I'm a Deaf vagabond currently living on Vancouver Island. Bicycles dominate my life, but I also make time for climbing, hiking, camping, and cats. And if I have time left over after all that, I write about it.
Here’s another one for my ever-growing list of pet peeves: I get annoyed when fellow Canadians insist that not all of Canada is cold. Victoria may have Canada’s warmest winters, but… an average low of 3° C is hardly balmy. And it’s very wet. Try getting around the city soaked to the bone in 3° C weather and tell me that it’s a comfortable temperature.
Also, I spent two winters in Calgary and four in Montréal: Not as cold ≠ warm. I will fight you on this while wearing mitts and baffled down slippers.
Furthermore, Victorians have a nickname for June: Junuary. Some days so far this month have required a sweatshirt and pants, evidence that Victoria isn’t all that warm.
Ah, yes, welcome to squaremeat.com, where the hot topic is cold weather.
So far this month, anytime the sun’s still shining after my workday ends, I’ve gone for a ride. Here’s my latest accomplishment:
I wasted away Sunday with naps and YouTube videos, including one of a guy with a riot shield warding off a cassowary’s attacks. (More on that later.) I compensated for yesterday’s laziness today, starting at 8 am with a 1.5-hour session at the bouldering gym. Then, I decided to head to the seaside for a sprint on the bike, except I left the house with too much skin exposed. It was only 11° C, but it’s June*: I was almost more insulted than I was cold.
I drew a small success out of that failed ride with a QOM on Strava. I figured I’d do a celebratory strut downtown to drop off some homemade baked goods for the bike shop. (Snacking is their #2 passion after bikes). I continued my quest downtown, making quick stops for goods such as a bottle of titanium white paint to replace the one I wasted when I turned my bedside table into an eyesore. I also decided to liven up my place with some life with the purchase of two new plants.
Before 3pm, I’d gone climbing, walked a total of 14.5km, and cycled 4km. I could have stopped and declared it a productive day, but no! I also did laundry and made hummus! I had an important email I’d been putting off that got sent! Then, I decided to take a 24km spin around London on Zwift and got a QOM on that too! And broke 800 watts for the first time! Then I wrote this post! Next, I might bake and decorate a three-tiered cake tonight!
Maybe I’ll never sleep again.
Ah, the ups and downs of being Bipolar. It’s not just feeling intensely sad or happy: it’s often about feeling devoid of motivation one week and bursting with energy the next. I find it easier to accept that it is how my brain operates than to fight it, but sometimes I have commitments to meet; other people’s expectations to meet; laundry to do, and hummus to make. It’s inconvenient.
Now, let’s go back to that cassowary video, which I can’t find because the Reddit post I saw it under has since been deleted. Still, this leads to what I am about to reveal.
I’ve been to Australia!
When this comes up in a conversation in person, 4 out of 5 people (who haven’t been anywhere in Oceania) responds with variations of this:
My arm has been engorged with the Pfizer vaccine. The process of getting vaccinated was remarkably similar to going to the polls. You get to follow arrows on the ground going from the ID verification clerk to the line-up before getting shown to a booth. You also get offered a sticker to declare yourself a good citizen!
Except, Elections Canada doesn’t expect their voters to wait fifteen minutes after voting before leaving the building in case of an allergy reaction. The mass jabbing was so deliciously fluid. Nobody had to wait long and all the vaccination booths seemed to always be occupied. The nurses had paddles that they held up when they were ready for the next victim: green for go, red for no, and yellow for brb potty break, probably.
Tragically, the two days that followed Saturday’s noble jab were sunshine-filled and fraught with nausea, with a side of a sore arm. Those were my two days off. Although, the twenty minutes of sun I didn’t miss out on, I got burnt.
First, I shall get you warmed up for what you’re about to see by sharing the objects of interest that were once in my possession. Instead of moving all this stuff across the country and back–or across the Strait of Georgia and back–they got Marie Kondo’d. I thanked these items for their service and disposed of them.
Bear in mind that most of these items were gifts rather than something I intentionally obtained. It does say a lot about how my friends perceive me, though.
3. A decapitated mummified head with its septum pierced. This was supposedly a prop in an episode of The X-Files. If you think you know which episode, please tell me.
I didn’t keep it for long because it reeked strongly of musty latex.
4. A leather snap cuff to wrap around the base of the nutsack. This scrotum belt had chains joined by a ring in the middle to support any weight one might want to attach.
I would love to explain this apparatus some more, except I don’t understand it even after owning it.
While no close-up photos exist, it makes a surprise appearance in the background of several photos.
Rather than suspend it from a body part, I suspended it from my ceiling and nestled one of my GIANTmicrobes in there. I believe Ulcer won the coveted spot in this testicle stretcher thingamajig.
5. Teeth from two people. Two friends thought, “I bet Laura would love to receive my teeth.”
They were wisdom teeth. Because most people get their wisdom teeth out before they hit their twenties, and this predated my digital camera days, I only have a remarkably poor-quality webcam photo of one of the sets.
6. 2L bottle of personal lubricant with a pump dispenser. I was re-stretching my ears and asked my roomie, Danica, if she had any lube I could use. She put this giant bottle in front of my bedroom door and told me, “It’s yours.”
I kept it on my bedside table, not caring whether it suggested that I had an arid no-no region.
7. Timk (the K is silent) the baby giant millipede who lived in a flaming igloo.
8. An Anne Geddes plushy with the face ripped out and replaced with Bob the Tomato from the Christian cartoon Veggie Tales.
9. The dresser seen in the background of the above photo:
10. A dilapidated hospital wheelchair which I used when shit-posting online.
11. An eight-gauge octopus hook with the barbed end ground off. Not notable until you learn of its odd origins.
It was one of the ten that was placed through my skin and suspended me from a ceiling when I was eighteen.
12. Two bright-coloured petticoats that I bought for no good reason. I wanted to be a person who wore petticoats. Instead, I was a person who kept petticoats stuffed in her Hungarian Narwhal dresser.
13. Five pounds of masking tape the size of a human head. My high school unknowingly funded this project; it grew as I carried this from class to class in my backpack until I developed lower back pain. Then, one weekend, I lugged it from Langley to my boyfriend’s place in North Vancouver. I think he was impressed?
Which brings me to the strangest thing I currently own: