Directionally Challenged And Little Panicky

Anyone who knows me, knows I have issues with driving.  Not driving in that I can’t operate a vehicle properly or have issues with traffic manoeuverings like signal lights or merging or passing.  I have issues with directions.  East, West, North and South.  How to get to one destination several different ways.  How to find my way from one point in town to the opposite without ending up out on a distant country road, or worse, Mt. Pearl.  My apologies to all of those fine folks who reside there, but I just can’t stand the constant turning lanes.  I once ended up in a left turning lane which then led to another turning lane and went in circles for a good half an hour.  By the time I got daughter to her track meet, it was over.  That was 11 years ago and I still haven’t recovered from the trauma.  Maybe it’s the signage.  Maybe it’s because I don’t want to know my way around there.  Or maybe it’s just me.  Yeah, that’s a more likely reason.

It’s not something that’s new to me.  When we first moved to St. John’s 12 years ago, I used to carry the telephone book on the passenger side of my car because it had a map of the city in it.  I would keep it open just in case I turned down a wrong street and ended up somewhere other than the intended destination.  People used to say to me the best way to discover a city or a new place is to get lost in it, but I could never do that.  I need to know where I’m going and exactly how I’m getting there.  Getting lost is out of the question.  As explained in the following tale, if I’m driving and get ‘misplaced’ God help us all, we are in for a crying-sobbing-wailing-middle-finger-pointing helluva time.  I’m not trying to sound melodramatic or in need of a case of Ativan, I just have an emotional breakdown of sorts if I’m not where I’m supposed to be.  A little over-the-top I realize, but for the past few years, having meltdowns on various ski lifts and Disney rides has become my modus operandi. Add to this complicated cocktail, driving without a sense of direction….my family has a hard time keeping up.

The other day I was supposed to pick up daughter for an appointment.  Let’s back track a bit.  The possession of the car is a three-way street.  My son, my daughter and I share one vehicle.  Two of us work full-time, one is a Uni student.  At any given day we are at mid-city and shuffle the vehicle accordingly.  Daughter had to leave work midday and since I had the car, I was to retrieve her from her work and she was to drop me back at my work and then mosey on down to her appointment.  This is how my life works.  Complicated with a twist of lemon. Easy.  Kinda.

My work is literally a five minute drive from daughter’s – that’s on a good day when there are no roads inexplicably closed for random construction or for lame reasons like bursts pipes and road improvements.  Ugh.  Like this particular day.  I was easily driving along when all of a sudden, BLAM, road closed.  Turn right, lady and find your own way.  Okay.  I can adapt, I think.  I turn then go straight, only I should have turned again.  Instead, I ended up downtown.  The epitome of driving madness, one-way streets and impatient drivers who hate people like me.  Hence, meltdown time.  I’M NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOWNTOWN.  I was supposed to be on the opposite side.  Of the city.  DAMMIT WHERE THE FUCK AM I?  No clue.  I keep driving and end up at an intersection that only God and Einstein on a good day can figure out.  It’s going every which way, which is typical for St. John’s BUT THAT’S WHY I DON’T DRIVE DOWNTOWN.  Given I don’t know where I was going and aware the clock was ticking and having no intelligent nor rational thought whatsoever, I STARTED PUNCHING THE SCREEN ON THE DASHBOARD OF THE CAR HOPING I CAN PICK DAUGHTER’S NUMBER AT RANDOM.  The most recent calls were there as was every other person I’ve ever called in the universe.   I ended up calling Daughter number 1 who was working and whose phone was dead (thanks for that), a radio station, the car’s system stats, until finally I get Daughter number 2, all the while swearing, crying and sweating and also managing a few middle fingers at people with no patience.  HELLO, PANICKED DRIVER HERE.  CAN’T YOU SEE I’M HAVING AN EMOTIONAL TRAUMATIC EXPERIENCE, RIGHT NOW??!!!   GAAAWWWWWDDDDDD!!!

Here’s how it went down:

D2: Hello?

Me: OH MY GAWD HAYLEY I’M SO SORRY I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I AM!!!!  (also panicked and crying.  My voice is so high-pitched, dogs are howling)

D2:  It’s okay, mom.  Stop panicking.  Where are you?  (she is aware of my panicked state when I don’t know where I am)

Me:  I JUST TOLD YOU I DON’T F***ING KNOW!!  SOMEWHERE DOWNTOWN.  I HATE DOWNTOWN!!

D2:  Yeah, I know.  Okay.  How did you end up THERE?

Me:  THE DAMNED ROAD WAS CLOSED.  I THOUGHT I WOULD END UP AT EMPIRE AVE ACROSS FROM THE DOMINION!!

D2:  Okay, so what do you see?

Me:  UM…OH MY GAWD CAN I TURN HERE??!!   WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT BUDDY?!   UM…I SEE A TIM’S…

D2:  Yeah, that doesn’t help me.  What else?

Me:  UH, THE POST OFFICE?? …WAIT.  FUCK IT, I’M TURNING.  EXCUSE ME, SIR.  OKAY, I THINK I’M ON DUCKWORTH NOW.

D2:  Okay….  (Hayley is very calm, by the way.  Good thing she can talk her mother down from that emotional ledge)

Me:  Yeah, I see the Newfoundland Chocolate Factory.  I’m on Duckworth.  I see the Sheridan hotel now…

D2:  Okay. So don’t hang up just keep driving and tell me where you are.

Me:  Okay.  I know where I am.  Thanks, Hayley.

D2: BY THE WAY YOU SCARED THE CRAP OUT OF ME!!  I THOUGHT YOU WERE LYING IN A DITCH SOMEWHERE DYING!!  DON’T EVER CALL ME CRYING AGAIN!!

Me:  DON’T YELL AT ME.  I’VE BEEN TRAUMATIZED.

D2:  SO HAVE I!!

 

In the end, I picked her up and she dropped me off and ended up stuck in construction on the highway and CALLED ME PANICKING.

The apple and the tree, folks.

panick driving

 

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Pepe Le Pew Is My Spirit Animal

As far as vacations go, this last one was full of heat, humidity, a dash of crankiness, a little drunkeness with a side of wayward walking AKA falling on my ass.  Again.

Although in saying that, I truly wasn’t drunk when I fell.  Honestly,  I wasn’t.  It probably would have been better had I been as drunk as a skunk.  (By the by, WHO THE HELL THOUGHT UP THAT PHRASE?  How can a skunk be drunk?  I swear that’s how Pepe Le Pew was created.  Some guys were sitting around trying to get a good idea for a new cartoon character and some drunk French Canadian guy was there and they all went  “HEY! WHAT KID WOULDN’T LIKE A HORNY DRUNK FRENCH SKUNK?! LET’S DO THAT!”  And THAT kids, is how all great cartoon characters are created.  The. End. )     At least I would have had a good reason for falling down in the first place instead of the usual I’m-a-klutz-and-have-a-hard-time-balancing-on-actual-feet kinda person.  Ugh.

Vacations around these parts, or SLS, the ‘Hood, ma peeps that live near me…you get the drift, as vacations go we tend to party together, so if one fam decides to vacay it’s inevitable that more will join in.  That was the case this time as well.  One made plans, then another joined in and then it was Bestie’s birthday and how could we not go for that and then another joined in…so really, it was a ‘hood gathering in a hot tropical environment.  Plus alcohol.  Of course, it’s our ‘hood we’re talking about so OF COURSE THERE’S ALCOHOL.   Oh, yeah and the kids were there too.  Hey kids!  Nothing to see here, go back to watching Pepe Le Pew…

After a lovely dinner and A LITTLE WINE, CALM DOWN we went to Bree’s abode for cake…and MAYBE a little more wine.  As we were walking out onto her expansive, yet viewless patio (unless you count the roof top of another building a view, then yes, it had a view.  The LEAST they could have done would to have thrown some nice plants out there,  maybe strung some lights…a few decorative chairs.  COME ON PEOPLE, GIVE BREE SOMETHING TO SEE!)

Anywho, unbeknownst to me the patio was two tiered.  The second level had the smallest of edges but I somehow managed to find it and my wedged sandled foot rolled over it like a car tire over a drunk skunk.  Yes, it was slow and painful.   It was like I was watching a movie in slo-mo only I was the actual person doing the falling.  Twit.   I could feel myself starting to descend, but could do nothing to stop it and hey, did I really want to?  At some point I had the presence of mind to ever-so-gently place my precious iphone on the barren side table just sitting so quaintly to my left…as I was ever-so-slowly  falling on my ass.  When I finally landed, thumping squarely on my bum, I just sat there for a second to digest what just went down.  Me.  I went down.  Bestie turned and yelled if I was hurt, her daughter were desperately trying not to laugh and I was still incredulous that I had done it once again.  I’VE FALLEN AND I CAN’T GET UP.  SHIT.

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As I stupidly sat there on the cement patio contemplating the statistics of me falling at every vacation in the history of ever,  I took in my surroundings.  And waited for the bleeding and pounding headache to start, because let’s face it, that’s usually what happens.   When none of that happened and Bestie was trying to help me up and her daughters were trying desperately to get out of my way frightened I may end up taking them down with me again, I was able to fully assess my injuries.  Or astonishing lack thereof.

I scraped my knee, my elbow and hurt my dwindling pride.  My foot seemed okay at the time and I jumped up to save what shred of dignity I had left, which wasn’t much.

I later limped to my room across the hall.  And awoke to a swollen foot, pain and the inability to walk more than a few feet without sitting down.

Excellent vacation!

It was all a little much.

A week later, my foot has almost healed completely.  The doctor said there is nothing broken, (besides my fragile ego) and I will live to fall another day.

There’s a story from my childhood that, once while we were at the cottage one summer day, I was heard outside calling “Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.”  When everyone came out to investigate and see the cat I was calling, I was rushed inside and the door was soundly shut.

Apparently, I was calling a pretty little skunk over to play with me.

Wonder if any of his relatives are still staggering around looking for a drinking buddy.

Here kitty, kitty, kitty….

Pepe Le Pew

 

Deep Breaths And Wine

The vacation planning and the ongoing struggle to remain a human being whilst juggling the tedious, yet ever-so-important mundane task of breathing is getting exhausting.  
If you just read that SENTENCE and you aren’t fainting from the mere lengthy run-on-edness, then yay for you! You have more stamina than most folks who checked out after ‘the’.  

I know, “vacation planning…Ooooh so sucky to be you right now”, but wait! I’m a let’s-stay-at-home-and-find-something-interesting-to-do-around-here-that-doesn’t-involve-lenghty-lines-and-blistered-feet-and-quotes-of-GAWDIDON’TKNOWWHEREIAMRIGHTNOW!-kinda girl. I love to go away at the beach, etc. but SOME people get so worked up a week before we go, it’s like dancing around a campfire in a drunken stupor knowing at some point you are going to go headfirst into those flames and it ain’t going to be pretty. And nobody wants to see that go down.

Vacation planning sucks. That’s what I’m saying.

It’s all good once the vacay has commenced, but this week is fraught with anxiety and hand wringing and exclamations of “WHAT DO YOU MEAN WE DON’T HAVE THAT BOOKED?!” Gawd, don’t have a cow, it’s not like there are NO HOTELS ANYWHERE IN TORONTO. Or…where are we going, again?  

Yeah, it’s like that.

I should heed advice and not get so upset when SOMEBODY rips my head off because THERE ARE NO GRAPES IN THE HOUSE. WHO KEEPS EATING ALL OF THE GRAPES?! Because, obviously the secret minions of grape-land come in late at night and eat all the friggin’ grapes and it’s really not the grapes that SOMEBODY is upset about, but the getting on the plane and hoping there was nothing forgotten and hope we have enough money for that and let’s not lose the kid this time or fall down and almost break your face, remember that?  

Yeah. Good times.

Truly a hard go at this stage in the game, and with the whole WRITING OF THE EXAM, THE SEQUEL going on, it’s a little testy around these parts.  

I’m basically trying to keep my head on straight and secretly ordering batches of wine to be delivered to my room once we get to the sunny south so I can drink away the voices in my head still screaming DID YOU REMEMBER TO BRING THE PAPERWORK AND YOUR STURDY NO SLIP SHOES?!  

Fuck.  

 

 

East Coast Trail The Sequel, With Art and Everything!

We, meaning the ladies and I and a few little ones, embarked on our second epic East Coast trail hike last Sunday morning onto Cobbler Path.

2016 645  A 4kms and change hike into awesomeness that can only be described as steep and climby and a wee bit sweary.   Although it wasn’t raining…it was foggy, instead.  Newfoundland weather never disappoints.

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See over the cliff?  That’s the ocean.  See it? IT’S RIGHT THERE! 

So foggy, I couldn’t see the ocean…which was a bummer because who doesn’t like to see the ocean?   AND, we had to walk/hike/climb and of course, swear up the long stairs onto a steep cliff to look down and see…nothingness.  White nothingness.  Ugh.  At least we got through it…with a balancing act of epic proportions, I might add.

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  WHERE ARE THE DAMNED RAILINGS?!!

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The last pics are the artwork we found on the buildings just as we were heading out of Red Cliff.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

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They are waiting for me to cross the rocks and water.  Smartasses.  

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Graceful as fuck.  Again. 

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We are happy we are not lost in the fog…BTW…THERE’S THE OCEAN IN THE BACKGROUND.  WE FOUND IT. 

Wow…a wee bit sweary, but interesting for sure…

Our next adventure we are expecting to see actual vistas…and scenes.  And hopefully each other at some point.  One of the ladies is hoping there will be railings on the stairs, but I’m not holding my breath.

2016 667               2016 685

 

 

http://www.eastcoasttrail.ca/

http://eastcoasttrail.ca/trail/view.php?id=22

 

East Coast Trail Hike

So, the ladies have decided to try to conquer some of the East Coast Trails this summer and I decided in my infinite wisdom to join them.  We attempted one of the ‘easier’ trails on Saturday amidst the rain and muck and slippery-as-fuck rocks.  Did I say I ‘attempted’ the trail?  Yeah.

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The cliff of no return

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2016 645

Graceful as fuck

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I’m over here!

As you can see by the photos, I’m not only waaaay behind ALL of them, I’m also as graceful as fuck when crossing the streams and smooth as silk rocks that beg you to just TRY to pirouette over them without slamming your face into theirs.  Seriously, East Coast Trail Association…your definition of ‘easy’ is so very different than mine.

Also, notice the sky high cliffs with the death-drops that defy anyone to take a jump and actually live to tell about it.  Bestie is not allowed to work at the suicide hotline after saying she could give tips if someone really wanted to be done away with life.  “I could just tell them where the best cliff is to make sure they’re not coming back.  No question on that one.   Oooh…just look at that drop!  There’s NO WAY your face will be recognizable after that!”  See?  She is your go-to girl for maps on telling life to take a flying leap…literally.

I’m expecting the next adventure to be just as ‘fun’ as this one.  It was enjoyable, except for the ‘wait for me’ and ‘do we have to cross that rushing water again?’ moments.  I’m just glad I didn’t have to pee.

 

Here are the links where to find the trails and the descriptions of each one.  If you’re out this way this summer, take on a trail but be prepared.  Take water, snacks, maps and maybe somebody who is sturdy on their feet.

http://www.eastcoasttrail.ca/

Our first foray into trail hiking was this one:  Silver Mine Head Path http://eastcoasttrail.ca/trail/view.php?id=24

 

 

 

 

When Good People Take Bad Pictures…Ugh.

So, I went on vacation and took some pictures.  I should not be in charge of pictures.  I’ll show you a snippet of what I took with my iPhone.  It’s a good thing Apple doesn’t totally trust me with electronics and fixes shit.  Here are some pics I thought made my trip to Hawaii more interesting.

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Pineapples growing in rows.  Yummmm..only, can you see them?

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Everyone should have a self-portrait complete with a natural wind machine.  I couldn’t recreate this shot if I tried. 

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A giant phallic symbol growing out of the ground.  Awesome!

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Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a sunset over the water…I was aiming for that ship in the distance.  SEE IT?!  IT’S OVER THERE!! 

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I found this very interesting.  A gun club in Waikiki.  REALLY?! Vacation =shooting practice.  Hmmmm.  The top stair that says bring out your ‘Dirty Harry’ really makes you scratch your head.

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Notice the finger hovering over the top?  Yeah.  So good at pics.  

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Officers poker tournament.  I LOST BADLY…Look at that concentration…on everyone, but me.  I’m wondering where ma drink is…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you go.  Pics to prove that unskilled photogs do exist.  That last pic was compliments of a friend we met on-board, who thankfully is more skilled than I.  Thanks, Ron.  You rock.

Family Time and Dog Farts

It’s not very often that we can gather together as a family, these days. With daughters working and going to Uni full time, and son also in his first year of high school and slightly employed (I say ‘slightly’ as he has secured a gig as a referee for some minor hockey games, but only on the weekends), our busy lives have prevented us from being in the same room for longer than fifteen minutes at a time. So when the opportunity presented itself for us to take a road trip to Nanny’s house Christmas day (a 4 1/2 hour long road trip), we surprisingly jumped at it. Turns out, the spontaneous let’s squish in the truck with an anxiety prone dog who should be taking Prozac and anti-farting medication was one of the better times we’ve had.
Why?
A short trip that entailed little in way of responsibility for any parties involved and virtually no expectations except that Nanny would be home and happy to see us. Yay for the latter, as Nanny happened to be out and we were waiting patiently for her return…but when she did show up, she was happy to see us. And we were happy to be out of the truck and away from the smell…ugh.

Our drive home on the open road...

Our drive home on the open road…

What?!  I didn't fart...that was the boy...I blame him.

What?! I didn’t fart…that was the boy…I blame him.

As fast as that road trip was (up and back home the next day) the time in the truck produced laughs, cuddles for us in the back seat, one spilled hot chocolate, a wandering dog who enjoyed licking everyone’s faces and some serious book time. Except for the dog’s flatulence and the tragedy of a hot chocolate downed on a Christmas shirt, it was quite a great ride home. One I think we needed in order to get that ‘family’ togetherness we have been lacking.
Since our spontaneous arrival at Nanny’s meant no Christmas turkey (Nanny had been invited out for turkey that afternoon), we postponed our dinner for a couple of days and invited Bestie and her fam. for the event. That meant, nine for dinner. Besides a runny bread pudding and less-than-baked cheesecake, the turkey was great and everybody around the table for dinner was amazing…
A nice way to spend Christmas.
New Year’s Eve prompted the annual Resolution Reformation and I cannot remember what I declared in Miss H’s binder of, what I am confident to be, intelligent and non-inebriated declarations of determined goals for the year ahead. However, after giving it some thought and a couple of prompts from Miss H herself in the forms of prolific quote and thoughtful email, I have decided to enjoy more.
That’s it really…smile more, laugh more and enjoy more. Fairly simple, really. I want to be able to enjoy the moments around me, the people who pass in and out of my life and the little stuff that we take for granted. For example, the quiet snowfall last night…I went out in my pj’s and took a few snaps, stood in the falling snow with my face to the sky and stuck out my tongue. I caught a few snowflakes and admittedly, a few questioning glances from neighbours, but I enjoyed the shit out of it. I got to linger in the peacefulness of a quiet night, the black sky darted with fat snowflakes falling gently onto my face and I thought “this is a wonderful night”.

Our snowy night...

Our snowy night…

That, my friends, is an awesome start to a new year in my books….how was yours?