much love monday: support system

today…well, today did not start off very well for me.  i had a huge, terrifying, anxiety attack while walking up to my cafe job.  i hid in a corner and frantically phoned my mom over and over until she picked up (she was finishing her bus route), and she talked to me while i cried and walked in the rain and walked away from my job and until finally i felt better and i sat under the cambie bridge like a troll.  i texted altaira, and she phoned me, for which i’m also so grateful.  even though the anxiety is gone i still feel a lingering sense of shame, of failing to do something that needed to be done, but that will fade, i think.

today i’m sending out so much love to the people who love me–because i’m lucky, i have not just one or two people to phone in a bad time, i have six or seven, and that is a god damn gift.   i am incredibly lucky to have such good people in my life, to not feel scared and anxious and alone.  holy cats, am i ever grateful.



much love: giving thanks

it’s happy thanksgiving up here in canadia, and i’m just about to go have supper at courtney’s with george and michael (so excited) but before i go, here’s what i’m thankful for today.

– living in this beautiful, safe city, in one of the best countries in the world.  and i have a cute little apartment and am so grateful to have a roof over my head.

– my incredible friends, who are my chosen family.  they bring so much awesome to my life.

– my actual family, who sometimes drive me crazy but are decent folks.

– my cats, cuddling me every day and making sure i never feel unloved.

– my strong, healthy body.  it enables me to do all the ridiculous and wonderful stuff i want to do.

– THE INTERNET for bringing me wonderful new people and keeping my far-away loved ones a little bit closer.

– pencil skirts, cause they are so sexy.

– my creative job, even though it’s not giving me as many hours as i’d hoped, i’m still lucky to be working in a nontraditional field.

much love monday: perseid meteor shower

i grew up watching the perseids every summer.  my mom would let us stay up late and it didn’t matter where we were (at home on the farm, camping, etc) but my brother and i would lay and gaze at the sky with her.

things happen, we grew up, and old family traditions kind of fell away.  for many years, i’ve lived in large cities, and it’s hard to see astronomical events when the sky is full of light pollution.  while i was living in san diego, i attempted to watch the perseids but it was never successful.  the sky was always cloudy.

this past weekend, i got an incredible double-dose of perseids that totally satisfied the years-long gap.  first, on friday night, i was out in the country, watching them from my friend’s front yard . lots of trees (and a mountain!) cutting into the horizon and reducing what we could see, but it was still a beautiful show.  it was so dark we could see the milky way.  i have not seen stars so bright in months.  in many respects, this was very similar to the experiences i had as a child, quietly laying on the grass in a rural area, no streetlights cutting into my star-sight, just waiting for stars to burn across the sky.

the next night was mal’s birthday party.   a group of us piled onto her sundeck, watched a movie (baz lurmann’s romeo + juliet! swooooon) and then watched the sky.  it felt so good to be close to a bunch of people i really like & sharing this experience that made me feel so warm and fuzzy in this way that only comes from reflections of positive things from one’s childhood.  like, maybe little arinn would be so pleased that big arinn still watches the sky, and has friends who also think it’s a worthwhile and incredible thing to do.  it was a really lovely counterpoint to the night before–even though we were in the city & the sky was crowded with unwanted lights,  quite a few meteors were still visible and it was so fun to be experiencing the wonder of the event with a bunch of people i am fond of.

banana chip muffins

strange as it may be, this brand of multicoloured muffin papers reminds me (always) of my mom’s banana chip muffins.   they were such favourites that my brother (devin)  sometimes asks for them as a birthday present.

i bought them yesterday, and as i filled a muffin tin with the papers, memories of being small and pulling the papers off the muffins & enjoying them flooded through my mind.  it was like my self was split between the current-arinn-baking and the child-arinn-eating.  i didn’t know which self to pay attention to, past or present.  it was a bit like time travel…

here are the memory-muffins; the recipe is taken directly from an email my mom sent<3.  obviously, the original recipe is not vegan, but it’s easy to veganise.  you can use an egg replacer (or perhaps omit the egg altogether; the bananas should bind very well) and “milk” of your choice.

Banana Chip Muffins
Flour       1 3/4 cups
Sugar      1/2   cup
Baking Powder  3 tsp
Salt            1/2 tsp
Choco Chips  1/2 cup
Egg          1
Oil             1/4 cup
Milk           1/4 cup
mashed banana {3} 1 cup
First five in lg bowl  Mix, make well
Beat egg till frothy mix in oil and milk and banana.  Pour into well.  Stir only to moisten. Batter will be lumpy.  I use muffin papers  Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake at 400 for 15-20 mins Yeild 12-14 muffins
Have fun these are Devin’s favorite and so very easy
    Love Mommy

inkformation v. 1

portmanteaus are pretty much my favourite, so i bring you a new blog-feature. ink-formation. get it? ink/information? GROAAAAAAN

ok, now that we have that over with, i wanted to share a few of my tattoos with you, specifically the ones i have gotten for other people.


is a coffee cup that says FRED. it’s kinda silly; it’s for my super-goofy grandpa z (mom’s dad). his name is harold, but he calls everyone fred cause he thinks it’s funny. when i was living in the us, he was diagnosed with cancer and for some time was refusing treatment. i kind of panicked and thought i’d never see him again; but then he caved and got the tumour removed and was fine (no chemo necessary!) and since then we have had some nice visits.

the reason i chose a coffee cup was that he has always had this warm grandpa smell of coffee and cigarettes. obviously (i hope) i wouldn’t get a tattoo of a cigarette, so coffee it was.


(hah, i’m even wearing the same shirt in the photos! crazy coincidence, since they were taken something like 3 years apart)

the second is a strawberry for my grandma w (dad’s mom). i spent a lot of time with her growing up; my parents split up early, and my dad and his parents live near eachother, so they were kind of automatic babysitters. i have fond memories of long summer afternoons with my grandma in her giant garden, picking strawberries, peas, raspberries, carrots, etc. i remember searching for kittens and for eggs under hens; holding tiny chicks in my hands until they fell asleep; feeding the sheep, checking on ewes and lambs; her putting my hair in a bun before ballet every week; watching her strong hands peel vegetables; being spoiled by her getting our favourite kinds of ice cream and letting us have some every day after school if we wanted.

my sweet babushka-wearing grandma was diagnosed with alzheimer’s disease maybe six or seven years ago. she’s progressed fairly slowly, in that the time between diagnoses and death averages seven years. she’s still living at home, but won’t be for much longer. she’s really cheerful even though she’s pretty much oblivious to everything around her and can’t follow conversations. it’s painful to accept that she has slipped away but i have had a few precious moments with her. because her mind was in the past, she shared some stuff with me about working on the farm after my dad was born. although i spent much of my childhood with her, in many ways we had a surface relationship. i didn’t, and still don’t, know a tonne about her past, so it was a real gift to find out a little more before she slipped back into whatever reality she inhabits.

it feels like my grandma is already gone, even though her body is still here. i got this tattoo to keep the good memories of her alive and not buried by the more recent sad ones.


(and unlikely to be the last dedication) is a lady gouldian finch for my good friend vanessa. it is colourful and grumbledy, just like her.  unfortunately, it’s impossible to photograph the entire bird at once due to the curve of my small arm, but let me assure you it has a beautiful blue-and-green tail wrapping around my wrist.

vanessa has been a really important part of my life for something like six years. she has been such a solid, wonderful friend since we met. when she finds people she likes, she kind of adopts them as her friend and i’m so lucky to be a recipient of her intentions. for most of our friendship, we have lived in different cities, and now that we’re in the same place it’s a real treat.

she always bosses me into taking photos that turn out incredible. she makes me laugh so hard (she has this polished vulgarity that kills me) and gives me great advice when i need it, even if it’s a kick in the ass. she’s wonderfully direct. she has great style and always looks well put together. she’s so smart, has an incredible vocabulary, eclectic tastes and is such a talented artist. we have long been planning to get a tattoo together but nothing suitable has ever occurred to us. when i started working on adding birds to my left arm in 2008 i knew i’d add a piece for her. she is irreplaceable and such a gift in my life. we have had some wonderful times shopping, looking at art, painting our nails and taking photos together. i am so looking forward to many more!