Procrasti-baking

I’ve been doing really well this week at writing for a little bit every day, so I thought “I’m going to set aside Sunday to do nothing but write!” And as Sunday came around, I sat down with my laptop and BAM: no motivation. No ideas. I was very nearly about to force myself to just write something when Joel asked if I was going to bake the cookies I had sorta kinda thought about baking yesterday but didn’t. And suddenly the cookies became Priority One Must be DONE RIGHT NOW.

And I’m glad I dropped everything to make them, because they are the most delicious chocolate cookies ever. I’m going to post the recipes in a more detailed blog when I’ve made them absolutely perfect (Not the taste, because these are goddamn brilliant, but I need to work on the texture, baking times, getting fresher baking soda, and rolling them in to better shapes).

So here ya go, enjoy my procrasti-baking. And now, my procrasti-blogging.

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Seriously, these cookies are so good – they’re worth blowing off your entire schedule.

Happy Sunday, folks!

xoxo,
Aud

Paint Skillz

Almost exactly a year ago, I got the crushing news that Microsoft Paint would no longer be a supported app.

WHAT THE FUCK? I thought, a year ago, as a wave of nostalgia swept through me. As you know, I am a professional, accomplished, envied drawer person (available for hire).

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By Audrey, 8 years old. I am really good at art, and always was. 

A year ago, I planned to reveal my secret talent in this post. For you may or may not know, before I became a Very Important and Distinguished Professional drawer person, and even before I became an Internationally Renowned,  Marginally Proficient Adobe Illustrator illustrator:

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Work in Progress – aka my magnum opus – aka all my favourite things

I was an A++ Certified Badass in Microsoft Paint. True story!

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“Audrey: Very Good At Art” – the world 

Back when computers were only a thing for my friends whose moms re-married rich tech guys after leaving their philandering husbands, all we did was play Oregon Trail and draw things with Paint. And when my brother Josh got Mario Paint for his Super Nintendo, I didn’t think life got any better. That was, until we got our first family computer in 1997, and I had free reign over my MS Paint domain. I think I went through a ream of paper printing out every single doodle that came to me.

I mean, I loved drawing, and I really loved drawing with computers. And with all that hard work, all that determination, all that training, and all the wrist surgeries from the “holding mouse at precise angle so as not to make crooked lines” carpal tunnel I suffered, I progressed to the before-unheard of skill set of “Kinda Mostly ok”. And that’s an honour I carry with me to this day.

So, a year ago, when I got the sad news that MS Paint was going to kick the fill bucket, I thought of writing this blog. And I decided to put together a collection of my greatest MS Paint hits. And it took 363 days, but by golly I did it. I wish I could find the stuff I did when I was a sad 13 year old on the ol’ Gateway 2000, but alas. That’s a blog for another day (perhaps next year?). For now, though, enjoy this carefully curated gallery of my greatest works:

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“Having a Nice Time” – which I printed on a t-shirt as part of world famous t-shirt range (so famous). The non-watermarked (ha, watermark. Way to go, Audrey) version is somewhere on a hard drive I can’t access from my Mac (that’s security!)
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“Velociraptor Sobotka” – I felt like merging some of my favourite things, which happened to be Ziggy from The Wire season 2, and velociraptors (I am very predictable)
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“Do Android Larrys Dream of Electric Sheep?” a portrait of my dad in his college days. 
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Kristin’s bachelorette party t-shirt designs (it was Dinosaurs and hula hooping on May the 4th and we were also watching a lot of Drag Race at the time
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crude artist rendering of me in my 20’s

 

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The birth announcement I made for my sister’s little guy
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Leah’s dinosaur bachelorette t-shirts (I didn’t draw the dinosaurs, they were templates. But I added the accessories)

And entertain yourselves with these illustrated stories from the vault:

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“Hello 4AM” — How Bill Purray almost got himself thrown out a window (featuring Gary Busey monster)

 

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“Shoeless Aud” how I lost my favourite shoe down a drain

I don’t care if it’s a “deprecated” app, and “not in active development and might be removed in future releases”. It’s still #1 in my heart. And I’ll always love it. A year later, and I’m still bummed. Me and this 87 year old Grandmother will be here in the corner, rocking the shit out of steady hand line drawing with our mouses, and revelling in the 10 different colour choices and no less than different line widths.

CHAMPION.

*btw, to prove how efficient and awesome I am, here’s a screen shot off my phone. Not only am I very good at art, I am also very good at ignoring deadlines.

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See you next year! Probably.
xoxo

5 years and a permanent resident

On Mother’s Day, we got the best news: I was granted my hella goddamn PERMANENT RESIDENT VISA. Continue reading “5 years and a permanent resident”

Party in the USA

Seriously, how is it July already?

I still feel like it’s January, like I’m still reminding myself not to forget that Valentine’s Day* is just around the corner. When really, my friggin birthday is right around the corner, and around the corner from that, is our big USA trip. That’s right, we’re headed back to my deep fried kingdom, my bullet ridden homeland, my red, white, and blue stomping grounds. And to say I’m excited is a wee bit of an understatement.  Continue reading “Party in the USA”

Spoiled milk tales

I work with some chatty people. Like, Chatty. At least once a day I fall down a tangent trail that started with a legitimate work question, how do you adjust a doctor’s diary, but ends up in a full on discussion of whether a good corn bread recipe has sugar in it (spoiler alert: it does). And for someone like me, who hasn’t met a person I can’t swap a story with (I was born to be a grandma, spinning tales), sometimes I get lost for the better part of half an hour, and I have to forcibly remove myself or I will spend my entire shift sharing anecdotes.

(Hi, I am a blogger)

Today, I walked into a conversation about losing a bottle of breast milk under the seat of a car, and not finding it for a few days, and the resulting curdled horror that was found in its place. I was under a tight deadline so I couldn’t stay and share my most horrifying, disgusting spoiled milk story. So I’m going to share it with you, here since it so happens to basically be the 10 year anniversary of this revolting story. Aren’t you glad you’re following me?

 

Flash back ten years ago, I had finished college in January, and I was about to start my first real, full time office job. I was finishing up work for my part-time job, which included running errands like dropping off mail and picking up his groceries. So I go to the store, pick up the eggs, bread, milk, meat, etc, buy them, bring them to my car, and head to his house to deliver. But when I get all the groceries inside, I can’t find the milk! So I check my car, and nothing. I think, ok, I must have left it at the store, no big deal.

I go back to the store, and take my receipt to the counter where I was doing self-checkout. I asked the cashier manning the stations if she saw the milk I left behind. She hadn’t seen anything. Strange, I bought a 1/2 gallon of milk, as you can see, but I don’t have it, it’s not in my car, so I really feel like I left it here. She asks if I checked my car. I said it was the first thing I did. She directs me to customer service, because clearly I am trying to scam my way to a free gallon of milk (90% sure I was in my pajamas with dirty hair, which was my standard uniform of my post-college, full on depression days). I go to customer service, she asks if I checked my car, YES I HAVE. I end up fussing very sternly to the manager (something I don’t normally do), and she finally let me take home another milk. I deliver the milk, get my last paycheck, and go home to pack for Los Angeles, because the next day I was leaving to visit my friend Leah for a week. I tell my parents the story and we all scratch our heads. My dad asks if I checked my car. My brain deflates.

Anywho, I leave for my trip on the first day of a heat wave. I left my keys to my car with my mom, incase something happened with my car. About 4 days into my trip, I get a call from my mom.

“Audrey!”
“Hello!” (we always answer the phone in exclamation points)
“We found… the milk.”
“What?!”

My mom then proceeds to tell me the story:

She and my dad were going to visit my grandpa in Ohio, and they decided to take my car (without asking, btw) since it had better gas mileage. They opened the doors and were hit with an especially foul smell. They figured it was just because the car sat in extreme heat for four days, and that it would air out once the car got moving and the air conditioner turned on. They got about 2 minutes down the road before they had to stop at a gas station, because it was evident that something had crawled inside my car and died, and the vomitous the smell was not going to go away. They both got out, and my dad inspected the trunk – nothing. Under the driver’s seat? Nothing. Under the passenger seat?

Oh. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

The half gallon of milk hadn’t disappeared. It was on its side, in a puddle of rancid, boiled, cottage cheese diarrhoea. Apparently the milk slid under the seat when I put the groceries in, and I didn’t see it. I didn’t have any idea that could happen. And with the heat wave, the jug exploded. And with the continued heat wave, the milk just turned into every form of vile, globular, sulfuric acid baby shit mixed with hot spoiled eggs that it could.

Lovely.

So they (somehow) drove the car to a detailer, where the poor workers cleaned out the putrid shit lake, and cut the upholstery out of the floor, because there is no other way to get rid of spoiled dairy smell.

She wasn’t calling me just to let me know they fixed my car. She was calling from the road to complain to me that the botulism bomb I left had seriously delayed their trip. ARE YOU KDDING ME? I told her that decomposing dairy dump was an anti-theft deterrent, and also, you know, KARMA for stealing my car for a long distance journey.

Right? Am I right?

All summer, that car vaguely smelled like rotten milk. But I learned something valuable. 1) it is possible to lose a half gallon of milk under the seat of my car
2) soured, putrid milk lake isn’t a very effective theft deterrent when gas is nearly $3.50/gallon

So there you have it, my putrid dairy story. Happy Monday!

xo

Idiocy

I can be quite the idiot. Like, I should get a special prize kind of idiot.

My idiocy is never more apparent than when I’m trying to rush through something. it’s like, “That’s future Audrey’s problem” is my prevailing mantra (Present Day Audrey is a real dick to Future Audrey). And Thursday was no exception.

I was running late (typical) to catch my bus, and thus was rushing through closing up the clinic. The last thing I do before I leave is wash out the milk jug. When I got to the kitchen, someone else was at the sink, washing a stack of plates. I didn’t want to wait for her to finish, because I was already late, and I only had like, 2 minutes before I was really late, so I saw the boiling water tap in the tiny sink next to the girl washing dishes, and thought “oh I’ll just rinse it out with that tap, and I won’t have to wait. Cool!”  And so, I went to the tap.

IF I had taken even a split second to think about things, I would have realised the following:
– the boiling water tap produces BOILING WATER. That’s what it does.
– the milk jug has a round, flat spout and a lid that fits into the spout, that you have to flip up with your thumb using the little thumb lever
– the boiling water tap isn’t very tall, so you would have to put the jug under the tap before you turn on the tap, otherwise the BOILING water will bounce off the flat round spout and splash BOILING water everywhere
– you’re already really late, so what’s being a few more minutes late
You could politely ask if you could cut in for a second because you’re running late (nope, that’s terrible manners and I can’t do that)

But no, I marched to the boiling tap like I was on a clear mission. I turned the tap on first, put the jug under the tap, and THE HOTTEST WATER CAN GET – BOILING HOT water shot everywhere – across my hand, into the dishes in the drainer, and possibly on the girl standing next to me. It was the worst .3 seconds of my life. I instantly turned the tap off and the rational side of my brain – which was suspiciously absent 10 seconds ago but was now forefront and center — was all “SEE I TOLD YOU DON’T YOU FEEL STUPID”.

The girl next to me said, “Oh my god are you ok? That’s boiling water.”
“Yeah, it is. I’m sorry, I didn’t think it’d be boiling straight away” (this, this is what I came up with?)
“Nope, that’s literally all it does.”
“Welp, I know that now!” (once again, this, this is what I came up with)

I put the jug under the tap AGAIN (to save face?) and then put only a little water in the jug and this time didn’t spray everyone with SCALDING HOT BOILING WATER. I dumped the water out, put the jug in the drainer promising I’d give it a proper soapy clean tomorrow and ran out of there as fast as I could, all the while holding my not even burnt hand as my bully brain pummelled me with omg that is the worst thing to ever happen ever you are now the laughing stock of all the doctors you work with.

When I got outside, it was dark, raining and windy, and I was braving the elements with my shitty $5 umbrella. I got to the big intersection I have to cross before I get to the bus stop, and out of habit, I walked straight up to the edge of the curb to wait for the light to change. As I saw a car coming toward us, my rational brain finally kicked in and said “WHOA BACK AWAY FROM THE CURB OR THAT CAR WILL SPLASH THE HECK OUT OF YOU” and I turned around and took a few steps away from the splash zone, thanking my brain for being on it’s A-game.

There was a woman standing near me with her giant umbrella, who had watched me walk to the edge and back. Great, someone else saw me fuck up, I thought, as we made eye contact for a second. She smiled and said “Good thinking! Yesterday I got splashed with a wall of water that was as tall as me!” I laughed and said something about idiot brains. She laughed and agreed, and I told her the water tap story. “Some days, huh??” she said as we crossed the street. And as we parted ways, she said “Get home safe, ok!”

I don’t know if it was the commiseration, or just the niceness of this complete stranger, but I instantly felt better. Some strangers are sent to confirm your idiocy, and some are sent to say “hey, me too. It happens.” You can guess which one I appreciate more.

Some days, huh??

Edit: two hours after posting this blog, I locked myself out of the apartment and had to take an Uber to the city so I could get Joel’s keys. #somedayshuh

I heart Winter

I freaking love winter. I look forward to winter the way most people look forward to spring — with renewed energy and UNFLAPPABLE OPTIMISM.

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I am always tired looking, but moreso at 7:30AM

Throughout May, it would steadily get cooler. Then we had day light savings, so it was cooler and the sun set at 5PM. But it never really got cold. And the weekends still got really warm. I bought a brand new down filled winter coat (see: UNFLAPPABLE OPTIMISM), but every warm weekend and afternoon made me think I wasted my money. But, I woke up on June 1, the first official day of winter, to 12* temps. And when I walked outside, my breath hung in the air, the brisk air chilled my lungs, I zipped my coat all the way up, and I was filled with unspeakable happiness.

 

COOLER TEMPERATURES!

LAYERS!

BRINGING OUT THE DOWN COMFORTER!

COOLER TEMPERATURES!

ENJOYING HOT SHOWERS!

HOT CHOCOLATE!

COOLER TEMPERATURES!

BAKING!

SWEAT PANTS!

HOT MEALS!

NO NEED TO SHAVE MY LEGS EVERY DAY!

NOT WAKING UP SWEATING BECAUSE

COOLER TEMPERATURES!

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unspeakable happiness, you guys

Granted, it’s no where near the winters that I’m used to. The temperatures are in centigrade, so 0* is literal freezing, not 32*. When I leave the house and it’s 13*C and my face isn’t frozen, and I’m not slipping on ice, like it would be in 13*F, I’m shocked. But I’m not sad. It’s cold, but it’s still humid. So it’s like, a warm wet cold instead of a bone dry, bitter cold like I’m used to.

Sure I miss snow, but I don’t miss scraping 2 inches of ice off my windshield, waiting 10 minutes for my car to warm up to only slightly arctic, or feeling my hands get so dry that they crack the second hot water touches them. But it does get cold enough to wear good coats and scarves, eat shepherd’s pie, sit in front of a space heater, wear wooly sweaters, and most importantly: it convinces the cat to sit by me for warmth, and I’m all about pretending that she loves me.

So happy winter, southern hemisphere. These mild, grey, and rainy winters without ice 100% make up for the blistering heat of the summers. If you need me, I’ll be blissfully wrapped in layers in front of the heater, or sleeping under two quilts all the while not melting into a puddle of sweat and nightmares.

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*I have a lot of things to blog about — like 800million things to blog about — but I can’t focus on one topic long enough to actually get a post out and they’re all coming out bad as a result. And instead of “picking one topic” and “trying” to work on it, I’ve just been avoiding it altogether. So tonight, instead of avoiding it, I forced myself to write just something – ANYTHING – but what I want to write, so I can break the ice. It’s like exposure therapy for writer’s block. So that explains this absolutely riveting piece of blog journalism. Enjoy.

Back in the Habit

A few weeks ago, I fell into a massive black hole of suck. I’ve had down days here and there, but this was the first time in really long time that I was scraping the bottom of the emotional barrel for no discernible reason. It was the kind of bad that made me bribe myself with take away coffee and overpriced pastries in order to get myself to go work. And once I got home, I could not pry myself off the couch. Continue reading “Back in the Habit”

Hello, again!

Hello, neighbor-ino!

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It hasn’t been too long, but still long enough that I feel the need to apologise for the radio silence – but keep your pants on, as all will be explained.

How was your April – May? Ours was pretty exciting. Heaps has happened and is continuing to happen, all of which really deserves their own posts. And by George I’m going to write about them. (Finally. Promise!) So here’s a quick bullet point catch up of what to expect over the next few entries.

  • WINTER – We’ve officially been in winter since June 1. ok so this is not really that exciting, but I’m not waking up sweating anymore and that is just the greatest!
  • ANNIVERSARY – 5 years with Joel!
  • VISA – granted!
  • APARTMENT – pairing down and redecorating!
  • HAIR – blonde!
  • FOOD – good eats and some really terrible eats!
  • WRITING – developments!
  • SELF IMPROVEMENT – happening!
  • SAD THINGS – because there’s always a black dog lurking around!

Stay tuned, you smart, charming, beautifully patient people.

xoxo,
Aud