no, i won’t give you a footjob

if it wasn’t apparent by my last job interview, i’m searching for, shall we say, non-traditional employment.

i responded to a cragislist ad that involved fetish work and feet.  no big deal!  i don’t mind having my feet sexualised.  after a few emails back and forth, this is the project:

“I’m playing with underlying themes including sex, birthing, male and female symbolism – this would be achieved (in theory) by coating the soles of your feet in a glossy, bubbly gel. Soles up and ankles together, with my penis poking through the soles and emerging through the gel. Tight crops and sharp lighting would add effect. If done right, it should be difficult for the viewer to figure out what they’re looking at. Of course, I would improvise during the shoot as I always do.”

so, for $150, i could cradle some man’s penis with my slimy feet.  and then he would take photos of it.  this is a bit much, even for me, so i politely declined his offer.  thus, my search for weirdo craigslist jobs continues…

mama<3

i have a rad mom.  we had difficult times when i was growing up, but now we understand each other quite well and get along famously.   she is tough, loving & endlessly supportive.  i’m more like her than i care to admit; last time i was home, my step-cousin sighed, you’re just like your mom!, and i know it wasn’t exactly meant as a compliment, and that’s okay.   i’d rather be a weirdo like my mom than fit in with the rest of the small-town rednecks!

a couple days ago,  i realised how much my mom’s dreaminess rubbed off on me.  when my brother and i were young, our mom was constantly taking us out to explore graveyards.  she’d always make up stories about the people buried in them.  ‘i wonder what happened to make all four of these kids die on one day! i bet they were out on a lake and the boat capsized’.   when i was wandering around the graveyards here in reykjavik and the other day in thingvellir, i found myself doing the same thing…

i have this really potent memory that describes my mom: we were driving along the northern prairies near peace river, and in the middle of all these fields there was an abandoned farmhouse.  my mom said,  ‘old farmhouses like that always make me sad.  i picture some woman watching out the window every day, waiting for her man to come home from war, but he never returned.’

my mom is wistful, sentimental, loving, silly, creative, with a hilarious sense of dry, sarcastic, dark humour that i inherited.  she is a great gardener.  she generally gives me great advice.   she instilled an unshakeable love of reading and kitchen-dancing in me.   i’m grateful to have her as my parent!! <3<3<3

reykjavik, so far

hoooooly hot dogs! this place is so flippin cute.  the milk cartons say ‘Muu’!!! the electrical outlets look like mamegoma.  i’m gonna lose my shit.

the day i arrived could qualify as the longest of my life.  the flight was overnight but i couldn’t sleep, because they sun didn’t really go down, and it wasn’t night to my bodyclock. i arrived in iceland at 6.30 am, took a short nap when i got to the hostel, and spent the entire day exploring the city.

reykjavik is really cute! it’s not a stunner of a city; i’m not blown away by its beauty, but it’s really charming and kind of quaint!  i never thought i’d find tin siding so attractive, but iceland does it right (not rusty; great colour matching, like mint green & cobalt, purple and white, yellow and red, etc)

maybe this is silly, but i was expecting to feel more culture shock.  sure, some things are very different (the money! it has crabs and dudes in pointy hats!) but the air smells familiar and the city is easy to navigate.  people are friendly and nearly all of them speak english (notable exception: super hairy dude who hung out by me in the thermal pools and kept talking to me even after i said ‘sorry, i only speak english!’).  one main difference is that i have seen a few people blowing their noses into the street. what’s up with that? EWWW.

reykjavik is/feels so small!  i have run into the same people a few times, or seen the same car (this hilarious van that says ‘ford: don’t expect much’).  although the houses are kind of crammed together, shoulders touching, there are no really tall buildings.  the tallest i’ve seen is maybe 4-5 stories.  it gives this place a small-town feeling.

i met up with an internet friend and she took me on a tour of some rad stuff, like a geyser named geysir, thingvellir, gulfloss, etc.   i haven’t spent a tonne of time outside the city, but the bit i’ve seen has been spare and lovely.  there are long vistas uninterrupted by treelines, because what little native forest that existed (at least here in the rek. area)  was used for building material/fuel by the first settlers.

listening to all the icelandic-english accents has been dreamy. i love the way they sound, kind of whispery and full of shhhhs.  people are generally fairly attractive and there are a tonne of bright coppery-redheads and lots of blonds, too.  fashion here is pretty stylish, supertrendy in that 90s revival way.  i think some of my vancouver friends would lose their shit in the shops here!  i haven’t bought a tonne of stuff…a pair of galaxy tights and an icelandic wool sweater.  i nearly caved and purchased some beautiful wool thigh-high socks, and i yet….

vegetarian fare here isn’t super impressive.  there are quite a few restaurants who have offerings that are appealing, but eating out here is fairly expensive (nearing $20 for a meal) so i’ve been self-catering.  i’m going to hit up a vegetarian restaurant tomorrow as a treat, though! looking forward to it.

enough chatter! here are some photos.

the first hurdles

the past few weeks i have been talking so much shit to my friends, like how when you travel you just need to chill out and go with the flow and not stress when things don’t go your way and and and and and.   yesterday my flight to iceland got pushed back by 24 hours and i had to force myself into practicing what i’d preached.

in reality, i’m quite easygoing, so although i was super let-down that my flight was delayed by a day,  i got over the sadness pretty quickly (i suffered severe anticippointment!) and started thinking about how to make the best of the situation.

from an optimistic perspective, it was a great start to a two month vacation: i had to accept something that was beyond my control & make the best of it.  i befriended a couple of my fellow stranded passengers and that was a small step in overcoming my fear of extroversion–although i’m pretty friendly, i’m not always interested in being outgoing & meeting strangers.   i didn’t have to stay in the airport, either–the airline sent passengers to different hotels in the area, so i spent last night at a decent place near the airport.  the room was clean, bed comfy & wifi spotty but passable, so my needs were met.

i had been very disappointed that my vacation in iceland would only be 5 days instead of 6 days, but early this morning i phoned icelandair and they shifted my flight reso (without charge! thankyouthankyouthankyou) so i will get to stay 6 days anyway! i’m cutting a day out my oslo trip to compensate, but it’s a nonissue.   phoning the airline to ask them to move my flight was kind of a big deal for me; it can be very difficult for me to be assertive and ask for things.  this was great positive reinforcement!

all around, i feel pretty positively about how this has turned out. i’m so excited to actually get on the road, but this little road bump has not been too bad.   i can’t wait to land in iceland, though! oh my sweet baby jesus.  it is going to be incredible (i hope).    maybe this is cheesy, but i’ve already had two touching worms moments in the past day (befriending strangers & turning them into travel partners, getting my stay in iceland extended) and i can’t help but to feel like this trip is going to enlarge my horizons and make me a better, stronger person in so many ways!

IT’S HAPPENING

my bag is packed.  i’ve had a goodbye party.  i have hugged my cats until they get all finicky and take off.  i’ve given my cat- & plant-sitter the lowdown. i’ve talked to my mom, brother, dad, and friends.

 

but god damn it, i do not feel ready! tomorrow i’m headed to reykjavik.  on wednesday morning, i’ll be in a completely new place! HOLY FUCK, you guys.  when i bought my tickets way back in january, it seemed like today would never come.

keep your eyes peeled–i have a few posts queued up & i’ll definitely be blogging from the road.

 

<3<3

 

procrastinatrix

when i got home from california, i was like omg i have so much time to do the things i need to do before a two month trip

ENTER a ginormous procrastination complex! gahhhhh.  yeah, i should have filed my taxes before i went to california, and i didn’t and now they are late and i definitely have to do it…

all the things i am being dumb about are finance-related.  go to the bank. pay my bills. talk to the credit card company.  file my god damn taxes. why is it so hard? this is the first time in years that my financial status has not been dire but i still avoid those tasks as much as i did when i was flat-ass-fucking broke.

i’m also being a loser because this afternoon i hung out with kaylie and drank more beer than was good for me and then had to sober up at a cafe before i could bike home (!) and when home, crawled into bed and read my book until i fell asleep. soooo there’s that.

back to california

every time i’ve visited california since moving away in 2009, it’s been a bit…overwhelming.  bittersweet.  that familiar scent in the air just kills me.  it’s strange to go around my old haunts, but as a tourist and not a local.  to see what’s changed.

i tried to write out this long post about my feelings, and how good it was to see my friends and do a lot of fun things, but instead i will show you a bunch of photos.  you already know about me getting a bunch of tattoos and eating mexican food…!

right before my camera got headbutted by this big tortoise!

 

florist no more-ist

yesterday, after nearly a year in the floral biz, i called it quits.   i had to, because i’m going on a giant trip around the world (sort of).   being a florist was sooo rad while it lasted (and i may yet return to it); super creative, worked in a relaxed atmosphere with a tonne of freedom, and had great coworkers.  in the end, i needed to do my own thing so i parted ways from the enjoyable world of floral design.

it was bittersweet, as goodbyes always are, but i was so appreciative that my coworkers didn’t get all sappy and sentimental.   i’ve gotten goodbye cards and the hugs and the we’ll miss yous and the little gifts and all that–don’t get me wrong, it’s nice!–but it’s just not me.  i prefer something a little more casual.  goodbyes can get so cheesy so quickly.

it felt really surreal.  it hasn’t sunk in, that my last day has come and gone, that i’m unemployed, that i’m about to take a giant trip unlike anything i’ve ever done before in my life.  god damn, i just dropped $900 on a eurail pass, and this shit is still not sinking in.

maybe when i pick up my house-sitter at the airport on may 4 it’ll feel real. maybe it won’t sink in until i’m on the plane, headed for reykjavik.  maybe it won’t feel real until i wake up and i’m in a different country! this is so far out of the realm of my known experiences…

it’s not just that i’m headed into the unknown for a two-month trip.   it’s also that i left a poorly-paying yet stable job to do something out of the blue. it’s that i won’t have a job waiting for me when i return.   that’s mildly terrifying, especially since i’m not content to have another life-draining job.  i want something completely different than anything i’ve done before and i don’t know what that means, or how i’ll make it happen.   but damn, do i ever want it.

so, anyway–hooray for leaving behind a sure bet and charging out into the world.  hooray for landing on my feet upon my return!

bog mummy party down

ok, there’s this thing.  when i was really little, i loooved mummies.  my parents had these national geographic magazines and i was really fascinated by the images.

then something happened, and i got scared of mummies for a few years.  some academic types came to my school, and shared photos of their discovery of the long-lost franklin expedition .

what scared me, particularly, was the image of this frozen mummy they’d unearthed.  i even had nightmares…

buuut, i grew out of it.  the nightmares stopped and when i was 17 or 18 i read this cool book called the mummy congress, and got back into mummies!

at this point, it’s been ten years since, and i’m still so into them.  by far, my favourites are bog mummies.  they’re peaceful, even though they met brutal, violent deaths.  they look like they’re sleeping.  their skin has turned leathery brown and hair reddened by the tannins in the bogs where they’ve slept for centuries.

tollund man

bog bodies are so fascinating, partially because of the heavy air of mystery that sits around them. the majority of bodies are from the iron age, although some that are discovered are from later times.

grauballe man

we don’t really know why they ended up in bogs.  many of them met incredibly violent deaths (tollund man, was strangled; grauballe man’s throat was slit), and most evidence points to them being human sacrifies, but there is some evidence that suggests they were executed as punishment for crimes.

yde girl

there’s even speculation that weerdinge men (below) were lovers, because of the intimacy of their embrace.  random fact: after discovery, they were rolled up in  a carpet to keep them safe while being transported from the bog.  this  was possible because after 2,000 years, all the calcium in bones is leached out by the acid nature of the blog.

weerdinge men

in 2004, the glenbow museum held an exhibit of artifacts & mummies found in bogs, and i was very excited to go.  the exhibit started out with the display of ancient (8,000 y old!) artifacts pulled from bogs–farming implements, weapons, etc.  slowly, it wound around toward the mummies and i found myself very afraid.  these were people!  it was the first time i’d seen actual human remains (yde girl, weerdinge men, tollund man) laid out in such a clinical way.  the exhibit was done very respectfully, but i was suddenly very nervous and filled with reverence when viewing these ancient bodies.

hopefully this piqued your interest a bit about the most-tanned of mummies & someday you have a chance to see them, too!

edited to add a topical, rad song suggested by jenanne<3!

game of thrones

 

you guys, i’m engrossed.  i got hooked on game of thrones when it aired last summer, and now i’m reading the first book.  holy shit.  it’s addicting, and that isn’t an ounce of hyperbole.  the book is so good i’m giving up my usual saturday night activities (sewing/watching a tv show, scoping out babes on the internet) so i can drink hot chocolate and read.  it’s not as though i’m passing up a party, but damn!  it takes a lot to disrupt my sewing routine.  so, what i’m saying is, you should probably read the books too, and then we can discuss them together.  maybe i’m alone in this, but i find it really enjoyable to read a book after i’ve seen the tv/movie equivalent, because then all the characters have stronger faces/voices in my mind, and i can hear them talking to each other and see them moving a lot more clearly.

i thought you all should know, because the new season of game of thrones starts tomorrow and i kind of want to watch it but i also kiiind of don’t, so i can let the episodes pile up and then watch them back-to-back in some fit.  even my mom has this plan!! she just watched the first season last weekend–and i mean, the entire first season, in one weekend.  family resemblance? i’ll say.

somewhat-random aside: one reason i want to curl up and read is that i got up super early today so i could attend yoga class before work.  this shit is unheard-of in my world! i never get up two hours earlier for work than needed. AND, even crazier, i’m doing it again tomorrow.

second aside: before today’s yoga class, some intense Serious Kitsilano Yoga Broad came up and was complimenting me on my tattoos.  she went to set up her mat and then came back and crouched by me, telling me ‘i love asking people about their power animals.  mine is an eagle!  they get picked on by other birds but they still fly free!! it wasn’t always an eagle though…’ i couldn’t help but to ask what it was before an eagle, and she looked at me very earnestly and said ‘a gazelle’ and then wandered back to her own mat.  sometimes i hate how approachable i am, but in situations like that, it’s wonderful.  when i’m in the mood to talk, i love learning random shit about strangers.