Is There Anything You Can’t Do?

            

I have harboured a deep and abiding love for Rob Delaney ever since I discovered his filthy tweets shortly after figuring out what a twitter was.

Him threatening to sue Kim Kardashian if she doesn’t stay married only makes me love him even more:

I’ve been married for five years. To the same woman. I’ve wanted to divorce her at times. She’s wanted to divorce me at times. But one great thing about marriage, when it’s entered by regular folks, in good faith, is that it’s hard to exit. It costs money. You have to talk to lawyers during business hours except whoops—you have a job that you need to earn money to buy food and pants—so when are you going to both take the time to do that? By the time you’d have gotten around to it, you’ve forgiven each other and maybe even reached a new appreciation for each other as you worked through whatever seemingly insurmountable problem made you hate each other for 20 minutes while you sat in your shitty car outside a CVS yelling at each other and crying. Because guess what, Kim? That’s a huge ingredient in a SUCCESSFUL marriage. Sometimes it sucks. And I don’t mean lower-case “s” sucks. I mean it SUCKS so fucking hard you’re POSITIVE you’ll give yourself stomach cancer or an embolism as you try to make your spouse explode through telekinesis. When you relax, however, and remember that you’re a bigger asshole than they are, with enough neuroses and calcified bad habits to warrant their own card catalog, you realize that they’re struggling through life’s shit storm just like you. Then you take a shower together and fuck while laughing.

           – I Am Suing Kim Kardashian, by Rob Delaney via Vice

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Stefon is outraged

                                  

I’m going to shock you all by joining the legions of North Americans heaving a deep sigh of WTF at the news of Kim Kardashian filing for divorce after a whopping 72 days of marriage.

Look, I don’t know who these Kardashians are, we don’t have cable and so everything I know about them has been gleaned from celebrity gossip, (the one sister’s husband looks like a complete douche, two of them seem like simpletons but the tall one seems pretty hilarious).

Here’s my take:

I don’t care that she profited from  her sham-marriage (current calculations suggest that since she sold the rights to her wedding for $17.9 million she earned $10,358.80 per hour hour of marriage) because you can’t blame her for that one, BLAME YOURSELVES Amurica. The wedding wouldn’t sell if no one cared about this woman. She’s savvy (or has some savvy people working for her) who have managed to pull a PR miracle by transforming her from a random in a “leaked” sex tape to this demure reality-TV icon that is the idol of little girls everywhere. That’s pretty incredible.

Also, I’d definitely let People print my wedding pictures for 18 million, hell I’d probably let em go for  1 million – okay, OKAY $250,000! Have your people call my people (Adam) to finalize the deal. But seriously I post them here for FREE, so if someone was going to pay me to do the same thing who am I to judge?

The issue for me is what is the same one which is enraging many others, I think. Gay marriage is huge in the states right now, huge. And I can’t imagine how it feels to be someone (and there are millions of people in this situation) who has been in a committed relationship with their same-sex partner for DECADES, unable to wed, unable to obtain the same legal rights, and in some cases unable to visit their partners in the HOSPITAL because they aren’t technically deemed “family members”.

Imagine fighting against people who picket you and tell you you’re going to hell because of who you love, and living under a government who considers it their place to legislate what hole you can put it in and what jobs you are allowed to work if it’s not the right one and then sitting down with your cup of coffee this morning and reading about some reality tv bimbo who’s throwing away a marriage that has been outlived by some of my fridge-leftovers – I imagine the feeling of fuckery is a little bit out of control.

Aaaand with all of this goes the fact that her 18 million dollar wedding is money that could have been better spent feeding countless starving children or building wells or creating schools or really, on pretty much anything other than white roses and tulle.

So. We can’t blame these K-loving idiots -blame the millions of other idiots watching this spectacle and creating the demand that they are simply filling.

Good morning!

                          Now go cleanse your palate with a little Stefon

Boo!

           

Last night was hilarious. I keep having to remind myself that Halloween proper hasn’t happened yet – the big kids have had their party and now it’s time for the REAL kids. I guess I should get some Halloween candy or something?

As for these big kids, after much procrastinating and dillydallying, at 5:00pm yesterday I decided that Halloween was happening and we were going out that night and we were going to have fun dammit!

I started racing around to the second hand stores in our town looking for something quick and cheap to put together. Maybe it was because of the Zach Galifianakis kick I’ve been on lately but when I saw a baby carrier I knew Adam had to go as the one-man wolf pack from The Hangover.

I managed to find a cabbage patch doll, onesie and baby toque and a friend lent Adam some white jeans (OH MY GOD the tightest jeans I’ve ever seen on Adam in my entire life, it was awesome I never had to ask him if he had his keys or his phone because I could see them. IN HIS PANTS).

As for me, I happened across a delightful black wig with bangs and volume and curls and oooh la la! I had to have it, so I began brainstorming what I could possibly dress up as that would necessitate the wearing of a luxe black wig. Unfortunately my brain was fried and shops were closing in five minutes so I decided on the old standby – a witch.

I used my dress from the glamour photos, bought some tights, painted my nails and applied false eyelashes – a $1.99 hat later and *cue witchy cackle* I was ready to wreak havoc.

                

Adam got a little…attached to the wig. I’m not going to lie to you, it got weird. He may have drunkenly cried when I took it off at the end of the night. But hey! Just another topic for when we eventually end up in marital therapy! (man are we going to get our moneys worth because this list is getting LONG.)

We met up with some friends (one dressed in an amazing Poison Ivy costume) and early at some point during the evening Adam popped out to the liquor store for provisions.

Apparently on the way there someone saw him walking and obviously didn’t get the movie reference, “Oh man! Great costume!” he said enthusiastically, “Nothing’s scarier than a dude with a baby!”

Adam was caught off guard (I like to imagine that his brain exploded with the possibility that someone with a penis has NOT seen The Hangover) and as he struggled to regain his sense of time and space and his particular place in the universe, the guy continued, “Ooh and look, it’s like the baby’s high fiving!”

Aaaaand so for the rest of the night, if anyone asked what Adam was, the answer invariably came, “Man with high-fiving baby”.

Costumes I wish I had thought of:

BLACK SWAN! Oh my god! Why?! I would have LOVED to be Black Swan! I saw it done twice, and both times it was poorly executed, I would have ROCKED the shit out of that costume (if the component parts were available to be purchased at 5:00pm that evening, that is)

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS: A girl at the bar had this costume, she looked absolutely amazing. She had applied scars to her face and everything! I think I freaked her out a little because there was a costume contest and she didn’t win (I KNOW) but first of all, before we get to that particular injustice, there’s this one: a man dressed up as a Mexican, in a costume bought IN A BAG from WalMart was also one of the runner-ups.

Hey buddy, you can’t buy your costume in a BAG from WalMart for $19.99 and win a costume contest. How do I know it was from WalMart? Because during my panicked hunt for costumes I remember taking three precious minutes to stand in front of the costume display ranting about “how could a multinational corporation possibly be selling this schlock?!” and “Being Mexican is a culture, a nationality, an ethnicity – NOT A COSTUME FOR FUCK SAKES!”

Then, (oh dear, this tangent is growing) I happened across these posters and thought it was fabulous that this was finally being addressed.

                   

          (Image via Resistance to Racist Halloween Costumes, on Sociological Images)

I don’t have a problem with girls dressing up in slutty costumes, I’m not really into slut-shaming, I DO however have a problem with the fact that these seem to be the only costumes commercially available for women (and I also have a huge problem when these same slutty costumes are being offered in sizes for a FIVE YEAR OLD, but that’s another post altogether.)

(end tangent).

Anyway, a girl dressed up as something completely unremarkable won the contest and so I approached Ms. Scissorhands and effusively told her that, in my humble opinion, SHE should have won, how her costume was fabulous, could I maybe take a picture of her? Did she want to go for coffee and become my new best friend but only if she kept wearing the Scossorhands costume? Is that weird? Hahaha I was kidding! Totally joking! Oh god there are such weirdos out at Halloween hey? But seriously if you wanted to wear it again that would be cool, and- hey! Maybe dinner instead of coffee? I’ll feed you because it’ll probably be hard to eat with those adorable scissorhands, I’ll pick you up at say 7 o’clock tomorrow?

It was weird guys,  she didn’t even answer me, she just looked sort of scared- SO good at staying in character, right?!

But for serious. Nothing compares to my love of Johnny Depp in Edward Scissorhands (no Gosling, not even you. Wait Ryan, RYAN! Stick around..Johnny’s married! You still have a chance buddy!)

And, to cap things off, of course you knew this was going to happen.

                                  

Doesn’t he look good in aviators? I wish he could wear them all the time. It’s also good to know that when Adam and I eventually have a real baby, Gus can finally start pulling his weight by carrying it- babies seem like they’re pretty heavy and lord KNOWS I don’t have the upper arm strength for that business.

Gus’ ACTUAL costume will be revealed tomorrow when we dress him up to lessen the effect of a 170lb dog barking panickedly at the sight of pint-sized ghouls and goblins on our doorstep.

Happy Halloween!

                  

Ull’us

          

A year and a half ago I took three of the teenagers I work with on a three day camping trip to a First Nations gathering. It took place near a natural hotsprings, deep in the woods.

We loaded up- the back of our 15 passenger van stuffed with the essentials, coolers full of food, sleeping backs, a huge 7 man tent.

We drove for hours. The kids blasted the latest pop music, screaming until they were hoarse. I concentrated on keeping the van on the narrow gravel road, often washed out in heavy rains.

We passed a graveyard, a 100 year old church in the middle of nowhere, built by some of the first settlers, intent on converting the local ‘savages’ to Christ.

The building stood empty but sacred in a quiet grove of trees, white painted exterior faded and warped. It was untouched. Stained glass intact, intricately carved pews and pulpits stood silently waiting for words of  fire and brimstone. Redemption.

               

I let the girls out for a smoke break, they wandered slowly around the edge of the cemetary, spooking themselves with ghost stories, falling silent as they realized that many of the gravestones stood crookedly in memory of those who lived lives much shorter than their own.

Entire families lay beneath their feet.

The weekend was busy, a rush of pine needles and campfires, salmon caught straight from the river and dried by the fire.

We fell asleep to the sound of rushing water, awoke to the busy murmur of strangers.

A First Nations elder led us in a smudging ceremony, my first. He stood in front of us, two grey braids lying softly down his back, an eagle feather in his hand, slowly fanning a shell filled with burning sage.

“I don’t know what to do” I whispered.

” Wash your hands in the smoke” he told me, “Wash your hands for clean intentions. ” Lift the smoke to your forehead for clear thoughts, your eyes for clear sight. Send it to your chest for a pure heart, under your feet for a safe journey.”

I wafted the smoke towards me. I inhaled the sharp sweetness, bathed myself in its soft fog. I felt equal parts privileged and foolish. My actions were jerky and stilted. I wished for clear thoughts, a pure heart. I wished for redemption.

Later on the group wandered between different workshops; identifying herbs and using them for healing, a discussion about salmon preservation, guided meditation.

I sat down at the edge of the guided meditation group. A long-haired woman bade us close our eyes. She told us to imagine ourselves walking on a path, thickly forested and safe. It wasn’t hard, nestled within the trees and the river valley, to call to mind this peace and safe haven. It existed for us then. We were living it.

She asked us to imagine coming upon a door blocking the path, told us to imagine it in descriptive detail. She invited us to open the door, sense the resistance or ease with which it opened. She told us to look inside, what did we see when it opened? What lay beyond?

I screwed my eyes shut, imagining an imposing wooden door, I struggled with all my might to push it open and it barely moved enough for me to squeeze past the rough edges.

Inside was bright and fog, light emerging from something in the centre of a massive room, looming shelves crammed with books. The fog obscured something luminous and shining, but I couldn’t see it, I struggled to push away the fog but I couldn’t imagine beyond.I couldn’t make it out.

We were brought back. Encouraged to sketch our visions.

I felt frustrated. Books. How predictable. I felt like my unconscious was straining, trying to find something that wasn’t there. I left the session and sat on the stony river bank talking with one of the kids who was acting out, working through our day.

Each night I would go and sit in the hotsprings. The water welled up through the drain holes of old bathtubs and spilled over the sides, constantly refilling and renewing the water. I sat and spoke, listening to my words rise and disperse with the steam.

On the last day we traveled to a reserve a half hour from the hot springs. Old buildings stood ramshackle next to a street with 10 new built homes. Children gathered curiously as we approached, they were reticent and shy. I walked through the town, taking note of the only store, selling chips and pop. There was nothing fresh available, the nearest town over and hour away.

We attended a concert in the new school, an anathema, a shining institution rising up from the woods, dusky mountaintops looming dark in the background. A new method of conversion, redemption.

The auditorium filled with the thick smell of wet clothing and warmth. The pulsing sound of drums jarred the seats and got into our bones. It felt like a heartbeat and we were all collectively living and pulsing together, smelling like salmon and sage, nodding and bobbing along with the sound.

As we drove home the girls were silent. We were all trying to process the three days. It was one of the strangest weekends I’ve ever experienced. Clashing ideals of self-reliance and subjugation, man-made ideas rising sharply from natural contours. I couldn’t make sense of it. I resorted to monosyllables when asked to describe it.

I’ve never been able to make sense of the envelope of peacefulness I felt, sitting on that riverbank, watching the bright frustrated tears of a teenager. 

It was a handful of cliches riding meekly, a dark, seething undercurrent of rage and frustration. The trees and the church, the river and the school.

The faces of children as we passed them by. The graveyard as it faded into the plume of gravel dust stretching out behind us, bloody from our taillights.

” Lift the smoke to your forehead for clear thoughts, your eyes for clear sight. Send it to your chest for a pure heart, under your feet for a safe journey.”