Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Got a phone call at my desk yesterday from my boss about the job I've been doing for 2 months to see if it's officially mine yet.

Me: Hi, Nova speaking.

Boss: "I'm just calling to give you some info about your job."

Me: (in my head) Oh my god he said my job, it's mine. I got the job. YAY

Boss: I don't know if you've worked with a union before, but the way it works here is before I can even see any resumes they have to offer the job to anybody who has been laid off. If nobody from that pool wants it, then we can see who else applied.

Me: God fucking damnit. O...kay then.

Boss: The good news is it's a position that takes very special skills and I told HR I already have somebody in mind.

Me: Oh! Well...that's good.

Boss: Hang in there!

Me: (laugh) Yeah. Thanks.


So ... yeah. Never in my life have I been more frustrated with hiring processes than I have with this college. It's a miracle they even have any staff at all, I don't understand how everyone is so casual about the whole thing. I'm dyyyying here in anticipation.

I mean, they're telling HR they have someone in mind for the position (me), they've been giving out my email as a contact to publishers and customers. The cashier supervisors have constructed a whole schedule around me working that job. I've been cultivating relationships with instructors and other departments in the college ... it'd be a real shame if some random person who had been laid off said "sure, I'll take a crack at it". You know? So frustrating. And guess who'd have to train them how to do the job.


Any of you have to deal with weird HR policies in your jobs? Probably, right? Tell me about it please so I don't feel like the whole world is against me getting a 16 hour a week job for some reason.

Monday, 29 September 2014

my psychopath journal

I made a huge mistake and left my iPod at the tattoo shop. It's extremely out of my way to get back there to pick it up, and I don't work there again until Thursday afternoon. You guys. What the fuck. I'm going to have to hear the bus people for three days.

At least I have a stack of library books that are due back in a week to keep my mind occupied.

At the top there is a photo I took of my journal. I LOVE writing in journals like this, so it's all small and compact and neat. It gives me the same satisfaction as when I'm going on a trip and can fit everything I need into one tidy backpack. You know? Anyone else love packing for a trip and knowing all you need is in one single bag?

I actually fantasize quite often about packing art supplies up for the next time I go on a trip.


Life is pulling me in all sorts of directions. On one hand it's sort of exciting to feel so needed and to be working and doing things, and on the other hand I am starting to feel like I'm not quite human/that I have lost the creative me I've been cultivating over the past few years.

On top of that I've been REALLY wanting to take a university class, either in creative writing or a language. Probably German because I strangely know a lot of Germans all of a sudden, but I'd also love to learn Japanese. Or sign language. I probably won't, because who needs yet another commitment right now, what with having three jobs all of a sudden, but I've been wishing I could be bettering myself somehow.

I know there are online things I can do but I'm not the kind of self-motivated language learner...I need an instructor and classmates or I'll never truly try.

Another thing I fantasize about is applying for grad school, for creative writing.

And now I have to go get dressed for a day of textbook ordering and being a cashier and like, folding college sweatshirts and filling up Coca-Cola displays or whatever.

I think today I will find out whether I get to keep the title of assistant course materials buyer, or somebody with more seniority in the college decided to snake it from me. Not that I'm bitter about how that keeps happening or anything...

Wish me luck. Because I could really use a steady position this winter.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

talking your way out of a dark place

 If you have been through a traumatic incident in your life I think you will know what I'm talking about. You'll just be going about your day as usual, happy and oblivious,  and then out of nowhere, BAM something punches you in the (emotional) gut and you suddenly can't breathe and are thrown out of orbit and back into the past.

Here's the part where I put a disclaimer, obviously I'm just some lady on the internet and am only speaking from my own experience. Everybody is different and if you have mental health issues it's probably best to speak to a professional, not take advice from blog posts written by strangers.

A few days ago, when I was at work, a totally benign conversation about cataracts took an innocent turn and in one sentence, where somebody casually mentioned that they take eye parts from dead teenagers I was thrown from having a cheerful happy day into a melancholy and horrified state. Just from hearing that one sentence.

I was reminded of ... well I won't get into it but let's just say my family had to endure some less-than-subtle requests from a doctor to take body parts from my still breathing, still alive brother in a hospital bed.  While he was in the room. While he could potentially hear us talking. Fuck that guy. Seriously fuck you doctor. You can't fucking ... ugh. UGHHHHHSDKLFHIWUEHToho:ewh:oiwjef;KEH



I was able to get myself back. It took some time and effort and the help of a good listener but I didn't let the horror overtake me as it has so many times before. (Although writing that last paragraph has my heart racing and my thoughts "going bad", fuck.)

Okay so ... this is what I've been trying to work on for myself, and I thought it might help some of you out there.

1. I guess the first thing to do is recognize your "triggers". (I hate that word but can't think of a better descriptor.) Everybody is different, and if you've been through any type of ... well, bad ... incident, you will always have things that remind you of very specific horror or sorrow. And you can't help but find yourself instantly thrown back into that mental state of anguish. There are songs, scenes on tv shows and topics of conversation I can still not deal with.When you know something like that is coming up, maybe remove yourself from the situation, or let the other people in the room know what's going on.

2. Remember that nobody, not even your closest friends and family, can know or remember everything about you at all times. Sometimes a conversation will go in a direction that includes something you can't handle. Don't blame the people around you, they can't always monitor everything they do around you forever. Once again, just remove yourself.

3. Recognize the negative thoughts for what they are. You can change your thought patterns but you have to be able to see what your brain is doing. I realize that "running away" from things is not an answer that I can allow myself forever. Avoidance is not the answer. BUT it is when you're at work or in public and you don't have a safe space to deal with the feelings.

4. Tell yourself to STOP. Certain things are connected to other things in your neural pathways that bring you right back to that dark place, and the only way to stop the cycle is to tell yourself to stop it. Sometimes I say it out loud which might make me seem ... well, like a crazy person I guess, but for some reason in the shower and when I wake up in the morning sometimes I start on the path to dark thoughts and I say outloud "Don't go there" or "Stop it". I try and think of something else. Sometimes it helps if I physically move myself to another location and do a different activity. Break the cycle if you can.

5. Get someone to help you. If you feel yourself spiraling towards the negative thoughts, sadness or horror, talk to somebody. I hope that each and every one of you has a friend who knows what you've been through. Call them up when you start feeling that way and just tell them you need to talk for a minute. It will help if you acknowledge it out loud. After I removed myself from the cataract conversation I called Ryan and we talked for a couple minutes, I told him what happened and he listened. Even just that helped me a lot.

6. Don't be hard on yourself. It's not your fault. You can get through this.

I have some online friends who email me about their current mental states and I like to think that our open conversations about what is happening in our lives, our setbacks and solutions, help us. If you want to talk to me about anything you might not have someone in real life to talk about, please email me.


It'll stay between us, whatever you want to say.

September Links 8 - it's a big one, hold on to your butts.

This video really gives you an idea of how fast a bear can climb a tree, it's really incredible. Like 2 seconds and it goes from the ground to higher than the guys holding the camera.








And finally ... anyone else dying over the fact that there's a Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode happening today? I heard about it months ago and wrote it in my day planner immediately. EEE!!

Friday, 26 September 2014

so...my birthday's coming up

If I could get anything for my birthday I'd want...
  • A gift certificate towards a Royal Roads University continuing studies course. They've got some really cool sounding writing courses this term.
  • Brightly solid-colored ankle socks like these. I also love these. I have black pants and black shoes and grey pants and black shoes, I need a pop of color inbetween them. It's very important. 
  • Drop-in passes for the gym near my house. 
  • Watercolor paper. 
  • A new camera. Nothing ridiculous, just a point and shoot that takes super amazing high quality photos, and that I can keep in my bag and doesn't need to have its own camera bag and accessories and weigh 20 pounds.  Oh and the battery life has to last more than 250 pictures please! I like these 2:

I'm actually more into the Nikon than the Canon I think. But, you know, they're both great.
  • Someone to take me to get all my old film developed (and pay for it, since I'm asking for gifts). I have weird anxiety around going to a photo place and telling them I want prints made. No idea why. 
  • Cheesecake please. Just plain cheesecake with some berry sauce on top.  Oh, and some olive tapenade. Not together with the cheesecake obviously.
  • Someone to take me to the Viking exhibit at the Royal BC Museum before it leaves.
  • A car, please.  Listen, I know it's not going to happen unless I work and save and work some more to get one but imagine if I didn't spend 3-4 hours per day 6 days a week on the bus! Dudes. That's 18-24 more hours a week I'd have to ... well, who knows what I'd do?! My self esteem would rise and my anxiety would lessen because I wouldn't constantly be stared and and talked to by weirdos. My life would actually be totally different. Just because I had one new possession. Okay I convinced myself. I need a car.

You know what I want most of all? If I could choose anything? A Mini. I'm not even joking.

Check out that website, you can build your own car and it calculates the price for you. This is what I made. It's a roadster in slate grey with only *some* bells and whistles, thank you very much. I'm not a maniac but I do want good music, okay?

  •  Paladium glow in the dark boots. Size 7.5 please. You guys I need glowing boots for safety! Winter is coming and I will be walking in rainy grey dismal days across busy streets with low visibility. It's for my own good!

  •  cool patches to put on my back pack. Here are a few I like. The outside 2 are from Glamour Kills and the middle one is from Best Made.
  • This sweatsuit from Drop Dead. Oh. My. God. Yes. Ryan wants this too, so maybe get us each a set and we can be literally the dorkiest couple you have ever seen. I'm probably a size large in this brand.


A million vacations and plane tickets. I've got a case of Wanderlust like mad lately. I haven't left this island in way too long! I'd like to go all around Northern Europe, Iceland, Berlin, Argentina, Tokyo ... ah, wherever, actually. Somewhere I've never been before.

Or you can just wish me a happy birthday on Oct. 7 via Twitter or Instagram! I'll be 32, so say it 32 times.

How many tattoos do you have? Part fifteen - armpit flying money

This little flying dollar bill is a Sailor Jerry flash piece that means a lot to me. I got it years ago from Gerry my boss. Actually I even remember the year, 2007, because I got it just before I temporarily quit Tattoo Zoo to go to school in Mexico.

Everybody in the tattoo shop "family" got one that year, and the tradition has continued ever since. There's probably ten or fifteen of us who have them by now.

Why did I get mine in my armpit? Well I couldn't think of any small-ish spaces I wanted it and I didn't want to take up a space where I could fit a larger tattoo in the future. I was also really curious about what having an armpit tattoo would be like.

Turns out it's very sweaty and swells up a lot. Gross, I know. Gross for me and for Gerry too I think. Luckily it was a really quick one, it only took like ten minutes. And that's the story of the armpit dollar.