May, June & July 2015: Work & Windsor

February 17, 2016

Blogging is weird.

Windsor, is also weird.

So just as I was getting my grump on and feeling like my job situation was not fulfilling – I lost my job. Hooray for being made redundant without warning!

So in an absolute panic I asked Indigo to take me back and then I started digging around for any work at all. I landed a contract with the Media City Film Festival to be their Guest Services Coordinator… which was a lot of work but also fantastic because it stopped me from spiraling into a pit of self loathing and pity.

Then I also got a gig at Craft Heads Brewing Co. as a barista/bartender combo. And life improved a bit. But for pretty much all of July I was working one of my three jobs, erratic hours… blurg.

Roisin started playing more gigs in the city – her gig at Phog in particular was fantastic and our pal Bronwen was lovely enough to film some of the tunes.

Montreal band Folly and the Hunter played a gig in the city which was a fantastic slice from our old lives. I think it just added another drop in the bucket of woes. We weren’t happy in Montreal… but perhaps we were happier there than we are in Windsor.

To try and cheer me up Roisin surprised me with a weekend at Caesars Casino. We acted like total monkeys drinking milkshakes and going to the pool – staying up late and watching HGTV. I will always feel like a child misbehaving when I spend a night in a hotel room sans adults.

Here’s some videos of Roisin being ridiculous.

I think we spent a lot of the summer trying to make each other laugh and keep each other’s spirits up. This of course included one morning when Roisin and I decided to make a game out of a trip to our local variety store to get some eggs. I said we should dress up. She suggested that we dress as each other. Little did we know we’d run into someone we knew on the way out of our building. It’s the little things right?

I think we just started out so positive and so excited for a change… then almost a year into things we realized we’d made the wrong choice… again. I just don’t know if anywhere will ever feel right.


March & April 2015: Coasting, neighbours who are scum, weddang-prep gets real

June 17, 2015

I honestly think that to a degree I spent a pretty good portion of March annoyed at Canada and annoyed at Windsor.

While some things were working out, like Roisin’s job – other things not so much. The biggest problem being our neighbours.

From the moment we moved into our flat we knew that they were total psychos. This couple’s arguments were super aggressive and numerous. And the various descriptors they used for each other were hella colourful. One night when I heard the chick screaming for him not to touch her, I called the police – to hear him later that evening accusing her of making the call, resulting in another massive argument. Oi. You can’t win eh?

He slammed their door with such force that he broke the dead bolt lock, they never cleaned up after their animals – the smell was so bad they almost got evicted for it, their cat shat in front of our door, we’d frequently see him wandering around naked… and then they started shouting “faggots! faggots! faggots!” along to Lady Gaga tunes…

One night after Roisin knocked on the wall when they were playing super loud music past midnight, she heard them say “it’s those faggots next door” – which prompted her to knock on their door and tell him never to call us that again which turned into him eventually saying “I hate gay people,” that it’s “against his religion” etc. etc.

This whole shitshow resulted in us filing complaints across the board and having the bloody longest and (at times) super unreasonable dialogue with our landlord. I can’t believe how difficult it was to get them to agree to break our lease on the basis that we no longer felt safe in our own home. My favourite part of the whole thing was when I received a heated email from the letting agency’s owner clarifying that she is “28 years old and a graduate from the University of Windsor” … so? Some of your tenants are harassing your other tenants in a hate-crimey way. Sort it.

All of this for them to be evicted at the end of April… so we stuck around. Mind you, I think our letting agency is ridddled with some of the most incompetent arseholes I’ve ever met. It’s kind of impressive.

Bah. And I guess in general I was just starting to get simultaneously annoyed with the transit system.
It was really bothering me how Canadians seem to just accept two weeks vacation (10 fucking days a year) because “that’s just how it is.”
I wasn’t entirely happy with my own gig – I hate how a full-time job, Monday-Friday with a salary and benefits seems to be going extinct. Grump, grump, grump.

It also didn’t help that our building’s boiler was so fucked that we only had heat for about a week in March. A record-breaking, cold month of March for Windsor.


So it goes.

We kept ourselves busy with Roisin’s monthly Chan Bangs, our pal Bronwen took us to a Pistons game which was a sensory overload + all the food. We got a fancypants kitchen table for cheaps, Roisin turned 24 and we had an exceptional party at our pal Naomi’s who went all out and acquired fancy balloons and decor.

Naomi and I also went to see Belle & Sebastian in early April. Roisin’s pal Stina is in this outstanding band called Honeyblood and they were opening for them in Royal Oak and she put Roisin on the guest list. As Roisin had to work, Naomi and I went together and did all the swooning. They’re honestly incredible. Belle & Sebastian of course are legendary but I left there bloody wow’d by Honeyblood. If you hear about them playing anywhere near you go check them out! Go! Go! Go!

We also started to get things rollin’ wedding-wise. We got our preferred date at our venue back in January: September 10th, 2016. We’re getting hitched at the Ball’s Falls Conservation Area – in their old barn. Yes, the lesbians getting married at Ball’s Falls.

So in early April we took a trip with my folks out to Niagara to check it out and take some photos. We also met with our catering company who I’m extremely stoked about. They do everything – they honestly have us covered for the whole bloody day. We also met with our videographer Adam from Captivate Bridal.

We found our photographer by fluke. I was google image searching “ball’s falls wedding” and this one picture turned up and it was from Jennifer Moher’s website. She’s so bloody talented. I’ve always preferred candid shots to posed… she’s our one sincere indulgence in this whole planning process. I really urge you to check out her portfolio. So good. So excited.

Here be some photos of the ol’ Ball’s Fall (minus the falls themselves cause it was hella muddy)

And things continued to roll along…


January & February 2015: All the paperwork, all the travel

June 10, 2015

Early 2015 was kinda messy.

I got offered a permanent position at Indigo which was what I’d wanted – but it was only part-time, with no real guarantee of hours. To be fair, that was what I expected if I received an offer at all.

I was also offered full-time hours at the safety company to do their marketing 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday – although I’d still be getting paid hourly and there’d be no benefits.

For a while I considered just grabbing both and rocking the two-job shuffle as long as I could … I think when you’ve struggled to find employment, you end up in this weird situation where you’re willing to start collecting jobs. Anything you can do is game. It’s not even motivated by paychecks. I think it comes from this weird place of trying to prove yourself – I can do all the jobs, for all the hours – don’t you worry. I’M THE BEST WORKER WHO HAS EVER WORKED. But of course it also comes from the fear of ending up unemployed and searching again.

With Windsor’s 11% unemployment rate I shit my pants on a regular basis.

So I decided to take the full-time gig because it made sense, even though Indigo is a hella lovely place to work. HELLA. LOVELY.

I was knackered. I was still feeling sickly from Christmas… I think I just needed work to be a thing that I did 5 days a week – rather than the thing I did more than sleep which I had to schedule the rest of my life around.

So by mid-January I was free on the weekends wahey! And in February, Roisin also quit her job at Indigo. It meant no more sweet deals on delicious books but it also meant we could see each other and hang out from time to time. We’re both still rockin’ the same gigs.

The other major thing that made January especially messy was Roisin’s application to become a permanent resident. We had wanted to mail the bloody thing out the first week of January but it dragged on and on and on. Between medical exams, getting things signed by lawyers, waiting for letters from our friends and family, researching/outlining the history of our relationship and simply making sure we’d filled out all the forms correctly – things kept eating up time. We finally felt cozy enough to mail the bloody thing at the very end of the month and now we apparently have a 24-month wait. Joy.

Also of note: we spoiled ourselves by purchasing a massive and discounted Hickory Farms basket, we celebrated our anniversary by eating lamb and drinking wine (lamb is mucho hard to come by in Canadian restaurants) and I received a super, special edition of Nelson in the mail which I swooned over.

More importantly – we spent most of February adventuring in the UK.

We’d not been back since 2013 so we had quite a bit of visiting to do. We landed in London and went straight to Bob‘s in Brixton (home of the Electric Avenue). She broke her leg a week or so prior, so we made her a sausage roll breakfast and had a low-key chill visit.

The next day we were off to visit my bestie Scott in Manchester. We spent a day or so eating our way through the city enjoyin’ fancy Mexican food at Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn, cocktails at the Alchemist (where the ice sphere in my drink spun and the liquid changed colour as it smoked), Indian at the Banyan Tree and made many, many trips to Fuel.

We got introduced to Pollie the hamster and we also purchased way too many shoes from the discount Office store, visited some of my old haunts like the Moho building where I used to live and said hello to my pal Dave from Starbucks. And of course I had a necessary cupcake from Hey Little Cupcake.

And then we were off to Edinburgh for a week of famjams, musical fanfare, tattoos, haircuts and visits with some fantastic pals.

We stopped at Hula, made daily trips to Black Medicine nom nom nom and Primark, and made sure to spend some time with Roisin’s family every day – be it for dinner or a drink (including an epic family gathering with all the food and most of her aunts, uncles, cousins). We also had our first Airbnb experience which was alright and we had some engagement photos taken by Samantha Louise Photography.

A lot of the pictures were taken near Hula, where I used to work. I used to sit on that staircase for my break or if I was waiting for Roisin after a shift. It seemed appropriate.

After a lovely time and some catch-ups with Hannah, Roy, Lucy, Kirsten, and more – we made our way back to London where we met our pal Kate at Drink, Shop, Do and experienced a night of Marioke where I ran into Kieron Gillen, who I’d not seen in years. Then we spent the next few days eating delicious breakfasts at The Breakfast Club, enjoying the spoils of the Broadway Market, eating roasts and getting more time with Bob and some other pals before making the trek back to Canada.

I did manage to wipe-out on Denmark St. while trying to show Roisin where Cormoran Strike‘s office would be. My knee still looks kinda gross because of it. For anyone who’s read those books, falling outside of this office is hella appropriate. But otherwise, we made it home okay – and we spoiled ourselves with a decent hotel that offered warm cookies upon check-in. That’s really all I want out of a hotel.

The few days that were left in the month were spent in mourning. Remembering the joys of a transit systems that functions properly, really, really good local coffee, cheap on-trend clothing, lamb roasts, pork crackling, haggis, black pudding, Los Cardos, Tunnock’s tea cakes and so, so, so much more.

Because 60+ photos isn’t enough photos. Here are the Instagram pics I took throughout our holiday.

And here’s a few photos that Hannah took of our adventures. We took them to Under the Stairs, one of my Edinburgh favourites.

And this picture that Bob took sums it all up. In conclusion,

The next post will have less photos…