space in the first house, however, was relocated to spare rooms and basement dwellings since.  It has survived three kids, six moves, three provinces and random garbage purges where Hubby has threatened to throw it out never to be seen by anyone we know again.  I would always retrieve it and place it back in the confines of a secret hideout where I would hope Hubby would not notice it or try to remove it for a garage sale down the street.

  Hubby has, on numerous occasions, proclaimed it ‘inappropriate’ for visitors to see.  I thought it was awesome then, and I still think its awesome now.  I always take his lamenting over my 80’s print as verbal manifestations of a childhood lacking in fine art instruction and I immediately pooh-pooh his suggestions for trashing it.

It is currently sitting idly beside our refrigerator in the basement behind a door; hidden from view and any visitors coming in and giving him that perplexed “WTF?” look.  At least, that’s the look he thinks people will give him.  I, on the other hand, would expect expressions of  “Gee, that’s the best black and white print of guys playing instruments on water while jumping excitedly, that I have ever seen!” and “Where did you get such one of a kind art?” and the BEST comment EVER:  “That’s fucking awesome”.  Yeah, that’s what I expect.  I think the general public should be given the opportunity to comment on the complete awesomeness of my taste in musical art.  I have taken a picture of my print for your perusal.  Comment below.

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As for the visitors being hurt by viewing such a wonderful piece, I think it’s worth the risk.  My print should come out of the shadows and take a place prominently above my desk, you know for inspiration…and to piss off Hubby.  Yeah.  Great plan.  Make it so, number one!

When the print has taken its rightful place above my creative writing space, I shall take a picture and post it.  I can’t wait!!  It’ll be awesome.

Of course, there will be a fight about how I didn’t measure before I put holes in the wall and how it’s crooked/too high/too low/ugly as fuck…

Wow, the weekend is really shaping up!

My print sandwiched between the basement door and our old fridge. Nobody puts baby in the corner.

My print sandwiched between the basement door and our old fridge. Nobody puts baby in the corner.