You’ll float too.

You’d think a place like Vancouver, known for its rain, would have made more of an effort to improve its drainage systems over the years. But every year it’s the same routine; waterlogged bike lanes, swampy sidewalks, and lakes where streets should be. The City pretends to care and tells you to report these things when you see them, but then fuck-all gets done about it.

Well, that’s not completely true. There’s always the Adopt a Catch Basin program!

That’s right folks, you too could sign up to spend your free time digging disentegrating leaves, discarded food wrappers and slimy cigarette butts out of our Atlantean city’s storm drain grates for absolutely no compensation and minimal recognition!

It’ll be fun! Bring the kids! Bring the toy boat!

When it comes to teaching a child how to give back to the community, Emily Lefebvre thinks it’s best to start early.

That’s why the 37-year-old enlisted in Vancouver’s Adopt a Catch Basin — a city-sponsored community program that encourages residents to keep a storm drain unclogged.

“We thought it would be something fun to do with our three-year-old daughter — just teach her a little bit about community spirit,” Lefebvre told CBC News.

Forget community spirit; think what she’ll learn about community buoyancy! After all, we all float down here!

Forbidden Stroopwafel.

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m something of an enthusiast when it comes to nail polish.

To be more accurate, I own a metric fuckton of the stuff. And I just keep buying more. Because I can never have enough nail polish. Never.

There are always new colors to try. New finishes. New special effects. I have creme polishes and shimmery polishes, magnetic polishes and textured polishes, multichrome and holographic and UV color-changing polishes, and I STILL. WANT. MORE. I NEED THEM ALL.

And because I’m super extra and the selections available at drugstores are boring as fuck, these days I buy most of my nail polish online.

Most of my magnetic polishes, for example, are by a Russian brand that I have sent to me from the Netherlands.

The Netherlands.

I have a problem. A colorful, shiny problem.

Yes. these are all mine. Apparently I was a nail blogger in another life.

But the real problem is that the nice people in the Netherlands who help feed my addiction also just plain feed me. Every package I get from them comes with a tiny complimentary stroopwafel.

A mouthful of heaven right here, folks.

If you’ve never had a stroopwafel and you like things that are sweet and chewy and delicious and fun to say, put eating one of these babies on your bucket list. Just trust me.

I would join you in feasting upon their syrupy goodness, but I can’t, because while my taste buds say yes, that big ol’ buzzkill known as The Elimination Diet of Sadness says no, and them’s the rules for two and a half more weeks.

Until then, my small gift from the Dutch will just have to sit there making waffle-patterned eyes at me.

I feel I can speak with absolutely no amount of hyperbole when I say it’s torture.

On the bright side, my nails look fabulous.

 

A mountain getaway, more broken things and small abominations.

Nutty Hubby and I spent a week up in Whistler in mid-October.

We timed our visit poorly in that we arrived directly following Canadian Thanksgiving, which is exactly when the gondolas up the mountain stop operating and most of our favorite restaurants shut their doors for the brief off-season between summer mountain activities and winter mountain activities.

On the bright side, the place was way less packed with people than usual, we still managed to do plenty of hiking, and we actually found a bunch of new favorite restaurants since we couldn’t just keep heading to our old standbys and had to branch out.

We did stay at our usual hotel, which I both love and hate because the suites are giant and have up-to-date technology (love! <3) but apparently no one who installed any of the outlet and switch plates knew what a level was or how to use one (so much hate).

Why.

The suites come with kitchenettes, which I also love, but whose tiled floors are more slippery than a freshly Zamboni’d ice rink. I thought I was safe in my favorite cozy grippy socks, but I guess they’re starting to fail in the grippy department because on the way to the sink to rinse a plate I wiped out and went down like a sack of potatoes. In my panic to not break the plate or myself, I managed to hook my arm over a nearby dining chair to slow my fall. This was a good idea with an ugly result:

Me and my bright ideas.

Also for whatever reason the hotel seems to think this is an appropriate method of offering salt and pepper to their guests:

Shaker or packets: PICK ONE.

Thankfully, having decided to put The Elimination Diet of Sadness somewhat on hiatus for the month of October while we celebrated various things, I was able to soothe my bruised ego – if not my bruised underarm – with seasonal tipples, gourmet food, and ice cream sundaes with all the fixin’s.

Forget your pumpkin spice lattes for fall, just give me whiskey in my apple cider and I’m happy.

Literal cherry on top.

We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather for our hikes.

Idyllic as fuck.

Or more entertaining signage.

Petty vandalism or washroom directions? You decide!

That escalated quickly.

We also relocated this little dude, who was trying his best to get murdered via cyclist on one of the lakeside trails. He’s gonna turn into a Western Tiger Swallowtail someday if he gets his shit together and learns to look both ways before crossing the road.

No smooshy for you.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and before we knew it it was our last morning in the mountains. After checking out of the hotel we stalled for a good couple of hours and then hit up one last restaurant for lunch before the drive home.

Which is where I encountered one of the most perplexing bathroom stall fixes I think I’ve ever come across as a public washroom user.

Okay, but why?

This isn’t like an “I live in the middle of nowhere and my outhouse latch broke so I guess I’ll raid the toolbox for whatever I can use to keep the bears out while I do my business” situation we’re talking about here. This is an established restaurant in the heart of a resort town. Y’all can do better than a turnbuckle and some screws as a makeshift latch, I don’t care what you say.

The best part was how even when “latched” the door still hung slightly open, so the danger of someone assuming the stall was empty and trying to enter unawares was ever-present. Just in case you like your bodily functions with a heaping side of nervous suspense.

It’s a good thing we don’t live in Zombieland.

Yet.

Tag, you’re shit.

If you’re ever in the position to borrow clothes from me (which you won’t be, not ever, but play along) you’ll notice that the contents of my closet are almost universally devoid of any labels or tags of any kind.

This is because
a) I’ve been doing laundry for more than twenty years with a pretty decent track record of not ruining anything despite my unwavering belief that separating lights and darks is for pussies (and of course by unwavering belief I mean I’m too lazy to bother)
and
b) clothing tags are the scratchy, lumpy, intolerable work of Satan.

I mean, it has to be Satan, right? Who else would even be capable of evil of this magnitude?

Satan: “Let’s design a sweater made from the most luxurious, silky cashmere available.”
Satan’s Minions: “That sounds uncharacteristically decent of you, Master.”
Satan: “And print the washing label on sandpaper.”
Satan’s Minions:“…there we go.”

And what am I suffering for? Your brand name? “DRY CLEAN ONLY” in 26 different languages? “Don’t iron this unless you like your synthetic fabrics surrealist and melty”?

Come on, fashion industry. If the shirt on my back is going to do its damnedest to erode said back, you could at least make it worth my while. How about you tell me something really useful about my clothes for a change?

Here’s a few ideas to get you started.


“This fabric will develop accordion-like wrinkles the moment you sit down, and stay wrinkled until either this article of clothing is destroyed or time ceases to exist.”

This would have been great to know in advance about, like, 90% of my work clothes.


“Our tags like to stick up out of your collar with the same frenzied enthusiasm as a dog poking its head out a car window. Don’t bother trying to tuck them back in. They just want to see the world!”

This belongs on literally every t-shirt Nutty Hubby owns, but I’m the one that suffers. He never notices or cares because he’s the sane(-r) one in this relationship, so it’s left up to me to either be *that* person who keeps reaching over to tuck his tags back in, or else exercise self-restraint and leave them be, at the small personal expense of dying a little inside.


“After a dozen or so washings it will become painfully apparent that we have used two totally different dye lots for the sleeves and the torso of this seemingly monochromatic shirt. Be amazed as the colors evolve with the passage of time and cleanliness! It’s like magic!”

WHY. Oh, wait, there’s a postscript: “Because fuck you, that’s why.”


“Warning: clothing article contains the scratchiest wool that ever wooled. Wear directly next to the skin at own itchy risk.”

True fact: all wool is secretly steel wool.


“We sewed this swimsuit with sturdy invisible thread so the stitches wouldn’t show and also so the trimmed ends would stick out annoyingly and constantly jab you in sensitive areas. We figured you’d like that, because let’s face it, you probably went and got a Brazilian wax just to wear this thing so it’s fair to assume you’re at least a little bit of a masochist.”

I legit thought I was going crazy the first time this happened to me. Funny story: people look at you weird when you keep clutching at your crotch and screaming “WHAT THE HELL IS STABBING ME?!” on a crowded beach.


“Fun fact: you can’t spell ‘elastic’ without ‘last’. Which reminds us, the crappy elastic we used in this underwear won’t last a month! Get it? Haha, language is the greatest sometimes.”

Thongs for nothing, assholes.


“The dyes used in this garment may will definitely bleed slightly like a slasher movie victim when wet and/or rub off on you and everything you love and possibly some things you don’t even get that close to don’t question it we don’t in fact we don’t really know how any of this works we are one with the dye now ALL HAIL DYE LORD.”

I’ll take “things I would have loved to have been told before that time I got caught in a freak summer rainstorm wearing that cheap indigo blue tank top” for $200, Alex.


“You’ll never get these seams to lay flat again, ever.”

I give up. Nudist colony it is.

Shut up and drive.

It’s quarter past five. You’re in front of me on a bridge between two cities, just another set of wheels in a crawling interminable line of drivers heading home from the daily grind.

I can see your hands dancing. You are speaking animatedly to your passenger. Your eyes stay fixed on the road as we all inch slowly forward, but your restless hands are dancing, punctuating your speech, visiting the wheel only temporarily between gestures.

Your dark hair falls in short, springy curls that bounce with the emphasis of your words. Your passenger hasn’t gotten one word edgewise since I merged in behind you.

By the way, your left turn signal has been on for two kilometers.


It’s a Wednesday afternoon and the summer sun is relentless. In the frenzied rush hour turmoil approaching a major intersection, you swerve suddenly into my lane, cutting me off.

I am offered a brief glimpse of you impassively deep-throating a fat Fudgesicle, shoving it into your gaping maw with your non-veering hand as you breeze by. As you settle into place in front of me, I see your head continue to bob sharply over your frozen treat, devouring it with the kind of savagery I’ve seen dogs devote to fresh rawhide bones.

But your eyes in the rearview mirror are still dull and lifeless as you toss the naked stick aside and reach for another.

The passing lane clears. I move into it and leave your car behind, but the image of you and your soulless chocolate zombie stare follows me all the way home.


It’s nearing sunset on a cool evening. Past King Edward Avenue, traffic runs smooth as silk. I’m cruising down the last long stretch of road before my turn, singing along to the radio with my windows down and the wind in my hair.

There’s an alarming flash of candy apple red on my right flank as your car drifts over and tries to become one with mine. Thankfully I lean on the horn quickly enough for you to jerk back into your own lane and avoid impact.

My relief at escaping collision quickly gives way to anger. Your windows are down too. I lean across the armrest and scream at you to fucking pay attention, moron.

You refuse to make eye contact. You throw out a half-hearted wave of contrition and try to zoom ahead.

We still end up next to each other at the light.

I can see you shift uncomfortably as my eyes burn holes in you. You finally turn and meet my gaze. An expression of surprise and interest (?) crosses your face. And then you’re babbling, telling me you’re so sorry, you just weren’t looking, you’ll be more careful, if you’d realized there was a pretty lady driving right nex…wait…are you seriously HITTING ON ME after you almost just hit me, dude?

No no no no no. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.

And what, if there was an ugly man driving next to you you’d have just plowed right into him?

Where’s the flying car from Grease when I need it? Or that Tesla Roadster Elon Musk sent into space? I want off this street and into the sky; as far away from your delusional ass as I can get.

Pluto might be far enough.

I wish Daylight Saving Time were a person so I could punch it in the face.

Well, maybe not an actual person. Real people faces are full of teeth and little bones and other things that go crunch and destroy your knuckles when you hit them.

Maybe my Daylight Saving Time punching bag could be the creepy Raggedy Ann doll a relative made me when I was a kid. Jesus, that thing was a nightmare. Just knowing it was in the same room with me made my skin crawl. I used to turn it to face the wall and bury it under all my other toys, but it didn’t matter. Nothing escaped those soulless black eyes.

Daylight Savedy Ann. Fuck yeah, I’d beat the living daylights out of her, easy.

Anyway, you might say I’m in a bit of a mood. I’m in a mood because I ended up coming to work several hours early because I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t sleep because, after a glorious and unprecedented streak of actually being good at the whole sleeping-and-not-just-staring-at-the-ceiling-all-night thing, Daylight Saving Time had to come along and cock it all up like the infernal twatting cocktwat it is.

And okay yeah, maybe I’m not so much working as redditing, and it is nice to have the office to myself in the early hours before anyone else shows up, and the birds outside are warbling away sweetly to each other just like angelic little Disney caricatures of birds…

…but that still doesn’t make up for me being awake and dressed and sitting in a dusty office cubicle in my dusty office chair staring at a dusty ancient ugly hand-me-down computer monitor at an hour when I should be balled up unconscious under a down comforter in penguin pajamas with my feet crammed into blue fleecy socks with fluffy white sheep on them and not one solitary thought of the waking world to be found even remotely near to my head.

Part of me wants to believe I’m overreacting. It’s just one tiny little hour. It shouldn’t cause this much chaos. And yet – *gesticulates wildly at everything while scowling* – here we are.

Why? Why does that one miserable little hour have such an immense capacity to ruin everything?

And more importantly, is someone in the building making Cup Noodles or am I just hallucinating the smell due to sleep deprivation? I hope it’s the former, because I’m having enough of an existential crisis right now without phantom ramen coming into play.

Or maybe I have a brain tumor and DST is the least of my worries. Probably not, but it’s always good to keep your options open.

Fuck, I really want noodles now.

Goddamn phantom ramen.

I got dragged along on a free vacation to Mexico and all I got were these lousy first world problems.

Look, it’s not that I’m ungrateful.

(Yes, I’m back. Kinda sorta. Hi. *waves*)

When your in-laws book a week long cruise to the Mexican Riviera and pay for you and your husband to come along, you say, “Thank you, you shouldn’t have!” and you do mean the “thank you”, even if maybe perhaps you mean the “you shouldn’t have” part just that little bit more because Mexico has never really been on your list of priorities, and neither has going on vacation with family members since you were, like, twelve.

But you don’t get to complain about free vacations, especially when you and the hubster are trying to be real adults and save up real money for a real home that doesn’t have salmon pink bathroom fixtures and kitchen cupboards whose ancient wood veneer curls like the Shirley Temple-est of wild birchbark at every edge, and when you also know from past experience that even with Christmas barely one foot out the door you’ll still already be desperate for another another holiday by the time mid-January strikes, even if it means spending more time with the people who are part of the reason the last holiday didn’t really feel that much like a holiday.2

At the very least, you know they mean well. And that’s more than you can say for most people.

So you make a big show of expressing your gratitude, and you book the time off work…
…and then you proceed to quietly judge every travel planning decision that differs from what you would have done. But of course you don’t actually say anything, because free vacation.

Not saying anything gets really, really challenging when departure day arrives and you’re trudging through airport security bleary-eyed at 4 o’clock in the goddamn morning to catch the heavily discounted flights your benefactors have booked, but on the bright side most of what you do try to say just comes out as something resembling, “Guh. Mrphrpl buhzzrf,” because eloquence does not exist at airport security at 4am.

You can qworpft me on that.

Two flights and a packed shuttle later, we boarded a very large boat. Nutty Hubby and I made a beeline for our stateroom and its heavenly cloud of a mattress to indulge in a much-needed nap, because at that point our brains were incapable of any kind of rational thought beyond “BED. BED NOW.” and you need your wits about you if you’re going to tackle the true main goal of any cruise: eating and drinking yourself stupid.

Conveniently, it turns out that keeping your face perpetually stuffed with gourmet food and booze is a great way to stop yourself from grumbling about how your retiree in-laws have scheduled everyone for the 5:30pm dinner seating when you can’t remember the last time you’ve deliberately sat down to an evening meal before 8.

We made three stops in Mexico. It was okay. We saw the beach where Nutty Hubby’s parents first met. I took photos of crumbling houses and churches and cacti and got bitten by sand fleas. Twice Nutty Hubby and I missed out on nabbing Heracross, a region-exclusive Pokémon (yes, we still play Pokémon GO, fight me) because we had tours to catch, and I swear we are not bitter about that at all. NO SIR.

Would I visit again? Probably not. I’m sure there are parts of Mexico you can go where you aren’t viewed as a walking wallet, but we didn’t end up in any of them, and I’d rather vacation somewhere where my husband can actually take a picture of me on the beach without a photobombing fruit or jewelry vendor butting in to ask if Señorita would like a banana or a bangle bracelet while she poses with the palm trees.3

All told, I arrived back home as pasty white as before (bless you, sunblock), five pounds heavier than before (curse you, 24 hour food service), and feeling loved and appreciated yet somehow still more stressed and exhausted than when we left (bless/curse you, Nutty Hubby’s family).

Then I made the mistake of checking social media, which I hadn’t done on the ship because WHOA expensive internet.

That’s when I discovered that four of my favorite YouTubers had been visiting Vancouver the exact week that I was away.

Would I have had the good fortune to run into them had I been in town?
Probably not.

Do I still reserve the right to tear my hair out over the 0.0001% chance I might have gotten to take a selfie or two with some of the awesomest people I follow online?
Abso-fucking-lutely.

Welcome to my first world problem hell.

At least Mexico had margaritas to wash down the sweat and regret.


1 This is a lie. This whole post is me being an ungrateful little shit and I’m fully aware of that, but then again we established pretty early on in this blog that I’m kind of a terrible person, so this should be old news.

2 Nutty Hubby’s parents are wonderful people, it’s just that I prefer them – and almost everyone else on the planet, for that matter – in small doses, and with several months of recovery time between said doses.

3 Obligatory apology to all the people of Mexico who I have offended with this post. I’m sorry. If it’s any consolation I can’t understand why anyone would want to visit a lot of Canadian cities either. I saw someone win a trip to Vancouver on Wheel of Fortune once and felt really bad for them.