Tea, toast & tears.

It wasn’t enough to get a letter today from the government informing me that I apparently owe them $758.00 because they ‘re-assessed’ my taxes.  That’s not a huge deal because I have the T4’s to be backing up that bullshit claim.  That’s the one downside to doing your taxes online, you need not hand in your slips, but it’s a damn good thing that I hold onto these things because them ‘readjusting’ the amount of taxes I owe is ridiculous.  Evidently the people at revenue Canada can’t do math?  How do you just “decide” that I didn’t pay as much as I said I did?

There will be none of that thank you very f’ing much.

So I can just add that to the great big pile of stuff I just don’t care to deal with but can’t ignore…

Alas, this isn’t about that.

It’s about my dad. 

Back in June he was diagnosed with lung cancer and emphysema.  Before you put on your judge-y pants, my father quit smoking over 30 years ago so this disease?

Not just limited to smokers.

So there is no cure for emphysema and while my dad was able to kick cancer in the ass, it doesn’t change much.

In fact, it doesn’t change anything at all.

They figure that he’s had this disease for years and it went largely ignored because of our family history of having lousy lungs, so the time that we have is extra precious because we thought that we had more of it.  Something I think that we all take for granted.  Sadly most people don’t get to living until they realize that they’re dying.  We’re pretty candid in my family about pretty much everything and death is no exception.  As soon as the diagnosis was announced my parents made sure that everything was in order and my dad planned his funeral.  So all of his wishes are laid out and we know what he wants and we’ll be certain to make sure that we send him out the way he wants.

Aside from that, life is pretty normal more or less.  It’s always in the back of our minds because it’s not going anywhere, there’s no cure.  Emphysema slowly cuts off your air until you stop breathing.  It’s cruel and while it’s something I try not to think about too hard, I try to make the most of the time I DO have with my dad.  I’ve been trying to get a family picture done twice since I’ve been home because it will most likely be the last.  It never seems to work out and I wonder if it ever will.  I went home in July after I heard the news and Christmas was one of the best one’s my family has had in a long time, it was nice.  Life goes on as it should and while my dad puts on this front of false bravado, I know it’s a ruse.  He’s trying real hard to be brave but I know he’s scared and it breaks my heart because I can’t imagine dying in such an agonizing fashion.

Shit got real when I came home and my dad was outfitted with his oxygen supply.

It got even more real when I seen him at Christmas and he was complaining that he was gaining too much weight from the steroids to help him breathe and yet all the weight gain makes it more difficult to breathe.  Seeing how frustrated he was because he couldn’t catch a break and breathe like a regular person.

Today as I was sitting in class, I got a text from my mom.  Dad has a lung infection, he’s in the hospital.  You should call him.

All of these things take on a whole new meaning when you have emphysema.  So I called my dad, we tried to have random small talk, he asked me about school, listened to me bitch about what douche-bags the tax agency is and tried to be all nice and normal all the while ignoring the fact that you could hear hospital sounds in the background while they tried to find a place for him.  Tried to keep things light and airy when he said he’s trying to stay on this side of the sod (grass) a little longer.

I tried not to fall apart as my dad said I love you to me and heard him start to cry as we were hanging up.  That happens every time we talk now because neither of us knows if that’s the last time.

My father is dying a slow death and it fucking sucks. Part of me really wants this to just be over because the wait/wondering is brutal and scary and emotionally taxing.  I can’t even imagine how terrifying it is for him.  Yet part of me wants him to at least stick it out long enough for me to finish school so he can see me graduate from university.  It’s a really big deal for me and it would be extra special if he was there to witness it.  I know he’s already proud of me, but that’s not really the point.

I can’t handle the feels.

Thank God for Nick.  While tea and toast when I get home from school won’t make it all OK, his hugs are amazing and he doesn’t mind when I come home and fall into his arms as I ugly cry about the injustice of it all.

I just can’t even.

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2014 yearly review

I’m horrible at keeping up with my blog, life has changed A LOT and kept me 50 shades of stupid busy.
-But- I try to do at least this once a year. Even if some things rarely, if ever change throughout the year.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

This list should be long but I’m drawing a blank.  It hasn’t been an adventurous year due to a lack of resources but I try to make it a point to try new things.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I haven’t bothered with them in years.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not this year, pretty sure most of my loved one’s are done having babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, which is something I am thankful for.  I did however loose a professor to suicide whom I had a deep respect for.

5. What countries did you visit?

Sadly I haven’t left Canada in a long, long time.

6. What would you like to have in 2015that you lacked in 2014?

Being able to communicate in French on a more functional level.

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

June 11th- The day I found out my dad had cancer.

June 13th- The day I got fired from my job.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting A’s in all but one of my classes.

9. What was your biggest failure?

A stupid C in illustration but that’s BS.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yes. Nothing too serious

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Camera gear :)

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Nick’s, that boy is nothing short of amazing.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

My ex BIL along with a few other people who I shall not name.

14. Where did most of your money go?

School & camera gear.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

School actually.  I’m really digging this whole university thing.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

Shake it off-Taylor Swift for no reason other than it’s a catchy song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?

I am mostly happier, fatter and richer in a non monetary way.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Practicing my craft (photography), reading more, learning more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Being distracted, housework.  Wasting time on things/people/places that didn’t really matter.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

I was in Ontario with my family & friends and it was awesome! I had an exceptional Christmas this year!

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?

Every single day. <3 Nick so very much

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Grey’s & The big bang theory

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yes. I wouldn’t go far as to say hate but more despise I think would be appropriate.

24. What was the best book you read?

Composition: from snap shots to great shots.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Can’t say I have one of those.

26. What did you want and get?

More work done on my sleeve, which is now almost done!

A shiny new camera and time with the people I love the most.

27. What did you want and not get?

This year, oddly enough I have nothing to add here. It’s a good thing!

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Didn’t really watch a lot of movies this year.  Especially one’s that one would consider new but I did see Dear White people with Nick and we both enjoyed it.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 36 and had a small, yet fun gathering with family.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not being in debt and being done school

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Yoga pants, hoodies and t-shirts.  I live for comfort.  Especially when I spend so much time taking pictures, editing and sitting in a classroom.

32. What kept you sane?

-My friends, most of my family. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them this year! I am so very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life!

-Photography.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

That’s not my style, I could care less about that sort of thing.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

This year I paid scant attention to politics period.

35. Who did you miss?

Jason as always.  Nick when I’m on the road without him.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I can’t pick just one, but I’ve met some really great people this year!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

That people you thought you could trust can and will turn on you in an instant.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

“And he still gives his love, he just gives it away
The love he receives is the love that is saved
And sometimes is seen a strange spot in the sky
A human being that was given to fly”

You’re an asshole parent.

I’m being extra judg-y and petty right now.  I also don’t care.  Now that’s out of the way…

I don’t have kids, but one thing I know for certain is that if you and hubs have split ways and share your kids here’s a tip:

FUCKING COMMUNICATE!

Normally I don’t like to ‘drag’ other people into my blog life because it’s just not right.  However when history repeats itself time and time again and I get screwed over?

Game over motherfucker.

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I made plans back in APRIL to have my mom and my niece come visit me in Montreal.  My mom always comes to visit me once a year and this year the Lion King (the Broadway musical) is making a comeback so I bought really awesome seats for my niece and I.  It was a major splurge but I figured since it was for her birthday and part of Christmas, why not?

Well her dad booked his vacation during the EXACT same time that my niece is supposed to be in Montreal with my mom and myself.

Apparently it was asking for too much to wait for four measly days for his daughter to have the time of her life, enjoying what is most likely to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for his daughter to see a beautifully done musical in Montreal.

Lot’s of blame has been tossed around but you know what?

I made plans with her first, I should have first priority since I only get to see her once or twice a year.  Apparently none of that matters because someone doesn’t know how to communicate effectively.

Did I mention that the travel tickets and the musical tickets are also non refundable?

So you are an asshole parent Jeff.

That’s really fucking low.  Your daughter should come before your needs.

I’ve lost all respect for you now.

 

I committed career suicide.

Apparently.

I’ll admit it, I’ve gotten really spoiled the past few years with a nice cushy culinary job.

I earned it. 

What a lot of people don’t realize is that the culinary industry is very egocentric and God help your sorry ass if you have a vagina and are *gasp* better at something than some guy on your line.  It’s also very, very sexist.  Growing up and pursuing this particular art form was nothing short of a hellish nightmare.  I was constantly told that I would never make it as a Chef.

Except I did.  I even wrote my own damn cook book too.  Because I am AWESOME. 

I have spent the last 4.5 years in a upscale, private daycare.  On June 13th 2014 I was unceremoniously fired for reasons I can not currently discuss in a public forum.

So I did what any self respecting Chef would do.  Dusted off my CV (which is a work of art) and hit the ground running looking for work.  There is no shortage of restaurants in this lovely city and generally at any point I found myself without a job I always found one within a week or two.  Usually within in a few days.  When you work in a restaurant, jobs as a line cook are plentiful.  As are other higher ranked opportunities (such as Chef de partie, sous chef and so forth).

That is until you work in a daycare for almost five years…

That right there?  That’s what you call career suicide.

I have lost count of how many CV’s I have sent out.  I have, to be fair gotten my fair share of call backs as well.  Which is great until you show up for the interview and they compliment you on how ballin your CV is, but then when it gets to your qualifications and experience, it’s like they never read the fucking thing!?!  It’s pretty clear that I haven’t worked on a line in almost five years and I’m straight up about that too.

Oh and I can’t forget the times that I have been either scheduled for a job trial and/or an interview only to show up and be told that the position has been filled.  Because clearly calling me as a courtesy is too taxing for you.

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So I finally caught a break.

Or so I thought. 

I accepted a job at a not to be disclosed location and all of a sudden I became the most popular person ever!  My phone was going INSANE with interviews and job offers.  I have one place BEGGING me to come there.  Except I had committed to one and I told the others that I would get back to them.

Well the really nice, high paying sous chef job required me to be more bilingual than I am and that made me sad because I couldn’t accept it in the end.  Another job trial was in a production kitchen but the kitchen manager was a giant douche bag and I knew the minute I laid eyes on him, it wasn’t going to work out.  I was right.  Which was fine actually because holy shit listening to CJAD all day and cutting vegetables? zzzzzzzzzzz  Yeah I would have done it for now because well bills and stuff.  I could go on and on but needless to say, it just wasn’t working out.  It’s basically been what’s stated above, lather, rinse, repeat.
I need a few days to settle in somewhere and get organized.  The first few shifts for me are always clumsy and awkward but you team that up with not being in that environment for so long?

You’re fucked.

Metaphorically it’s like this: It’s like an old friend you’ve known for years and years and all of a sudden you don’t talk for 4.5 years.  Then you get reunited.  Which is great, it’s familiar but a lot has changed too.  So you need to spend time playing catch up with this person.

Except no one can afford to give you that time, or you’re not French speaking enough or lacking your papers or a car and the list goes on and on.

So I took the last option I had handed to me, they’re really nice people, gorgeous restaurant and then as we were setting up to open I noticed that there was 4 different types of meat on the counter.  I put my hand on them thinking that they had just been pulled out of the fridge.  Nope.

THEY WERE ROOM TEMPERATURE! RAW MEAT, LEFT OUT ON THE COUNTER, OVERNIGHT IN JULY.

Oh hell no.

So.  So much for that place.  Back to the grind I go, more interviews, more of the oh, you’ve been out of restaurants for a while.  Yeah this isn’t going to work out (Again, read my f’ing CV jackass).

Yet I didn’t give up, that is until yesterday.  I had a training shift schedule at a place that I thought would be a good re-introduction back into a line.  I was flat out honest about where I stood, how long it had been since I had worked on a line and blah blah blah.  He didn’t care, thanked me for being honest and I thought OK cool it’ll do for now.   I was asked to be there at 5pm and I waited and I waited until 5:30 and that’s when I left.  Because if you can’t be bothered to be there on time or at least make the effort to call me or your restaurant, that says a lot of things about you and they’re not nice.

I had one last interview today.  It was more of the same, but I got points for being honest.  No real loss there, the place is an hour away.  *Note to self, no more jobs in the mile end.

So that being said, i’m moving onto to other things I’ve had in the works for a few weeks.  Just need to finalize some details first.